Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
This is a really important point: "The networked seminar is not, or not just, a set of nested self-similar iterations of the same idea." For one thing, "one may find that the inner or "smaller" nodes are actually every bit as large as the complete aggregation, and in many cases even larger." Now this is a difficult thing to visualize if you think of networks as though they were like collections of physical objects. I experience this a lot when reseraching online - and pretty much anyone has had the experience of following a simple link only to find oneself being led down the rabbit-hole, never to return. The main discussion turns out to be a small branch of the offshoot to the main discussion!

I wouldn't say it's all weird - it's just topology - but it sure is interesting. Campbell writes, "Bush's idea of folded-in-associative-trails gets at this phenomenon, though he doesn't explore it as fully as I'd like. For me, this folding-within, up and down the scale until scale itself acquires paradoxical meanings, is where the going gets really, really good. I mean quantum good."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 10:20 a.m.