ilteris kaplan blog

Understanding Networks

March 13, 2006

Upon discovering receiver, I have come across to an article by Mark Pesce which is quite interesting. In article, he tells how our use of networks breaks down into three eras and we are on the verge of the third one which is understanding networks.

First, we built networks to help us find information. Google is a great example of this: pop in a few keywords and get back all the matches to your search. Second, we are currently building networks to help us acquire knowledge. Knowledge is more than just information; knowledge is information plus context. Knowledge is information which has been sifted by human hands (or, more precisely, human minds), sorted, organized, and structured, so that the next person who comes along seeking knowledge can quickly and effectively absorb it.

And according to this technologist, philosopher and artist Mark Pesce, if knowledge is information plus context, understand is knowledge plus experience. Understanding is not data; it cannot be stored by a computer in any meaningful way. It resides within us, within the chain of experiences that makes us what we are. We can know a fact, but until we have lived through that fact, we have no understanding of it. Also one of the main properties of this approach is, the understanding should be dynamic, blogs as we see are first but static examples of those third era. According to the writer, this is the point where it comes to mobile.

This is rather an interesting point, I remember Josh Knowles was trying to build some kind of digital social network where every person writes his/her expertise and interest fields. So that if you need any help at that time, you would know whom you are going to contact with.

In his concept of a mobile digital social network he tells more in details with examples. Liverecord is a mobile java application which allows you to submit your quality tips to a backend server. The server could be accessed through top tips from your friends while you share your quality with them. This could be a growing system pretty quick if you make it to read a tip you should write a tip approach.

So I was thinking personally that, the social networks sites that I am connected, I am getting away from describing myself in my profiles. Not that I don’t like, I don’t like that fact that if I start to list I feel like I am getting restricted somehow. It could be the first cautious approach towards those applications, and what I perceive in general is, how much you explain yourself, you are getting that much response.

So this third era is also supporting that view. It is how much you express yourself, so that people can take the most out of from you although I see some flaws and dangerous points at that. This is more likely the potential ultrapost-consumer approach at some point if people realize that their experiences are learnt. It all comes to teacher’s ethics maybe.

Anyway it was an interesting read. It would be nice to test it with an example application based on textmessaging.

Written by Ilteris Kaplan who still lives and works in New York. Twitter