Technology and Communications LO5637

Jan Lelie (
15 Feb 96 05:04:49 EST

Replying to LO5510 --

Response to: Technology and Communications LO5510

Hi John,

First, let me say that i enjoy your notes to the learning organization
list also. They really brighten up my day.

> Technology doesn't seem to me so tremendously different than what went
before it.

True. Technology, in my view also, acts seemingly 'neutral'. It is the
application that counts. And the applications don't seem to be that
different from what went before. Yet, it occurs to me, that every paradigm
shift, every slight change in culture, in theories, in thinking, somehow
is preceded by or connected to new technology. A telescope only shows you
more planets and some moons around Jupiter. Might the earth turn around
the sun? Neigh. A steam engine just delivers horse power. Does this mean
that we are to change our views on productive labour? No way. Does
making X-rays imply a change in classical mechanics? Not at macro-scopic
level. Is a car different from a horse-drawn carriage? Only in fuel
intake. And exhaust gases. And locations of factories and towns. And roads
and tourism. The sales pitch has remained the same ('the previous owner
only used her to take him to church and back'). Are computers changing our
way of thinking? No sir, we just use them to compute new IC's for newer
computers. There basically is no difference in communication, except that
quality has been replaced by quantity... O, and people spend time behind a
screen typing in stead of writing. No change there. And yet, i feel myself
drawn to the conclusion that somehow television change the regimes in what
was called eastern europe. And why is the Chinese government afraid of

> Another point concerns the quality of communication received through the

It is the same with the previous "revolutions": the steam engine brought
more but inferior goods, the car more roads but inferior travel (i
sometimes say: we don't travel any more, we move), the network more chats.
O yes, and it brought the problem of choice: what to buy, what to drive
to, what to think about. Without technology, we wouldn't have this
problem. And without technology we wouldn't have this question: WHAT TO

(note added later: perhaps this is connected to the key-note speach on the
1995 conference by Peter Block: he also talked about new ways of

I was also impressed by The Fifth Discipline, although it states nothing
new and a lot is left out, but what most struck me was the metafore of the
first commercial plane: all the technological innovations had to be there
before aviation could take off. And i suspect, i do not have prove, but i
suspect, it is the same with personal and organizational development. We
had tools to learn, and now we have better tools. They can be used to
speed up 'classical' (as in: the way we used to learn, but also as in: in
teaching classes) learning. But on this discussion group people ask for
inputs on new ways of teaching, learning, coaching, guiding, sparring,
helping, supporting, intervening, tutoring, searching, correcting, feed
backing (?) and developing. Nice.

> In dialogue, there seems to be more feedback and shared management that
might keep conversation from becoming inaccurately imaginary.

I agree. But i'm not writing to a computer, i think (or is your middle
name Turing?), and i do try to 'listen'. Although i tend to listen to
things i agree with. So "ceci n'est pas une dialogue" , pardon my French.

Thank you for triggering these thoughts, i did have a nice day. The same
to you,

(c) (1996) LOGISENS :-) J.C. Lelie
Tel.: +31 70 3243475
GSM: +31 65 4685114

Jan Lelie <>

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