Monday, April 17, 2006
Enterprise Architecture and the Wisdom of the Crowds
What key criteria separate wise crowds from irrational ones?
- Diversity of opinion: Each person should have private information even if it's just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.
- Independence: People's opinions aren't determined by the opinions of those around them.
- Decentralization: People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
- Aggregation: Some mechanism exists for turning private judgments into a collective decision.
Lao-tzu declared that those who declared that those who justify themselves do not convince that to know truth one must get rid of knowledge and that nothing is more powerful and creative than emptiness - from which men shrink. Here, then, could one aim of enterprise architecture is to show backwards-fashion what must be destroyed.
Many folks attempt to codify acquired software development wisdom by describing a software development process (aka governance and reference architectures) kinda like how to bake a cake. Wisdom of the crowds may suggest that enterprise architects think of this as "backward" law. When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink you float. When you hold your breath you lose it - which immediately calls to mind and an ancient and much neglected saying, "Whosoever would save his soul shall lose it."