Martin’s Weblog

Paradigm 2

I believe in the general continuity of things but our minds prefer to operate by considering things in discrete units – we split the passing of time for example into discrete units of seconds and minutes etc.

There are periods when the threads of separate things interact to produce emergent properties and behaviours.

In this early part of the 21st century various threads have entangled to produce the paradigm of a flat world of participation, convergence, personalisation and communication at every level – individual, organisational, national and global. Major features are virtualisation and mediation by the Internet. For the sake of a definition I’ll call this “Paradigm 2”.

Paradigm 2 thinking is one of low barrier, self-service, networked, cost-effective, open and decentralised  (Dion Hinchcliffe) and in development (beta). Paradigm 2 is manifested in things like Web 2, Learning 2 and Enterprise 2.

One way to think about paradigm 2 is to compare it with what could be termed paradigm 1. Paradigm 1 thinking is characterised by concepts such as hierarchy, “information is power”, control and blame. All this can lead to learned helplessness and alienation in organisations.

Paradigm 1 is a culture of scale, supplier push and personal consumption.

Paradigm 2 is a culture of scope, personal production and pull.

The music industry provides a good example of the pains of paradigm change. In paradigm 1, if there was a sufficient market (scale) the music industry would create and sell a product (push, consume) – the typical CD you would find in a record store or even on-line. Within paradigm 2 anyone can create a product (scope, personal production) and people chose what they want (pull).  

To be Continued

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1 Comment »

  1. I was going to attempt to reduce paradigm 2 down to virtualisation. However, this simplifaction just doesn’t work and as originally proposed, paradigm 2 is the knitting together of many threads that have become entangled at the same point in time.

    Virtual worlds existed back in the early days of the net – however back then they were clearly paradigm 1 – there was a Cisco baloon I seem to remember and all I could do was to move around and look at it in 3D.

    Second Life is clearly a product of paradigm 2 but whether this type of media will represent mainstream paradigm 2 will need to be seen – there are many other ways to be virtual and for many the web, email and video conferencing are virtual enough.

    However, the development of “power tools” for paradigm 2 will I feel be significant in pushing it’s boundaries (2.1, 2.2 2.3 etc)

    Comment by martinking | August 26, 2007 | Reply


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