LIBRARIES AS ACTORS. WHAT ABOUT THE CITIZENS?

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458, 19.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

In this blog a new approach to the old topic of ‘Human-Machine Interaction (HMI)’ is developed turning the old Human-Machine dyad into the many-to-many relation of ‘Actor-Actor Interaction (AAI)’. And, moreover, in this new AAI approach the classical ‘top-down’ approach of engineering is expanded with a truly ‘bottom-up’ approach locating the center of development in the distributed knowledge of a population of users assisted by the AAI experts.

PROBLEM

From this perspective it is interesting to see how on an international level the citizens of a community/ city are not at the center of research, but again the city and its substructures – here public libraries – are called ‘actors’ while the citizens as such are only an anonymous matter of driving these structures to serve the international ‘buzz word’ of a ‘smart city’ empowered by the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’.

This perspective is published in a paper from Shannon Mersand et al. (2019) which reviews all the main papers available focusing on the role of public libraries in cities. It seems – I could not check by myself the search space — that the paper gives a good overview of this topic in 48 cited papers.

The main idea underlined by the authors is that public libraries are already so-called ‘anchor institutions’ in a community which either already include or could be extended as “spaces for innovation, collaboration and hands on learning that are open to adults and younger children as well”. (p.3312) Or, another formulation “that libraries are consciously working to become a third space; a place for learning in multiple domains and that provides resources in the form of both materials and active learning opportunities”. (p.3312)

The paper is rich on details but for the context of the AAI paradigm I am interested only on the general perspective how the roles of the actors are described which are identified as responsible for the process of problem solving.

The in-official problem of cities is how to organize the city to respond to the needs of its citizens. There are some ‘official institutions’ which ‘officially’ have to fulfill this job. In democratic societies these institutions are ‘elected’. Ideally these official institutions are the experts which try to solve the problem for the citizens, which are the main stakeholder! To help in this job of organizing the ‘best fitting city-layout’ there exists usually at any point of time a bunch of infrastructures. The modern ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ is only one of many possible infrastructures.

To proceed in doing the job of organizing the ‘best fitting city-layout’ there are generally two main strategies: ‘top-down’ as usual in most cities or ‘bottom-‘ in nearly no cities.

In the top-down approach the experts organize the processes of the cities more or less on their own. They do not really include the expertise of their citizens, not their knowledge, not their desires and visions. The infrastructures are provided from a birds perspective and an abstract systems thinking.

The case of the public libraries is matching this top-down paradigm. At the end of their paper the authors classify public libraries not only as some ‘infrastructure’ but “… recognize the potential of public libraries … and to consider them as a key actor in the governance of the smart community”. (p.3312) The term ‘actor’ is very strong. This turns an institution into an actor with some autonomy of deciding what to do. The users of the library, the citizens, the primary stakeholder of the city, are not seen as actors, they are – here – the material to ‘feed’ – to use a picture — the actor library which in turn has to serve the governance of the ‘smart community’.

DISCUSSION

Yes, this comment can be understood as a bit ‘harsh’ because one can read the text of the authors a bit different in the sense that the citizens are not only some matter to ‘feed’ the actor library but to see the public library as an ‘environment’ for the citizens which find in the libraries many possibilities to learn and empower themselves. In this different reading the citizens are clearly seen as actors too.

This different reading is possible, but within an overall ‘top-down’ approach the citizens as actors are not really included as actors but only as passive receivers of infrastructure offers; in a top-down approach the main focus are the infrastructures, and from all the infrastructures the ‘smart’ structures are most prominent, the internet of things.

If one remembers two previous papers of Mila Gascó (2016) and Mila Gascó-Hernandez (2018) then this is a bit astonishing because in these earlier papers she has analyzed that the ‘failure’ of the smart technology strategy in Barcelona was due to the fact that the city government (the experts in our framework) did not include sufficiently enough the citizens as actors!

From the point of view of the AAI paradigm this ‘hiding of the citizens as main actors’ is only due to the inadequate methodology of a top-down approach where a truly bottom-up approach is needed.

In the Oct-2, 2018 version of the AAI theory the bottom-up approach is not yet included. It has been worked out in the context of the new research project about ‘City Planning and eGaming‘  which in turn has been inspired by Mila Gascó-Hernandez!

REFERENCES

  • S.Mersand, M. Gasco-Hernandez, H. Udoh, and J.R. Gil-Garcia. “Public libraries as anchor institutions in smart communities: Current practices and future development”, Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, pages 3305 – 3314, 2019. URL https: //hdl.handle.net/10125/59766 .

  • Mila Gascó, “What makes a city smart? lessons from Barcelona”. 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), pages 2983–2989, Jan 2016. D O I : 10.1109/HICSS.2016.373.

  • Mila Gascó-Hernandez, “Building a smart city: Lessons from Barcelona.”, Commun. ACM, 61(4):50–57, March 2018. ISSN 0001-0782. D O I : 10.1145/3117800. URL http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3117800 .

ACTOR-ACTOR INTERACTION [AAI] WITHIN A SYSTEMS ENGINEERING PROCESS (SEP). An Actor Centered Approach to Problem Solving

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

ATTENTION: The actual Version  you will find HERE.

Draft version 22.June 2018

Update 26.June 2018 (Chapter AS-AM Summary)

Update 4.July 2018 (Chapter 4 Actor Model; improving the terminology of environments with actors, actors as input-output systems, basic and real interface, a first typology of input-output systems…)

Update 17.July 2018 (Preface, Introduction new)

Update 19.July 2018 (Introduction final paragraph!, new chapters!)

Update 20.July 2018 (Disentanglement of chapter ‘Simulation & Verification’ into two independent chapters; corrections in the chapter ‘Introduction’; corrections in chapter ‘AAI Analysis’; extracting ‘Simulation’ from chapter ‘Actor Story’ to new chapter ‘Simulation’; New chapter ‘Simulation’; Rewriting of chapter ‘Looking Forward’)

Update 22.July 2018 (Rewriting the beginning of the chapter ‘Actor Story (AS)’, not completed; converting chapter ‘AS+AM Summary’ to ‘AS and AM Philosophy’, not completed)

Update 23.July 2018 (Attaching a new chapter with a Case Study illustrating an actor story (AS). This case study is still unfinished. It is a case study of  a real project!)

Update 7.August 2018 (Modifying chapter Actor Story, the introduction)

Update 8.August 2018 (Modifying chapter  AS as Text, Comic, Graph; especially section about the textual mode and the pictorial mode; first sketch for a mapping from the textual mode into the pictorial mode)

Update 9.August 2018 (Modification of the section ‘Mathematical Actor Story (MAS) in chapter 4).

Update 11.August 2018 (Improving chapter 3 ‘Actor Story; nearly complete rewriting of chapter 4 ‘AS as text, comic, graph’.)

Update 12.August 2018 (Minor corrections in the chapters 3+4)

Update 13.August 2018 (I am still catched by the chapters 3+4. In chapter  the cognitive structure of the actors has been further enhanced; in chapter 4 a complete example of a mathematical actor story could now been attached.)

Update 14.August 2018 (minor corrections to chapter 4 + 5; change-statements define for each state individual combinatorial spaces (a little bit like a quantum state); whether and how these spaces will be concretized/ realized depends completely from the participating actors)

Update 15.August 2018 (Canceled the appendix with the case study stub and replaced it with an overview for  a supporting software tool which is needed for the real usage of this theory. At the moment it is open who will write the software.)

Update 2.October 2018 (Configuring the whole book now with 3 parts: I. Theory, II. Application, III. Software. Gerd has his focus on part I, Zeynep will focus on part II and ‘somebody’ will focus on part III (in the worst case we will — nevertheless — have a minimal version :-)). For a first quick overview about everything read the ‘Preface’ and the ‘Introduction’.

Update 4.November 2018 (Rewriting the Introduction (and some minor corrections in the Preface). The idea of the rewriting was to address all the topics which will be discussed in the book and pointing out to the logical connections between them. This induces some wrong links in the following chapters, which are not yet updated. Some chapters are yet completely missing. But to improve the clearness of the focus and the logical inter-dependencies helps to elaborate the missing texts a lot. Another change is the wording of the title. Until now it is difficult to find a title which is exactly matching the content. The new proposal shows the focus ‘AAI’ but lists the keywords of the main topics within AAA analysis because these topics are usually not necessarily associated with AAI.)

ACTOR-ACTOR INTERACTION [AAI]. An Actor Centered Approach to Problem Solving. Combining Engineering and Philosophy

by

GERD DOEBEN-HENISCH in cooperation with  LOUWRENCE ERASMUS, ZEYNEP TUNCER

LATEST  VERSION AS PDF

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 19.Dec.2018: Application domain ‘Communal Planning and e-Gaming’

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 24.Dec.2018: The AAI-paradigm and Quantum Logic

PRE-VIEW: NEW EXPANDED AAI THEORY 23.January 2019: Outline of the new expanded  AAI Paradigm. Before re-writing the main text with these ideas the new advanced AAI theory will first be tested during the summer 2019 within a lecture with student teams as well as in  several workshops outside the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences with members of different institutions.

ACTOR-ACTOR INTERACTION. Philosophy of the Actor

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458
16.March 2018
Email: info@uffmm.org
Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FRA-UAS)
Institut for New Media (INM, Frankfurt)

PDF

CONTENTS

I   A Vision as a Problem to be Solved … 1
II   Language, Meaning & Ontology …  2
     II-A   Language Levels . . . . . . . . .  . . 2
     II-B  Common Empirical Matter .  . . . . . 2
     II-C   Perceptual Levels . . . . . . .  . . . . 3
     II-D   Space & Time . . . . . . . .  . . . . . 4
     II-E    Different Language Modes . . . 4
     II-F    Meaning of Expressions & Ontology … 4
     II-G   True Expressions . . . . . . .  . . . .  5
     II-H   The Congruence of Meaning  . . . .  5
III   Actor Algebra … 6
IV   World Algebra  … 7
V    How to continue … 8
VI References … 8

Abstract

As preparation for this text one should read the chapter about the basic layout of an Actor-Actor Analysis (AAA) as part of an systems engineering process (SEP). In this text it will be described which internal conditions one has to assume for an actor who uses a language to talk about his observations oft he world to someone else in a verifiable way. Topics which are explained in this text are e.g. ’language’,’meaning’, ’ontology’, ’consciousness’, ’true utterance’, ’synonymous expression.