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RE: Living Metaphor of Organizations (was RE: Grand challenge: Language evolution (Re: Autonomic email client?)

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  • Brian Marick
    ... (I didn t mean superficial to mean weak , and I don t think Lakoff did either. The intent is that a superficial metaphor can be explained in terms of a
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 11, 2002
      At 03:23 AM 2/11/02, Mike Beedle wrote:

      >[...] I think that
      >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.

      (I didn't mean "superficial" to mean "weak", and I don't think Lakoff did
      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@...
      www.testing.com - Software testing services and resources
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