WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NETWORKS MEET "THE LOGIC OF HUMAN DESTINY"?
Here's a thought that occurred to me while writing the previous post
Humans have been organizing themselves into complex social networks simce they emerged from the stage of tiny hunter-gatherer bands. They did so " naturally" and unconsciously without understanding how this pattern mirrored that of other complex systems. Complex networks
is a young field, not having only started until the late 1990's but the promise and potential therein for heightening our understanding of the world is nothing short of vast.
Now that principles of scale free
and small world
networks are begining to be recognized, it is inevitable that this knowledge will in turn affect our behavior to an increasing degree. There are already attempts to understand networks in terms of terrorism
and military strategy
and these efforts to exploit this information in order to reap a comparative advantage will only proliferate, perhaps exponentially. In other words, as complex network theory meets cultural evolution
, humans will attempt to consciously " steer" the evolutionary devlopment of social and, eventually, biologically engineered networks.
The most likely and frequent social outcome of ' steering" will simply be the creation of semi-hierarchical modules within larger networks for reasons of utility (i.e. a decentralized, regional, fire department still needs a specialized bomb squad or CBR WMD team). On the other hand, "steering" of network formation might be very much like the " pruning" of neuronal connections in the human brain
, as the nonzero sum logic of cultural evolution
begins to drive applications of complex networks, creating possibly dramatic systemic changes in our political and economic worlds.
Or, to take a page from Ray Kurzweil
, our own evolution as a species