One implicit message I took away from the readings was the idea of natural network growth and artificial growth. Two of the readings draw parallels between online networks and the work of Masanobu Fukuoka's farming techniques from the 1970s. The thinking is that growth occurs best when done naturally, and that manmade forces disrupt these optimal processes. While this idea is a pleasant one, I'm optimistically skeptical of it.

The readings did not go into detail on how Fukuoka's farming techniques were able to achieve better results than other forms of traditional farming, so it is difficult for me to say how applicable this is to networks. It also raises the question to me of what is natural? Many might think that spreading and decentralizing is only natural, but coagulation and clustering are also characteristic of natural settings. Thus it is difficult for me to see what makes Fukuoka's approach more natural than others. If it were more successful, I would think that it would be more widely adopted. It seems as though there must be a catch, but I can't put my finger on it.

A separate idea that I clung to from the readings is the idea that learning is guided by how relevant and concrete knowledge is to our lives. Ane example given is that math is abstract, yet we apply it to word problems to make it easier to relate to and digest. I'm not sure if this tendency has the same strength for everyone because some people seem to prefer abstractions more than others, but I do find it to be true for myself. In my practice of making art before this class both in a previous VIS class and as a dancer, I have found that concrete understandings of movements and forms come more easily to me. In fact, in David Reinfurt's class, one of the toughest assignments was to create a stop sign that did not use established graphical forms, but instead invented new abstract ways of conveying "stop". In dance, I often find myself acting out certain motions like jumping for joy, kicking an imaginary foe, etc. This leads me to resonate with the ideas expressed by Edoard U. because he expands upon the difficulty of abandoning the concrete for the abstract.