Thursday, May 20, 2004

How communities work?

: "Additionally, in many case studies, networks and swarms co-exist. The 'Battle for Seattle' is one case in point. On one level, there were the self-organized affinity groups of the protesters coordinated by Direct Action Network. This level involved a swarming of bodies at particular physical locations (intersections, roads, buildings). Yet, as numerous commentators have noted, this swarming would not have been as successful without the layer of networks that, in part, enabled protesters to coordinate their local movements. This layer was composed of mobile and wireless gadgets, police scanners, and even streaming video. Therefore, in this case there is a combination of swarming bodies with a network of data transmissions. Similar instances of the co-existence between swarms and networks can be seen in the biological domain. In ethology, the study of ant foraging involves not just the corporeal swarming of individual ants, but what enables the swarm to achieve its goal of finding a food source is the informational content of the pheromone trails. The laying of pheromone trails constitutes a network of data exchanges, which both communicates a message ('go this way') as well as enabling the swarm to achieve its overall goal. At an even smaller level, the study of antibody production in the immune system shows that, in addition to a swarming of antibodies and other enzyme co-factors, there is an informational network that exists through the signaling of molecules in relation to each other."

What is the common element behind all this activity? Trust. So the question begs itself: "What is trust? Is it related to belief? Are believers and unbelievers and non-believers all needed in this trust system?"

1 comment:

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