As explained in the introduction
to the first post in this series, it logs comments on my video
about TIMN. The introduction also explains how the posts are arranged, and how I’ve approached using commenters’ remarks. Readers should be mindful of the caveats I offered there about my presentation of those remarks and my replies.
This post logs comments that touched, explicitly or implicitly, on people’s space-time-action orientations. Thus, the comments relate to the other framework — dubbed “STA” — that this blog aims to advance. It is potentially as interesting and significant as TIMN. But I’ve not done much about STA so far — just a few early explanatory posts (e.g., here
), plus a post (here
) about activists’ spatial orientations in a series on the Occupy! movement.
Thus this post represents the most I’ve written trying to relate STA to TIMN. I’m thankful to the commenters for raising an opportunity to explore the connections. I’ve long known they are related; I just haven’t turned to work out the hows, whats, and whys.
TIMN and STA — intersections between two frameworks
A foresight strategist abroad — Eddie Choo
— wrote “wondering ... if TIMN had something to say about STA. All of the forms of social organizations are necessarily situated in space, time and action — all at different scales.”
I replied briefly at the time: Good observation about possible ties between TIMN and STA. I provide a preliminary answer in Sidebar #2 in a post a while ago about cognitive aspects of Occupy and related pro-democracy movements. Look for the sidebar and its table here
. I hope to say more about this someday.
Actually, here’s the table I referred to (click to enlarge):
Today I’d add the following: First of all, let’s not take the table too literally. Each of the entries should be viewed more as a tendency than an absolute. Consider the time-orientation row, for example. Yes, each form is weighted in the indicated direction. Yet that does not mean that the transition from biform T+I to triform T+I+M societies centuries ago was devoid of significant future orientations.
To see this, consider the Enlightenment concept of “progress” — so important for that transition. It stemmed from the fact that people began evolving new ways of thinking about social space, time, and action at that stage of European civilization. As I wrote in an earlier blog post
“In spatial terms, this long-ago phase in European civilization was characterized by a new attribution of value to the earthly secular order (apart from the sacred order of divine providence), by the expansion of the sociopolitical field to include masses as well as elites, by an increasing belief in the importance and equality of individuals, and by an increasing freedom of movement. These developments reshaped people’s perceptions of where they belonged and what they could do. ...
“The classical notion of time — that an eternally recurrent cycle ruled human affairs — gave way to the Christian conception of time, as expounded by St. Augustine. He broke with the closed-circle idea to propose that time consisted of unrepeated moments that extended along a line allowing for progressive development. In the Augustinian view, past, present, and future became different realms, and man's view of his condition could vary and change. This reconception meant that man was not locked into an eternal natural distinction between rich and poor, and that the future could be a realm of hope, opportunity, and innovation where an individual might overcome his past to create a new history. ...
“These reconceptions of political time and space combined with a new action orientation: a new belief that people could master their own affairs and shape their own destiny. The classical idea was relinquished that man must submit to a fate preordained by heavenly powers. ...
“Without these conceptual shifts in space-time-action orientations, my readings tell me that modern Western ideas of politics, progress, and revolution would be inconceivable. ...
“It is at this point that politics in the modern sense of the term begins, if we here understand by politics a more or less conscious participation of all strata of society in the achievement of some mundane purpose, as contrasted with the fatalistic acceptance of events as they are, or of control from 'above’.” (Mannheim, 1936, p. 212)
“Jewish and Christian millennialism was thus tamed, secularized, and transmuted into the modern liberal concept of progress, with its faith in the advance of knowledge, science and technology. England’s Puritan Revolution provided a key turning point. As Robert Nisbet elaborates in his History of the Idea of Progress (1994),
“there is the very closest of intellectual relationships between Puritan millenarianism in the seventeenth century and the efflorescence in the next century of the “Modern” secular idea of progress.” (p. 126)”
In other words, there are surely lots of connections between the TIMN and STA frameworks. The future evolution from triform to quadriform societies will entail even further shifts in people’s space-time-action orientations, making operating in the network form evermore distinctive from operating in the other three TIMN forms. (See the appendix for a little more background.)
TIMN and privacy — aspects of a spatial orientation
A cyber-security policy specialist inquired about “privacy in light of your TIMN advancement. How does it fit, what are its strengths and weaknesses, how does it play?”
My reply: Privacy is a hot topic that I’m just not knowledgeable about. Discussions about it involve lots of aspects and categories that I’m just not recalling. That aside, the question is about implications for TIMN. I’ve no particular propositions sitting around, and a quick search indicates that the only time I actually refer to privacy issues is in the cyberocracy-updated paper, in a sub-section about the growth of sensory apparatuses, as follows:
“The scope and scale of this apparatus are growing far beyond what government, business, and civil-society actors have ever had at their disposal or had to cope with. They will all be challenged to figure out proper designs for the kinds of sensory organizations and technologies they prefer — and proper ways to regulate them. Their growth has already sharpened issues about privacy and security, but it may also open new pathways for fostering transparency and accountability. How information is assembled and accessed, how issues and options are illuminated, how public and private forces are mobilized, and how oversight is achieved will all be affected.
“It has become standard fare to speculate that such apparatuses mainly benefit government and corporate actors, for good and ill. Less noticed, but we think equally likely and significant, is that the apparatuses will aid the rise of civil-society actors, by providing networked NGOs and NPOs with new tools not only for checking on the behavior of government and corporate actors, but also for participating in collaborative governance schemes with them. New mechanisms for attracting and combining diverse viewpoints under the rubric of “collective intelligence” could help foster this. So could the continued advance of principles favoring freedom of information, the right to communicate, and open access.” (source, pp. 44-45)
As I wonder about the TIMN progression, I don’t come up with a sense that privacy generally increases or decreases across the progression. Rather, I’d say that, as the progression advances, more and more actors chip away at personal privacy and even more at social privacy (if a distinction between personal and social privacy makes sense). Tribal societies don’t allow for much privacy. States and other hierarchical institutions keep trying to increase people’s “legibility” (to hark to James Scott’s famous point in his book, Seeing Like A State
). And then so do market actors. Many NGOs operating in networks are strong proponents of privacy, but a lot of NGOs also want to monitor state and market actors in ways that make them less private.
In other words, privacy seems increasingly a goner. There’s a good Wikipedia entry
on privacy that makes an interesting point: While we Americans value privacy, many cultures / societies don’t do so; they don’t even have a precisely equivalent term.
But maybe I’m missing something. It seems to me that, across all the TIMN forms, a lot depends on “walls” of one kind or another. After all, the first major technology for privacy is the home and its walls. As some walls get penetrated, can others be constructed? Also, for example, how may the interplay between surveillance and sousveillance affect whose privacy, and can there be a deterrence aspect to this? And what about this kind of point: I can now do something, for a while at least, quite privately with ease that not long ago would have been difficult, namely starting a YouTube channel where I can pose as an anonymous scat-singing “dawg” of sorts.
Since that reply, I’ve had no new ideas worth adding. But meanwhile I keep marveling, and fretting, at news about the rapid innovative growth in new surveillance and sousveillance platforms. A good blog to follow about this is Contrary Brin
, which takes a keen interest in transparency matters.
TIMN and archaeology — aspects of a time orientation:
A scholar blogger on cyber-security matters — Tim Stevens
— wrote after hearing in the video that TIMN represents an exercise in archaeology as well as futurology:
“One thing from this video really piqued my attention. At one point, you talk, methodologically, about archaeology. What do you mean? As an ex-archaeologist, one that is increasingly becoming aware of the value of the archaeological method to ‘non-archaeological’ problems, I’d be very interested to understand how you understand the archaeological process with respect to more than the material / physical record. I’m working on (should be working on) a paper, ‘(Im)material Culture: Future Archaeologies of Cyber Conflict’, for a big IR conference this fall. Would be very interested in your methodological / theoretical input with respect to such a thing.”
This led to a long exchange, which I’ve rearranged slightly for presentational purposes.
My initial reply: I’ve never thought much about what I meant by that remark, except to underscore that TIMN is as much about the ancient past as the far-fetched future. But two thoughts come to mind:
1. Archeology (in my meager understanding) is mainly about uncovering physical artifacts, like technologies, and assessing what they may reveal about the nature of long-past peoples / culture / societies. My TIMN point would be that forms of organization are, in a sense, technologies too. That’s what I’d suppose TIMN says to focus on. And of course archeologists have contributed a lot to analyzing early chiefdoms and states.
2. Archeology can also be about how the past lingers in the present and potentially beyond. What I’d have in mind here is the modern persistence of the tribal form, as in manifestations ranging from extreme nationalism and hyper-partisanship (including in the U.S. Congress and on right-wing radio and TV talk shows), to enthused car clubs and sports fans, not to mention urban street gangs and a lot of other stuff.
Yet, in fact, as I finally recalled a little later (aargh, my aging brain), I really had thought about what I meant and did have a reason for using the word “archeology”: to sustain my personal view that I am unearthing TIMN as something that has long existed but can only now be seen, and to avoid claiming that I am creating or inventing it afresh. It’s a mindset I prefer. (And I remain convinced it’s the right view to take.)
The commenter continued to elaborate on his concerns:
“I guess what I’m getting at with this paper is whether archaeology as a methodology has anything to offer with respect to something that is so often claimed to be immaterial or virtual. If archaeology is a method through which we can reconstruct historical processes in their material and immaterial dimensions, we should be able to apply it to something as hard to pin down as ‘cyber conflict’, as broadly construed (i.e. not just cyber war). I haven’t worked out how we can do this yet, but there is some rather fluffy work in ‘media archaeology’ to draw upon, some of whose protagonists are moving into something they call ‘network archaeology’, which is more concerned with material infrastructures and so on.”
My reply to this: I remain intrigued by notions I see now and then, including in reference to the conference you mention, about doing an “archeology of the future” or a “future archeology” of something or other, especially if it is immaterial. But the how/what/why keep eluding my mystified abilities. I’m not well read on Foucault, which doesn’t help.
One tack might be to imagine a museum in the future and posit the kinds of devices, material and immaterial, that may be found in it, and the range of conclusions, accurate and inaccurate, that may be drawn from them. Just a passing thought.
The commenter turned to offer more interesting observations:
“On future archaeologies, etc, yup, I share your mild befuddlement. I too see various references to this and wonder at the reasons why and the methodologies employed. The question I’m currently wrestling with is: why not history? The historical method is quite sophisticated (although I’m very poorly read in it, and I mean that quite honestly). The presence of material artifacts does not a priori lead to the adoption of an archaeological method instead of an historical one. However, I am interested in what happens if you do choose the archaeological path or — and I wholeheartedly agree with you on this — settle in to a mindset that might be described as ‘archaeological’. I think your metaphor of uncovering or unearthing is sound and, quite probably, not actually a metaphor at all, Or, at least, what is described as a ‘dead metaphor’.”
Furthermore, he commented:
“One thing I will say about archaeology is that — since the 80s/90s anyway — it has devoted a lot of attention to ‘time’, in a way that IR has not (so too, sociology and geography — some great literature on time). IR is mainly about history, which has its own disciplinary problems with time, and I’m seriously wondering what we could learn from archaeology that can help us look at the multiple temporalities that exist in the issues we look at. A major thrust of my research generally at the moment is challenging the notion of the ‘global now’, or what Castells calls ‘timeless time’, or David Harvey calls ‘time-space compression’. This is an almost Fukuyamaesque elision of reality in favour of a catchphrase. It relies on a narrative of capitalist time hegemony that, whilst some of the thesis is demonstrably correct, it ignores the other temporalities that continue to exist alongside it, whether these are individual, cultural, social, and so on. Just because we’re running around like headless chickens, bleating about the pace of life and suffering in ‘time poverty’, does not mean that everyone else is too, everywhere in this tiny world. Many different temporalities exist, even as they clash with one another (if they didn’t, there would be no ‘time poverty’, for example, in our own culture).
“So ... extend this notion of other temporalities to cyber conflict. The narrative is: everything happens so fast that we need some kind of super-OODA loop to combat threats in this environment (notwithstanding the usual misreadings of Boyd, of course). It’s a totalising narrative, the kind of thing that archaeology has largely ditched as it’s grown up as a discipline (think: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, etc). Like the old archaeological caricatures of past cultures derived from teleological notions of progress, a similar cosmology informs much of thinking about cyber conflict. I’d rather try and identify the various temporalities at work than to constrain all analysis within the ‘global now’ perspective. Something like Stuxnet is a great example of multiple temporalities: the time it took to develop; the timing of its deployment; how long it took to take effect; the time invested in human agents; diplomatic time; the temporal exigencies deriving from a possible nuclear Iran; the timing of Richard Clarke’s ‘outing’ of the US; and so on and so forth. To my mind, this is a far more interesting story than the standard narrative.
“Anyway, that’s kinda where I’m at right now. I think the time angle is an interesting one; I remain unsure whether an explicitly archaeological approach is warranted or possible but I’m going to give it some more thought ...”
I thought he made excellent points: I like the idea about examining different / multiple temporalities. It’s a keen theme for my “STA” interests, and I have lots of literature saved, but I never get around to it. Much of the lit is fraught with postmodernist writing that puts me off, but much interesting stuff too. As to your themes, I agree that Harvey’s space-time compression notion, while illuminating to a degree, is also insufficient, including in cyber domains.
Many hyped scenarios about cyber conflict reflect such space-time compression, as in scenarios about a sudden expansive “electronic Pearl Harbor” or “cyber-Armageddon”. But in fact, as you begin to note, two impressive cyber operations of the past couple years — Stuxnet and Flame — have been targeted (in space) and slow moving (in time). Likewise, the operations of some thieving botnets. Rather the contrary of Harvey’s claim, not to mention others.
And that ended our exchange. Subsequently I learned that his thesis is provisionally titled “Cyber Security and the Politics of Time.” Sounds interesting to me!
Thus our exchange wandered far afield, and we didn’t exactly focus on TIMN vis à vis STA. But the commenter’s points do indeed bear on how the rise of the network (+N) form raises all sorts of interesting questions about shifts in people’s time orientations.
A final thought: Trying to think about the kinds of time orientations that may characterize periods of radical uphheaval and transition is no mean matter. It can get quite complicated. And in reviewing attempts by various analysts, I’d advise including a look at one of the most dense explications about past, present, and future orientations: that by French sociologist Georges Gurvitch (1963, 1964).
He maintained that each social class, group, and sector in a society will tend “to operate in a time proper to itself” — so much so that he’d characterize social classes more by their subjective time orientations than their objective economic conditions. More to the point, he distinguished among eight kinds of social time, associating each with different historical eras, and different modes of political control and social structure. Of the eight, two — “time in advance of itself” and “explosive time” — seem pertinent to this blog post:
“7. ... I will mention what I shall call time in advance of itself . . . . The future becomes present. Such is the time of collective effervescence, of aspiration toward ideals and values, of collective acts of decision and innovation. Such also is the time of active masses and of the active and rebellious fusions and participations in them (communions actives et revoltees). This, at least in theory, is the time of the proletariat. ...
“8. Finally, as the eighth and last kind I shall point out explosive time, which dissolves the present as well as the past in the creation of the future immediately transcended. ... Such a time is that of collective acts of creation which always play some role in social life but which arise from beneath the surface and become open and dominant during revolutions. ... When it is real, explosive time places the global and partial social structures before complicated dilemmas, for it carries the maximum risk and demands the maximum effort to overcome it.” (Gurvitch, 1963, p.178)
Both types, but “explosive time” in particular, have a strong millenarian and apocalyptic tone, in which a future of all good things will burst into form following destruction of the present order. The substance of this future is only vaguely defined — but its moral worth is clear and beautiful. Indeed, the protagonists may be disinterested in detailed specification of the future vision, in part because they expect that moral forces alone will guarantee the results.
These are among the kinds of temporal cognitions that may be expected among people — including cyber terrrorists, at home and abroad — who believe that society has arrived at a critical juncture, that further decay is imminent, and that the prevailing order must be destroyed uncompromisingly. The calendar is explosive and destructive; it’s not the calendar — nor the narrative — of moderates and centrists, however visionary they too may be.
* * * * * * * * * *
I’ve decided to burden this post with a long appendix about spatial orientations. It’s from an unfinished third chapter — really a set of about ten chapters — that I evidently began drafting off-and-on during 2002-2007, with the intention of laying out the STA framework and using it to deconstruct terrorist mentalities. I don’t recall why I did not finish it — probably because of other matters (TIMN?) attracting my attention, and/or because of feeling overwhelmed by how much reading needed to be done in order to do a comprehensive write-up about STA.
This unfinished chapter may initially appear to be mainly about terrorist mindsets. But the extract I’ve selected is much more general in nature and touches on a variety of points that relate to TIMN — e.g., identifying an epochal shift from vertical to horizontal orientations.
In some respects, this material might make more sense as a stand-alone post about STA. But after all these years since I last looked at the draft, I’d have to edit it a lot to make it worth a stand-alone post, including by adding new readings to its references. I’m too far behind to do so. But I’m supposing that the part I’ve extracted is in good enough shape for this appendix, as a way to help show that there may well be all sorts of connections between TIMN and STA.
Chapter 3. SPATIAL ORIENTATIONS AND TERRORISM
[unfinished draft, circa 2007]
Of the three cognitive domains — space, time, and action — the one that receives the most attention in terrorism analyses is action, notably the preference for violence. Time orientations — as in an apocalyptic intent to obliterate the present — are often second in emphasis. Spatial orientations receive the least explicit attention. But my reading of points made by analysts, as well as by terrorists and by people who live in locales that produce terrorists, indicates that spatial antipathies and ambitions figure as strongly and distinctly in terrorist minds as do time and action. It is not simply a loss of hope (a time orientation) that accounts for despair and the turn to terrorism, but also a loss of connection to one’s identity and to what one values in the surrounding space. The loss of temporal hope derives from the loss of spatial connection.
In particular — and this is my theme — terrorists come to acquire a very enlarged sense of social space; and within it, they become keenly resentful about the boundaries and barriers that constrain their own and other people’s lives. They become intent on bursting beyond those boundaries and barriers, and they want none placed on their use of violence. Hiding underground and then exploding outward is, for terrorists, an epitomizing, spatial act.
Space in Ordinary Life and Social Theory
Note these common distinctions: I/you; us/them; inside/outside; here/there; up/down; right/left, front/back; near/far; center/periphery. And these: home/office; public/private; sacred/secular; local/global; on/off the field. Add scale: big/little. Add shape: round, square. Identify links: open/closed; connected/disconnected. Add motion: going in circles, a straight line. Categorize people into classes, religions, and civilizations. These are all basic ways of thinking about social space — and only a tiny portion of them.
People think every day about their place in the world, and everybody has a view about how the world, at least their world, is structured: about the objects and actors that populate it, their strengths and weaknesses, and the geography or architecture of relationships among them. People have a sense of how this affects what is important to them, and what they can or cannot do as a result.
Prosaic illustrations come to mind: A housewife oriented to family, community, and church in her locale may have a very different sense of social space from, say, a university intellectual whose horizons are global and glutted with distant institutions. A man-in-the-street who thinks politics and economics are separate and the “system” a disorganized mess has a different spatial sense from an ideological radical who believes that all powerful actors are bound together in a hierarchical, intrusive, conspiratorial system. Different spatial orientations also appear in a mystic who seeks to transcend everyday life by retreating into private religious realms, compared to a millenarian who yearns to publicly fuse heaven and earth — or in an ethnic warrior whose allegiance is to a tribe or a clan, compared to a professional soldier whose identity is tied to a nation-state.
Space remains a grand concept that rarely appears explicitly in political analysis. The study of social space and people’s perceptions of it has mainly arisen in writings of political philosophy (Emmanuel Kant, Henri Bergson), child development psychology (Jean Piaget), sociology of knowledge (Georges Gurvitch), and geography (which may be defined as the study of space and spatial relationships). But while space is not an easy term for political theorists to use, Sheldon Wolin’s Politics and Vision (1960, pp. 16-17) points out correctly that,
“By a variety of means, a society seeks to structure its space: by systems of rights and duties, class and social distinctions, legal and extralegal restraints and inhibitions, favors and punishments, permissions and taboos. These arrangements serve to mark out paths along which human motions can proceed harmlessly or beneficially. . . . [P]olitical space becomes a problem when human energies cannot be controlled by existing arrangements.”
Long before the details became so elaborate, man’s main spatial orientations were primarily vertical, especially in religious, philosophical, and political matters where the direction up meant sacred and powerful. Indeed, across the ages the vertical up/down orientation has exhibited a much pull stronger than left/right or front/back. Thus J. A. Laponce’s Left and Right: The Topography of Political Perceptions (1981, p. 70) points out that,
“[T]he vertical is, par excellence, the dimension that structures and orders, that which tolerates least disturbance, that which contains most of our invariant real knowledge about spatial location.”
In keeping with this tendency, Mircea Eliade’s The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion (1959) relates how primitive and archaic people who were religious yearned to create sacred spaces, walled off from chaos and profanity, that represented “the center of the Cosmos” and stood on vertical axes linking heaven, earth, and the underworld. Medieval thinkers too looked mainly upward and downward, to heaven and hell, while drawing sharp distinctions between physical space and spiritual space.
Then, between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, notes Lewis Mumford’s Technics and Civilization (1963, p. 20), “a revolutionary change in the conception of space took place in Western Europe. Space as a hierarchy of values was replaced by space as a system of magnitudes.” Thus began a new interest in horizontal orientations, which showed up in matters ranging from painting and mapmaking, to military technology (e.g., cross-bows as stand-off weapons), and the lateral spread of the enterprising workshop.
Horizontal political discriminations took hold later. According to Laponce (1981, p. 10), the major shift occurred with the French Revolution:
“Left/right entered the vocabulary of politics at the end of the eighteenth century during the French Revolution. As befits an egalitarian revolution the new horizontal dimension sought to replace the traditional vertical ordering used until then to relate the subject to his priest, his king, and his divinity.”
But vertical and horizontal orientations could not be fully separated. The persistent “dominance of up/down over the other spatial orderings and the greater valuing of what is high over what is low” (p. 69) meant that left became associated with down, and right with up. A century later, according to Stephen Kern’s The Culture of Time and Space: 1880-1918 (1983), technological innovations — the telegraph, telephone, wireless radio, and the airplane — caused further shifts in peoples’ perceptions of social space, bringing a new round in “the leveling of traditional hierarchies” and “a general cultural challenge to all outmoded hierarchies” (p. 315).
Vertical and horizontal distinctions have thus played strong roles in the history of peoples’ conceptions of space. But other configurations and dynamics are important as well. For people whose primary orientation is to family, clan, and tribe, a key spatial metaphor is the circle. David Pryce-Jone’s The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs (1989) pushes this point to its limits. Initially, the rise of the nation-state, capitalism, and “modernity” involved the idea of expanding outward from a controlling center, although today the spread of modernity is viewed less in terms of a core penetrating a periphery, and more as a matter of connecting the global and the local while avoiding fragmentation (Friedland and Boden, 1994, pp. 9ff.). Lately, for many information-age social activists and business actors, the key spatial design is the loose, sprawling, non-hierarchical network (see Arquilla and Ronfeldt, 2001). Meanwhile, the emergence of cyberspace has created a “virtual world” separate from the “real world.” Margaret Wertheim’s The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet (1999) finds this spells a revival of the Medieval distinction between spiritual and physical spaces.
Nowadays, many of the thinkers most taken with writing explicitly about space and place are social theorists who are categorized as postmodernists and critical social theorists. Their reference points include Gaston Bachelard, Henri Lefebvre, Michel Foucault, and Edward Soja. One key theme, identified mainly with Lefebvre’s The Production of Space (1991), is that producing something — be it a religion, an ideology, a new technology, or just a good story — creates space. A recent theme is that seeing things in terms of space has become more important, or at least as important, as seeing things in terms of time. The most famous (infamous) statement comes from Michel Foucault (1986, p. 24):
“The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. We are at a moment, I believe, when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersections with its own skein.”
This tendentious view overplays “the prominence of space” and “the distinction between Time and Space,” says Jon May and Nigel Thrift’s TimeSpace (2001, p. 1). Yet, some of today’s most serious social theorists — like Anthony Giddens (e.g., 1984) and Manuel Castells (e.g., 1996) — are devoting more attention than ever to spatial (as well as temporal) factors. And this is leading to insights. For example, past theorists saw space primarily in terms of the actors, objects, and structures comprising it, and secondarily in terms of the connections and flows among them. But now, as Manuel Castells’ The Rise of the Network Society (1996) observes, this ordering should be reversed. The information revolution, globalization, dense financial flows, and the rise of internetted global cities mean we should view the world in terms of
“a new spatial logic that I label space of flows. I shall oppose to such logic the historically rooted spatial organization of our common experience: the space of places. . . . [T]he space of flows . . . is becoming the dominant spatial manifestation of power and function in our societies.” (p. 378, ital. in orig.)
But how exactly should an analyst proceed to study people’s orientations to social space? What attributes and dimensions are important? Rather than focus on space per se, social-science studies of perception and behavior refer instead to the identity of the actors, the definition of the situation, the nature of the environment, the context of the scenario, and/or the structure of the system — terms that implicitly concern social space and an actor’s place and possibilities in it. A few explicit methodological notions have been fielded, notably in the 1960s and 1970s: notably, Hall’s “proxemics” (1966), Bachelard’s “topoanalysis” (1964), and Lefebvre’s “spatiology” (1991). In The Hidden Dimension (1966), Hall urges that proxemics be used for cross-cultural analyses of all “interrelated observations and theories of man’s use of space” (p. 101). Lefebvre (1991) proposes that spatiology (or “spatio-analysis”) focus on the production and uses of not only social but also physical and mental spaces. But these notions have yielded only passing references and footnotes. At times, “cognitive mapping” (see Downs and Stea, 1973, 1977) gained greater favor as a preferred way for anthropologists, psychologists, geographers, and urban planners to study spatial orientations — but this methodology too has had it ups and downs and not spread far.
In sum, the history of man’s spatial orientations is rich and varied — much more so than I discuss here. But the literature offers no preferred methods of analysis. In fact, most writers about social space do not attend to identifying well exactly what are the key dimensions.
Analytical Dimensions and Terrorist Orientations
My reading of the literature indicates that the basics include, or should include, as a minimum, an identification of the following:
Below I comment briefly on each. They could be discussed at length, but I must favor brevity in order to turn to discussing spatial orientations found among terrorists. [REMAINDER SNIPPED]
- The actors, objects, and structures — their identity, distribution, scope, and strength — defining the space.
- Connections and pathways that link them.
- Layout in terms of centers, distances, and horizons.
- Divisions, or partitions, into realms, domains, and layers.
- Organization of the above into whole systems.
 This list mostly contains dyads. Laponce (1981, pp. 19-20) points out that a dyad or a triad (with the third aspect often being the center of the other two) lies at the base of most systems of thought, born perhaps of the human tendency to observe contrasts and therefore pitch ideas in terms of dual categories and polar opposites.
I hope that this appendix is pertinent. It’s fascinating material for helping construct and validate the STA framework. But the focus of this blog post is still TIMN — and it involves STA only as it bears on TIMN. To get much out of this appendix, then, a reader will have to interpolate.