zaterdag 12 maart 2011

An Architecture of Be-Having

In his post Possessed by possession? Tom Graves states that “almost everything in our society – its economy, its cultures, its relationships, its idioms, its concepts of property, and perhaps most of its deep-myths – is ultimately founded on a notion of ‘rights’ of possession.” Graves “keep[s] finding [him]self returning to one seemingly inescapable fact: there is no way to make a possession-based economy sustainable.” Indeed, Having seems (far) more important (valuable) than Being. Most of our Be-Having seems to be one-sidedly aimed at Having (separate things) – grossly neglecting the Being part (related, interlocked).

The current dominancy of Having greatly unbalances and destabilizes our world. Graves: “From all of the signs around us, we’re perilously close to that point now – if not already over the edge.” The balance we need could be expressed using the following contragram: “The being of having is the having of being” (In case you’re interested in contragrams – see J.D. Haynes; Meaning As Perspective: The Contragram).

If we overvalue possession/having; the ownership of things… we need to be (able to be) very clear about boundaries between things. We need to emphasise, to value the separateness of things. Where does one thing stop; where does a(nother) thing start. We therefore also need to undervalue the relatedness/interlock of things.
We were ‘lucky’ to have Descartes. He ‘served’ us to create ourselves a world of, first and foremost, separateness, a world of distinct things. Our worldview gradually became – it took us a couple of centuries – deeply thingy. Aren’t almost all of our IT artefacts saturated with thingyness? Didn’t we invent Object Orientation (OO)? In such a thingy/separated perceived world the idea, the fiction of possession, of ownership could easily ground. And it firmly did.
The aboriginals (the example in Graves’ next post; follow the link below) were lucky – well, at first. They didn’t have their Descartes. Neither did the original inhabitants of America. Until ‘modern’ people dropped by to ‘offer’ them their ‘help’….

In my mind having is a fiction. A subject cannot really have things (objects). I (subject) cannot ‘reach’ any further than developing relationships between the I and other objects. I can only Be-Having my relationships to objects; i.e. ‘do’ my responsibilities towards objects. (I can also neglect my responsibilities towards objects by focussing on Having or Being).

In my mind, possession (I take it to include ownership) is also a fiction. A subject cannot really own things (objects). I (subject) cannot ‘reach’ any further than developing ownership relationships between the I and other objects. I can only Be-Having my ownership relationships to objects; i.e. ‘do’ my responsibilities towards objects.

In my mind rights are a fiction too. A subject cannot have or own anything – that includes rights. I (subject) can only relate to objects. In a vast number of ways and degrees. Relationships that dynamically develop over time – they rise, shine and set.

In my mind, it’s the continual development of relationships by Beings (natural, artificial) that continually create (deep) relatedness/interlock and be-cause of that continually create Beings. In other words: Beings are continually be-caused by their ever developing relationships.

Graves again: “The alternative to a possession-based economy is a responsibility-based model: one in which we ‘own’ something because we declare responsibility for it and manage it accordingly”. Indeed, ownership is not something that exists in its own… right, but as just another relationship that needs other related relationships to be-cause true meaning. In fact ownership (the ownership relationship – to be more precise) can only come into being by the mercy of a whole set of other relationships that shape it. It’s the way of Be-Having of us all that creates, maintains, crumbles, disappears ownership.

Well, how do response-ability and relate-ability relate? Can one take responsibility for something or someone without be-coming related to it in the first place? Can one relate to something or someone without be-coming responsible for it as well? Isn’t that a ‘matter’ of Deep Be-Having Interlock? Responsibility and relate-ability continually constitute (Be-Have) one another.

One day later (March 7th 2011), Graves posts again: An architecture of responsibility; closely related (also read: responsibled) to his earlier post mentioned above. Graves: “if it’s true that there is no way to make a possession-based economy sustainable, then it seems worthwhile to take a look at some of the implications.”

This post be-caused me to responsibly respond with a catching contragram: “The responsibility of architecture is the architecture of responsibility”, which, in turn, responsibled Nick Malik to write another post; see further comments below.

An architecture of responsibility has, indeed, far reaching consequences for all Having-oriented and all Being-oriented activities (these unbalanced oriented activities will disappear) and all Be-Having oriented activities (these are most likely able to change and/or transform and start to flourish tremendously).

The ‘owners’ of Having-oriented activities will definitely need some forceful Help to broaden their perspective (relationships) to ‘their’ wealth (and health) in order to responsibly respond (Be-Have) by moving towards balance – from Having to Being to Be-Having. Being creates Having. Such Having (created by Beingness) creates, in turn, Being. Etc. But (warning): he who forgets about Being – as the origin… and concentrates on Having an sich, will eventually end up no-where with no-thing. Graves: “just about everything in our entire society is against in this in some way. And yet every indicator we have shows us that if this change doesn’t happen, and soon, we’re dead – all of us.” Well….

Another two days later, Nick Malik posts The responsibility of architecture is to create an architecture of responsibility. Malik attempts “to get a little more tactical in the Enterprise Architecture space, and discuss more of the ‘intra-company’ and ‘intra-solution’ aspects of ‘The Architecture of Responsibility.’”

To me this courageous attempt carries a yet rather high Being-to-Have content. I (responsibly) tried to rephrase the first two sentences of Malik’s post: “One of the key [responsibilities] of Enterprise Architecture is to provide a [responsibility structure] [that enables] the development of corporate business [responsibilities]. In other words, we want to make sure that specific [responsibilities emerge] in a principled manner, prioritized on the [holistics] of the business.”

It’s surprising to learn how quite a lot of our terms are saturated with the Have-orientation. How about the term(s) ‘(corporate) business’? Will we be able to responsibly ‘reload’ these terms in a Be-Having fashion?

The architecture of Be-Having needs us to let go of Having; to return to the source (Being) in order to be able to continually build new Be-Havings. A catching contragram with respect to this is: the Longing of Being is the Being of Longing (Be-Longing).
On an even deeper level we all need to continually lose (let go of) our minds in order to be-come more sensible (more responsible, more Be-Having). People like Einstein understood that principle. One has to continually get out of his mind (enter Being) in order to be able to enter it again: true re-minding; Be-Having of the mind.

How do you Be-Have with an Architecture of Be-Having?

Copyright (c) 2011 Emovere/Jan van Til - All rights reserved.

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