Disorder and Management: Approaching Computer Software Through Lao Tzu, Heraclitus and Gorgias

  • Jonathan P. Marshall


We live within a time of intense flux and unpredictable change. It is doubtful whether our techniques of management deal with such times very well, as they tend to look for eternal truths and forms of action and control. This paper asks whether our situation might be improved by looking to pre-Platonic philosophical sources for guidance; in this case the writings of Lao Tzu, Heraclitus and Gorgias. After exploring this background the paper considers the ways that people manage software installations, as these are exemplars of chaotic systems with unintended and often disruptive effects. The conclusion is that these ancient philosophers have something to say to us about the way our attempts to create order actually create disorder. Order and disorder are not opposites which negate each other, but are intertwined in an ‘order/disorder’ complex.


Requirement Engineer Longe Work Liar Paradox Ancient Philosopher Software Installation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social and Political ChangeUniversity of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia

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