Let's break down the sentence "In the context of sociotechnical systems (STS) and small-scale sustainable businesses, the term (HGT) may not directly apply."

  1. HGT and Sociotechnical Systems (STS):

    • Social Attribute Clarification: In the context of sociotechnical systems, the term "HGT" is generally associated with biological processes involving the transfer of genetic material among organisms. The social attribute here refers to the fact that, in traditional biological terms, HGT doesn't directly involve human social systems or technological components.

    • Knowledge as a Social Attribute: Knowledge, on the other hand, is indeed a social attribute, especially in the context of STS. The knowledge exchange, learning, and collaborative practices among individuals are critical social components within sociotechnical systems.

  2. Why Biological HGT Might Be Far from STS:

    • Differing Domains: HGT primarily operates in the biological domain, focusing on the transfer of genetic material between living organisms. Sociotechnical systems, on the other hand, are more concerned with the integration of social and technical elements in human-designed systems.

    • Knowledge Focus: While knowledge is a key aspect of both biological and sociotechnical systems, the specific knowledge related to HGT in the biological context might not be directly applicable to human-designed sociotechnical systems.

    • Human-Centric Approach: Sociotechnical systems, especially in the context of small-scale sustainable businesses, typically prioritize a human-centric approach. The focus is on social and technological innovations that address human challenges, such as sustainable practices, community engagement, and economic viability.

    • Environmental Impact vs. Societal Impact: Biological HGT primarily addresses genetic diversity and adaptation in natural ecosystems. In contrast, sociotechnical systems in the context of small-scale sustainable businesses often prioritize societal impacts, economic sustainability, and community well-being.

    • Learning and Operational Challenges: While entrepreneurs in sustainable businesses can benefit from ecological knowledge, the operational application of biological concepts like HGT may be challenging. It requires specific expertise and might not align directly with the day-to-day operations of small businesses.

In summary, while the concept of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a valuable biological phenomenon with potential applications in addressing biodiversity and climate concerns, its direct relevance to sociotechnical systems (STS) and small-scale sustainable businesses might be limited. The focus within STS is on human-designed systems, social dynamics, and technological innovations that directly impact human societies and environments. Knowledge, as a social attribute, remains a crucial component within sociotechnical systems, but it often pertains to areas directly relevant to human activities and societal challenges.