Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Org Anthro

The C.P. Snow chasm might figure sharply along a town-gown divide inside some mythical supranational, one of the Grunchies. The information technologists have an ingrown planetoid, may feel challenged by FOSS, or maybe embracing, while some congress of administrators, responsible for good government, feels both threatened and clueless, because geeks always talk like Dilbert, might be full of it in some way.

Where to tackle this gap and consequent loss of productivity, might be with object oriented modeling, already indigenous to many grammars, and therefore potentially a bridge to IT (info tech) and its curious shop talks.

Asserting "I am a person" takes no leap of faith, whereas saying "I am Bonneville dam" sounds imaginative, like a kids' book, or like a poem by Walt Whitman. Add a little Ruby, and you've got yourself a coloful Rubytoon, explaining about generating electricity and computer programming all at the same time.

The OO and FOSS communities have much to offer in this genre: mathcasting about infrastructure, how things work, Warriors of the Net a great example. Bill Nye the Science Guy: another master.

I'm thinking of that passage from the D.W. Jacobs screenplay, wherein Bucky is talking about "eating in reverse" and watching the food deploying back to the environment, dispersing as rain and sunlight, as in a movie run backwards (no, not talking about barfing).

That's how a lot of web pages come together, coming forward in time, as pictures and prices, rave reviews, all come together from different tables, remotely deployed, with style sheet cosmetics (CSS) applied mere milliseconds before show time, the job of a web framework (like Django, like Ruby on Rails), inhabiting Apache.

Those aren't "static pages" you're getting from Amazon, they're synthesized on the fly. "I seem to be a verb" would be another way of saying it, thinking of oneself as a web page for a minute.

These XYZ grids
, of rows and columns (like spreadsheets), however relational, however populated, seem too boringly matrix-like and depersonalized to attract much interest. These are but the dusty ledger books of our time, as dry as bones, mere statistics.

The object model or paradigm returns us to the "middle earth" of every day experience, provides a common ground, where we start to perceive identities, real persons. We think of Sims perhaps. We're back in our youthful mindset, playing with action figures, and getting paid for it.

This threshold is psychologically important, if we're to send those sparks across the gap, from gown to town, from town to gown, thereby rescuing both cultures from debilitating weaknesses, restoring complementarity, equilibrium -- a happy ending in this case, a lucky Grunchie gets a boost.

On a more technical note, some have suggested my focus on modeling user behaviors within the model itself is a dig against REST, even though "where or how deployed" is not really the focus of those writings. In making V and C communicate through M, you commit to keeping your bookkeeping up to date. The model remembers what users have requested, even if only anonymously in some systems.