Monday, March 17, 2008


The workshop last week on documents, mediation and presentation was mostly related to examples of state policy on immigration and terror. It turned out that the chance of being blown up on a flight is less than one in a million so discourse theory is a reasonable way to explain the theatre at airports. Also the number of terrorists arrested so far on the USA / Mexico border is reported as zero.

However I still think that danger could be real. Also that there is something that could be explained as a "knowledge economy" or something like it. And that the word "quality" has a meaning. There is such a thing as rhetoric to support a neo-liberal project, but this is not a way to explain everything.

I realise I am repeating more or less the same points every so often but there is a benefit in testing ideas so trying to connect with academic conferences is worth a try sometimes. I am not sure what a "paper" is, now that the web allows versions to exist at different times. Still, I have managed 300 words more or less on topic.

This blog post can be edited so will have more links later


current version, deadline 15 April

Possible thread- Distributing protection and 'Safe Living'

Search results, documents, and integrated management

Documents can be part of a process with a scope that includes safety. Web search can be a source, probably with a wider range than an academic library. The paper considers the possibility that danger can be real.

Standards for health and safety compete for the attention of senior policy makers. They can be audited and reviewed together with other standards. Comparisons can be made with studies on quality policies. Academics have concentrated on “quality” as a discourse. Wilmott and Wilkinson describe the word as “meaningless”.

Even if the management procedures described in standards are seen as an imaginary there is still a question as to how organisations learn or otherwise change behaviour over time.

One area to concentrate on is security around mobile communications. There is currently a trend for material promoting security software to present social networking as a danger. How to balance this with the benefits of web access will be considered taking an internet cafe as a case study. A PayPal account was compromised during 2007, evidence that danger can be real.

The style of presentation is intended to be as close to a workshop as possible. The paper could be combines with others in a session. Reference will be made to two scripts for film fiction. One deals with the difficulties for practitioners in maintaining a focus on a project while relating to the “critique” concerns of academics. The other covers a security catastrophe intended to focus on responses seen in the context of organisation.

The presentation will conclude by looking at a Swicki, a search engine using a social approach associated with Wikis. It will be claimed that documents can be part of a management process, possibly contributing to safety.