Internet: Towards a Holistic Ontology – Rhizomes and Cybernetics

This thesis attempts an outline of an ontology for the Internet based on relational holism. While it does not aim to arrive at any final or conclusive version of this ontology, it does offer some possible models or analogies towards that end.  The first of these is Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the rhizome  as a horizontally proliferative structure.  Here we see that the Net, while fundamentally rhizomatic, also contains within it elements of linear, tree-like, structures.  At this point, a second analogy is turned to: the Net as an evolving cybernetic system. The main focus here is Kevin Kelly’s idea of a crossover between biology and technology in the form of “neo-biological civilization”.  However, in the third chapter of the thesis, criticisms of the biological model are engaged with, leaving us with a more fluid and hybridized model for the “being” of the Net than either of the previous models alone can provide.  This provisional ontology is based on the philosophy of quantum theory.


Read also: Evolution of the Internet: A Rhizomatic Application of Darwin


About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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