The inquiry into “Collaborability” is about creating a theory on human collaboration. Humans predominantly collaborate with tools involved. We are not the only species to use tools but we have created a world around us filled with tools, based on tools. Humans are living totally symbiotic to their tools. We as individuals, in all the variety of groups we are part of and collaborate in but also as a society are highly dependent on them. We are as dependent on our tools as we are dependent on others.
I consider tools in the broadest sense of the word. Tools extent our human abilities. Sometimes the tools are a prerequisite for collaboration, sometimes they facilitate it, and sometimes they are involved “by accident”; tools are enablers, accelerators and catalysts. Tools are at the same time the product/result of collaboration and serve as a means for collaboration.
Tools are contractions of knowledge: of the tool, its use, is creation, production, distribution, innovation etc. The tools themselves – as an expression of our knowledge and abilities – evolve and have an impact on collaborability. Developing the tooling and specialisation are correlated.
It is not that easy to define a clear demarcation between humans and their tools. The physical human body could be used as a demarcation. But we implant tools in to our bodies; defibrillators, artificial kidneys, and we are now starting to experiment with brain implants. Secondly we humans are much more then our body alone, if we consider the mind as not being part of the physical body (albeit a produce of the brain which is part of the body).
Our human minds are not static as we see ourselves changing due to exothought, exomemory etc. The boundaries between humans and our tools are blurry. The symbioses of humans and their tools has neurological backgrounds.
We need to regard our tools – as they embody a potential to collaborate – as part of the collaborability model; both as containers of collaborability – for they help us to collaborate – but more and more the way we as individuals act and think, how we collaborate in and between groups groups and how society are designed, governed and policed are tailored to the very tools we use.