Posted by: arieliondotcom | September 24, 2008

Oh…NETwork…

I had a “well duh” moment while listening to Stephen’s Palermo talk and seeing his PowerPoint presentation (much nicer than that other PowerPoint from Hell presentation).  NETwork…GET IT?  NET as in NODES connected by STRINGS.

I actually “got it” (or thought I did) during the first Tuesday afternoon session of the Second Life Cohort that I could get to, which happened to be this week.  Not to “steal Fleep Tuque’s thunder” (you should go to her specialty site about the SL Cohort for the full transcripts and other great info), but the discussion came up that this (Tuesday afternoon) section tended toward looking at the mechanics of how the course is going rather than the content of the course itself.  She said that she was therefore going to be the facilitator and “steer” us toward the course content whenever it strayed more towrd the mechanics.  But I mentioned that seemed antithetical to the whole concept of Connectivity.  To me, we were networking and the network (those in this particular network) were making their own knowledge.  The participants were deciding, “democratizing”, personally empowering ourselves, to our needs for learning.  THe other group may have another need.  And no one person should be “steering” us toward anything but we would be attracted to what was the process, group, information we needed.  I used the example of David C’s Rhizomatic theme where the entities that are distributed across the network make their own learning in their own context.  Changing the entities or the context will change the learning.  The challenge is to connect to the network of connections to communicate with that part you are seeking knowledge about.

As I’ve said before, we are the knowledge as we communicate and form connections and share with each other.  Second Life (in this case) is the aggregator and each participant is a “link.”

I’ve used the analogy of a net or matrix in sermons in this context.  That we (nodes) each stand on an intersection (of connections) and in our participation offer ourselves to each other so that any suicide, for example, is a tragedy because of the lost possible connections.  Our connectins aren’t random or accidental as Esther learned in Esther 4:14  but GOD’s purposes will always be accomplished and He will cause other networks to form as He wills to accomplish His will by raising another “node” in place of any failing connections.

This is important to remember in the contextof Christian Missions.  Individual nodes and connections may “snap” and become disconnected in the “net” of “fishing for men.”  (Matthew 4:19)  But GOD always mends the net and carries out His plans.  It may take generations, but His plan is accomplished, as in the case of the Auka “indians” who killed the missionary team of which Jim Elliott was a part.  The children of that same team returned to that same tribe and shared the Gospel, converting the very people responsible for the deaths of their (the missionaries’) parents to Christ.

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