Keith Hart on Tue, 17 May 2005 14:57:59 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Ghost in the Network

>In discussing the difference between the living and the nonliving,
>Aristotle points to the phenomena of self-organized animation and
>motility as the key aspects of a living thing. For Aristotle the
>"form-giving Soul" enables inanimate matter to become a living organism.
>If life is animation, then animation is driven by a final cause. But the
>cause is internal to the organism, not imposed from without as with
>machines. Network science takes up this idea on the mathematical plane,
>so that geometry is the soul of the network. 

>Unplug from the grid. Plug into your friends. Adhocracy will rule.
>Autonomy and security will only happen when telecommunications operate
>around ad hoc networking. Syndicate yourself to the locality.

I wasn't sure until the end if these guys were on Aristotle's side or 
not. But their resounding call to "stop the world, I want to get off" 
makes it clear that they share his reactionary conservatism. It is worth 
recalling that the great philosopher was tutor to the leader of those 
Macedonian thugs who finally pulled the plug on the first millennium 
BC's drive towards urban commercial civilisation and was the godfather 
of catholic apologists for the military agrarian complex like Aquinas. 
European socialism has long been in thrall to their anti-market ideology 
and this repudiation of an open source approach to network society is no 

Incidentally, graph theory has been pronounced out-of-date by the 
sources they cite -- for its assumptions of stasis, randomness and 
atomism which can't make sense of network growth with preferences.

Keith Hart

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