This is a response to Nicola on her post on yin yang of CCK09.
Glad to learn about your practice of martial arts. I know very little about it, though I always enjoy watching it. I could only play with Wii, just for fun, with the virtual boxing.
Even after a year, my confusion with connectivism is still with me… mainly because it is based on the chaos and complexity theory, where each of us could flap our wings, and so most of the surprises are unpredictable, like the weather, and are emergent..even with the patterns that emerged. So connections create meaning (at social level), but the meaning is in the networks (at neural or neuronal level). The connections only make sense in “meaning” when it is perceived and interpreted by the connectors (nodes) or networks upon interaction. That sounds complicated, and even complex – or further confusion… because every one could interpret these differently. So, my view is: each of us could interpret connectivism differently, depending on your angles, your emotions, your context, and your attitudes towards connections, and networks, people.
How about the metaphor of a coin as a way to connect under connectivism?
In a coin, the 2 sides (top and bottom) represent the yin and yang of our voices, and the rim represents the multiple perspectives of each of us (both tacit and explicit ones).
When each of us interact in the networks, as shown in this piling up of coins, we could all see and sense that it’s yin and yang interacting with each other, surrounding us with more perspectives of the networks. The emergence would be: toppling of the coins, or alignment of all coins. However, if the coins are all piled up too high, then sooner or later, the whole pile could collapse. This is similar to the information or connections overload, when too many coins are in “connection” with each other. So we may need to focus on the similar coins, and pile the coins with care to maintain stability. Would that explain why limited connections is better for us?
Another metaphor that could be useful to illustrate this would be connectivism as magnets – the polarity of nature, that magnetism exhibits on earth and in ferrous alloys.
Such polarity of views and perspectives (or different voices of individuals) could also be represented in the form of yin yang or the north and south poles. Like poles repel and unlike poles attract.
The compass is where all these “connections” are connected to show the directions. In this case, the context, the actual position and the actors (people, tools, resources, artifacts) are all inter-dependent and important in guiding us.