Rewilding the Network Commons
Biological terminology has also been appropriated in our current economic systems: growth is a term that has been contorted into a singular metric of quantity that all too frequently and systematically destroys diversity. Can we reconfigure growth to mean richness in difference? Flourishing interdependent diversity of networks, network protocols and forms of interaction? What does this mean for digital decay, and can the decay of files, applications and networks become some form of compost, or what might be the most dignified form of digital death and rebirth?
I love the idea of biological growth in a web sense. Can't help but think of Candice Millard's description of the growth of Amazonian vines from The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey:
With an alacrity that can seem almost human, rain forest vines send out tendrils that reach out delicately to encounter a potential host, then curl to grasp it once it is found. A principal risk of the vine strategy is the danger that the host tree will sway and break the vine so many vine species have adapted by developing slack in the form of elaborate loops, curls, and coils, lending the rain forest the distinctive draping character that Roosevelt could so easily see and admire. Another adaptation to this and other dangers is for the vine simply to abandon its connection to the ground and to derive its water and nutrients entirely in the canopy, becoming an air plant or epiphyte, a category of plant that has generated literally thousands of species, including bromeliads and orchids. After establishing themselves in the canopy, some epiphytes, in their turn, then reverse the entire process, sending aerial roots downward to establish a connection to the forest floor.
How to make a web vines...