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Intentional Arrangement

Last updated February 15, 2022

Source: The Discipline of Organizing by Glushko

explicit or implicit acts of organization by people, or by computational processes acting as proxies for, or as implementations of, human intentionality

The intentional arrangements of resources in an organizing system are the result of design decisions about what is organized, why it is organized, how much it is organized, when it is organized, and how or by whom it is organized.

Can be created by top-down authoritative institutions like libraries, museums, businesses, and governments or bottom-up self-organizing systems composed of aggregated interactions of actors with resource or with each other.

Examples of emergent organization are desire paths, swarm intelligence in local interactions (e.g. ants, bees, fish, etc.), or crowdsourcing. rel: emergent behaviour

Similarly, Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” is another example where individuals collectively generate an outcome they did not directly intend but that arose from their separate self-interested actions as they respond to price signals in the marketplace. This is the basis of a lot of multi-agent system reasoning and economics.

Standardization allows interoperability – especially necessary for information systems that serve many people. No two people organize things the same way. No two people have the same requirements for the same information system.

Design questions/dimensional perspectives on the design of organizing systems

Maintaining organizing systems with long expected lifetimes mean that incremental changes to description vocabularies and classification schemes need to happen over time – even when the categories are not always explicit. (related: digital-gardening)

# Examples

# Enumeration

Putting the resources into a set without any specification of any properties they might share. Only property that matters is that the resources are in the same set

# Collocation

Putting resources in the same location without any additional organization. For a small collection, the proximity-to-use organizing principle is the easiest way to satisfy a requirement to minimize the time to find frequently used resources.

Interactive Graph