The battle lines between network and hierarchic culture are drawn across much of today’s technological landscape–from the crackdown on filesharing networks, to the surge in open software development, to military attempts to defeat terrorism with an “army of one.”
In all of these clashes, Still Water researchers see their role as demonstrating how networks can help us learn, create, and even survive. Networks are here to stay. We can resist them in vain, or we can embrace them, adapting them to constructive purposes like building communities or waging politics.
Networks are proliferating and evolving so quickly in contemporary culture that it is difficult even to list their many mutations–instant messaging, blogs, wikis, mobile-phone texting, social networks, trust metrics, broadcatching. Still Water researchers investigate these forms not by conducting controlled experiments in a laboratory, but by introducing experimental ideas and applications into the uncontrolled wilderness of today’s new media ecosystem.