Mapping values

Values within the design of distributed systems are a push and pull between transparency, traceability, security and privacy. Human values are very much bound to location oriented, says van Splunter. If they build something, it is on a specific location. If you design something on a computer and you do it in the right format, you can send it off to others. So values and trust in a human environment are different than in a computer environment.

Human cultural values are bound to locations and easily in the global network environment, overgrowing national boundaries, clashes happen on issues of privacy, data retention, control and monitoring. From a law perspective it is a challenging and interesting environment. Van Splunter argues that values of systems are very much defined by the political and economical cultures within which they function. On the other hand, individuals have access to the whole network and can get around some parts of these political and economic structures.

When designing complex systems, keeping the system understandable is a value as well. Otherwise you cannot use or maintain it. From an adaptation perspective, simplicity may be a value, according to van Splunter. You want to understand the relation of a program or small subset to its environment, to understand the effect of an adaptation, which is difficult to grab. So simplicity might help to abstract the main points for which that part is designed and to identify the basic aspects that need to be retained. An issue of adaptation is to mapping between human values (what behaviour would they like) and technical values (what are the technical constraints).