Dec 17, 2010

simple recipe for a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas...

Christmas is not about decorations, nor status, money, cars, pearls, technologies or the latest fashion like they try to tell you over and over again in radio, TV or Web advertisements... neither stress (a lot of it consumerism related!). 

Christmas is about reunions, gatherings. It's a time that allows us  meeting together with family and friends. It's sharing time together. The light motive can be a meal, a late supper (consoada), a xmas lunch, tea or dinner. Use your heart, your availability and your creativity to be together with family and friends. The rest? The rest are inventions of organizations that get rich by exploring your feelings through fabricated ideals of happiness and success. We can be smarter than them. Feelings come from the inside. They can not be bought and we know that.

Lets keep our heart together and let aside the trivial. Lets bring out those memory objects that have made up who we are, add your own personal touch with recycled things, invite someone home or go to someone else's house. Make your own cookies, jam, a bread loaf or your special sauce, and go knock on a neighbor's house, a long time friend, family members or a group of relief workers. Lets give the gift of time with our hearts right open. Lets have a merry Christmas!

Dec 16, 2010

EIF for EU

European Interoperability Framework for European Public Services (2010). In the annex of the report, they define interoperability as "(...) the ability of disparate and diverse organisations to interact towards mutually beneficial and agreed common goals, involving the sharing of information and knowledge between the organisations, through the business processes they support, by means of the exchange of data between their respective ICT systems."


Further ahead in the report, a reference to paper and face-to-face in the multichannel mix, caught my attention: "Inclusion and accessibility usually involve multichannel delivery. Traditional paper-based or face-to-face service delivery may need to co-exist with electronic delivery, giving citizens a choice of access."
Interoperability EU Timeline Initiatives (2010)

Sep 28, 2010

Resoluções que extinguem

Vai fazer 4 anos que por Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n.º 124/2006 [Diário da República, Série I, de 2006-10-03] se anunciava a reviravolta do sistema dos laboratórios do Estado. Entre outras, lia-se no ponto 5, do anexo:
"É extinto o Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação (INETI), sendo os seus recursos científicos e tecnológicos, humanos e materiais reorganizados e integrados noutros laboratórios, centros tecnológicos, instituições de ensino superior e consórcios a criar. Em particular, as infra-estruturas do INETI transformam-se em parque de ciência e tecnologia com a participação e gestão de universidades, laboratórios associados e laboratórios do Estado e alargam-se a parcerias com empresas, no quadro de projectos definidos, organizando-se ainda como espaço de acolhimento de programas europeus de I&D."
  • Para onde foram os «seus recursos científicos»?
  • E os «recursos tecnológicos»?
  • E os «recursos humanos»?
  • Onde está o «parque de ciência e tecnologia com a participação e gestão de universidades, laboratórios associados e laboratórios do Estado»?

Claro está que estas questões não interessam a ninguém. O que interessa não é cuidar das infra-estruturas e da estabilidade necessárias para que se faça ciência, mas sim ficar bem na fotografia e inscrever nas palavras as intenções de actos que nunca irão ver a luz do dia, tornando irreversíveis os danos causados.

Pelo meio, no decurso de 4 longos anos, foram-se perdendo unidades, recursos científicos e tecnológicos. As cerca de 1000 pessoas na altura? Umas foram resistindo, outras cedendo, depois sucumbindo, caindo ou tombando... reconvertendo horizontes científicos em reformas antecipadas, em trabalho administrativo, em fragmentos profissionais, em alternativas à ciência.  Foram-se esvaziando as competências, as capacidades e as equipas que outrora alimentavam e captavam recursos. Os que resistem são menos de 500. Sem novas admissões ou valorização dos que ficam.

O que se ganhou com estas perdas para se sentir que valeu (vale?) a pena: para o país, para a IeD, para o Laboratório, para as unidades, para as equipas e para os reflexos que se fizeram (fazem) sentir na vida de tantos colegas? Quatro anos de transição e a tal «reorganização» ainda por acabar...

[link para o post de 3 de Outubro de 2006, no B2OB: Não basta estar extinto!]

PS [2010, 11 de Outubro]: Recebi (através de um amigo atento) a indicação da publicação em Diário da República da "Lista de Reafectação do Pessoal do INETI ao LNEG". Afinal passámos de cerca de 1000  para 404 efectivos. Ou seja, em 3 anos uma redução de 60% no quadro de pessoal!

Sep 10, 2010

Distance (still) matters!

Olson, Gary M. and Olson, Judith S.(2000). Distance Matters. Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 15(2), pp.139-178.

Contradicting the idea that «Distance is Dead», and supporting with substantive theory in their study, Olson and Olson (2000) clearly show that technological mediated interactions will not completely substitute presence and co-located interactions, even with sophisticated technological use for work: "Distance is not only alive and well, it is in several essential respect immortal" ["(...) synthesized into four key concepts: common ground, coupling of work, collaboration readiness, and collaboration technology readiness"]

Sep 2, 2010

Generability in positivism and interpretivism

Como as questões da generalização continuam na ordem do dia (à mais de 100 anos!), esta entrada pode ser útil para mais pessoas dos sistemas de informação (SI), ou não ;)

Lee, A. S. and Baskerville, R. L. (2003). Generalizing generalizability in information systems research. Information Systems Research, 14(3), pp. 221-243:
"Although Yin’s case research method is considered to be positivist, his concept of analytical generalization has received attention and approval from a prominent interpretive IS researcher,Walsham (1995b). Walsham accepts Yin’s notion of generalizing to theory and extends it to four types of generalization. Walsham explains (pp. 70–80) that, beginning with the facts or the rich description of a case, the researcher can generalize to concepts, to a theory, to specific implications, or to rich insight. All four of Walsham’s examples involve generalizing from empirical statements (reflecting the observations made in a case study) to theoretical statements (concepts, theory ,specific implications,and rich insight).
Klein and Myers (1999) also recognize the process of generalizing from empirical statements to theoretical statements. Whereas they acknowledge that “interpretive research values the documentation of unique circumstances,” they also emphasize, “it is important that theoretical abstractions and generalizations should be carefully related to the case study details as they were experienced and/or collected by the researcher” They add: “The key point here is that theory plays a crucial role in interpretive research,and clearly distinguishes it from just anecdotes” (p. 75). For them,generalizing from idiographic details to theory is so important that they elevate it to one of their seven principles for assessing interpretive field work: The principle of abstraction and generalization." (p. 234)
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (Applied Social Research Methods). Sage Publications, Inc, 4th edition.

Klein, H. K. and Myers, M. D. (1999). A set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 23(1), pp.67-93.

Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. The Academy of Management Review, 14(4), pp.532-550.

Walsham, G. (2006). Doing interpretive research. European Journal of Information Systems, 15(3), pp.320-330. [have no full access to the mentioned paper of Walsham, but this 2006 paper, by the same author, expands on the 1995 paper mentioned above]

Aug 16, 2010

semantics to pragmatics

Olsen et al (1998). Full Text Searching and Information Overload. The International Information & Library Review, vol. 30(2), pp. 105-122:
"While the tools for writing, storing, disseminating and retrieving documents have undergone a revolution in the last few decades, reading is still a very slow process. For practical reasons, we are forced to determine a working set size, i.e., the number of documents that we can handle."
(...) 
"By combining metadata and subject terms in a vector-based information space, visualization may give us the opportunity to handle larger document collections and to help the user to find the documents that are most likely to satisfy an information need defined on a pragmatic level."

Aug 11, 2010

faraway nearness

Kenneth J. Gergen (2000). Technology, Self and the Moral Project. in Identity and Social Change, p.146:
"Two virtual places may be "separated" by only a keystroke, but their inhabitants will never meet."

Aug 6, 2010

work transitions

"One of the barriers to making sense of current workplace* trends is simply coming to terms with the terminology." (WORKS site, 2008)

The transformation of work in a global knowledge economy: towards a conceptual framework is the .pdf edited version of the need for "a glossary of key terms and concepts", made collaboratively in an European project, WORKS - Changes in Work.
"In the transitional labour market perspective, it is argued that there is a new labour market in which, ‘individuals are more and more confronted with so-called transitions-shifts from work to care, to other work, to education, that might occur sequentially, but also simultaneously’ (Schmid, 2000; see also Bannick, Trommel & Hoogenboom, 2005)." (p.34)
[Note to self]: see Gunther Schmid (2005), Transitional labour markets: a new European employment strategy, pointing out the "four main pathways between standard employment and other statuses. These are: the education-to-work transition; the transition between unemployment and work; the transition between unpaid work and paid work; and the transition to retirement." that are explained in another background paper by Ziguras, Stephen; Considine, Mark; Hancock, Linda; Howe, Brian (2004), From risk to opportunity: labour markets in transition: background paper.


* My stroke in the original word workplace to stress that this problem concerns many other trends.

Jul 7, 2010

mobilities & open data

Reading Timothy Cresswell (2006), On the Move, and continuing with visual data collection of information artefacts that people carry (including mine) over time.

Not all data collected for my study is open (following participants will) but the ones that are open keep me wondering why they attract so many visitors. Always thought that only me and the people that are participating in the study would have any interest in the photos. Curiosity? An opportunity to look inside private places?

Implications for the study still need to be fully understood, namely the ones that deal with the agents awareness of wider visibility and interest in the photos, beyond research purposes.

Jun 23, 2010

will you?

Metcalfe, Mike (2003). Author(ity): The Literature Review as Expert Witnesses [45 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(1), Art. 18, [40 paragraph]:
"My excuse for not presenting any authors' credentials is that I am not saying, "X is true because Smith said so." I hoped I was merely letting the reader know where I sourced an interesting idea and implicitly where they might look if they want to read more on the topic. LATOUR (1987) suspects that most of you will not."

May 30, 2010

we all need to write our stories

Choosing the pieces we have designed, collected, created, lived, experienced, exchanged... felt! It's as much an act of making sense as it is of obliteration for everything that could or should be there but will not be found on the text... in a never ending exercise, each time we need to write it down for us, for someone else or for others. 

May 17, 2010

Today tertúlia...

... Armazém F, with António Câmara. I'll be there because of sixth sense, because of Ydreams, because it's organized by APDSI, and because it's food for though ;)

Mar 5, 2010

transdisciplinarity is about transgressing boundaries

"Here I want to assert that knowledge, as well as expertise, is inherently transgressive. Nobody has anywhere succeeded for very long in containing knowledge. Knowledge seeps through institutions and structures like water through the pores of a membrane. Knowledge seeps in both directions, from science to society as well as from society to science. It seeps through institutions and from academia to and from the outside world. Transdisciplinarity is therefore about transgressing boundaries. Institutions still exist and have a function. Disciplines still exist and new ones arise continuously from interdisciplinary work."

Feb 16, 2010

Visual Research Conference

For some time now that i feel that i need to know more about the use of visuals for research. Lack of «local» peers to talk about the use visuals in research and the implications of those for the research design, have made me go back to readings... but never really able to discuss what I read.

Just now, a friend of mine, also doing her research, sent me a link to Visual Sociology. They have an open call (till March 30) for an event that will take place in Bologna, July 20-22, this year.

Apart from not knowing how can I afford going in there, the main issue is getting to prepare my contribution and facing that this would be a great opportunity to learn with other people using visuals for research... and a great opportunity to change my long time fears of talking about my work that turn into procrastination.
Although all sessions are interesting, the ones that address more questions I've been doing to myself are:

«Theory of the image»:
- Panel 1, Visual Mobile Landscapes, because it addresses the issues concerning how mobility is perceived (or mobilities like explained in Urry). I'm not only dealing with artefacts (mobile phones being one of them) but I'm also trying to «capture» what kind of mobilities do workers face for getting work done and how do they perceive it. Historical context is also of important and it is addressed.
- Panel 2, Sociology of the Visual, would be great when I can present the results of my research. But I would like to be expose to research done using visuals in order to have a feel of the problems, solutions and options that people using it as a method face.

«Methodology»
- Panel 7, Integrating fieldwork methodologies using Net and its Tools, cause I feel that I don't need to be re-inventing the wheel when finding/learning how to use existing tools and adapting them to my ongoing needs (although it is one of the things that I like most and that also contributes for what others perceive as procrastination)
- Panel 10, Methodological issues of Visual Data Collection, Production and Presentation, cause I have accumulated so many questions during visual data collection and accompanying readings that I feel like jelly when it turns out to justify the need of visuals as an integral part of the basis of my research set in Information Systems.

«Fieldwork»
- Panel 22, Doing Work, a lot of issues in here, but one of the main connections is about «visible» and «(un)visible» work. When we use visuals we bring the «unvisible» visible by way of image... I'm also dealing with use of information artefacts in «private spaces» that by way of documenting visuals become not-private anymore. «Doing work» anywhere is also an issue for conducting fieldwork and, more often then not, I keep asking myself how to have a more robust work?...

And also the panel 27, that deals with representations in visual research and the need for reflexivity. Trying to address this on my research by expliciting my practices, making visuals of my own artefacts in work context but still, not knowing how to integrate that as part of one of the research layers.

Jan 29, 2010

continuous present


continuous present

Sarah Pink (2009). Doing Visual Ethnography. Sage, p.150: 
"When a photograph is situated in the present tense and is treated as a realist representation, a particular relationship between the text, the image and the ethnographic context is constructed. The specificity of the photographic moment, set in the past, is lost and instead the photograph is situated in a continuous present."