Advanced Work

Elso Kilpi questions the cultural metaphors that guide our actions at work and in society as belonging to an outmoded industrial era. Creative, knowledge-based work crosses traditional organisational boundaries: organisations are emergent self-organising processes. essay .

Kilpi envisions a future world where agency takes place within human relationships supported by technological intelligence, calling this Advanced Work. He gives the example of Gary Kasparov's rewriting of the rules of chess where humans can use computers to help them and so the best chess player morphs into the best assemblage of people and computers.

He also asserts the primacy of "programming" and "code":

The underlying capability of the creative era is programming to utilize technological intelligence. It is a change from using things to making things. Creating things for yourself and sharing them. Today the code is the main domain of creativity and innovations. It is a new language and the number one high leverage activity in the digital society.

If code means writing software in a language like JavaScript, then Kilpi's future world will exclude a large majority from participating in the "number one high leverage activity."

But programming is a broader term. In the Kasparov example, the chess players don't write the software that helps them play chess. Rather, they become expert users of that software who discover and apply methods of working with one another in a context enabled by that shared expertise. They are the "programmers" of that context. The "code" they write is a set of patterns and practices that govern working in that context.

Chorus of Voices outlines suggested ingredients for creative collaboration. The last section, Talk About Work, is meant to imply programming in the broadest and most useful form. Sentences that get things done.

Plugin Catalog suggests extending the three columns of the Factory menu with a fourth for independent plugins specific to needs of a neighborhood engaged in advanced work.