Ulises Ali Mejias on “The Tyranny of Nodes”

http://ideant.typepad.com/ideant/2006/10/
the_tyranny_of_.html

The only reason I don’t recommend reading Ulises Ali Mejias’s Ideant is that you may never get back to work, so deep and thought provoking do I find his essays (calling them posts would seem a slight). But if you have the heart, head and time to have followed some of Stephen’s longer posts essays, then you must read these as well. These represent for me the two intellectual views on networks between which I currently vascillate (though careen would likely be the better word).

When Ulises writes in conclusion that while “self-interest might be a functional principle to organize networks … it might not be sustainable as the basis for a social ethics, which requires a degree of selfless engagement” he gives word to a fear that has been nagging me since I first heard Stephen disparage “networks of proximity” and have myself tried to give feeble voice to in posts like this one on Canada day and in conversation with other edubloggers. What I appreciate so much about Ulises’ piece as I read it was that it was not demonizing networks nor underplaying their power, but instead questioning what we lose in adopting them as a governing metaphor (and more, an actual organizing principle).

What I’m left with, though, is the same question I feel in the face of my children’s over-mediatized future, which is not how to make it go away, as I don’t think it ever will, but instead if there are ways in which we can adopt the technologies (and ways of being that we can adopt that aren’t on the network) to help us, if not evade, at least amend, this ‘tyrrany.’ Like I said, careening!!! – SWL

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Ulises Ali Mejias on “The Tyranny of Nodes”