Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - Titanic Syndrom: Technological, imaging, imagination, & communication challenges    
 Titanic Syndrom: Technological, imaging, imagination, & communication challenges
picture picture picture picture picture picture 15 Apr 2012 @ 15:51, by Heiner Benking

100 years ago the Titanic hit the iceberg because many things "went wrong". They were also ignoring the invisible and "circumstances" connected in the deep, trying to break records.
In terminology research we say: Ambiguity and vagueness in our terms, our subject-areas are worse than fog. If you have no sight you drive slower, but believing you know when we do not, or believing you can fully manage or control technological risks is a sure ticket to chaos, destruction. Fights and suffering are on the way ...
But let us talk now about how to make a difference! How to take the issue as a challenge to make a paradigm change, think different, even puposefully ex-zentric eccentric. I later care about positions around and beyond the center, maybe even in other schemas and cultures, so watch my metaphor is not the plate or the table, but something highly complex and multi-dimensional. (You want an idea what I mean? check the paper on metaphors and interface design and viewpoint transportation systems from 1994. [link]
So how do we comprehend and present such complex issues?
see [More] [link]

So how do we comprehend and present such complex issues?
Flat-2-dimensional and spatial or "deep-n-dimensional and spacial?" I called this article "Show or Schau? [link] when the invited question was: "Is Humanity Destined to Self-Destruct?" Lynton Caldwell, Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. See also setting common frames of references - a series of 3 articles in in the KnowMap Magazine to present how it all evolved between 1985-1992: [link]

Maybe this helps to understand why I opt for additional spacial visualizations:
My opening questions would be: How can we go beyond dualistic nominalism? Is there a space between words, lines, media/signs? Shouldn't we frame schemas and spaces?

I definitely believe YES, we only need to show and negotiate differences and positions. See Plessner but also Stachowiak. maybe start here on the space between meaning, or concretely zero- or full-watching or ORWELLIAN big brothers's eye: [link]

Presently I am working on an article called the “Future Challenges of Education” and so let us muse a moment about our “Future Challenges of our Imaging and Imagination” and what that means to communicate about shared “Realities and Commons”, what concrete shared action could be...

Only 30 years ago it was possible to locate the wrack of the Titanic. Why ? The Sea was too deep and before it was not possible to visualize – create images and maps in order to locate the wreck. I worked those days in the field of computer graphics, first for a leader in the field of line- or vector-graphic and later raster graphics (European Software Contractors – later UNIRAS) for customers in leading science and research institutes worldwide. They used our software – with the largest number-crunchers those days – to create first grey, later color pictures – of what is not visible, out of sight, but can be made “real” – even maybe by finding or building it!

What was done was to create 2-dimensional images (2D) and later even 3-dimensional models (3D) and even adding extra dimensions presenting tensors or any other further variable to create something virtual, a virtual reality.

The discussion of “reality” (Rudolf zur Lippe wrote of a Wahnsystem = Realität [link] – a paranoid use of the term “reality” discrediting other realities as psychic, wrong, illusionary, mislead, distorted and eccentric ex-zentric in order to heighten and celebrating the only “real” own ego-centric reality as the only “Center of the Universe”, as the only “true”, real, valid, … reality. Some people had thought that our modern society has found ways to cope with the Freudian “blow” – the Kränkung we say in German – of not being in the centre of our world and the Earth not in the Center of the Universe.
Just check the challenges we established around virtual reality and the public in 1993 ! see potentials and risks in one table and how it later reached wider ranges "academia": [link] gattiker benking&hl=de&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
check also 21st CenturyAgora site:

I also recommend MYTHS of the Book Culture by Michael Giesecke ! [link] and what it means for dialog: [link]

I was just told about a journal edition with focus on VISION and VISUALIZATION
highly recommended: [link]

See also: eco ecumene ecudomy – Ecological Awareness / Ignorance or Compassion ?: [link]
and New Renaissance: - NewRenaissance (PDF): lowres
and this collection for the UN-AMR 2008 [link]

What we do? We create an artefact, an image, a picture, a map and/or model, a sculpture, anything which is not “there” yet, but can be viewed, discussed, explored, even touched, merged and morphed in a process of (future) creation.
artifactIt can be in the engineering world something to scale in given frames or an artistic artifact or sculpture, important is that it is in the “Mitworld” (see Plessner below) – the communicative world we share with others and so expand our realm of existence and creativity.
The next breakthrough I remember was with a senior manager, expert of IBM and Professor, Rüdiger Hartwig who for example wrote the book “PIXEL REVOLUTION” – How the computer creates images” in the IBM Encyclopedia of Information Processing already in the time I am recalling here, the early 80ies. He was a client, colleague, friend and we discussed at the IBM International Executive Briefing Center (IEC) at the Arthur K. Watson International Briefing Center in La Hulpe south of Brussels in the early/mid 80ies the topic COMPUTER GRAPHICS, me as a lecturer for Scientific Visualization [link] and around at various international IBM science and computing congresses and user gatherings giving lectures, works-shops, organising booths.

Why I mention this? I feel a lot is not yet in the history text books of Computer Graphics and what it means to imaging, modeling and our imagination. We had for example lots of discussions around what we do when we create something virtual, when we do it “flat” with 2 dimensions, or “deep” with 3 or more dimensions.
As covered in this blog last month, a Pixel revolution II is on its way, we create pictures and so we are: PINGO ERGO SUM. check the recent blog entry: [link]

You immediately run into ontological quicksand, questions of what is space. Is only physical extensional, geographical space “real space”? and the old dichotomies of physics and metaphysics come up ! Is everything that is not embodied in physical space metaphysical? Or is reality a spectrum or field which needs to be contextualized to have meaning and can matter or value?
So what do we do when we create a model and then build it? Ask a child in the kindergarten or an architect who wants to show design alternative to future investors, and you have no problem with reality, but if you discuss this with philosophers did get into trouble those days, even today !
Lets only consult the term “augmented” reality. Wikipedia does not mention when the first Augmented Reality was build as a physical model. I am speaking not about the first radar displays which could present points and lines (see vector graphics above) but something embodied in 3-dimensions, something visible from different positions, something tangible you can see from different angles and even immerse into virtually – as was done optically in models already long ago not only by architects, inspecting with a stethoscope the views from many positions (inside and outside).

So what did Professor Hartwig do in 1982? He has built a model in space in which he electronically and visualized in a third dimension locations or positions.
What for? In those days it was hard to manage at airport flight towers the position of landing and starting airplanes specially when they changed their height corridors while cycling down into the proper position for landing. [link]
We called this extra,additional or nested realities. I do not remember us using the term augmented, but this was definitely an augmentation approach like I summed it up in the late 90ies. [link] and [link] and later at the INST in Vienna: [link]
In this way we could give co-ordinates for one reality and add "another reality", and so be able to transformation and translations between the co-ordinate systems, and give positions or movements, and tensors a place in various frames of references. Nothing special for engineers, and so we did not wonder much about ontological problems of shared or common realities and have in 1990 build as an exposit for an exhibition to give “coordinates to subject-sectors/magnitude-, time-scales to be able to discuss and relate interactions along and across scales and their proportions and consequences, and link this to the “spaces” of geographic “realities” and terminologies of different subject areas, languages and cultures. [See Rubik’s Cube of Ecology and the Cognitive Panorama] [link]
Later we published about merged, morphed, augmented and double-augmented realities, but that is long forgotten if not recently around epistemological and educational questions the whole matter came up.
It was around the UNESCO Decade for Education for Sustainable Development where the relevant bodies created 10 competences [link] A presentation of Competences and Capacities might be of interest as again – as we see below – it is of central importance who has competences, and maybe hold capacities like bodies or organizations.
Pupils need to learn and apply to address the Problematique of Global Environmental Change and so help them change their attitudes, values and ways of learning and communicating and sharing, so making differences that matter…

The term ex-zentric positionality came again into my mind. And there again we hit a deep problem when trying to translate between languages. In English you only use the word eccentric for someone strange, odd alien,… have weird or silly concepts, ideas, realities, maybe someone from the “others” being “ill or at least a pathological case better to ignore than to question.
I had used this exzentric – eccentric positionally as I was corrected – as a term in the sense of Helmuth Plessner who used this as one of his central terms in his philosophical anthropology to describe humans as being able to hold more positions, not being closed like animals in one position, but mentally step back, and hold more positions and realities, negotiate and transcend them alone or while deliberating with others. [check Kevin DYE !! below].
I now get very annoyed when checking literature about eccentric and or a theory of eccentricity leading to the discussion of eccentric texts/literature.
First, being able to hold and negotiate other standpoints, viewpoints or positions or realities is a genuine and unique capability of a sapient being **** - I read long ago I a UNESCO publication: “humans are model making animals” ! so we have a unique capability to imagine, assume and negotiate/transcend other “positions”.
What is making this new “theory of eccentricity” out of it? The author in depth explores the ex-zentric eccentric positionality approach of Plessner and dismisses it ! as he does not need more than 2 positions – the good old dualistic trap of center and odd / other (eccentric). He does not realize that countless positions are possible and from any distance. Even from inside. We can not explore here Plessners levels of the inner-organic, the InWelt "InBound World", the AussenWelt "OutBound World" and communicative, in-betweening “Mitwelt” "SharedWorld" and argue why he must have seen this concept plastic or embodied and definitely not dualistic, like the author who favors another scholar who loves the subjective InWelt and the objective Outward-bound World Plessner, and links it to ego-centric and altruistic attitudes and behaviors. Plessner has written "with other eyes" Mit anderen Augen: [link] - (I just found out and immeditely revisited my: Mit anderen Augen sehen) [link] and was recently exhileated: one of my "Thinkers", Helmuth Plessner has summed up his "ex(z)centric positionality in a little booklet: MIT ANDERN AUGEN, "with other eyes" - it shows he thinks like Hans Jonas embodied, complete, compassionated,... I will check this out a.s.a.p.

Original Thinkers, like Helmuth Plessner, but also for example Hans Jonas or Gregory Bateson were thinking embodied, they were searching for other means – other directions in metaphors which could be followed alive and solid – just as Ralph Waldoo Emerson [link] requested….
Hans Jonas [link] requested for example in his "Principle Responsibility" an ethics inclding reasoning with space & time horizon. Gregory Bateson searched for extra antennas we need to develop as humans for the dimension "TIME", so we can perceive and include in our reasoning episodic or epochal change. This only let you have a feel what I am struggling with here: How can we include other dimension and scales to help us communicate what is in the MitWelt according to Plessner.

I am getting angry when a “New Theory of Eccentricity” (Moritz Hildt) falls back into the old dualistic trap of thinking in opposites or two camps. In fora this is discussed as odd and a step towards Deterritorialization, when we actually want to add references and create something shared and "extra", taking the human capacity to create and share "positionalities" as something special and very valuable. It is easier to imagine and then stipulate an exact boundary-line in-between than to consider spectra or fields of meaning and check who is involved in which context? I often quote Thor Heyerdahl:

"Borders? I have never seen one. but I have heard they exist in the minds of most people"

An interesting comment I received long ago from Stanley Krippner informing me about Baars and his concept of "workspaces of the mind" [link] and telling me that I have defined and created "externally-oriented" workplaces of the mind. Well maybe this is what we do by Augmentation....

An overstepping of a domain can be aware of "frames of reference" and so help to link, translate, transform and transcend: I always mention then with Shared "Overview and Orientation", aware where we are and what we do, or as we encounter too often, negligent Overclaims and Oversimplifications. Check: [link]

This is a common procedure today in business, science, and politics....
Maybe check Sectarianism of Science and Nathan Keyfritz at IIASA here: [link]
Fighting over definitions for exact terms and then putting the “others” in the eccentric box, labeling people as the segregated, outcast others, having minority positions we do to include but ignore and eventually fight.

For me two forewords of exceptional translators for exceptionally important books have been like wake-up calls, fortifying my work in terminology, information / data harmonization (meta-data etc.) my proposal for “concept and context mapping” because the original approach in terminology research focuses in my view too much on definitions and too little on situational aspects, the context of who is stating what where, when and why. See also intentionality…. ***

The books?:
1) The Clash of Civilizations (Huntington) where the translators had to change in the title of the book for the second edition, Der “Krieg der Zivilisationen” had to become a “Kampf der Kulturen”. Same words with same roots have different meanings in different cultures and people fight the moment they think they know – but in reality do not - what others mean !
2) “The Act of Creation / Göttlicher Funke & Janus Head” both by Arthur Köstler. (books very relevant for our theme of transcendence, definition of frames and codes, perception, presentation and awareness/consciousness here – see more below).
First let us revisit the central problem in understanding and translation encountered by the esteemed translators of the book.
The book centers around 2 complementary pairs of terms: MATRIX - CODE, and SELF- ASSERTIVE- (aggressive defensive) TENDENCIES and SELFTRANSCENDING (participatory) TENDENCIES. They can not find Synonyms and also get lost with the typical approaches of just using the original term in the other language. See Gestalt, Angst, or Kindergarten. Why? The ranges of meaning do not match !! – the context decides if the term MATRIX is translated as:
Matrix, System, Bezugssystem, Verhaltenssystem, Wahnehmungssystem, Denksystem, Bezugsrahmen, Denkbereich, Wahrnehmungsbereich, Organsystem, Funktionssystem, Entwickungssystem, Denkstruktur, Wahrnehmungsstruktur, Verhaltensstruktur
CODE is translated as:
Code, Regel, Spielregel, Denkregel, Verhaltensregel, Denkschlüssel
SELF- ASSERTIVE- (aggressive defensive) TENDENCIES are translated as:
Selbstbehauptende Tendenzen, Seperative Tendenzen, aggressiv-defensive Tendenzen
SELFTRANSCENDING (participatory) TENDENCIES are translated as:
Selbsttranszendierende Tendenzen, integrative Tendenzen, partizipatorische oder teilhabende Tendenzen.

We realize that terms in the above categories or spectrum of meaning are words like Sentience and Prudence. Words which very much depend on the who is sentient and prudent and what the scope and intentions and realms and scales are ! - We are back to the centricity and positionality and perspectives connected to it. Is the “I”- perspective, or the “we” or “they” positional in the “centre of the considerations and reasoning? Are we transcending including positions – finding approaches and solutions like in mediation, matching the concern of multi-perspective and multi-modal intent? Are more positions in the “game” and how do assumptions and field and patterns overlap, differ, neighbor?

This is work in progress - please come back later.

I found some fun in checking some basic questions and workspaces of the mind... Links will be added !

Strange questions – but relevant questions when you want to find the in-between, solutions the people can live with – beyond the need to agree in all aspects!

We are here at the root of dialog and deliberation, co-existence and peacemaking. But let us take a step back which has much to do with Democracy and Voting – voting often without knowing what an issue is about ! and having people present selected aspects (demagogy- statistics) [LINK] and others “control” the formats, mechanisms, rules and procedures..

Beside the Consultative [link] - [link] mediation efforts I was involved with in the early 90ies looking for "ordered procedures" and "disciplined, open dialogue" in citizen participation and mediation projects - we are for example looking these days into "multi-track diplomacy and peacemaking".....

Something came to my attention only in the last 5 years:
It is the difference between "Influence Voting" and "Importance Voting". I was alerted as I was in deep disagreement with all these policy advisors around GLOBAL CHANGE [link] already in the late 80ies, that they were looking for the "quick fix" the the TOP 5 problems to safe the world. I was mad because pouring money in the top issue might not be the solution for GLOBAL CHANGE. An endless nightmare of discussions continued in the early days of the Millennium Project, but what can you do when politics wants clear guardrails and scenarios - even when they know that this is neither "scientific" nor good enough to get to solutions.

What I am referring here to is the work of Yiannis Kapelouzos and Kevin Dye. Yiannis established the "Law of Uncorrelated Extremes" - in my words: that importance and influence have nothing in common, or that that the roots are different from what is pressing in a certain moment. This was work in the late 80ies ! done at George Mason University in the Center of Interactive Management. see (Warfield/Christakis).
Ten years later Kevin Dye made the next breakthrough, the "Erroneous Priority Effect" (EPE) where he checks where participants are before and after the Structured Dialogic Design Process (SDP). Sound weired and complex?
Do not worry - just hold your attention for a moment: It is of highest relevance when we discuss democracy, dialog, deliberation, mediation, diplomacy, ....

check also:
Academy of Contemporary Problems - Anthony Judge [link] & Ralph Siu [link]
I did two interviews with the guy behind this - working on the first steps of the Club of Rome - see Interviews with Christakis in EuropesWorld. [link]
and was associated with Ralph Siu [link] - in the 70ies and 80ies involved with the Academy of Contemporary Problems and had started PANETICS and before also influencing the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, and with John Warfield,[link] colleague and boss for some time of Alexander Christakis, [link] as mentioned above.

Definitely there is not only relevance and influence voting. Voting is used as delegation and representation voting like in our administrations and governance structures, and not to forget encouragement and empowerment voting so participants are invited to co-create and expand/deepen the topics. See open-space open-forum formats.
I recommend: Open Government Stammtisch 21StCenturyAgora Magic Roundtable links
[link] - [link] - Freedom of Expression - Speakers Corner [link] - TALK-COMMUNICATION: [link] - please check also WORLD DEMOCRACY: [link] and the 21stCenturyAgora site:

Sorry - I got carried away....
Important is that people change their minds when they get to the situations and meanings ! and this ability to change ones mind - is the most critical and important ability we have.... I experienced it when large groups of American Indian and Maori practitioners where voting differently after clarification in the SDP process. This means definitions "owned" by one person is of NO value, only when people in the MITWELT negotiate the meaning and relevance and situational influence we are getting somewhere !!

At a Club of Budapest members meeting at UNESCO Headquarter in Paris in 1997 I have presented "Positions and Identities in Global Contexts" - Awareness of Self and Others with me, you, we, they and "others" models [link] - little more is left to say...
except that this discussion on evolutionary cognitive systems is much older. We had with Ruppert Riedl in the Konrad-Lorenz-Institute Emergence Series a summer school discussing "anschauliche"/vision-logic cognitive spaces - a necessary evolutionary step, ontogenetic and phylognetic and how order schemas and frames are indispensable, [link] - slides: [link]
Even going back to Jan C. Smuts [link] and Paul Weiss the grand-grand father of systems-thinking coming from medicine, and somehow teacher of Ludwig von Bertalanffy. Check the slides and the 100 years celebrations contributions: [link] - [link] and the GLOBAL SCHOLARLY UN publication of this contribution: [link]

Meanwhile, in the last 15 years maybe these publications are relevant:

UNESCO - IIAS – Culture of Peace, 1997
Cultivating a Human Cognition by Dialogue -
Understanding and Sharing in a Cognitive Panorama, [link]

The Contemporaneousness of the Non-Contemporaneous - Die Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen - Comparative Cultural Studies: Culture, Cultural Policy, and the Media - Homogenisation, Standardisation, Harmonisation,
Linguistic-, Iconic-, Spacial-, Integral Turn,... Where do we go from here
in an age of a globalised "Cyberculture"?
and [link]

Weltbilder-Welthaeuser-Weltmodelle, Skizzen für Weltbilder und Welthäuser-. Haus-Aufgaben zum Thema Weltbetrachtung und Naturverständnis, Passagen Verlag, [link]

CODATA-MIST 2005 - Multimedia - Where do we go from here?
Using Maps and Models, SuperSigns and SuperStructures.International CODATA Symposium on Multimedia in Science and Technology - MIST 2005 - European Academy ...

Ecological Awareness: Exploring Religion, Ethics and Aesthetics (Studies in Religion and the Environment) [link] Ignorance or Compassion?
Limits and potentials of human concepts, maps and models with regard to nature, [link]
and: International Conference on Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics - ECOTHEE, Orthodox Academy of Crete, 2-6 June, 2008 © OAC-ECOTHEE
Missing Context and Orientations in Modern Times: Outlining the Problematique of the Human Predicament and sharing Commons in a global Embodied Covenant, [link]

Towards a New Renaissance 3, Medical and Scientific Network, Humboldt University
Harmonising Spirituality, Nature and Health - EMBODYING, HARMONIZING and SHARING
OLD AND NEW SPACES & TIMES - Sharing Commons in an Embodied Covenant - Bringing together cultural expressions, sign systems, perspectives and positionalities

I have presented various times with the EARTH FOCUS FOUNDATION:
[link] - [link] - [link] - [link]
This was around and with the UN-organisations and and in Geneva in 2010-2011 and feel it is enough - we have to come to new modes where people read and apply and share.

more interesting would be maybe the work around the UIA, the Millennium Project, IHTEC, Council on Global Issues, UN-ECOSOC and various Summits, PNYV and the Youth Leader Magazine, but also around the policy and governance, AGORA and Global Agora and peace and dialogue groups and exercises... over the years. But these are other stories to be told. This is maybe a good final contribution to the UN AMR 2008 [link] and the UN Dialogues among Civilizations: [link]


visualisierung oder Vision?

bildersturm und Augenmass

Hefte fuer den Disput ueber Wissen

show gazin Ivan Illich

auch schema Kompetenz schematic turn....

[< Back] [Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog -]