Legibility

Nov 22 / Network Capital
In the process of transforming ‘messy’ natural systems into ‘legible’ and codified processes, we tend to miss essential components of that system. This causes inherent failures and contradictions in the new legible process.

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Historically human curiosity and fascination has led to multi endeavours that attempted to decode natural systems and pro- cesses. It has informed our understanding of subjects like philosophy, mathematics, physics, etc. As our ability to understand natural systems grew, our interest in converting these ‘messy’ natural systems into ‘legible’ codified processes increased.

Today, legibility in one of the most crucial barriers in digitalization of any existing social process or natural system. For instance, social media platforms are essentially attempts to create neat systems and mechanisms of social interaction. Therefore, different social media platforms enable different forms and types of communication. Twitter makes us think quicker and formulate to the point ideas, Instagram makes us interact visually and Facebook is a combination of our status updates and information influx.

The digitalization of social interactions and interpersonal relations has created streamlined channels and formats of exchange. Determined by digital architectures, networks and algorithms, our online social interaction can be represented in the form of data and equation. However, by replacing our ‘messy’ system of social interaction, essential components that regulated communication have been missed. Instead, we have created echo-chambers of our own thoughts and scaled misinformation. Culture specific com- ponents of dialogue, debate and deliberations have not made their way online. Therefore, as we continue to take other natural systems like social interactions and transform them into legible structures, we need to be cognizant of the ‘messy’ pieces we ignore or leave behind.