Groups and Networks

Stephen Downes, [Sept] 25, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes




It wasn't of any particular interest to the people at the conference in Auckland but this drawing represents my major take-away from the last week travelling (with a group) about this country. I drew it during the small group sessions, when I was left on my own. There is also a video. The drawing depicts the often unnoticed assumptions that inform our understanding of groups, inform our sometimes slavish devotion to groups, and shows how these contrast with my own understanding of how interaction ought to occur, in networks. It's not just a web theory (though it is that), it is a theory about life and society in general.


Anyhow, I'm done with the travelling road show. I'm taking a bus to Wellington tomorrow - 11 hours, so there will be no newsletter, probably. I have a preconference session Wednesday and a keynote on Thursday. I have Friday off, and then on Saturday I fly home. I have a few talks in October and nothing booked after that. I don't think I'll be taking any more bookings, at least, not for a while. My intent now - which I actually formed in an airport waiting area in Joburg minus a ticket and passport - is to go home and, after I have dispensed my remaining speaking obligations, to (figuratively) go away and do some writing. I want to get some things down on paper, to do the writing that I always knew I'd do one day in my life.

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