Reductionism

21 Feb 2008 - 2:56pm
6 years ago
2 replies
422 reads
sajid saiyed
2005

I was reading this paper by Philip Galanter on "What is Generative
Art?" and came across this
(http://www.philipgalanter.com/downloads/ga2003_what_is_genart.pdf):

"Science generally proceeds in a reductive manner, the thinking being
that by breaking
down complicated phenomena into its figurative (or literal) atomic
parts one gains
predictive and explanatory power. The problem with reductionism,
however, is that it
is often difficult to put the pieces back together again."

I was trying to relate this to what we do with complex information. We
also follow the scientists way by breaking down the information into
parts (reductionism) and then build correlations of these parts to
each other and (try to) present the user a "organized system".

I feel the systems (or application in our context) fail when we can
not put these pieces together.

So I would like to know, have you experienced the problem of putting
these pieces back together again?
or
Has anyone found a good solution to this problem?
or
an alternative?

I would like to know various viewpoints on this.

-sajid

Comments

21 Feb 2008 - 4:51pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

> So I would like to know, have you experienced the problem of putting
> these pieces back together again?
> or
> Has anyone found a good solution to this problem?
> or
> an alternative?

Card sorting exercise from Information Architecture.

Several techniques described in David Straker's 'Rapid problem solving
with Post-It notes': Post-Up; Swap-sort; Bottom-up tree.

Oleh

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 12:56 PM, sajid saiyed <sajid.id at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was reading this paper by Philip Galanter on "What is Generative
> Art?" and came across this
> (http://www.philipgalanter.com/downloads/ga2003_what_is_genart.pdf):
>
> "Science generally proceeds in a reductive manner, the thinking being
> that by breaking
> down complicated phenomena into its figurative (or literal) atomic
> parts one gains
> predictive and explanatory power. The problem with reductionism,
> however, is that it
> is often difficult to put the pieces back together again."
>
> I was trying to relate this to what we do with complex information. We
> also follow the scientists way by breaking down the information into
> parts (reductionism) and then build correlations of these parts to
> each other and (try to) present the user a "organized system".
>
> I feel the systems (or application in our context) fail when we can
> not put these pieces together.
>
> So I would like to know, have you experienced the problem of putting
> these pieces back together again?
> or
> Has anyone found a good solution to this problem?
> or
> an alternative?
>
> I would like to know various viewpoints on this.
>
> -sajid
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--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is the Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

22 Feb 2008 - 4:22am
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

sajid saiyed kirjoitti 21.2.2008 kello 21:56:
> I was trying to relate this to what we do with complex information. We
> also follow the scientists way by breaking down the information into
> parts (reductionism) and then build correlations of these parts to
> each other and (try to) present the user a "organized system".

Talking about GDD: we've noticed that the first phases (research,
modeling) are good for expanding our view about the problem domain: We
need to figure out, which are the cards that need sorting. This part
of the process feels like the opposite of reductionism, as the amount
of information, viewpoints and insights (the whole domain) seems to
expand.

But during requirements, framework and design, as the cards "reveal
themselves", the process feels a little like what you wrote above.
It's about determining which goals can be achieved, which problems are
blocking the way, how to break the problems into parts, and how to
organize their solutions into blueprints.

Thanks,
Petteri

--
Petteri Hiisilä
palvelumuotoilija /
Senior Interaction Designer
iXDesign / +358505050123 /
petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi

"Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated."
- Tim Peters

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