There's a point Michael Ayers makes that is critical for all dialogue and
not just the anonymity factor nor groupware. He says,
> And to cull the genuinely
> good (or useful or whatever) ideas, we may have to spend considerable time
> filtering out the ideas which turn out to be essentially noise cluttering
> the soundscape.
What I want to do is register a positive possibility of "noise".
Information theory suggests that ambiguity and noise are part of the
process. Frequently, what is "noise" will not be known until after the
fact. We can put narrow limits on a dialogue - say a specific intention -
and then apply immediate judgement such as "is this noise or isn't it".
If we take this course, we will allow no room for development of what at
first appears noise but was merely ambiguous. If we wait only until the
dialogue is complete, we may have found the whole conversation to be
The point is that without noise in the system - and often quite a bit of
it - there will be little creativity, innovation or even opportunity for
full expression of each participant. (Your logic or important point is
frequently my noise - and vice versa.)
It's this "noise" that is the source of dialogue itself. The noise that
is cluttering the landscape *after* a dialogue may have been the most
important part of getting to the result that was produced.
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk