Some slight background:
I have been thinking about the architecture for a particular web site that
needs to be highly available. I started following Randy Shoup's work at eBay,
and the general papers at highscalability.com, which are great.
I studied Literary Theory in graduate school, which meant reading a lot of philosophy.
My favorite was Derrida and deconstruction. I also loved Deleuze and Guattari,
in particular Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus.
So I was thinking about how my work has changed since that time, and could I not
incorporate some of this continental French theory of subjectivity to software
Miko Matsumura asked on Twitter whether we should think about Business Assemblies rather
than SOA Governance. This made me think of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's idea
of the Assemblage.
In short, I started thinking about a new kind of software architecture.
Architecture based around the subjectivity of applications.
We build software today as if the application subject is a Cartesian dualist from 500
years ago. I understand that I'm not supporting that statement now.
We build what Deleuze would call "aborescent" software, based on "the oldest and
weariest kind of thought". (See http://www.capitalismandschizophrenia.org/index.php/Arborescence. The diagram even looks like a standard 3-tier web deployment diagram!)
But what would software look like if the subjectivity of the applications was conceived
as rhizomatic, as lines of flight, as a body without organs, following Deleuze--
instead of reflecting a classical conception of unified Man?
This needs to be worked out, of course. This is only a log of initial thoughts.
But I think it would have these properties:
* Becoming & Multiplicity: A multiplicity consists of singularities
that synthesize into a “whole” by relations of exteriority. We (applications) are an
assemblage of multiplicities which is constantly emitting particles which enter and
transform other multiplicities, and which is constantly swallowing up particles from
other multiplicities, which in turn change us (applications).
* Lines of Flight: the dynamic, creative and unpredictable (rhizomatic) connection that
is drawn between one multiplicity and another.
* Body Without Organs (BwO): "It is nonstratified, unformed, intense matter,
the matrix of intensity, intensity=0 ...
Production of the real as an intensive magnitude starting at zero."
I think it would follow the principles of a Rhizome (http://www.capitalismandschizophrenia.org/index.php/Rhizome):
Connectivity – the capacity to aggregate by making connections at any point on and within itself
Heterogeneity – the capacity to connect anything with anything other, the linking of unlike elements
Multiplicity – consisting of multiple singularities synthesized into a “whole” by relations of exteriority
Asignifying rupture – not becoming any less of a rhizome when being severely ruptured, the ability to
allow a system to function and even flourish despite local “breakdowns”, thanks to deterritorialising
and reterritorialising processes
Cartography – described by the method of mapping for orientation from any point of entry within a
"whole", rather than by the method of tracing that re-presents an a priori path, base structure or
Decalcomania – forming through continuous negotiation with its context, constantly adapting by
experimentation, thus performing a non-symmetrical active resistance against rigid organization
Diderot asks this: how is it possible to imitate the Romans if the Romans didn't
have any Romans to imitate?
More to come....
Source for definitions, see: