Nicholas Agar has recently argued that it would be irrational for future human beings to choose to radically enhance themselves by uploading their minds onto computers. Utilizing Searle's argument that machines cannot think, he claims that uploading might entail death. He grants that Searle's argument is controversial, but he claims, so long as there is a non-zero probability that uploading entails death, uploading is irrational. I argue that Agar's argument, like Pascal's wager on which it is modelled, fails, because the principle that we (or future agents) ought to avoid actions that might entail death is not action guiding. Too many actions fall under its scope for the principle to be plausible. I also argue that the probability that uploading entails death is likely to be lower than Agar recognizes.
2channel is the most popular online-community site in Japan, where millions of people are discussing or chitchatting about various topics. The communication in 2channel shows dynamic social phenomena such as positive/negative communication, polarization of opinions, slander called flaming, etc. In this paper, we assume the existence of underlying prevailing structures that motivate peoples participation. The structural equation model of 2channel, which is obtained on the basis of observed collective actions about peoples thought, emotions and motivations, shows the uniformity and regularities in complex human communication in 2channel.
Design of information systems, on the one hand, is often dominated by pure technical considerations of performance, correctness
or reliability. On the other hand, sociological analysis of the social impact of information technology is not transfered
to operationalised design criteria and to practice. The paper discusses this contradiction and tries to overcome the gap between
computer science and social sciences in design by analysing the history of design in architecture and fine arts as well as
the approaches of contemporary design-oriented disciplines. Based on this analysis and on the broad discussion about human-centredness,
foundations of a new Design Science are outlined. Consequences for the education of computer scientists and software designers
Recent developments in information technology and Web services have increased the potential for creating more rapid and extensive
social networks and business relationships. Web 2.0 technologies, commonly referred to as online social media, have become
important tools within the growth of information and communication technology (ICT) in the last few years. Web 2.0 tools such
as blogs, Wiki and other services, which are widely used by individuals, also have an effect on customer relationship management
(CRM) systems. Consequently, social CRM (SCRM) is emerging as a new paradigm for integrating social networking in more traditional
CRM systems. However, social CRM is yet to be fully utilised as a value-adding tool in improving customer relationships. This
paper reports on a scoping study that explored the current situation of CRM adoption in banking industry in Saudi Arabia.
The aim of this paper is to identify the factors that may influence businesses and customers’ adoption of social CRM. Various
models have been proposed to study ICT and information systems acceptance and usage. This paper proposes an enhancement to
one of these models, specifically the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), by incorporating a range of factors identified in
the social networking and business relationships literature believed to influence social CRM adoption. In particular, the
model proposes that familiarity, caring behaviour, sharing information and perceived trustworthiness can generate cognitive
view about the relationships between employees and customers. This view besides Web 2.0 features may offer a way of analysing
the potential adoption of social CRM.
KeywordsCRM–Web 2.0–Social CRM–TAM–Saudi Arabia–Developing countries
The automatic tendency to anthropomorphize our interaction partners and make use of experience acquired in earlier interaction scenarios leads to the suggestion that social interaction with humanoid robots is more pleasant and intuitive than that with industrial robots. An objective method applied to evaluate the quality of human–robot interaction is based on the phenomenon of motor interference (MI). It claims that a face-to-face observation of a different (incongruent) movement of another individual leads to a higher variance in one’s own movement trajectory. In social interaction, MI is a consequence of the tendency to imitate the movement of other individuals and goes along with mutual rapport, sense of togetherness, and sympathy. Although MI occurs while observing a human agent, it disappears in case of an industrial robot moving with piecewise constant velocity. Using a robot with human-like appearance, a recent study revealed that its movements led to MI, only if they were based on human prerecording (biological velocity), but not on constant (artificial) velocity profile. However, it remained unclear, which aspects of the human prerecorded movement triggered MI: biological velocity profile or variability in movement trajectory. To investigate this issue, we applied a quasi-biological minimum-jerk velocity profile (excluding variability in the movement trajectory as an influencing factor of MI) to motion of a humanoid robot, which was observed by subjects performing congruent or incongruent arm movements. The increase in variability in subjects’ movements occurred both for the observation of a human agent and for the robot performing incongruent movements, suggesting that an artificial human-like movement velocity profile is sufficient to facilitate the perception of humanoid robots as interaction partners.
This paper uses Perrow’s sociological framework as a basis for a comparative organisation analysis of the impact of expert
systems on organisational issues. The study analyses the relative impact of expert systems on two different types of accounting
work: auditing and tax. The results indicate an impact on factors that ultimately improve productivity. The aggregate results
indicate that expert systems are found to allow the user substantial control of search for solutions and discretion on whether
to follow system recommendations, increased access to top management, and a decrease in the need for supervision. The systems
allow the user the ability to solve a broader range of problems, while allowing the user the ability to perform more work.
The comparison of auditing and tax expert systems indicates that audit systems seem to allow for greater control over search.
Tax systems seem to allow more work to be done without supervision, make more decisions immediately, and allow the user to
make a wider range of decisions.
Uses of stored skill-models to accelerate simulator-based real-time training in a control skill are discussed. A real-time coach must deliver advice at three levels: (1) what to do next, (2) what to watch for, and (3) what went wrong. Human learning and machine learning results are presented using different screen representations of a pole-and-cart balancing task.
This article presents and discusses “Virtual Links”. This builds on “The Golden Link”, a model which was developed to address
the challenge of how to make experience based competencies of senior workers available to the organisation and to younger
workers with less experience. “Virtual Links” support cross-generational communication and learning, as well as enabling access
for mobile workers to the knowledge of experienced seniors not physically present.
I argue that entertaining a proposition is not an action. Such events do not have intentional explanations and cannot be evaluated as rational or not. In these respects they contrast with assertions and compare well with perceptual events. One can control what one thinks by doing something, most familiarly by reciting a sentence. But even then the event of entertaining the proposition is not an action, though it is an event one has caused to happen, much as one might cause oneself to see a book by looking at it. I also discuss how this may support the view that thinking about the world is a source of information about it.
This article applies reflexive and dialogue oriented approaches to municipal planning. Experience from the dialogical development process in Vennesla is discussed, highlighting the potential of collaborative work in a development coalition. Dialogue and democracy in the coalition are discussed, emphasising the social construction of meaning and knowledge.
This article focus on paradigms, methods and ethics of action research in the Scandinavian countries. The specific features of the action research paradigm are identified. a historical overview follows of some main action research projects in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The tendency towards upscale action research projects from organisational or small community projects to large-scale, regional based network approaches are also outlined and discussed. Finally, a synthesised approach of the classical, socio-technical action research approach and the large-scale network and holistic approaches is suggested as a promising approach for the future.
In this paper the authors, starting from the experience described and commented on in earlier work by Mancini and Sbordone, deal with the three main epistemological problems that the research group they participated in had to face:
The conflicting and ambiguous relationship between psychoanalysis and social research
The classical epistemological problem of the relationship between the subject and object of research within the perspective of action research
The problem arising from their experience, i.e., the risk of manipulation, and the way to deal with it from an epistemic perspective
The three problems are dealt with one at a time, but from a common perspective, i.e., the attempt to integrate the richness and variety of human subjectivity in social research. As to the relationship between psychoanalysis and social research, a special section is devoted to the implications of an integrated or convergent methodology on team-working in organisations.
The article reflects on experience of action research in the context of regional development, where there has been pressure to produce practical results. The epistemological status of Action Research is explored, in contrast to conventional social science research. The article concludes that an ongoing relationship with conventional social research is necessary.
The paper explores the relation between reason and action as it emerges from the texts of Āyurveda. Life or Ayus (commonly understood as life-span) is primary subject matter of Ayurveda. Life is a locus of experience, action and disposition. Experiences and actions are differentially determined by dispositions that characterize the organism; otherwise all living organisms will be identical. Ayus of each living being is uniquely individual and remains constant between birth and death. In this journey, upkeep of ayus is the purpose of Āyurveda or science of life. Ayurveda is a science of experienced matter as well as of experienced body. The living body is critically dependent on the influx of matter for its upkeep. Āyurveda offers a conceptual system to reason about balance and imbalances of the system and the causal role of the material flux through the system. This sensate matter is causally open and makes room for definite causal role for the individual and the effective insertion of the felt-purpose of action. Some of the strengths of Ayurveda are brought forth in the paper such as (a) reasoning out the compatibility between the bodily processes and the selection of the natural products for diet and drug, (b) role for heuristics in medical diagnosis, which takes into cognizance the particularity of each living body and the teleology evident in the very act of diagnostic reasoning. The paper shows that Āyurvedic theory is built on experiential datum whereas scientific medical theory is built on experience-independent datum. Āyurveda explores causal efficacy of ‘secondary qualities’ whereas scientific medicine explores causal efficacy of ‘primary qualities’. The actionable experiential reasoning is at the foundations of Āyurveda whereas modern medical science is ab initio saddled with difficult ‘hiatus theoreticus’ between theory and practice. For Ayurveda it is experience of qualities that discloses behavior of matter. The types of qualities that appear in experience have a special significance for theorizing about the actions of matter with the help of qualities. The paper explores the relation between experience of qualities and the method of science. It shows how efficacy of medical practice is based on the foundational stance of experiential realism in theory. To bring the point home, the paper borrows Aristotalian concepts to show how the relation between phantasm and phronesis is honored in the very theory of Āyurveda.
This paper presents the concept of the systematisation of praxis and an operational approach to the systematisation of alternative consulting experiences. The essences of this approach have been developed in Latin America after many years of experiences with both popular urban and rural sectors. Taking departure from a concrete example we outline some of the central questions that ought to be discussed during the systematisation process. A real-life case study is proposed: the systematisation of the activities of a development centre in Odsherred, Denmark, to redesign strategies and to recreate actions for the centre's future activities. This centre has carried out community work in the Odsherred region focusing on cultural activities. Finally, methodological reflections are also presented.
The argument in this article is that knowledge is an important phenomenon to understand in order to discuss development and
innovation in modern workplaces. Predominant theories on knowledge in organisation and innovation literature, we argue, are
based on a dualist concept of knowledge. The arguments found in these theories argue for one type of knowledge in contrast
to another. The most prevailing dualism is that between local and universal knowledge. We believe that arguing along this
line does not bring us further in order to understand what knowledge is and what it does. We argue that there are contradictory
arguments in the dualist conception of knowledge. We discuss how to move beyond this. We present a framework for discussing
what knowledge is. We discuss what type of meta perspective will allow us to compare different knowledge kinds. We argue that
insight into this has implications for understanding knowledge generation and innovation.
Historically, the Italian and Scandinavian institutionalisation of action research has developed along different tracks. The question is, if there are any promising prospects to combine different action research experiences and methodologies across European regions? Alternatively, should we conclude that action research is mainly a local activity firmly rooted in a special culture in the different European countries?
This article seeks to develop a new theory of reflexive democracy, based on practical cases of action research in regional development, with particular reference to regional development coalitions. Reflexive democracy is located in the context of the debate on Scandinavian worklife, emphasising knowledge, dialogue, and legitimacy.
Although it may seem that mathematics education material does not need any enculturation, the opposite is true. We report
the results of a case study in several European countries and describe the different dimensions in which mathematics educational
material has to be adapted to the cultural context of the learner. We describe the knowledge representation and mechanisms
through which the user-adaptive learning platform ActiveMath realizes those adaptations to the language, countries, and communities
A framework for “improvisational” social acts and communication is introduced by referring to the idea of “relationalism”
such as natural farming, permaculture and deep ecology. Based on this conception, the notion of Existential Graph by C. S.
Peirce is introduced. The notion of extended self in deep ecology is substantiated based on the Roy Adaptation Model in Nursing
Theory and Narrative approaches. By focusing on Leibnizian notions of space and time and by introducing Petri net, a spatio-temporal
model of improvisation is constructed. This model is expected to substantiate the interesting notion of “Ba” proposed by H.
Shimizu reflecting Japanese culture.
This article presents a philosophical dialogue as a means of modelling approaches to capitalism and society over the past
two centuries. Adam Smith’s views of economics were located in a moral and cultural context, derived from the Scottish Enlightenment,
which has been disregarded by enthusiasts for the free market. Through an imagined dialogue with German artist Joseph Beuys
and Dutch businessman Paul Fentener Van Vlissingen, using their words, we identify a European position which both preceded
and follows the period of industrialisation. Using philosophical dialogue as a form of intellectual forum theatre, we hope
to stimulate debate.
The conclusion to be drawn from the preceding observations and theorizing should be that we must be very much aware of what has been called “technological functionalism” (Pieper, 1986:11). While functionalism as such is not bad, the moment it succumbs to mere structural technicality, the functions stop functioning: forced “adaptivity” takes the place of “adaptable” interaction.
That this problem is not due to a primordial blame, to be attached to the computer, becomes clear when one compares the computerized environment to other surroundings, such as, for example, the psychiatric treatment. In the psychiatric interview, as Davis (1986, 1988) has shown, the interest of the therapist is often limited to establishing a “contract” for treatment: for the therapist to function properly, there must be a therapy-defined (or therapy-definable) problem for him/her to attack, using the skills and experiences of the profession of which he/she is a representative and for which he/she has been properly trained.
This function, however, may not coincide with the patient's needs: it may well be the case that the problem which originally caused the patient to approach the therapist for treatment, in the end turns out not to be the problem that both agree on as the objective of the therapeutic treatment. “Re-formulating” the patients' problem in terms suitable to the available resources and techniques is thus typically a case of adapting the human to the system: again, we're faced with technological functionalism in the shape of what has been called “forced adaptivity” (see Mey, 1986).
We need to think seriously about the way we handle our computerized structures and their functions, and in particular about the design of supportive systems such as large databases, computer conferencing, or even simple electronic mail services. While adaptivity always is a case of manipulation, by which humans are tooled to the needs and strictures of the computer, adaptability, by contrast, allows such manipulation only inasmuch as those needs and strictures reflect, and are imposed by, the users' needs. The blind, mechanical force that makes us adapt ourselves to the machine should be replaced by the enlightened, humanizing force of the adaptable computer.
A robot that is easy to teach not only has to be able to adapt to humans but also has to be easily adaptable to. In order
to develop a robot with mutual adaptation ability, we believe that it will be beneficial to first observe the mutual adaptation
behaviors that occur in human–human communication. In this paper, we propose a human–human WOZ (Wizard-of-Oz) experiment setting
that can help us to observe and understand how the mutual adaptation procedure occurs between human beings in nonverbal communication.
By analyzing the experimental results, we obtained three important findings: alignment-based action, symbol-emergent learning,
and environmental learning.
The study of group dynamics highlights the activity in the group in terms of its performance and communication. The experience of facilitating virtual communities and teams (Eunice and Kimball in http://www.Tmn.com/~lisa/odn-teams.htm, 1997) suggests that groups go through the same stages either in face-to-face or in online mode. The paper brings together a theoretical framework based on the literature on virtual communities, Gestalt systems and online facilitation in order to address the issue of electronic togetherness, in particular from a group dynamics perspective. The empirical work on which the paper is based is an observation of a group of students in a training set playing a decision-making game. The model of Tuckman (Tuckman in Psychol Bull 63:384–399, 1965; Tuckman and Jensen in Group Organ Stud 2:419–427, 1977) is used as a framework within which to discuss the findings of the case. The paper finishes with concrete recommendations for facilitators of online communities and designers of the electronic spaces where these communities operate.