Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2b or not 2b; ontologies of practice

What is at stake when a decision between alternative performances is made? The notion of choice in deciding between alternate performances presupposes an actor who actively choses, while potential actors may be inextricably linked up with how they are enacted (Mol, 1999).
Some actors express more choice than others. Some of these are human actors, some not. This post is a playful exploration of the not human actors exercise of choice.

In considering these actors, preference or choice' is linked inextricably to how performance is enacted.

Hmmmm, well some things are easier than others.
I find it easier for example to know my own mind than to presume the thinking/choice/preferences of a sony ericson k700i. I 'll try 'listening' with more intent to how this actor manages his/her/itelf in relationship.
Preference are expressed: there is ease in connecting across certain platforms and not others, seems some of us speak the same language, use the same channels and ome of us don't. The paths of technology linkups being more direct for users linked to this network than to that.
The technology of the organisation is funded, shaped and paid for by this provider vs that.
Costs are assigned by the service provider, the advertised txt number and counselling voice service is free if the txt or call come from one service provider and not from the other.
This inextricably pervades the linkages made and not made by other actors inline.
A pushed and pulled if not a forced choice for the next actors linked in the line.
As a mobile entity I contain and shape the message, there are rukes 'i' follow. Any one message gets 160 characters, x lines, s characters to a line. Exceed this and as a linked in actor you get to send two messages at twice the cost.
The keyboard also forces choice. My construction of a keyboard does not follow the conventions of a qwerty board. 'S' one of the commonest of letters used in English requires tapping thenumber board / keyboard four times. To access E, the commonest letter, takes a double effort; every vowel except the letter A takes additional effort. All actors, inextricably linked, get shaped. Conform or not. The techy actors develop a workaround, use a qwerty keyboard, feed the response through by computer, do a character number check, send twice and it will cost you twice as much....truncate the message.
The reader and writer make accommodations.
Even where the message is small, the truncations remain stable. K as if ok wasnt short enough.
And then there's the whole area of what is conveyed...counselling shaped by the medium. An agency with a history of counselling in a reflective mode, no longer is reflective. Seeing text distorts counselling practices of reflection and of active listening as if verbatim restating what is patently obvious in the txt medium becomes redundant. Obviously repetitive, there are no nuances, no subtle questioning, no intonation to imply an exploration of meaning or to provide emphasis by nuances of spoken speech. The reflective approach comes though as repition and therefore redundant in a medium where what went before stands self evident irrespective of time passing. Other performances evolve, A choreography of push me pull you.

The ontological choreography produces its own stickiness where particular ongoing performances become less or more likely.

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