On my way to the airport I was listening to a podcast on trans-human thinking. More of that (and the reference) later in the week. However one thing struck me. There was a description of the way in which humans have evolved to live in families and tribes. This included thoughts on altruism, and the way that we manage new meetings. Fascinating stuff as well on the way we punish people who do not pull their weight. It occurred to be that the blogosphere is much closer to that tribal, family based form of living in which obligations and transparency are a key part. Maybe that is why it works? I think it is also the reason why I am resisting (on another list serve) any attempt to say that a hierarchy is a network. It seems to be that networks evolve, they are emergent, while hierarchies are designed. In effect that are enforced stabilities (and useful as such) whereas networks are fluid. In a hierarchy the entity is the prime unit, the linkages secondary; in a network the linkages are prime, the entities secondary and fluid.
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