After writing yesterday's post, I decided that it might be a good idea to take a look and see if anyone else was using plasticity in the sense that I was trying to use it, or if there was an already established notion of plasticity that I'd be swimming upstream against.
Again, my notion of plasticity is: how changeable is the system in question balanced against the cumulative risk to the business of the change itself and the risk to the business of actually making the changes.
I found a couple links via Google. The first was from a paper submitted to a 2004 conference in Hamburg, Germany. It discussed the concept of a new widget type, "the comet", that would adapt its function based on the execution context. Not exactly what I was after. The second was a link to the same paper from a different source. Then, surprisingly, the third entry was my blog post from yesterday.
In the fourth position, was a blog page that was just a click through to the real article which was actually discussing the use of aspect oriented programming (AOP) and the concept of software plasticity. In reviewing it, this appeared to be more of a discussion of how to apply AOP as a debugging tool, rather than how to build and maintain a system in the context of keeping a business running and satisfying customers.
After that it seemed to get a little random, except for a link to a PDF on UI plasticity. The article referenced by the top link continued to show up an awful lot from a bunch of different sources as well. I took a look at Yahoo search and Dogpile. Came up with the same set of stuff.
From this survey, it seems like there hasn't really been a lot of thinking published on the web about the development effects of the plastic nature of software, and especially when evaluating plasticity within the context of business risk.
I guess I'll keep flogging it and see if anything useful comes of it.