In Bruce Clarke’s chapter on communication, he discusses identity formations within communication theory and how, from what I understand, communication can bridge differences between people or ideas because of its status as a shared social construction as a “standard of translation.”

During this section of the reading, I found myself wondering about the life experiences and personal axioms on which we build our reasoning about the world. This background certainly affects what, why, and how we communicate, but communications could appear identical even if this subjective background is quite different.

Is this part of the psychic system that is discussed? If it is, it seems that consciousness can impinge on the environment and the environment can impinge upon minds.

Furthermore, taking this idea of the background of our communications, it seems that we may not always be able to transfer completely the complexities of both the background and the communication itself. Clarke quotes Luhmann who wrote, “Communication… takes place only what a difference of utterance and information is first understood. This distinguishes it from a mere perception of others’ behavior.”

But it seems that even communication, while perhaps giving us a better understanding of another beyond our assumptions about their behavior, falls short. Is this more or less what he means when Clarke comments on the differentiation between “communicative understanding from whatever psychic comprehension participating consciousnesses construct from their interpretation of certain perceptions as communicative”?

Perhaps what I am getting at also relates to Giacardi’s take on metadesign. If design is communication, there is a whole separate process that goes into forming that communication. Much like our histories and experiences form our communication, the collaborations, social strategies, and incorporation of different domains work together in an open ended way during the design process.


P.S. Clarke mentions Haraway’s ideas on the interruption of communication as a threat to power, implying…

not a breakdown but a redeployment of the informatics tools of communication media, for one, a turn toward narrative media for social feedback, countercommunications opening the system up to other possibilities, other constructions.

…Alternative facts?

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  • Reese, I like where you are going here, and I think it relates well to Jeff’s post… social media and other emergent mediums for communication are disrupting, shaping, and changing the way we share information and are affecting our perceptions of one another and one another’s information. And ‘alternative facts’… yes. Please let’s discuss this!

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