26 June 2015

Softwarization Anthropology

This post is not about technology: it’s about psychology, anthropology and sociology.

Why ? Well, digital anthropology is already there: it is the study of the relationship between humans and digital-era technology. The field has a variety of names with a variety of declinations, including techno-anthropology, digital-ethnography, cyber-anthropology, and virtual-anthropology, etc.

No need to say that “Softwarization of Telecommunications” will also intersect with various disciplines dealing with humans, including anthropology, psychology, sociology, etc.

Sometimes ago I read the amazing book “The Structure of Magic” (A Book about Language and Therapy) by the two psychologist R. Bandler and J. Grinder.

Book contains very interesting remarks about human conditions and paradoxes. Quoting the Authors: the most pervasive paradox of the human condition which we see is that the processes which allow us to survive, grow, change, and experience joy are the same processes which allow us to maintain an impoverished model of the world - our ability to manipulate symbols, that is, to create-models. We can identify three general mechanisms by which we do this: Generalization, Deletion, and Distortion.

Generalization is the process by which elements or pieces of a person's model become detached from their original experience and come to represent the entire category of which the experience is an example. Deletion is a process by which we selectively pay attention to certain dimensions of our  experience and exclude others. Distortion is the process which allows us to make shifts in our experience of sensory data. […] It is this process which has made possible all the artistic creations which we as humans have produced. A sky as represented in a painting by Van Gogh is possible only as Van Gogh was able to distort his perception of the time-place in which he was located at the moment of creation. […] Similarly, all the great novels, all the revolutionary discoveries of the sciences involve the ability to distort and misrepresent present reality.

Softwarization is like a tool that will offer humans a potential new world of communications and services: I believe that the creation of a new socio-economic development will depend very much on our ability to manipulate symbols, that is, to create-models.

This is call for psychologist, sociologists and anthropologists to join our initiative !