Emerging nodes first

Glancing through the articles on the Knol page reminded me of the efforts in the late 1990s to massively organize the internet. As the internet became massively chaotic, organizing it faded from discussion. But I think the human mind is bent on organizing, and the thinking is still out there. Thinking will be more productive for using the internet if we recognize it as chaos from which order emerges. The order begins among nodes, not in grids or even perhaps a cloud:

Organizing the entire internet cannot be done, and efforts to do so can give artificial importance to obsolete or junk materials. Instead, we should get out of the way and let network laws vet and emerge the best materials.

For any topic at a particular time, only the best small pattern of understanding embedded in the network is important; everything else on the topic in the network is obsolete or junk. To be able to use the best stuff, our need is neither to organize the massive internet nor the repositories of data it contains. The need is to allow the best node for any topic to emerge dynamically, leaving the rest as stuff of the primary chaos.

Findability is key: nodes need to be able to find each other, and people need to be able to find the best nodes and patterns for their topic. A potent way to help emerge the best node is to have its creator optimize it to link into the patterns of cognitively related nodes that are enriched by the meaning the new node delivers. When they are thus optimized for findablity, only the best best nodes (webpages, charts, images) for any bit of subject matter are caused by network laws to connect into the global commons. All the rest can be ignored. When a better node for a topic comes along, it should and will replace older noes that it improves upon.

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