Technology and Communications LO5510

John Paul Fullerton (JPF6745@ACS.TAMU.EDU)
Sat, 10 Feb 1996 16:25:53 -0600 (CST)

Response to Jan Lelie who said in LO5459 - was Learning Organizations & TQM
[Subject line changed by your host...]

> Now what drives these changes? What are the changes in our environment?
> Look around: these changes are caused by technological changes. As long as
> technology changes, evolves, we have to adapt to different environments
> and have to change culture. At the moment a very interesing change is
> rapidly developing: communication without the traditional boundaries of
> space and time, INTERNET.

First, let me say that I've enjoyed your notes to the learning
organization list. And my response to your note here is not exactly a
direct response to either your earlier notes or to the quote above. My
thought is that I have some observations that I would like to share and
your note has prompted my thoughts.

Technology doesn't seem to me so tremendously different than what went
before it. The ever-increasing availability of information does seem to be
noteable, and probably the expansion of applied science shares the
sameness of change. So, that says that though technology has brought to us
things that were not available before, the change may not be as different
as it seems. The difference in the horseless carriage and the horse-drawn
carriage is in some respects not a difference in magnitude. And receiving
a note from overseas brought by a visitor from there may have been as
astonishing to the recipient years ago as finding a college friend through
the Internet could be now. I never before could so occupy my time before
beginning to program or use the Internet; yet that doesn't mean I couldn't
have been very busy without the technology. And the busy-ness and
iterative advantages seem to be some of the most advantageous uses of
technology in my life. So the option for work was there independent of
technology, though it was through technology that I found something to do.

Another point concerns the quality of communication received through the
network. When spending time with "The Fifth Discipline" and the
"Fieldbook", one of the particular points that interested me was dialogue.
As I began to imagine how dialogue advances and saw accounts of its effect
on people, it appeared to me that Internet communication does not afford
the same immediacy of dialogue nor its associated benefit. Thus, in an
imagined dialogue, if someone found that my "farthest thought" is that
others would gain the knowledge that God loves them and that God is real
and that they would be drawn to that, my viewpoint combined with the need
of that person of reaching shared vision with me in dialogue could have an
oftentime "undocumented" effect on the dialogue. My presence and
countenance and unnoticed sighing could continually remind of the
viewpoint that I actually have that seems to work at a very different
level than "seeking closure on business practices". An inarticulate
person's very inarticulateness in combination with their presence in the
dialogue and other evidence of their view might serve to at least present
the chance of seeing that they are served in the process rather than going
unheard. Maybe we could also be tempted to "write to our writing" on the
network - rather than listening to our listening - in this fairly new
means of communication. One possible reason for the self-reflection is the
excitement of thinking that one's words can easily go throughout the
world. Another evidence that dialogue isn't facilitated simply due to the
fact that we "hear" one another is our common experience of disagreement
without - perhaps - an equally common experience of statements like,

Could you provide some of the reasoning that leads to your view?
What would prevent you from acknowledging the request of x?
Is there anything that I could do to promote your further
consideration of y?

Maybe it's partly due to the illusion that we're writing to a computer!
And, as for myself, I probably assume that someone hasn't considered the
view that I propose, and then dramatically project the imagined audience
to be everyone. In dialogue, there seems to be more feedback and shared
management that might keep conversation from becoming inaccurately
imaginary. Maybe I'm motivated by thinking that this is the thought that I
experience as partly received, and I would like for you to have the
benefit of it also. That doesn't mean that I shouldn't show how to really
ask the questions above :)

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>