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15 April 2011

To Design or Not to Design (Part Five): Doctrine and Design: How Analogies and Design Theory Resist the Military Ritual of Codification

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Author: Ben Zweibelson

Editor’s Note: This essay is part five of a six part series on design.

Introduction: The invention of writing made standardization and conceptual control of information both possible and necessary as human civilizations passed experiences and values from one generation to the next. “Writing makes possible the codification and systemization of assertion, and hence the birth of doctrine.” 3 Doctrine originally fused religious ritual with the exclusivity and power of literacy. The educated minority subsequently created effective models for controlling human action, and through both access and knowledge of codified information, limit how the majority could deviate from them. “Ritual…does not succumb to rational argument, erected in favor of political or economic expedients. Religious ritual blunts rational objections in exactly this way.” 4 Ontological synthesis of doctrine for this article aims towards the scientific and historical aspects of the doctrinal process instead of ideological values.

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