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taoist

A flashback with IBIS

Following up on email from Danny Ayers put some wind under my wings.
Here's a bit of context:

* Weblog Kitchen: Graphical Ibis: "Kunz's Issue Based Information Systems (IBIS) provide a framework for collaborative understanding of the major issues and implications surrounding what are described as ``wicked problems'' (problems that lack a definitive formulation). Understanding is achieved by using hypertext components to create structured arguments surrounding the issues."

* Weblog Kitchen: Weblog Kitchen: "The Weblog Kitchen explores current research in weblogs, wikis, and other hypertext systems."

* "Best Practices for Managing Cross-Agency E-Government Initiatives"

* The IBIS Manual - A Short Course in IBIS Methodology"
"IBIS (pronounced "eye-bis") stands for Issue-Based Information System, and was developed by Horst Rittel and colleagues during the early 1970's. IBIS was developed to provide a simple yet formal structure for the discussion and exploration of "wicked" problems. Problems that are wicked, as opposed to tame, do not yield to the traditional "scientific" approach to problem solving, which is to gather data, analyze the data, formulate a solution and implement the solution. With a wicked problem your understanding of the problem is evolving as you work on a solution. One sure sign of a wicked problem is that there is no clear agreement about what the "real problem" is (see the section "How to Tell if a Problem is Wicked"). Wicked problems cannot be solved in the traditional sense, because one runs out of resources (time, money, energy, people, etc.) before a perfect solution can be implemented."




I'm crafting a reply to Mr. Ayers just now ... it reads in part:
"Problems that are wicked, as opposed to tame, do not yield to the traditional "scientific" approach to problem solving, which is to gather data, analyze the data, formulate a solution and implement the solution. With a wicked problem your understanding of the problem is evolving as you work on a solution. One sure sign of a wicked problem is that there is no clear agreement about what the "real problem" is ..."
"The IBIS Manual - A Short Course in IBIS Methodology"
I realize again how I have cut to the very root of this: the text above stands well, reasoned and based on experience. But I contradict it: the scientific method as understood here fails because the understanding is, not faulty or wrong, but partial.

A simple application of discourse theory with an appreciation of the dialectic and an appropriate valuation of subjective narrative (i.e. salience and valence; see "schema theory") will de-construct this apparent Gordian knot.
--bentrem 20:38Z 10JAN08

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taoist

May 2013

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