The "Centralised aims through decentralised means" thinking that captures me tonight, comes from George Siemen's Connectivism Blog post: Knowing before Doing?
Siemens' post was a catalyst for a recurrence of that Jaron Lanier induced “hive mind anxiety” and “meta meta meta site unease” that I had only just managed to narcotise and tie down with Bill, Tony and Bott’s help.
"New technology is still applied in traditional means – with the intent to manage, control, and direct activities or outcomes."
“Most individuals, however, have started to create a scattered identity and presence. I have pieces of my thoughts scattered across numerous articles, website, podcasts, and presentations. I don’t really want to join a CoP. I want the connection values of communities to be available to me in my own online space and presence. I imagine there will be disagreement here, but I think edubloggers have formed a community of practice. We dialogue (sometimes directly, but mostly with an awareness of others). We share resources, presentations. We offer opinions, reactions, and (for new bloggers) informal mentorship. The nice aspect of this community is the end-user control. I don’t have to go to anyone who owns my identity and my content. We still achieve centralized aims (dialogue about learning and technology), but we do so through decentralized means.”
Siemen's "Centralised aims through decentralised means" is such a powerful insight for edubloggers
But it wasn’t until I was re-reading Koestler (he is too dense to be understood fully on even the third reading) that I realised that all these centralised aims through decentralised means discussions could be blurred into the tension that has always existed between partness and wholeness
For example Koestler (1964 p286) could have been describing Siemen’s edu_bloggers and communities of practice when he wrote in The Act of Creation Koestler p287
“… every member of a living organism or social body has the dual attributes of “wholeness” and partness.”
It acts as an autonomous, self governing whole on its own subordinate parts on lower levels of the organic or social hierarchy; but it is subservient to the co-ordinating centre on the next higher level.
In other words edubloggers display both self assertive and participatory tendencies.
So according to Koestler’s analogy
We are PART when we allow our online blog identity to become subservient to a LMS or a Community of Practice.
As a PART we will experience participatory emotions involving an expansion of consciousness.
Even though we retain a level of autonomy our impulses will be the impulses of muscular action – hit, run, mate, devour, kind of emotions – and these will be experienced through hunger pain rage and fear.
Perhaps that’s why forums can experience turbulence and strife. Graham’s post on “Setting personal standards of self reflection” touches on this issue.
There’s been an interesting discussion over at the TALO group about another discussion in an EdNA forum that, to paraphrase Alex Hayes, has turned rancid.
We are WHOLE when we create a blog identity.
As a WHOLE we will experience self asserting emotions involving a narrowing of consciousness.
Our emotional behaviour will be internalised and visceral – and experienced through sensations of longing, worship, raptness, and aesthetic pleasure.
Dunno about this but as many bloggers are discovering,
Koestler’s aesthetic pleasure and the whole part-whole tension in blogging are perfectly captured when watching your Blog develop into a graph at WEB SITES AS GRAPHS
Check out all the blog graphs on Websites as graphs on Flikr