“You are built from networks, you make networks, and you live in networks.
You should understand how they work and how you can influence them.”
Csermely, Peter. Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from
Proteins to Social Networks. 2006. Springer Verlag. P. 273.
“An additional intriguing set of questions concerns the interplay between
the ecology and the biological design of the organism. We currently have
more information on the detailed structure of biological circuits than on
the environment in which they evolved. We know little about the
constraints and functional goals of cells within complex organisms, and
are only beginning to understand the optimizations and trade-offs that
underlie their design. It is an interesting question whether it would be
possible to form a theory of biological design that can help unify aspects
of ecology, evolution, and molecular biology.” Alon, Uri. 2007. An
Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits.
Chapman & Hall/CRC. Pp. 238-9.
“Life itself, with all its decision points and multi-landscapes, and all
the possible but mostly not followed pathways, can be imagined as a
network. We have very few major decision points, and a large number of
small ones. At the big decision points, we might go in a thousand
directions, while at the small decision points, we may only select from a
very few options.” Csermely, Peter. Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex
Systems from Proteins to Social Networks. 2006. Springer Verlag. 308.
“At any given time, there is a region within my world in which I am
engaged with my tools; the region within which everything is ready-to-hand
for me and thus not observable. And this region, I maintain, is me in the
most unambiguous sense possible. The pattern of activity that occurs
within that region is primarily what embodies me: it includes, but is not
limited to, the activity in my brain and body. When I observe something,
or relate to it in any other way, it becomes part of that region of
activity, and thus, in a nontrivial sense, part of me.” Rockwell, W. Teed.
2005. Neither Brain nor Ghost: A Nondualist Alternative to the
Mind-Brain Identity Theory. MIT Press. Pp. 106-7.
“Human beings are adaptive systems continually producing and exploiting a
rich world of cultural structure. In the activities of the navigation
team, the reliance on and the production of structure in the environment
are clear. This heavy interaction of internal and external structure
suggests that the boundary between inside and outside, or between
individual and context, should be softened. The apparent necessity of
drawing such a boundary is in part a side effect of the attempt to deal
with the individual as an isolated unit of cognitive analysis without
first locating the individual in a culturally constructed world. With the
focus on a person who is actively engaged in a culturally constructed
world, let us soften the boundary of the individual and take the
individual to be a very plastic kind of adaptive system. Instead of
conceiving the relation between person and environment in terms of moving
coded information across a boundary, let us look for processes of
entrainment, coordination, and resonance among elements of a system that
includes a person and the person’s surroundings.” Hutchins, Edwin.
Cognition in the Wild. 1995. MIT Press. P. 288.
“What distinguishes behavior from morphological plasticity, then, is
neither condition sensitivity nor freedom from genetic influence on
component elements. Rather, it is the greater time delay between gene
expression and gene-product use, and the number and reversibility of
permutations or reorganizations of elements that can occur during the
lifetime of an individual. Phenotypic recombination, or reorganization of
the phenotype during development or evolution, resulting in the assembly
of new combinations of traits, is common during the ontogeny of
morphology, especially at the molecular level. It is one form of
pleiotropy, for the protein products of a single gene may be incorporated
into several or many phenotypic traits at different levels of
organization. But ontogenetic phenotypic recombination of behavioral
subunits is far more extensive. This has been succinctly stated by
Trewavas and Jennings in contemplating the differences between plants,
which are noted for their physiological and morphological plasticity, and
animals, noted for their behavioral plasticity: ‘The adaptiveness of
animals lies in the brain, in the almost endless number of combinations in
which the different tissues can be made to work together to produce
different types of behavior.’” West-Eberhard, Mary Jane. Developmental
Plasticity and Evolution. Oxford University Press. 2003. P. 77. [Subquote
from Trewavas, A. J. and Jennings, D.H. 1986. Introduction. In: Plasticity
in Plants, D.H. Jennings and A.J. Trewavas (eds.). Symposia of the Society
for Experimental Biology, No. 40. Company of Biologists Limited,
Cambridge, pp. 1-4.]
Actors consist of networks deploying partially shared histories, cultures,
and collective connections with other actors. The volunteers who trained
in Oxford, Ohio, during June 1964 were joining and transforming a
well-articulated network of activists.
“Such actors, however, almost never describe themselves as composite
networks. Instead, they offer collective nouns; they call themselves
workers, women, residents of X, or United Front Against Y. They attribute
unitary intentions to themselves, and most often to the objects of their
claims as well. They recast social relations and network processes as
individuals and individually deliberated actions.” Tilly, Charles.
Identities, Boundaries, & Social Ties. 2005. Paradigm Publishers. P.
“The notorious Liu
Ling (ca. 221-300) used to go naked in his house. To a shocked Confucian
visitor he retorted, ‘The world is my house, and these walls are my
garments. What, then, are you doing standing in my pants?’” Collins,
Randall. The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual
Change. 1998. Harvard University Press. P. 171.