Organización en red y conexiones neuronales

A través de la selección semanal de las Delicacies de Petervan, descubro este post del Institute of Network Cultures, un diálogo asincrónico entre Geert Loving y Miles Englezou a través del cual se pone luz a las similitudes y diferencias que existen entre las conexiones neuronales del cerebro humano y las conexiones (mediadas tecnológicamente) entre individuos.  Una perspectiva bioinspirada de como debería ser el futuro de la estructura de internet para superar la recentralización.

Entre otras cosas, me ha servido para reafirmar algunas intuiciones que estoy plasmando en mi investigación, como por ejemplo que los mecanismos para la coordinación son artefactos artificiales, limitadores, que nunca podrán substituir la flexibilidad y adaptabilidad que brindan los procesos de auto-organización co-emergentes. A continuación, adjunto parte del mail que abrió el diálogo, aunque recomiendo la lectura completa del post:

Your concept of ‘organised networks’ reminded me of what I have learned about the brain. I’m currently at the end of a neuroscience master’s degree. Incidentally I studied at Vrije Univeriteit Amsterdam, although now I am back home in London. In neuroscience, current thought tends to conceptualise the brain as a hierarchically ordered network which self-organizes into the structure that it is (via a ‘push-and-pull’ of opposing tendencies towards ordered [inhibited] and disordered [excited] brain dynamics). The end product of this is a fractal-like organisation, where, at the lowest level, you have individual neurons connecting to other neurons to form neuronal groups, which in turn form meta-groups between themselves, which then form meta-meta-groups, etc., with the ‘nature’ of the function changing (relative to its constituents) and emerging at each level of description.

It seems to me that the internet at the moment does not have a robust or explicit structure. And this seems to be because it does not self-organize. We have to apply ‘network organisation’ principles ourselves. Do you envisage the organised net having this fractal-like structure? I suppose individuals would form small groups with others based on specific interests or skills, and then meta-groups would form with a new, singular function emerging at each level because of the way the groups are organised. Very large high-level groups would become the net equivalent of the institutions we have today.

I’m looking at how brain organisation changes across different conscious states. Under certain psychedelic drugs, for example, the brain loses its robust structure and becomes more ‘random’ (everything connects to everything), and as we get closer to normal consciousness you get the appearance of these ‘small-world’ structures, i.e. the fractal-organisation. The state of the net now is comparable to the ‘random’ brain state. But the way in which the brain becomes more ‘normal’ is in a sense just by pruning the long connections and keeping the local connections – is this how you think, practically, the organised net would be created, through a sort of ‘disconnection’ of the excess, ‘long-range’ connections we have today (such as the case of mass-friending on Facebook)?”

Leave a Comment