Building the architecture of the social environment
You are all a system that knows so much. You decide what is good and what is bad. Likewise, you decide what is funny and what is not.
After the publication of my article "Social Organism - as a form of effective team interaction" , I had a number of discussions with interested readers on the topic of organizing social relationships. The article was structured in the form of three main parts, devoted to: the analysis of the phenomenon of the "Social organism", its main functions and practical advice on the construction and development of such "Organism".
The proposed option for dividing the Organization into two interacting systems: "Social organism" and "Production mechanism", each of which solves only its inherent functions, is also quite applicable to the work of social networks, network games, political movements and other social communications.
In addition, the new trend of “self-isolation and increasing social distance” has significantly influenced social reality. For example, I had to organize new forms and methods of teaching and monitoring progress among my students at the university.
As a result of all these twists and turns, I had a number of thoughts and conclusions, which I want to share in this article.
1. The essence of the manifestation of the Environment
A strange emptiness gave this day, there was even a feeling that it was Monday. Looked closely, no, Wednesday. My habitat.
(I don't know the author)
For a unified understanding of the topic, I will adapt to the participants in the discussion and will further consider the phenomenon of the "Social organism" as a kind of "Environment".
Let's define the concepts.
Environment is a tool designed to organize comfortable conditions for stay and communication in a certain conventional, informational, ideological, cultural space for all residents of the Environment.
Social reality is a way of relationships that the Environment simulates. It is an interaction between individuals, subject to the principles, laws and social concepts adopted in their community.
Resident - participant of Wednesday.
Architect is a participant in the environment who has the ability to organize and present it.
Model (fr. modèle from lat. modulus "measure, analogue, sample") - a system, the study of which serves as a means to obtain information about another system; representation of some real process, device or concept (ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765: 2010, IEEE Std 1233-1998 (R2002))
2. Environment Presentation Tools
All you need to do is notice the details and how they fit into the system. When you understand the whole system, you can extrapolate the future.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
The environment we are considering manifests itself by all indications - as a system and, accordingly, must possess all its basic qualities and properties. Therefore, further down the text, considering the Environment, we will appeal to the main properties of the system, thereby confirming the stated hypothesis.
To represent knowledge about the Environment, we will use modeling techniques and consider the model (Environment) as a way of presenting the original of the system (in our case, the Social Community), to residents and other interested parties. The model can also act as a testing ground for modeling not yet implemented, promising functions of the system, and in the case of a positive experience, recreate them in the community.
So, everything is in order. The product of interaction of a social community is the social reality generated by it, conditioned by the principles of this community, its laws and social ideas. Social reality exists in a social community, regardless of whether they know it, try to explore and describe it, or not.
Further, from the point of view of modeling, the model of Social reality will be the Environment, which we are considering at the moment. At the same time, the Social Community acts as the "Original", and the environment, fixed and approved by its model, is the "Reference analogue".
It is important that one original can have many analogs.
And another important conclusion - in order for a certain Environment to be legalized and represented in the community, it is necessary that its model be publicly presented to it (the community) and approved by it (or at least a part of it). For the role of the "representative" of the Environment, when defining concepts, we declared the Architect.
3. Interdependence of the Environment and the Architect
Administration is a machine. The more perfect it is, the less room it leaves for human intervention. With an impeccably functioning administration, where a person plays the role of a gear, his laziness, dishonesty, injustice cannot manifest itself in any way.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Speaking about the Architect, first of all, let's clarify that this is not an honorary position and title, but the role of a resident in the Environment. The role that allows the resident to establish the rules for the formation of the Environment, its functioning, development, response to external influences, etc. It goes without saying that a role can be assigned not only to one, but also to several members or groups, with varying degrees of influence and with a different set of functions.
Most often, the Architect is the creator of the Environment, who purposefully and prudently arranges its reality. But such a development of situations is also possible in which the Environment arises spontaneously, as a result of other activities of a group of people aimed at achieving certain goals. At some point, people begin to diagnose the presence of a certain reality around their interests, organizing them and other interested parties into a single mechanism that pushes the formed alliance towards the goals set. And only realizing this, the involuntary creators of the new Social Reality move to the rank of architects and purposefully equip its model in the form of an Environment.
As the Environment grows and develops, part of the Architect's functions can be transferred to other residents (or groups), freeing up the Architect to generate new capabilities of the Environment. Moreover, the functions of the role of the Architect can be:
- delegated by the architect (preferably to different residents) to maintain uniform management;
- lost - picked up by residents with the connivance (inaction) of the architect, most often in a truncated (distorted) version;
- annexed - captured by residents with the removal of the architect from a function or role entirely;
4. Interdependence of the Environment and the Resident
Do your best to communicate with those above you. This will lift you, while communication with people of a lower level will force you to lower, for what is the society in which you are, so is you.
Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield
So, we have established that the Environment is the "Reference analogue" of Social reality, organized by the Architect in the form of a model.
In accordance with our definition, the Environment is most often intended specifically for the cooperation of community members, organizing their interaction according to the conditions of the model proposed by the Architect. Persons involved in the Wednesday act as its Residents.
Stay of residents in the Environment realizes such a property of the system as " Structured ", expressed in the fact that the parts of the system are not independent, not isolated from each other, they are interconnected, interact with each other .
Due to the physiological peculiarities of the human perception of the world, the resident can realize the model (Reference analogue) only in a certain volume, with certain distortions, interpreting it in consciousness, into his own “Subjective analogue”.
When considering the models, it is important to understand a few key messages. Firstly, the model is never identical to the original (even when they try to achieve it on purpose, for example, counterfeit money).Secondly, in most cases there is no need to completely reproduce the original in the model, since each model is needed only for certain purposes, and includes only those capabilities of the original that are required to achieve them. The being and the meaning of the existence of the Environment are subordinated to these goals, which corresponds to the property of the system - "Expediency" , the subordination of everything (both composition and structure) to a set goal (a fundamental property of any artificial system) .
In addition to the degree of awareness (understanding) of the model by the resident, there is also the degree of its acceptance (separation of values) in a certain volume, due to the cultural range of its acceptability. Often, according to the level of acceptance, residents are consolidated in the Environment, by groups of like-minded people. This echoes the property of the system - "Internal heterogeneity" , which is reduced to the isolation of relatively homogeneous parts of the system, drawing the boundaries between them .
At different stages of the resident's existence in the environment, a certain correspondence arises between the model proposed to him by the Reference analogue and the model perceived based on its motives - the Subjective analogue. At the same time, most often, over time, the Subjective analogue approaches the Reference one. This is due to the influence of the values of the Environment on the consciousness of the resident, which changes his worldview, "enlightening" him from the point of view of the Environment.
5. Reaction of the Environment to external influences
The environment we live in is changing, and we must change at the same rate to stay where we are and not disappear.
One of the important properties of the system is - "Stimulability" , a change in the behavior of the system under the influence of processes arriving at the inputs of the system, affecting it and turning (after a series of transformations in the system) into its "functionality". Impact is incentive . In this connection, it is necessary to make appropriate adjustments in the model, changing the Reference Analog and delivering innovations to the residents in order to reorganize their Subjective Analog.
If this does not happen, residents stop accepting (sharing) the model proposed by the Environment. If at the same time the resident also has the opportunity to analyze the original, then this will contribute to the creation of his own analogue and, perhaps, it will surpass the Reference
Such development can lead to a violation of such a property of the system as - " Inherence ", consistency, adaptation to the environment, compatibility with it . In this case, the system ceases to be stable and there is a need for its reorganization. For example:
- Change reference analog;
- Creation of a new (competitive) environment superior to the old one;
- Dropping support for the old environment;
- Combinations of options.
6. Conditions for the existence and development of the Environment
Left to their own devices, events tend to evolve
from bad to worse.
Arthur Bloch. Murphy's Laws
There is an erroneous, in my opinion, judgment that the Environment can develop itself. It sounds somehow divine, as if the environment is developed by either God or nature, who calls it what.
In order for the Environment to simply exist, functions must be incorporated into it that support this existence at a certain agreed level. But in addition to the Environment, as the system obeys the property - " Variability of the system over time ", changes occur in any system that must be taken into account: provide for and put into the project of the future system; promote or counteract them by speeding up or slowing them down when working with the existing system . Accordingly, someone has to develop strategies for the Environment's response to changes. If these calls are not managed, then the Environment can exist for some time by inertia, but most likely not for long.
In order for the Environment to develop, it is necessary to make significant efforts. And since we have determined that only Architects are endowed with the ability to organize the existence of the Environment, then they must provide these functions.
For the sake of fairness, let me remind you that the previously stated assumption that some functions of the Architect can be implemented by ordinary residents or groups of residents. But, if this happens spontaneously, then the probability of their high-quality implementation in a specific Environment will be extremely small. Such solutions will resemble crutches for prop, and this approach can be called “social orthopedics”.
7. Isolation of the Environment
Any system that depends on human reliability is unreliable.
Vasily Golovachev (Can opener)
The next aberration is that the Environment must be strictly isolated from other environments.
The environment, like any system, obeys the property - " Openness ", which excludes its isolation from the environment, but on the contrary, realizes their connectivity and ensures the exchange between them of any types of resources (matter, energy, information, etc. etc.) . It is impossible to create an Environment completely Isolated from the world. The postulate from this thesis is that the degree of isolation is rather arbitrary. This was fully demonstrated by the COVID-19 virus, which caused such reactions of systems that no one had planned before, even as risks. And this is explained by another property of the system - " Existence in a changing environment ", based on the fact that not only this system is changing, but all the others. For this system, it looks like a continuous change in the environment .
Therefore, the isolation of the Environment should be exactly as defined by the architect. In this case, Environments can be, for example:
- Open - fully accessible to all subjects and other environments.
- Partially open - available to some entities and environments, by mutual contract.
- Closed - open to a limited number of entities that are residents of the environment.
Completely closed, isolated environments in extreme incarnation are the path to sects, dictatorships and formations that are unsafe for other subjects.
A completely open environment in extreme incarnation is the path to anarchy and self-destruction of the environment.
Completely closed environments can cause problems due to the tendency to organize the security of the real world, from threats of radicalism, etc., which is now actively being combated.
8. Environment as a single organism
How wonderful it is to feel the unity of a whole complex of phenomena, which, upon direct perception, seemed disparate.
Vladimir Petrovich Kartsev (The Adventures of Great Equations)
From the point of view of the system, the Environment has the most important property - " Emergence ", which means that the unification of parts into a system gives rise to qualitatively new properties in the system, which are not reducible to the properties of parts, not derived from the properties of parts, inherent only to the system itself and existing only as long as the system is one whole . It is quite obvious that the functionality of the Environment is significantly different from that of individual residents, as well as groups of residents and even Architects.
As a whole, the Environment, consisting of subjects (living organisms), itself exhibits some properties of living organisms. I discussed this in detail in my article "Social Organism - as a Form of Effective Team Interaction" .
In my opinion, this very property helps the Environment to develop, revealing its new, hitherto unknown functions and transforming existing ones. But in this case, it is important that Architects recognize such opportunities, organize them and organize their support.
9. Stakeholder Goals for the Environment
- Do you think humanity is going up, rising, developing, marking time or degrading?
- You know, humanity is not going anywhere. It lives.
Boris Borisovich Grebenshchikov
Another incorrect judgment, which I came across while discussing the topic, says that Wednesday itself is attractive to residents.
The very existence of the Environment cannot attract customers, if only purely as a curiosity. People are attracted by the possibility of obtaining some kind of profit: waiting for recognition by the community, earning income, taking possession of an instrument of influence on people/communities, etc.Only derivatives from them can act as drivers of attraction to Wednesday.
From the point of view of achieving goals, there are a number of stakeholders in the use of the Environment. This function of the Environment is achieved through another property of the system - " Functionality ", which is provided by the processes occurring at the outputs of the system. . Let us dwell only on the main ones involved in Wednesday.
General goals of architects:
- Create a model (Environment) of a social community to attract promising residents to it;
- Provide the most comfortable conditions for keeping residents with Wednesday;
- Delegate to the residents of the Environment - part of the functions to maintain its functioning and development;
- To get loyal subjects, with the help of them to solve their main business tasks (Main goal).
- Get a comfortable living environment to meet your social needs (Main goal).
Based on these basic postulates (and possibly some more), it is possible to develop a manifesto for the organization of the social environment. For example:
- For the organization of Social reality arising in the Social community, it is necessary to build its model in the form of a certain Environment;
- The environment must be submitted to the community by its Architect and approved by it;
- The organization of the Environment should be dealt with by its Architects, or residents, who are assigned the appropriate functions by the Architect;
- Each of the residents has his own idea of the organization of the Environment, which differs from the idea laid down by the Architect;
- The environment influences the mind of the resident;
- A resident or a group of residents can influence the Social reality of the community, thereby causing the Environment to change;
- Any Environment organizes only part of the functions of the Social reality of the community;
- The environment must be able to withstand and respond to external challenges;
- It is desirable that the Environment has the ability to develop;
- The Environment should be Isolated from other Environments, just as much as the issues of its vital activity require;
Add your options...
 F.P. Tarasenko, "APPLIED SYSTEM ANALYSIS", study guide, Moscow, 2010.