Commonwealth of Networks

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Stephen Downes:

“One thing that's useful about the TIMN model (tribes, hierarchical institutions, markets, and networks) is that it makes it clear that markets are not networks. This isn't always clear in discussions of network mechanics; often people represent network effects as market effects, and confuse (say) the 'invisible hand of the marketplace' with 'the wisdom of crowds'. But the former is a mathematical principle, while the latter is a relational principle. The former counts while the latter associates. The marketplace embodies a logic of competeition, but a network emplodies a logic of cooperation (not, note, collaboration, which is an artifact of institutional organization). That's why a 'commonwealth of networks' makes sense, while a 'commonwealth of markets' is an oxymoron.” (