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On Mon, 6 Nov 2006, Olga Mayorova wrote:
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> >> Energy is a function of the motility of information.
> >> Certain organizations are like containers of liquids and cubes made of
> >> ice. Nation-states might fit this bill as might language groups or what
> >> I call ontologies--e.g. religious views.
> >> Because I am interested in actor-network-theory, I also postulate that
> >> organizations with rigid physical structures as actants (e.g. buildings,
> >> HQs, specific types of systems, accounts, etc.) are also more ice-like
> >> and that information is less likely to flow far and with greater energy
> >> in such organizations. As they melt, there is a sort of slush.
> A word of caution. Organizations and societies are self-organizing
> systems. They are living, cognitive organisms. It would be a mistake
> to treat them as containers and compare their reaction to increased or
> decreased energy to that of plain substances. You have to agree that
> water and a bacteria react to changes in the temperatures completely
> differently. My point here is that organizations in terms of their
> internal structure and reactions to changes in the environment are
> closer to bacteria and cells than to water in a container. I think
> making analogies between physical and social world at the level of
> freezing-melting-evaporating would be an inappropriate simplification
> as natural sciences already offer more complex ideas for studying
> self-organizing systems. Works on dissipative structures and
> autopoesis provide clues for thinking in that direction.
> Olga Mayorova
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Robert L. Wilson Professor of Arts and Sciences
Department of Sociology
348A SOC/PSYCH Bldg
Durham, NC 27708-0088
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Durham NC 27705
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