(In this second link to the Internet-archive the links to the research reports do not work, but the reports themselves with adjusted titles are found separately in the Internet-archive)
I have adopted a "heavy" style of writing, especially with many links to references. It is a style that has become progressively heavier after my retirement in 2002, my increasing age, and the cessation of academically "compulsory" publications in standardized forms. It reflects my concern for leaving a maximal heritage to other researchers who want to question and build upon my text and dig deep into its issues, decreasing their risk of incurring into the hopelessness of unending sterile debates that are triggered by non-shared background knowledge and did motivate me to write an essay on information and debate. The linked references replace the typical endnotes and reference lists that are more laboriously edited on the web. They are intended only for those who feel need for them in order to foster their possible future related work, being able to resist the temptation to interrupt their first reading by clicking the links just for curiosity. For the rest, I am aware of the conception that genius implies the capability to incorporate all references in one’s thinking and writing without relying on external authority. Beyond my acknowledgment that I am not a genius summarizing some thousand years’ thinking I also see this as a dream of the Enlightenment up to the point of being able to write one own’s Bible.
Besides regular bibliographic references I make
extensive albeit not exclusive use of Wikipedia-references, especially in Internet-links, because of
their comprehensiveness and easy overview in terms of standardized layout. This
is done with full knowledge and evaluation of their possible shortcomings, obviously including those surveyed by other sources
than Wikipedia itself, as suggested in my own analysis in Wikipedia Democracy and Wikicracy. I renounce to further laborious elaborations of my
texts that would improve their readability. In view of the foreseen impending
end of my active life and ultimately of my life itself, I hope that most keen
readers prefer, as I did in reading my most valued mentors, content over form.
On occasion of my retirement I intended to carry out in full scale my research that had been neglected because of managerial duties at my university, and to summarize my experiences and reflections in one or several publications. The more I studied and reflected upon my experiences, the more I got convinced that the main problem was not the lack of debates, books, publications, experiences, reflections, but rather the lack of wish, will, courage, that is "lack of time" to select readings, to read, to think, or to understand in depth and to act upon knowledge that is still valid and already available. Therefore, psychologically I may be writing in the spirit of Dixi et salvavi animam meam [I have spoken and saved my soul] a quote that is attributed to Karl Marx's ending of his critique of the Gotha program, while its meaning is inspired by the Bible (Ezekiel 33:9).
(ENDNOTE: As a technicality I mention that some of the links in my essays may not work because most of the essays that were originally stored in my homepage at Umeå university were later copied and the copies transferred to archive.org (here and here) with my hope of obtaining their longer survival. This was done in view that my homepage at the university may ultimately be deleted upon my death. Some links in my texts were, however, originally identified and coded as referring to other essays of mine that were and, for the time being, are found in my homepage at the university. Such link may work in the version that so long is archived at the university’s homepage as indicated now at the top of most documents. The other way round: some of the links are now referring to essays in archive.org, and will not work if archive.org deletes them. In the future, as a last resort, most of the records including their original links may be read out in a dump of .html and .docx documents deposited at the Umeå university’s research archive. )
For search in material at the Internet Archive:
List of research texts:
For the period after 2002: Position statement and letter of intent
(LATEST ON THE TOP)
39) Logic as rape vs truth and love
38) A main library for information research
37) The Russia-NATO-Ukraine information crisis
36) Information on: Christianism or Atheism
35) Quantum physics, psychology & computers
34) Climate and apocalyptic global warming?
33) The meaning of human-computer interaction
32) Computerized logic acrobatics - From Kant's philosophy
31) Conscience and truth
30) Information and theology for computer applications
29) Computers as embodied mathematics and logic
28) Reason and values exemplified in gender issues [Manuscript]
27) Systems and cooperative networks - From theory to practice
26) Reason and evaluative emotion
25) Information as debate, or peer review and publication
24) Reflections on a 20 years' jubilee 2014
23) Wikipedia democracy, and wikicracy
22) Information and Psychology. The illusion of communication
21) Research summary on the 80th birthday
20) Research summary on the 75th birthday
19) The Illusion of state-individualistic ethics
18) Ethics in technology and theology of the flesh
17) Trends in philosophy of technology
16) Research portrait
15) Quality control of information
14) Wikileaks, information and systems: The case Julian Assange
13) Ethics of research and the "Lucifer effect"
12) Privacy and security: Integrity of information and communication
11) Wikileaks - Freedom of expression
10) Political correctness
9) Essence of computers & presuppositions of support
8) Interview (june 2008)
7) Interview (october 2007)
6) Research summary on the 70th birthday
5) Ongoing work
4) Whither computers and systems? Confessions of a 2008-emeritus
3) Experimental realism vs. empirical idealism
2) Computer science and gnosticism
1) Short summary of local achievements
Period 1972-2002 - selection
(1) Quality-control of information (PhD dissertation)
(2) The systems approach to Design, and Inquiring Information Systems
(3) Ethics and Politics of Design and Systems Cultures
(4) Aesthetics and Ethics of Multimedia Research and Computers' Cultural Nature
(5) Computer-supported Human Science or Humanistic Computing Science
(6) Critical Systems Thinking and Information Technology
(7) Hypersystems: Computer supported self-learning social systems
(8) Computer-human interaction as continuous system reconstruction
(9) Belief and Reason
(10) The Search for a Theory of Hypermedia
(11) Presuppositions in Information Systems Design: From Systems to Networks
(12) East and West of Information Systems
(13) Platonic Information Technology. Reading Plato
(14) Reason and Gender - Logic and values. See the text [pdf -scanned]
(15) Management of Information Infrastructure
Position statement and overview for the period after September 2002
POSITION STATEMENT AND LETTER OF INTENT. After the promotion to professor emeritus, effective October 2002, and the definitive dismissal of compulsive publishing so common in an increasingly industrialized academic research, my work follows a particular position statement and "letter of intent". This work tries to respect Matthew 12:36 ("There is not a thoughtless word that comes from men's lips but they will have to account for it on the day of judgment") and is exemplified by the following (in inverse chronological order, latest additions at the top).
A disclaimer: with increasing age, psychologically I may be writing in the spirit of "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" ["I have spoken and saved my soul"] a quote that is attributed to Karl Marx's ending of his critique of the Gotha program, while its meaning is extracted from the Bible (Ezekiel 33:9). Besides regular bibliographic references I make extensive albeit not exclusive use of Wikipedia-references, especially in Internet-links, because of their comprehensiveness and easy overview in terms of standardized layout. This is done with full knowledge and evaluation of their possible shortcomings, obviously including those surveyed by other sources than Wikipedia itself, as suggested in my own analysis in Wikipedia Democracy and Wikicracy.
39) LOGIC AS RAPE vs. TRUTH AND LOVE. The motivation to write the present paper arouse from reading a text written (in Swedish) by a colleague of mine where he defended himself from a criticism of his published views on intelligent design and evolution. I will detail my view on the difficulty of debates that I have presented in another paper on Information and Debate, and in Information on: Christianism or Atheism.
38) A MAIN LIBRARY FOR INFORMATION RESEARCH. This document and its complement on POTENTIAL LIBRARY contain mainly bibliographic data on literature that was used and considered by me up to about year 2002-2006, as retrieved from my library files that were organized in EndNote software. It is not complete in its structure but it is meant support others’ research by the reading, understanding and evaluation of my work in the context of the discipline of Informatics.
RUSSIA-NATO-UKRAINE INFORMATION CRISIS. Most of these initial lines were initially written as
an insert in my blog on 21 February 2022 while the world press is
reporting on the so called crisis in the relation of Russia to NATO regarding Ukraine. The volume of my text grew up to the point that it
could not belong properly to a blog, requiring a separate essay.
36) INFORMATION ON: CHRISTIANISM OR ATHEISM. This document contains my foreword and two papers written in Swedish by two authors, both of them academically educated and trained in technology and natural science. Instead of only keeping their convictions and debates for themselves, each one of them analyzes and problematizes the information about facts and reasons that led them to their respective conviction.
35) QUANTUM PHYSICS, PSYCHOLOGY & COMPUTERS. A core of my late professional activity is to understand the guidelines for the ongoing computerization of society on the basis of its consequences. In studying the essence of computerization I see its relations to the process of increase mathematization and logic structuration of science. Here I reflect upon what can be learnt from what has happened to modern physics as seen from its increased mathematization in quantum mechanics.
34) CLIMATE & APOCALYPTIC GLOBAL WARMING?. - By the year 2018-2019 climate change and global warming had come to be considered by the world's mass and social media as well as by "big science" and in the political discourse as being the main and most urgent problem of mankind because of apocalyptic visions about the future of humanity. I do oppose the "moralistic" tone with which the supposedly established truth of global warming os presented as if it were no longer debatable, classifying dissidents as conspiracy theorists or worse.
33) THE MEANING OF HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION. This is a report on reflections upon experiences of on-line computer interactions, relating them to insights into the core meaning of computers, computation and computerization as advanced mainly in earlier texts on Computers as embodied mathematics and logic, and Computerization as logic acrobatics.The conclusion is that perceived advances in the HCI-field tend to be sterile, socially and politically crippled patchwork because they do not acknowledge the nature of the relation between embodied logic as a human mental construct, and mental faculties of the human psyche.
32) COMPUTERIZED LOGIC ACROBATICS - FROM KANT'S PHILOSOPHY. This is "work in progress" found in my institutional homepage at Umeå university - an attempt to explore the late origins of "mathematical-logical acrobatics" in science in general, and in the informational computer field in particular. Such acrobatics stands for the belief that ultimate truth represented by science must basically, if not exclusively, be framed in mathematical-logical form, and kept in separation from metaphysical or religious considerations.
31) CONSCIENCE AND TRUTH. This item is my introduction to an essay by former cardinal and later pope Benedict XVI Joseph Ratzinger discussing what I perceive as being the limits of rationality in terms of the relation between authority and conscience including personal convictions about scientific truth.
(30) INFORMATION AND THEOLOGY FOR COMPUTER APPPLICATIONS. With increasing frequency I have been concluding my writings about bases of computer applications with references to religious aspects that in an academic context become rather theological questions. In doing so I feel uncomfortable since I am painfully aware of living in a societal and academic context where there is a generally sharp distinction and division between science and religion, as summarized in the concept of scientism. Therefore I wish to present an apologetic explanation of my position.
29) COMPUTERS AS EMBODIED MATHEMATICS AND LOGIC. In my search for an understanding of the "essence" of computation in order to better grasp the intellectual impact of information technology I decided to look into controversies about the foundations of mathematics and logic as bases of formalisms that are embodied in computers. The work extends over the years 2015-2017.
28) REASON AND VALUES EXEMPLIFIED IN GENDER ISSUES. [pdf-format, in Swedish.] This is a scanned manuscript (353 pages) written between 1977 and 1979 prior to my appointment as full professor with pressing obligations and scarcity of time that stopped this kind of research. It analyzes the difference between a supposedly masculine thought supposedly embodied in technology and computers, and a corresponding feminine thought with emphasis on values and emotions. In such a context the whole is related to the item 26 below. This paper is related to my later research up to Information and psychology, and Computers as embodied mathematics and logic. In literary, non academic context, cf. my blog-texts on the SCUM-manifest, and the #MeToo-movement. Historical background of the issue is found in less and more controversial works such as Franz von Baader's Filosofia Erotica (selection and Italian translation from his Sämtliche Werke), Otto Weininger's Sex and character, Julius Evola's The metaphysics of sex, Karl-Olov Arnstberg's PK-Samhället [The Politically Correct Society] esp. pp. 375-443, and (in French) Olivier Rey's Que faire des différences? [What to make of the differences?], as well as Homme-femme: heureuse différence ou guerre des sexes? [Man-woman: happy differences or war of the sexes? Conference video.]
27) SYSTEMS AND COOPERATIVE NETWORKS. This is a response (written in Portuguese) to the invitation to hold the opening keynote address at the Tenth Brazilian Conference on Systems, 28-30 October 2014, at the Faculty of Economics and Administration of the University of S. Paulo FEA RP (Ribeirão Preto) on the theme "Systems and cooperative networks: from theory to practice". The talk is presented in the form of key points with references that summarize reflections about the past and the desirable future of efforts in the area.
26) REASON AND EVALUATIVE EMOTION. There are occasions in life when we are supposed to combine what appears to be reason with emotions, the more so when it is a question of reason about right or wrong, and valuations of what it is morally good and bad. Until further notice I leave consciously aside definitional problems of many involved terms including reason and emotion that are usually the object of a problematic meta-ethics. In my attempts to frame this combination, relevant for both my life and my professional concern for the deeper meaning of computer-human interaction (logical thinking reason – valuational emotive feeling), I was attracted since some decades ago to the psychology of Carl Jung as well as to Christian thought. In the essay prefaced here I expose one path that led me this choice on the basis of particular events in my life as they appear in a diary I wrote, stretching during a critical period from March 1980 to August 1981. (Cf. item 28 above.)
25) INFORMATION AS DEBATE, OR PEER REVIEW AND PUBLICATION. The more I studied and reflected, the more I got convinced that the main problem was not the lack of debates, books, publications, experiences, reflections, but rather the lack of wish, will, courage, that is "lack of time" , to select readings, to read, to think, or to understand in depth and to act upon knowledge that is still valid and already available. This paper studies the sterility of many debates, including those implicit in the publication of findings and opinions.
24) REFLECTIONS ON A 20 YEARS JUBILEE 2014. I was invited by my department from where I retired in 2002 to write a maximum of 360 words on occasion of its 20 years' jubilee in 2014. Starting as the only professor at the department and as its head for many years I was responsible for the build-up of its research and graduate education. I had a vision of fostering a systems approach in the spirit of prof. West Churchman at the University of California, Berkeley. I tell how I met a series of unforeseen challenges driven by fast changes in technology while I was critical of the ongoing "industrial" reorganization of universities.
23) WIKIPEDIA DEMOCRACY, AND WIKICRACY. This article is critical of Wikipedia in that it illustrates some of its aspects and problems when considered as an information systems, with its edits and editors seen in context. The argument is focused on a case study of edits of a Wikipedia page, and presupposes some prior knowledge of the workings of Wikipedia as specified in relevant links.
22) INFORMATION AND PSYCHOLOGY.
This essay (earlier title: The Illusion of Communicative Information)
illustrates on the basis of analytical psychology what kind of issues may be
found at the basis of difficulties of communication and exchange of
information, or in debates and arguments as background to certain forms of
feminist rationality and of abuse of phenomenology.
21) RESEARCH SUMMARY ON THE 80TH BIRTHDAY. This is a summary of reflections upon my work on occasion of my 80th birthday. I wish to share these thoughts with others with similar destiny who in those words may find solace in their research work and own ways to self-evaluation.
20) RESEARCH SUMMARY ON THE 75TH BIRTHDAY. On occasion of my 70th birthday in October 2007, and as a response to inquiries about research results, thoughts and feelings, both professional and personal, I presented the first part of the this text in the form of a few relevant excerpts from The Ecclesiastes. Under the subsequent years I did complete the text with some pertinent additions that are now gathered into this more comprehensive "Research Summary on the 75th Birthday" in October 2012.
19) THE ILLUSION OF STATE-INDIVIDUALISTIC ETHICS (TECHNOLOGICAL AGNOSTICISM) or "IS THE SWEDE A HUMAN BEING?" This text (October 2012) is a review of the academically ambitious book Är Svensken Människa? (Is the Swede a Human Being?) by Henrik Berggren and Lars Trägårdh. It is a statement and an explanation of Swedish national identity and character as expressed in its social code and in the particularities of its legal system, and therefore it also conditions the criteria by which researchers seek and get their funds, and consequently conduct more or less "agnostically" their research. My purpose is, once again, to understand and expose the process by which much if not most ongoing technological research ignores ethical and political issues.
18) ETHICS IN TECHNOLOGY, AND THEOLOGY OF THE FLESH. This research (April-July 2012) is a development of the section Flesh and theology without God of my review Trends in Philosophy of Technology (item 17 below) of Daniel Cérézuelle's book (in French) on Technology and the Flesh. The emphasis in on criticism of the application of Martin Heidegger's phenomenological thought as it contributes to the neglect of ethics. The text was removed from the rest of the review because of its volume. For a proper reading and understanding it should be read within the context of the review where it originated.
17) TRENDS IN PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY. A summary and review in English of an ambitious and complex French book by Daniel Cérézuelle on philosophy of technology, including information and communication technology. The review includes links to other relevant research including my own, as well as links to material that furthers research in this area. It includes also comments on the particular phenomenological approach, the "philosophy of the body", its relation to postmodernism and aestheticist design, and possible loss of the ethical dimension because of theological shortcomings.
16) RESEARCHER'S PORTRAIT (in Swedish). An interview at Umeå university's department of Informatics was edited with the purpose of portraying my "state fo the art" around March 2012, and was included in the "portrait gallery" of the deparment's researchers.
15) QUALITY CONTROL OF INFORMATION. Because of continuously renewed interest for my PhD dissertation on Quality-Control of Information, with relevance as part of the history of wikis, I revised its presentation on my homepage especially dedicated to this work.
14) WIKILEAKS, INFORMATION, AND SYSTEMS. This research (June 2011) is an analysis of an article in TIME Magazine on "WikiLeak's War on secrecy" (printed in vol. 176, No. 24, December 13, 2010, pp. 20-27) in terms of my doctoral dissertation Quality-control of Information (1972) and its summary with extensions in my book Systemutveckling och Rättssäkerhet (1986, in Swedish, title to be translated as Systems Development and Rule of Law, in pdf-format 66MB). The purpose is to foster the application of a particular theoretical approach and conceptualization of information and systems to issues where such information displays its greatest complexity because of its technological, social, and political context. The analysis will proceed by interpolating my own text in italics within the text of the article.
13) ETHICS OF RESEARCH AND "THE LUCIFER EFFECT" By means of a critical review of Philip Zimbardo's book The Lucifer effect: How good people turn evil (2007) I wish to show how ethical concerns can unintendendly be explained away. This study is part of my ongoing research in understanding and offsetting what I perceive to be a systematic neglect of the ultimate purpose of research and of university education, including graduate education in the areas I know.
12) PRIVACY AND SECURITY: INTEGRITY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION. Because of ongoing perceptions of problems in the development and use of digital "social media" and integrated data bases, both governmental and private, I have been requested to make available some earlier research (in Swedish) which appears to be still highly relevant and stand at the basis of my main book on privacy vs. security, that is Systemutveckling och Rättssäkerhet (1986, in Swedish, title to be translated as Systems Development and Rule of Law, in pdf-format 66MB). A related research report where my co-author's meritorious contribution was to edit my - at the time particularly poor - Swedish language was published as (my translation of the title into English, here in pdf-format, 17 MB) Public Informations Systems' Effects on Public administration and Society (1974, earlier version reported to the Swedish Governmental Committee on the Coordination of Data, Ds Fi 1973:10, sect. 5.3 - 5.6). My text was later incorporated as the second half, chapter 5, of the co-authored book with the title ADB-System och Kommunikation (also 1974, ISBN 91-7206-057-3, here in pdf-format, 5 MB) a title which corresponds in English to, Automatic Data Processing Systems and Communication. Please note the possibility of fragmentary translations from Swedish by means of the tools offered at tradukka.com.
11) WIKILEAKS - FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. The events involving Wikileaks and its main spokesman and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, actualize my research initiated in the 1980's and prompt me, with the permission of the publisher, to make available the original research results cast in the popular form of a book of mine published in 1986 but still valid and whose Swedish title translates into English as Systems Development and Rule of Law. (pdf-format 65 MB, ISBN 91-7152-404-5). It is written in Swedish language with the original title "Systemutveckling och Rättssäkerhet", but it is to some extent readable in English with the help of translation services such as in their simplest form tradukka.com. The core of the "political information theory" supporting the relevant parts of the book is, however, available in English language as published in my doctoral dissertation with the title Quality Control of Information: On the Concept of Accuracy in Data Banks and Management Information Systems. Directly or indirectly it covers issues of whistleblowing, freedom of expression (freedom of speech), power vs. truth, privacy, and political correctness as outlined in item no. 10 below.
10) POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. As a follow-up of my point (5) below on "Ongoing work" I published on 31 December 2010 a review of Howard Schwartz's book Society against itself: Political correctness and organizational self-destruction (London: Karnac Books, 2010). This is the latest version of the revised original manuscript which includes live links and some additional text is to be found linked to my home page. Swedish readers can appreciate the actuality of related issues by comparing with the Swedish revival in a theater play of Valerie Solanas' tragic "SCUM Manifesto", its eulogy in a review by one main newspaper, and the consequent isolated debate. For the rest, as a hint of some of my concerns which direct my ongoing work please see my weblog-BLOG with entries in English and Swedish languages. (Cf. item 28 above.)
(9) ESSENCE OF COMPUTERS & PRESUPPOSITIONS OF SUPPORT. Research program and work from 1989-1991 reviewed in November 2008. I wish to make available to colleagues and researchers an amount of references to printed material that was stored and systematized mainly during the years 1989-1991 in view of a comprehensive research program on the "essence" of computers and presuppositions of computer support. The research was not pursued and concluded because of managerial duties which did not leave room for the effort, but the material can be useful for others and it is presented in its pristine form of drafts.(Please note that the headers' addresses and phones are superseeded by those in my main homepage.)
1 Introduction and Summary (pdf)
2 A mathematical-information perspective (pdf)
3 A logical-psychological perspective (pdf)
4 Statistical data processing perspectives (pdf)
5 Softare systems perspective (pdf)
6 A computer-organizational perspective (pdf)
7 A musical perspective (pdf)
8 An "applied research" perspective (pdf)
9 A cultural criticism perspective (pdf)
10 Complete reference list - tentative (pdf)
Addendum to item 8, on Applied Research
(8) INTERVIEW (June 2008, pdf, in Swedish). On occasion of a short and quite informal interview at the Umeå Center för Interaction Technology I had the opportunity to restate some historical facts about informatics and myself, and to renew some frank and modest opinions about my ongoing and future work, in view of the present status of academia and its apparent development.
(7) INTERVIEW (October 2007, pdf, in Swedish). Popular summary (in Swedish - in pdf-format) of my reflections including research and heritage, on occasion of my 70th birthday as captured in an interview published by the newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren 19 October 2007.
(6) RESEARCH SUMMARY ON THE 70TH BIRTHDAY. On occasion of my 70th birthday in october 2007, and as a response to inquiries about research results, thoughts and feelings, both professional and personal, I presented the following short summary based on a few relevant excerpts from The Ecclesiastes. It can also work as a handbook for professors emeriti in general, and as a guide for progressive closing of life's balance-sheet.
(5) ONGOING WORK - see also above item No.10 - in areas of interest which are partly documented or outlined in the form of blog-like notes deals with cultural criticism of present trends in Swedish intellectual life within the context of Western thinking, on the basis of experiences and reflections from the field of informatics and "information", as well as from thoughts about "theological aesthetics". Scandinavian readers may appreciate that such concerns are similar to those expressed, for instance, in the following works:
a) Stjernfelt, F., & Thomsen, S. U. (2007). Kritik av den negativa uppbyggligheten [Critique of the negative edification]. Stockholm: Ruin Förlag. (Danish orig. Kritik af den negative opbyggelighed. Published by Borgen/Vindrose, 2005.)
b) Arnstberg, K.-O. (2007). Svenska tabun [Swedish tabus]. Stockholm: Carlssons
(4) WHITHER COMPUTERS AND SYSTEMS? CONFESSIONS OF A 2006-EMERITUS. This is a version of the essay published on occasion of the 40th jubileum (years 1966-2006) of the department which eventually came to be named "computer and systems sciences" (in Swedish, "data- och systemvetenskap") at Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology. It was an opportunity to expand and complement some of my earlier memories and thoughts (among others "A subsystem in the design of informatics: Recalling an archetypal engineer", also in pdf-format, published 1995) about the field's disciplines and people. I am grateful for having been invited to contribute in writing to this celebration, which also allowed me to express some constructive apprehension about the future of the disciplinary development.
(3) EXPERIMENTAL REALISM VS. EMPIRICAL IDEALISM. An attempt to problematize the apparent phenomenological (and/or post-phenomenological) turn of some of the research at the department at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004 is summarized in a draft with the title "Experimental realism and empirical idealism in informatics: A virtual interview of Don Ihde, and West Churchman" (2004, also in pdf-format, 110KB). Earlier initial tendencies in this direction as inspired by the work of sociologist Karl Weick were considered cursorily in the notes for a series of seminars on "Dialectical systems design and beyond" (years 2000-2002). Conception of technologies in general och information-communication artifacts in particular, inspired by the work of Churchman, were presented as "Contributions of systems thinking to the understanding and use of information technology: Infrastructure, change, and bricolage", with additional notes referring to the phenomenology of M. Merleau-Ponty, including the problem of embodiment as in M. Johnson's "the body in the mind", and G. Lakoff & M. Johnson's "philosophy in the flesh".
(2) COMPUTER SCIENCE AND GNOSTICISM. The engagement, in March 2003, as faculty opponent for the act of disputation of a doctoral dissertation at the department of computer science of the Lund Institute of Technology, Lund university. The extended bibliographic data of the object and stream of this research are as follows:
Persson, Erik (2002). Shadows of cavernous shades: Charting the chiaroscuro of realistic computing. Lund: Lund University, Dept. of Computer Science. (Doctoral diss. No. 20, 2003, LU-CS-DISS:2003:1, ISSN 1650-1268, ISBN 91-628-5512-3, xiv+727 pp.) It is published in A4-format, with a bibliography of 4448 entries, and 2877 notes! Available in pdf-format 13 MB (plus its "errata"and faculty opponent's disputation notes with its table of contents at the end,) pending the copyrighted author's permission and download instructions. See especially chap. 4 on "Realistic computing" relating to virtual reality and visualization, and chap. 5 on "Science, metaphysics and computing". The author summarized some of his thoughts in (pdf-download) "Cybergnosticism Triumphant?", in The Ellul Forum, Issue 43, Spring 2009, 3-11.
Cf. the account of this doctoral disputation by Anders Fagerström "Gud-vetenskapen slutade 2-1" [God-science ended 2-1] in Sydsvenska Dagbladet, p. C11. 9 March 2003. Review by Christian Braw "Tro, tvivel och vetenskap" ["Faith, doubt and science"], Svenska Dagbladet 22 July 2003, "Under strecket", restricted access at a link at Svenska Dagbladet's web address <http://www.svd.se/understrecket>, accessed 25 July 2003. An Interview with the author was published in Dagen, 25 April 2003. Reflections on interviews with people involved in the dissertations's disputation process were edited by Britta Collberg in "Avhandlingar som rör om" [Stirring doctoral dissertations] in Lund university's journal LUM, Vol. 36, No. 8, 2003, pp. iii-vi (part of the pdf-document linked here). The dissertations's "Addenda et corrigenda" (in English), including errata for the text of dissertation, 7 pages, are also obtainable from the author.
(1) SHORT SUMMARY OF LOCAL ACHIEVEMENTS, (in Swedish), celebrative talk held on occasion of the promotion to professor emeritus on October 1st, 2002. The local professorial activities are contextualized in a preliminary version (in Swedish, pdf-format, 11 MB) of the history of the department of Informatics with my prefatory note. Both texts were written by my late colleague, asst. prof. Kenneth Nilsson.
Period up to September 2002
Disciplinary studies and basic research in informatics and systems science. Selected texts.
For the period after September 2002 please see the special section above.
(1) First of all, the doctoral dissertation on Quality-Control of Information (1972) later followed by my book based on it (1986, in Swedish, pdf-format, 66 MB) System Development and Rule of Law. Its subject matter has been shown to retain its timeliness and importance as exemplified by many reports in books and mass media since 1972.
(2) The Systems Approach to Design, and Inquiring Information Systems: Scandinavian experiences and proposed research program, (2001, as abstracted in the publication in Information Systems Frontiers, vol 3, No 1; see also a pre-publication version). It is supplemented by the materials for an ongoing series of research seminars, on
(3) Ethics and Politics of Design and System Cultures for an ongoing (2001) critical review of latest tendencies in informatic theorizing about "design" as contrasted to systems thinking, and related to postromantic and postmodern tendencies (pre-Socratic sophistry and post-Kantian aestheticizing on the basis of the Third Critique, of "Judgment", and philosophies of Fichte, Schelling, Nietzsche, Bergson, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Lyotard). It also includes the rationale for earlier research projects on
(4) Aesthetics and Ethics of Multimedia Research, and Computers' Cultural Nature: Motivations for use, and basis for design and evaluations (1996, Statements of research intentions and projects). The build-up of this position during the last years is documented in the following selected papers, chronologically:
(5) Computer-supported Human Science or Humanistic Computing Science (1991, 370KB). Efforts for improving the development and use of computer systems make use of a social and a humanistic view of computer support. This essay is dedicated to exploring how the term "humanistic" should be understood in this context of systems development.
(6) Critical Systems Thinking and Information Technology (1991, J. of Applied Systems Analysis, Vol. 18, 39-55). This paper presents a summary of some features of soft systems methodology—SSM, and of critical systems thinking—CST as they have been experienced from the point of view of the field of applications of information technology. It highlights the manner in which CST completes SSM in the context of the design of computer support in the form of HYPERSYSTEMS, and evidences some problematic aspects of the two approaches that push the practitioner into philosophical issues.
(7) Hypersystems: A base for specification of computer-supported self-learning social systems (pre-publication version, 1990, rev. 2004). A specific personal contribution and extension of the dialectical social systems theory, close to the aim of "critical systems thinking" and "critical systems heuristics"), is represented (before the final twist towards politics, ethics, and theology). In C. M. Reigeluth & B. H. Banathy & J. R. Olson (Eds.), Comprehensive systems design: A new educational technology (pp. 381-407). New York: Springer-Verlag, 1993. Some of these thoughts are detailed further in a publication written later but published earlier, i.e.
(8) Computer-human interaction as continuous system reconstruction. In M. Bazewicz (Ed.), Information Systems' Architecture and Technology ISAT '92 (pp. 37-49). Wroclaw: Politechnika Wroclawska, 1992. The attempt to develop dialectical systems theory by reviewing its basis in politics, and, further, in ethics and theology, is represented by works that follow.
(9) Belief and Reason (1993, 270KB). Commented selections on presuppositions of participatory cooperative argumentative design and change). The prime reason for writing this paper is my dissatisfaction, not to say deep concern, for what I perceive to be poor results of much research and product development that goes on under the label of systems development, computer supported cooperative work and electronic messaging. This must be seen in the personal context of my own struggle and failures.
(10) The Search for a Theory of Hypermedia [multimedia] (1995). In Proceedings of the Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia IRIS'18 (pp. 283-293). (Gothenburg Studies in Informatics, Report 7). An earlier version was presented at the international Workshop on Social Contexts of Hypermedia, Umeå, February 17-18, 1995.
(11) Presuppositions in information systems design: From systems to networks and contexts. Accounting, Management and Information Technology, renamed Information & Organization, 6, issues 1-2, pp. 99-114.(1996, 1000 KB, in PDF-format, link to on-line web-access. And link to pre-print draft of research report. This is a commentary to "Exploring the intellectual structures of information systems development: A social action theoretic analysis", paper by R. Hirschheim, H.K. Klein, and K. Lyytinen. In Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, (renamed Information & Organization), 6, 1996, pp. 1-64.
(12) East and West of Information Systems. Or Strategies and Design for Information Technology: Eastern or neo-romantic wholes, and the return to Western systems. (1997/1998, 100 KB). This paper introduces a French work on ancient Chinese strategy, as a way of understanding some of the difficulties of the Westerns approach to information-technology (IT) design and strategy. The work integrates two elements into a complex structure: first, a notion of efficacy that is parallel to the Western one used in evaluating the applications of computer technology, and second, certain well integrated notions that are similar or parallel to other fragmented, isolated, and ephemeral notions introduced by later Western research on IT-strategy.
(13) Platonic information technology. Reading Plato: Cultural influences and philosophical reflection on information and technology, (2000, Proc. of ISTAS 2000, IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Symposium on Technology and Society, 6-8 September 2000, Rome; link to publisher. For a pre-publication version, click here). This essay is an edited selection from a longer ongoing study, Platonic Information Technology (2000-2001, 300 KB, also in PDF-format, including Table of Contents) a reader with reference to edited excerpts of Plato's collected works, that was intended to be followed later by a similar project on Aristotelian Information Technology.
(14) Conflict between logic and values exemplified in gender issues [Draft, in pdf]. See item 28 above. Related to my later research up to Information and psychology, and Computers as embodied mathematics and logic. In literary, non academic context, cf. my blog-texts on the SCUM-manifest, and the #MeToo-movement. Historical background of the issue is found in less and more controversial works such as Franz von Baader's Filosofia Erotica (selection and Italian translation from his Sämtliche Werke), Otto Weininger's Sex and character, Julius Evola's The metaphysics of sex, Karl-Olov Arnstberg's PK-Samhället [The Politically Correct Society] esp. pp. 375-443, and (in French) Olivier Rey's Que faire des différences? [What to make of the differences?], as well as Homme-femme: heureuse différence ou guerre des sexes? [Man-woman: happy differences or war of the sexes? Conference video.]
(15) Management of information infrastructure. It has been remarked when dealing with management of so called information infrastructure that infrastructure is particularly resistant to the most frequent managerial interventions. What is also at stake in this kind of issue is also the question of what is to be intended by terms such as infrastructure and management. I will review an overview of this area (Ciborra, & Hanseth, 1998) in order to highlight the type of knowledge that tends to be ignored and that would be helpful for research aimed at improving the present situation. In what follows I will use the same headings proposed by the mentioned overview. I will conclude with some thoughts concerning the most fruitful direction for further research on the management of infrastructures.
A pervasive theoretical and methodological inspiration for these concerns with respect to informatics including computer science has long been
(16) C. West
Churchman (supplementary personal documentation and photos here) in his work on the philosophy and
practice of science, in particular systems science, at the
(17) University of California-Berkeley, as represented mainly by The Design of Inquiring Systems (1971) and by former Ethics and Sustainability Forum at the university's College of Natural Resources. In order to put into evidence the relevance of this work for design in general and information systems or IT-artefacts in particular, including its relevance for other research and education going on in the department, please see the link to
(18) Index to The Design of Inquiring Systems (2002, 130 KB, an earlier version also in PDF-format). Among the entries there will be found also names of the staff of the department as associated to key words and issues that characterize their areas of interest.
(19) Speech held September 27th 2002 on occasion of prof. Kristo Ivanov's promotion to emeritus (in Swedish), effective October 1st 2002, by Kenneth Nilsson, head of the department of Informatics, Umeå University: This is a short selective selective summary of the local, departmental research and education effort based on more than 40 years' working life, and partly portrayed in a draft of the local history of informatics (in Swedish).
(20) Preface to Kenneth Nilsson's paper (in Swedish, pdf format) on the History of the discipline of Informatics at Umeå University.