RE: Living Metaphor of Organizations (was RE: Grand challenge: Language evolution (Re: Autonomic email client?)
- At 03:23 AM 2/11/02, Mike Beedle wrote:
>[...] I think that(I didn't mean "superficial" to mean "weak", and I don't think Lakoff did
>having organizations look like "tissues, organs and organs
>systems" is a weak metaphor. But that having "live organizations",
>otoh, is not -- it can be much more real than that.
either. The intent is that a superficial metaphor can be explained in terms
of a deep one, but not vice versa.)
My note was not concerned with truth; rather with enthusiasm. Let me
explain. It's going to sound pompous and presumptuous. Sorry.
Suppose I were as self-skeptical as I'd like to be. I'd be as prone to
developing enthusiasms as I am now. But I would more often ask myself, "Why
do I so enthusiastically believe X, given that the evidence for neither X
nor not-X is convincing?" Maybe I'd realize quickly that the real reasons
for my enthusiasm weren't so good, so I'd shed it quickly. Or I might
realize that X is just a proxy for Y, and shift my enthusiasm. Or that X is
an assemblage of A, B, and C; and that B is what I *really* care about. Or
I might retain exactly the same enthusiasm.
Every once in a while I'm properly self-skeptical, with good results. I
think of myself as a (sadly lazy) student of ways of kicking myself out of
mental ruts, of tricking myself into no longer fooling myself.
I was suggesting one such trick to enthusiasts of the biological
metaphor(s). The trick could work whatever the status in reality of the
word "live" applied to organizations, programs, etc. I don't know enough to
have an opinion about that status.
P.S. I do know that unsound enthusiasms can lead to wonderful results.
Sometimes the unexamined life is just swell.
Brian Marick, marick@...
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