Lovink and Schneider: ‘Notes on the State of Networking’

Geert Lovink and Florian Schneider explore concepts that are very germane to social media in “Notes on the State of Networking.”

They argue the following:

  • The goal of networking is to free the user from the bonds of locality and identity.
    Flexible attitudes, fluid differences are at play in networking.
    You can’t model, or freeze the network in time. (Here we see echoes of Deleuze and Guattari’s “Rhizomatics.”)
    Networks often start as novel and exciting, but then flatline. They must at some point become a body capable of sustained existence.

Friendster and MySpace followed this arc. Friendster completely collapsed, whereas MySpace was able to achieve some level of sustained existence. How, though, did Facebook surpass them, and will Google+ be able to last beyond the phase of novelty?

This blog includes a series of posts that stem from readings and other source materials in the Fall 2011 “Collaboration in Networked Environments” at The New School. For more Collaboration: Key Concepts posts, click here.

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Deleuze and Guattari: ‘Rhizomatics’

This is a seminal work for theories of multiplicities and networks.

In “Rhizomatics,” Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari revel in the chaos of of multiple, ever-evolving, non-hierarchical connections. They essentially are saying, “The more, the better.”

At the “root” of this is a perspective that turns away from traditional, rooted hierarchies. Instead of viewing a field of thought or the connections between concepts as branches that extend from a common trunk, Deleuze and Guattari view them as interconnected, nodal networks. Rhizomatics are these multiplicities. In a rhizomatic network, connections can regenerate when severed. Links and nodes come and go. There is no unity that grows out of this. Instead, we are left with a magnum opus of multiple connections and meanings.

“The world has become chaos.”

This blog includes a series of posts that stem from readings and other source materials in the Fall 2011 “Collaboration in Networked Environments” at The New School. For more Collaboration: Key Concepts posts, click here.