michael on the crazy of networks

Michael Garfield on the crazy of networks

via jon fb share – 10 min read – jun 2020 – We Will Fight Diseases of Our Networks By Realizing We Are Networks: [https://medium.com/@michaelgarfield/we-will-fight-diseases-of-our-networks-by-realizing-we-are-networks-7fa1e1c24444]

The systems we use to encode expertise tend to depend on relatively slow processes of collective computation and don’t typically work as measures of an individual’s actual extra-institutional networks or their ability to respond to novelty. Organizations and metrics tuned to slow and stable periods that favor efficiency and specialization tend to suppress generalists and improvisation.

In these times we have to make the uncomfortable choice to listen to the marginal perspectives that are far enough from settled facts to draw connections others don’t; the very individuals and institutions that we *can’t afford to listen to in periods of equilibrium that favor narrow specialization and economies of scale.. only a child see’s the emperor without his clothes.. t

*think we can’t

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
– Hunter S. Thompson

A PhD does not encode your level of intelligence, your aptitude at making sense; it is a signifier of the social networks in which you’ve been embedded, and only as a proxy what you may have learned from them..t

intellect ness

supposed to’s of school/work.. making us like whales in sea world

When the media environment was printed books and journals, modern selves were the repositories of this information, and expertise had a different constitution than it does when the pace of publication climbs toward vertical and even experts can’t keep up with the required reading of their specialty.

literacy and numeracy both elements of colonialism/control/enclosure.. we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things

This matters when confronted with a novel situation for which prior models do not fit the evidence, when the state of the environment mutates more quickly than the collective computation of the primate hierarchies in which we are embedded can aggregate and crunch our local measurements..t

time to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra

The U.S. Constitution was devised when letters could be carried by a horse and news was not updated by the hour. Universities evolved within an informational ecology that didn’t obsolete diplomas faster than they could be printed. The latencies built into systems that grew fat in stable periodsmake those legacy institutions and their pundits unreliable amidst a turbulent transition.

“Is there a doctor in the room?” is insufficient when the problem is distributed so widely, and its nature indeterminate and mutable enough, that no one has the training to perform a diagnosis.

not to mention costello screen service law.. et al

When education has to break the bones of standardized curricula and move to teaching students lifelong learning habits, how to be good infovores, their curiosity more crucial than some static and soon-overturned conclusive knowing…

let’s just go there.. let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

But precisely for these reasons, we may have a chance to turn and face the strange.

 in history-shaping punctuations in which tested maps are useless we’re advised to seek out people that the social climbers of mature societies regard as crazy..t

crazywise et al

entropy ness

This is why jazz emerged out of the trauma of the First World War; sheet music for the symphony of modern progress was a joke, and multicellular improvisation reared its hydra heads to make new sense of a brave new world and its radical meaninglessness.

improv et al

This is a test of our ability tofind the others— not the ones who see the same world we’re habituated to perceive, but those for whom a different history yields usefully different insights. Find those with different priors.


To do this, we will have to counter this pathology of our unconsciously constructed networks, systems made of presumptively unchanging atomistic human beings and solid axioms, with the deliberate assembly of novel networks made of humans-becoming and disposable hypotheses: a do-ocracy of those who can address the problems that we have now, whomever we may think they are.

ie: let go of the science of people/whales in sea world

It seems appropriate that we have calculus because of Isaac Newton’s “Annus Mirabilis,” his year of wondrous discovery while cooped up in quarantine as Cambridge shuttered through the Plague of London: “Who do we trust?” means not just measuring first-order properties of somebody’s CV, their intellectual velocity, but second-order properties of whom they’re capable of learning from, their intellectual acceleration. It means not only finding values for authority by integrating linear CVs, but over multiple dimensions of experience and how they interact — not only what a person learned in schools or former jobs, but in their lives outside of institutions and in ways that “key performance indicators” have yet failed to capture.

and even deeper.. we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things

It’s going to require stereoscopic thinking that can train both quantity and quality on a phenomenon, to see the optical illusion of identity as both a particle and wave, a noun and verb, a self and an adaptive web of algorithms.

zoom dance ness

What we will be when we emerge will only superficially resemble what we were. We will have found new ways to measure merit, hiring metrics that look more like contact tracing, peer review by tenure-less communities collaborating to confirm impermanent and open-ended knowledge within tolerable margins of uncertainty.

let go ..deeper .. of any form of measuring/accounting

You will not have the privilege of knowing who you are or whether to believe the news with total confidence, but that will save your life..t

curiosity over decision making.. ie: cure ios city

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows