Do you know networks? on leaving the Garden of Eden

Bonnie Stewart, , Feb 10, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It reads a lot like a TED talk (complete with a "here's the thing" expression near the end, pointing to a conclusion which isn't the main point of the post at all (but would make the people in the audience all feel comfortable ("Maybe it was the best we could do"))) but it has a good point right in the middle: "Things written in print are either finished or not. They do not blend into each other; they do not create webs. They create canons, privileging some over others and erasing the steps of their logic so as to make it all appear natural. They encourage us to see knowledge as finite and discrete; truth as singular, sanctioned... Books teach us implicitly that the culmination of writing as an act of communications is a product, not a conversation; a finite rather than a fluid thing. Books teach us that the one speaks to the many, but the many cannot speak back and be heard." And maybe that's why I've always been uncomfortable with the world of publishing, because I definitely don't think of the world in this way.

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