by Stephen Downes
[Sept] 19, 2014
Balance is an Illusion
This isn't directly related to educational technology, but it's a point that lies at the foundations of how we thing, and it's important to address a misconception. Tim Klapdor writes, "For many of us balance has become a pervasive goal in our lives.... The problem is balance is a state so infinitesimal, so fleeting and ephemeral that it is more like a mirage than an object." He's talking about things like work-life balance, but the influence of balance is global, informing everything from the way water settles to (for example) the 'settling' phenomenon in neural networks. Balance, as Klapdor says, isn't a state, but that doesn't mean it's an illusion. It's an attractor - and when you start finding yourself with complex systems, it's a strange attractor, doing the drunkard's walk (which is what makes sports so interesting) (it's like if you roll a marble in a hole - gravity makes the bottom of the hole an attractor; it influences the direction of the marble - but if you have more than one planet and varying gravity, then what counts as the 'bottom' is always changing, and so therefore are the influences on the roll of the marble).
Indie Web Camp,
During my recent talk I discussed the POSSE model, which describes owned, bought and earned media(POSSE = produced, owned, seeded, social, earned). I now realize that what Diego Leal was looking for was this: "POSSE is an acronym/abbreviation for Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. It's a Syndication Model where the flow involves posting your content on your own domain first, then syndicating out copies to 3rd party services with perma(short)links back to the original version."
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