Here are some thoughts about the previous post I’ve made. I’ve been thinking about the decentralized web and its repercussions. Having tried networked learning for some years now, I’ve noticed how despite the multiplicity of resources available for each course, learners always tend to seek the arguments that ground their own research objectives. There is a certain bias in their decisions to pursue this tool or the other: it looks more that they are looking for ways to support the views that they have already formed or to drive their research with means they are familiar with.
Up to now I’ve considered this to be a true value of networked learning. But when you zoom out of the strict limits of an academic learning process I see that this alone cannot be enough. There is a certain kind of responsibility in one’s actions: despite our desire to prove our point there must be something more. And that has to do with understanding the other, who the other is and why his/her reality is different. So, eventually choosing which way to go, doesn’t simply refer to how we’d like it to go but as offering another perspective on a much larger scaled conversation with others. Our views in this framework are not just personal preferences but become political in the sense that they relate to what is there even if that is different from us.
So to talk about a distributed of Web means that our learning should not be limited to sources or resources that we relate to somehow, but a new type of being with others where we are not afraid of conflicting perspectives and where we can establish a mutual agreement on staying connected despite our different views. I know diversity is one of the founding stones of connectivism, but here the notion of otherness becomes crucial in our understanding of the world. This is not diversity for the sake of argument; in the scale of the web diversity is key to democracy. It takes another kind of ethos than the one we have now and it would take a lot of effort to create the conditions necessary for this to work.