Thursday, September 01, 2005

Spider Web

I found this little fellow in mum and dad's back garden...
I thought it was a brilliant illustration of net-working - literally, making a net of connected relationships. The internet is an obvious example of a structure for networking, and it has been great to be able to use it to begin making a face-to-face network of folk in Perth before we arrive. But now we're at the point where we're just ready to get there and meet up. Conversely, the face-to-face relationships we had in sheffield are now a virtual network...

The spider's web is:
  • both functional and beautiful, with neither element appearing to compromise the other;
  • seemingly fragile, but having a flexibility that gives it great strength (say, when blown by the wind);
  • sustainable, allowing continual running-repairs and/or alterations, necessitated by damage to the web itself or changes - whether caused by growth or by damage - to the vegetation the web is anchored to;
  • highly structured in design, but in a completely organic way;
  • a rapid-response communication system, with vibrations travelling along (all of) the threads in such a way that the spider can instantly detect the exact location, and size, of any fly that is caught in it.

All these things are worth reflecting on when it comes to reviewing our own structures, or creating new ones...

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