Networks...

Various authors, Feb 17, 2004
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A moment...
CRLFGive me (lever and) a place to stand, and I will move the world.

CRLF

The network seeks its own balance.

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Not a posteriori, not a priori; in the moment.

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Quality, quantity, moment.

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To perceive a moment, one must be outside space and time. A forest perceived only by seeing more than the trees, a wave perceived only by seeing more than the droplets of water. The moment is created not by types of entities, or numbers of entities, but combinations of entities. Moments are emergent.

CRLF
the circuits of communication are the supports of an accumulation and aCRLF centralization of knowledge; the play of signs defines theCRLF anchorages of power; it is not that the beautiful totality ofCRLF the individual is amputated, repressed, altered by our socialCRLF order, it is rather that the individual is carefully fabricatedCRLF in it, according to a whole technique of forces and bodies.
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The concept of the arbitrary nature ofCRLF the imaginary representation of the real conditions of existence...

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Individuals grow, replicate, interact and create the network; the network seeks balance; this interplay creates patterns of perception, emergent phenomena, moments; and these exert a non-causal influence on individuals as we attempt to interpret that which we cannot comprehend.

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If we were to imagine the internet as a global mind, how would we determine what it was thinking? Not by examining any individual website, or even every website, but by looking for the patterns, the standing waves, the moments. And if we were to seek a single one of the internet's thoughts, how would we look? We would not seek through individual neurons, but would depend on the mind to organize itself, and tell us.

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The pixels on the screen have no causal power, but the image on the screen can make you run and hide, or jump for joy. We must learn to perceive, to use, the internet in exactly the same way, as a self-organizing network.

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