Re: ME:Discussion about "Maze": Garden vs. Mechanism metaphor

From: Eugene Matusov
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Date: 14 Oct 1996
Time: 16:46:15


Hi Sharon and everybody else--

Thanks a lot for raising these very important questions about "maze" and "wizard." I'd like to make several my observations since I joined the projected called Santa Cruz UClinks:

1) I really appreciate Mike Cole's (UCSC) metaphor of garden vs. mechanism as the way to describe how insitutions and communities develop. The garden, unlike mechanism, is open system that is volurable to many "weather" and "climate" conditions that beyond "designers'" control. Instead of struggle against influence of the weather it is better to use it for planting purposes. Moral: cease an opportunity rather than complain on lack of ideal conditions.

Another metaphor is that we are creating a new culture. Any culture has a lot of inconsistant or even absurd things because some many different people participate in different time with different level of committment, power, interests, and success.

2) Beyond developmental problems of growth the project that Ed elaborated on, there are also issues of diversity among people who guide the site. There are people in our Steering Committee who doubt in the necessity of Wizard and maze. You can read about that struggle in mission and visionary statements as

If you want I can share with you this discussion about usefulness of maze and wizard.

3) Some ideas have to be tested by practice. We all part of this practice.

I want to engourage you to raise the questions about the insitutional development of the project at the web and in the class.


PS By the way, do you know where the term "5th dimension" came from? Orginially, it came from Russian psychologist Vygotsky's writings who said that there is 5th dimension of meaning plus to the 4 other dimensions (time + 3 dim of space). Mike Cole introduced to his first project at UCSD about ten years ago. Mike Cole is the founder of the 5th dimension and UClinks project.