Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I was wrong about networks

Mar 27, 2019

I'm not sure what to make of this article. It feels like he is having his 'groups versus networks' moment. He writes, "Networks are ephemeral. Systems exist to preserve. Systems exist as predictive agents. It's hard to control people in networks - they have too much agency, they can do what they want. The lack of controlability makes it difficult to achieve intended outcomes in networks. When agents want a clear outcome, they turn to systems. Systems preserve power." He still likes networks. But he concludes, "all connections and networks occur within a system. The system sets the rules for connection forming and for action capabilities available to individuals. And the system always wins."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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