Polyscope

Holistic thinking and spiritual outlook at life are examples of changes that have been suggested as necessary for resolving our contemporary problematique. But before any such remedial traits can acquire an official stamp and wide public acceptance, we need an academic foundation that can support them.

In 1992, the year I moved from the US to Norway, a committee of the US National Research Council chaired by Juris Hartmanis published a report titled "Computing the Future - A broader agenda for computer science and engineering," in which an appeal was made that this field should be broadened. This new discipline, wrote the committee, has "established a unique paradigm of scientific inquiry that is applicable to a wide variety of problems." And this new body of knowledge can be "an engine of progress and conceptual change in other problem domains." Reading about key epistemic insights reached in 20th century science (Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy, Oppenheimer's Uncommon Sense, Damasio's Descartes' Error and other similar sources) helped me realize that much of the paradigm we have developed within 'the sciences of the artificial' can and needs to be extended to information making at large, because information is a man-made thing that needs to be tailored to its vitally important social role, and not a reflection of reality, as it was earlier believed. In 1995 I decided to change the nature of my academic work from disciplinary research in theoretical computer science to this fundamental academic task which, as I then realized, needed to be attended to. I undertook to extend an approach that was standard in my field - the formulation of a written convention or methodology, as a rational foundation for development - to general informing. I called my prototype convention 'Polyscopic Modeling methodology,' and its applications 'polyscopy.'

The goal of our Polyscope project was to design the Polyscopic Modeling methodology prototype. Or in more pracical terms, to create a coherent academic foundation that can support an academic and cultural renewal. The research part of this project has recently been completed. The entire methodology is described in my book manuscript Informing Must Be Designed.

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Copyright: Dino Karabeg 2006
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