Defrag Blog

On the “synaptic web”

by Eric Norlin on Aug.31, 2009, under Uncategorized

Chris Saad pointed me to a piece that he and some cohorts have been working on - a fascinating read called, “The Synaptic Web.” Before you start groaning about *yet another* naming convention (the real-time web, web 3.0, etc), take a second and go read it (I’ll wait here).

Metaphors, analogies and conceptual frameworks for viewing something are important. Would email ever have worked if someone hadn’t been able to say, “it’s like sending mail, but over the internet — email” –of course not. The act of sending a letter made sense. And it helped explain “email” to people the world over.

So, in our own little way, we’re always looking for ways to describe the problems that Defrag is covering, and this synaptic web piece does a damn good job of nailing down a few things. For example:

1. Imagine that instead of a web of pages, or a web of communication, we’re building a web that is analogous to the way the human brain works (a synaptic web).

2. In that web, plasticity (the speed and flexibility of connection making) and the synapse (the bridge that occurs between the gap of two neurons) are critical to forming bundles of connections (the thing that scientists believe determines “intelligence).

I love the analogy - and I think the guys there are on to something. There is something different going on, and it’s not *just* about “real-time streams” or widgets or twitter or what have you; there’s a bigger picture being painted. That bigger picture is about a web of connections (of data, people, information, profiles, communities, etc) and how those connections bundle and un-bundle to form ever-changing, emergent properties that provide intelligence (to both individuals and groups).

Defrag is concerned with understanding that shift.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that early bird pricing ends today. Save yourself $500 bucks. Join us.

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