Object Orientation’s Credentials

Who are you? Can you give me a description? Ruis [1] answers this question by describing himself as a… hole. And a hole, as you know, always needs ‘things’ around it to be able to manifest itself as a hole. In other words: a hole somehow needs a whole.

A hole comes about by its accompanying whole – its surroundings. You, as a human being, are continually brought into existence by means of everything that situationally relates to you. A name relates to you. Points-in-Time (date of birth, date of …) relate to you. Relatives, next of kin relate to you. Employer(s) and employee(s) relate to you. Nationality/ies relate to you. Places of residence/work relate to you. Etc. It’s all these relations (the lines in the picture below) that bring about… you – describe you.

All these lines relating to you continually develop (number, nature and intensity) and create you as you are and become. You live – so to speak. It’s the whole of lines that creates the hole: you. You are the ever developing – acting and living ‘result’ of the ever developing lines relating to/pointing at you.
So… an sich – i.e. without lines/relations – there is nothing that hints or points at your existence; there is nothing that brings you about, that moves you into being. Without these ‘lines’, you simply don’t appear on anyone’s scene.

How about (other) natural/artificial objects? Well, very much the same story, of course: an sich – objects do not exist. Every object is continually brought into being by the whole of lines; the relations that situationally relate to that object. Every object exists and continually comes into being because of the texture of ‘lines’ relating to it.

But, then… what about the information about these objects? Should you define, say, information-objects – just like in Object Orientation? No. There is really no information inside these objects. On the contrary: information resides outside these objects; the hole is (informationally speaking) empty. The information resides in the ‘lines’ and develops dynamically. Such information-objects would be far too rigid.

Object Orientation makes a false start; the assumed primacy of the object is a serious mistake. Instead you should define the relations that dynamically as well as ‘automatically’ bring about the objects. This focus on relations attracts you to the better equipped and strongly enlarged world of Context Orientation!
Do you (again: informationally speaking) ‘see’ – i.e. value – the eminent importance of context above object? It really all starts with the situational relations of any and all towards you (or any other object). It’s these ever evolving relations that continually ‘define’ you and bring you into moving being. And because of your moving being (behaviour) you continually develop your own relations/lines: the way you relate to your ever evolving surroundings.

An Information Roundabout is there to durably and robustly support various and varying participants in information traffic. No more. No less. These participants are like living holes in ever developing wholes. Whether they realise it or not – the information they need must be contextually organised in order to optimally fit the ever developing wholes they’re situationally part of and manifest themselves with.
Therefore systematic organisation of information must be context oriented. Object Orientation’s credentials fall short and cannot be used to create and release the powerful capabilities of an infrastructural facility like an Information Roundabout.

November 2011, Copyright (c) 2011 – Jan van Til/Information Roundabout

1. The ‘hole’ idea can be found in an article of Jules Ruis (2005) on self description. Unfortunately this article is available in Dutch only.

2 Responses to Object Orientation’s Credentials

  1. It’s just another way of looking at things, which may be valid for objects, but not for people. Eventhough my ‘context’ may influence me, I am more than can be perceived. Much, much more.
    From an egotistical point of view, my context will never have eminent importance over me, the ‘object’. And even if I might be the product of my environment, it does not mean that I am how I am perceived. And even my perception of myself might not fit the actual relations I have.

    I can agree with context oriented systematic information organisation, but I do not think it is very well applicable to a person, unless the person is reduced to an object which does not cover the whole person.

    • Thank you, snowcrash-in-the-context-of-zonnet.nl, for your contribution to “Object Orientation’s Credentials”. Let me try to further explain – influenced by your remarks.

      In real life, we, people, always find ourselves with-in a chain of consecutive situations (that’s life). We never are with-out such a chain (we never are an sich). Things in any occurring situation relate somehow to you. You simultaneously relate (but not in the same way) somehow to the things in that situation. Some of the situational relations you consider close, relevant, important etc. Some other situational relations you consider remote, irrelevant etc. There are even situational relations you’re not aware of. Finally some of the situational relations might cause an emotion within you that moves you (eventually) into action. That action changes the situation; changes the way you relate to that situation. Other things in that situation can, of course, also act in their own way/for their own reasons thereby changing the situation you find yourself in. Etc. That’s the way it works in real life (in reality) with all of its contemporary dynamics: ever developing situations.

      In case we want to register etc. information about this ever developing situational reality… we need to look – informationally – at the (ever developing) relations relating the (ever developing) things in situational reality. And these relations together constitute the… context; not the objects. As you might have guessed by now: the informational counterpart of a situation (in reality) is called a context.

      At an Information Roundabout the provisioning of meaningful information that situationally fits all participants (that’s people) in information traffic is of utmost importance! So…, in short: it’s about information. Information about all kinds of ever developing situations in reality: interdependent things; artificial tings as well as natural things (including living beings). Indeed, information about the relations together making up situational reality. Object Orientation cannot accomplish that task. Systematic organisation of information must be Context Oriented.

      Assuming that you are able to speak/read Dutch – “zonnet.nl” could point in that direction – you’re more than welcome to have a look at Context Oriëntatie (http://informatiekundigbekeken.blogspot.com/2009/02/context-orientatie.html) in order to avoid Informatie-puree (http://informatiekundigbekeken.blogspot.com/2009/01/informatie-puree_23.html). A systematic organisation of information, used to get an Information Roundabout going, keeps information meaningfully – i.e. contextually separated – together.

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