Do Re Me So Far So Good (CRIG Unconference live)

December 7, 2007

[In previous episodes] : I’m at a JISC Common Repositories Interfaces working Group unconference event. This is novel to most of the participants, so we’re learning about the format as well as discussing the issues. The first day consisted of introductions and some brainstorming type exercises designing to bring out issues to take forward into the unconference.

Last night’s networking event was essentially a continuation of the discussion during the day. The change of location was useful, though; a lot of the early conversation was of the form “I’m amazed we didn’t talk about …”. The great thing about the unconference format is that we can fix those problems easily, rather than going home from the conference thinking that it was all very interesting, but didn’t really tackle burning issues.

One of the random thoughts that came up last night: communication between people involves semantic loss. To put it another way, you have a set of meanings you associate with the word “communication”, and so do I. They’re unlikely to be the same, but here we are, you reading (probably wondering why at the moment) and me writing. This isn’t a problem, because we naturally know that this is happening, and have ways of avoiding (rather than preventing) problems – like redundancy (e.g. “To put it another way…”). Perhaps the starting point for any interoperability should be about “good enough” and redundancy should be encouraged?

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