Literature/2006/Buckland

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Buckland, Michael (2006). "Collaboration: Bad Words and Strong Documents," (p. 3) In: Hassanaly, Parina, et al., eds. (2006). Proceeding of the 2006 Conference on Cooperative Systems Design: Seamless Integration of Artifacts and Conversations -- Enhanced Concepts of Infrastructure for Communication. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press.

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From the front matter

Michael Buckland is the keynote speaker of COOP'06; and an abstract of his talk is included in this book. Michael Buckland comes from the School of Information Management & Systems which is part of the University of California and located in Berkeley. He has contributed to renew the approach of documents particularly by going back to the foundational work of the French archivists like Suzanne Briet. His famous papers "What is a 'document'?" [1] and "Information as Thing" [2] are surprisingly relevant in the context of the CSCW debate about the importance of the materiality of coordinative artefacts.

Abstract[edit]

The use of communications technologies and artifacts in cooperative systems and the integration of cooperative systems in organization settings can be seen as a special case of the broader use of communications and artifacts in society. The broader system is of interest to those concerned with the documents and documentation. In this talk we will address two themes:

  1. Language is cultural and evolves within communities of discourse. Every little community evolves its own dialect through metaphor and negotiation. Collaboration between individuals from different communities necessarily involves some dissonance, both in terms of what words mean (denote) and what they imply (connote) and, therefore, what words will be effective and socially acceptable. These issues extend broadly across the classification, categorization, and naming practices which form an important part of the infrastructure of collaborative activities.
  2. Documents have enormous social power. My passport is more powerful than I am. It can cross frontiers without me, but I cannot cross frontiers without it. Analysis of the character and role of documents leads to an expansive functional definition of document which converges with the notion of artefact in the design of cooperative systems. These two related issues will be examined from the perspective of the study of documents and documentation.

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The shade of the bar looks invariant in isolation but variant in context, in (favor of) sharp contrast with the color gradient background, hence an innate illusion we have to reasonably interpret and overcome as well as the mirage. Such variance appearing seasonably from context to context may not only be the case with our vision but worldview in general in practice indeed, whether a priori or a posteriori. Perhaps no worldview from nowhere, without any point of view or prejudice at all!

Ogden & Richards (1923) said, "All experience ... is either enjoyed or interpreted ... or both, and very little of it escapes some degree of interpretation."

H. G. Wells (1938) said, "The human individual is born now to live in a society for which his fundamental instincts are altogether inadequate."