Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ What does a Connection do?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Sometimes I'm pretty metaphorical; it's my preferred mode of thinking, and I enjoy painting pictures in my mind. But other times, such as in the present inbstance, I am a lot more literal. This is because I see the metaphorical descriptions of something pretty basic as grasping and some sort of, well, metaphorical straw in an attempt to create something more of something thast there is there. The question is, "what does a connection do?" To me it makes no sense to start evoking images of "units of control" or "units of choice" or "eliminate a duality". All kinds of things have to be true for these accounts to make sense: the nodes have to be sentient, connections have to be intentionally established, signals through them have to be complex and semantically laden. No, accounts like tyhis are nothing more than the crafting of a mythology. A connection is a link between two entities such that a change of state in the first can result in a change of state in the second. When you start to say more than that, you are attempting to import the properties of an entire network into a single connection, which is an illicit inference.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 26, 2024 6:30 p.m.

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