The same mathematics of networks that governs the interactions of molecules in a cell, neurons in a brain, and species in an ecosystem can be used to understand the complex interconnections between people, the emergence of group identity, and the paths along which information, norms, and behavior spread from person to person to person. –James Fowler
The Internet has become our global data ecosystem. It is an evolutionary force in the speciation of humanities’ communication and computation infrastructure. As a result of the ease with which data of all types flows around the global, and with the increasing connections made to this data on a daily basis, our species is on the verge of seismic and profound changes. In just a few decades, the Internet has grown like a developing nervous system, transcending national boundaries, shrinking geographic distances, dissolving geopolitical barriers, and binding many of us together into a single, global network. If allowed to continue its course unshackled by shortsighted power players, then it may become humankinds most powerful, liberating, unifying, and transformational force. –-Who Should Own the Internet?
Manuel De Landa: “There are, however, other structure-generating processes which result in decentralized assemblages of heterogeneous components. Unlike a species, an ecosystem is not controlled by a genetic program: it integrates a variety of animals and plants in a food web, interlocking them together into what has been called a “meshwork structure”. The dynamics of such meshworks are currently under intense investigation and something like their abstract diagram is beginning to emerge.
It is a principal aspect of the electric age that it establishes a global network that has much of the character of our central nervous system. [...] Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don't really have any rights left. —M McLuhan