In the chapter titled Information Ecology from Felix Stadler’s work Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks he states:
The interdependence of the nodes means that information
can travel through the whole environment and, according to the way it is reshaped in each
node, it grows or decreases in relevance and speed.
Stadler is likening data flows and the nodes with which they interact to events which occur in nature such as armies of ants or swarms of bees as they work together to carry out a task. If one unit is down, the others will carry on, intent on their purpose. The text is quite poetically written and describes so eloquently, the interaction between objects or elements that occurs when information is transferred from one point to another.
A friend was complaining to me recently that her mother, who resides in Italy, was able to follow her life here in Australia by checking the Facebook pages of her friends after which she would ring and chastise her. This friend is 38 and finds it particularly irksome that her mother has this ability, especially when her mother was one of the reasons for her departure from Italy in the first place. Stadler comments directly on this type of occurrence when he states:
The interconnections between the nodes constitute the patterns in the flow of
information. They provide the stabilization within the potentially fluid environment enabling
navigation and purposeful, systematic action.
The interconnections that I can discern in my friend’s situation are-
- Mother sees disturbing flows of information on Facebook pages.
- Mother uses telecommunication to impart her dissatisfaction with my friend’s behaviour.
- My friend is upset for the posting of sensitive information about her.
- My friend acts upon this information and warns her friends against repeat episodes.
This is an information flow where the nodes involved have solicited change as a result of interaction with the data. Stadler states:
The flow of information does not simply connect two sides; by being connected they change.
A bridge does not simply couple two independent villages across a river but it creates a
new city (or a new war).
In this particular instance, I would have to agree that Felix Stadler is a visionary!
Stalder, F. (2005) ‘Information Ecology’. In Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks pp. 62-66.viewed 20 August 2014,