Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Deeper Meaning of Networking

To align truly with this week's focus, that of the History of Networks, I thought I would add a few lines in my blog about how this strikes me...

We have seen how people interact and that a group of people or entities, who have an effect on each other constitutes a network. The networks of all time, over eons and ages, were formed by similarities of thinking and focused viewpoints. Let's take Socrates, for example. He had a network of friends, but because of his association with the local community, he was accused of corrupting the youth of that community with his ideologies.

I was led to think about networks of people who have lived and who have already passed on and who presumably belong to a different age, and I was struck particularly by a line or two from a historic novel about seventeenth century Venice. This quote comes from Barbara Quick's novel, "Vivaldi's Virgins" and tells a story about the agelessness of music even though by definition, the statement she makes paints a completely different picture!

"What more can a mere musician possibly hope for?
Music cannot be kept or captured. It unfurls in one miraculous moment in time, and then it's gone. The glorious sound of Marietta's voice in a cantabile aria will be forever lost after she is dead and all of us who ever heard her are dead, too. No matter how well I manage to play, my playing will be forgotten when all those who have heard me have died." (Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins, 254)

This really rings false in this age of shared music, royalty hearings and other copyright legislation, doesn't it? But the network to which Anna Maria belonged had none of the instantaneousness of today's world. Life was indeed slower and possibly more predictable, but nonetheless a valid network of like-minded individuals, having an effect on those people who were around them.

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