It’s just data

Intertwined Principles of Multicellular Computing

Steve Burbeck: In biology, the four principles stand together.  So should they in multicellular computing

I found the last paragraph jarring.  Why are “architecture” and “design” in quotes?

Upon further reflection, I think that Steve (perhaps without realizing it) is starting to explore an entirely new perspective.

Take the four principles as a given.  Intertwined-ness then becomes a meta-principle.  One of the contributors to the success of wikis is the syntax people use.  Similarly, HTTP without HTML (or vice versa) wouldn’t have taken hold.  Abstractions leak, deal with it.

A related meta-principles is emergence.  Wikis emerged from HTTP and HTML.

Another meta-somethingorother is symbiosis.  Google rank is an emergent property — it attracts parasites.  Stigmergy only works if it is to the benefit of each ant.  Capitalism only works if it is in the benefit of each person with cash in their pocket — and if there are laws to limit the affects of the most egregious parasites.

Perhaps another is autonomic.

Perhaps the next step is to flesh out some of these types of ideas, leading up to a “so... you are an "architect”.  How do these principles apply to you?"

Crucial to the success of wikis is the RecentChanges page (shades of autonomic?), and the revert button (die parasite die!).  This could be fleshed out into a case study, along with other subjects like Hailstorm, Amazon, UDDI, and iPods.