My favorite sections in Downes’ new book

Downes’ new book on connective knowledge tells a lot about knowledge that you cannot read anywhere else. If you are still hungry after his abridged version (p. 9-11) but too impatient for the entire 616 pages, this is what I would recommend to pick:

  • An Introduction to Connective Knowledge (p. 299-323), subsections f. Associationism, g. Distribution, and t. Knowing Networks
  • What I’m Working On (p. 40-46)
  • What Networks Have In Common (p. 68-72)
  • Principles of Distributed Representation (long! p. 141-163)
  • Homophily and Association (p. 455 f)

Of course I don’t know if I would understand these extracts without having read more by him. But perhaps these sections are good starting points: if you don’t understand a concept, you can look for further sections (perhaps even by searching the whole PDF file for that term), and if you don’t understand another term, just repeat the procedure until you have traversed enough of the book on your own path.

(Such recursive exploration could be compared with pulling out a rhizome: Unlike other plants, you don’t pull it from top to bottom, but rather from one underground radix to another radix to the surface branches. Because there is no unique pre-defined top to bottom order, no prescribed sequence, but a wonderful network.)

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