2. Connectionism

The mathematics of morphogenesis, complex dynamical systems theory, is the basis of our strategies for visualizing the Web. Thus we view the Web as a neural net, that is, a massive web of neurons or nodes. While neurons are not dumb, connectionism views the intelligence of the network as primarily derived from its connections, as opposed to its nodes. While the number and sophistication of nodes may increase during neurogenesis, a maximum population is eventually attained. Meanwhile, the network of connections develops during embryogenesis, but then continues indefinitely. This is the physiological basis of learning, for example.

In the simple models for neural nets provided by the mathematics of complex dynamical systems, the connections are represented by real numbers. Given two nodes, n(i) and n(j), the connection from the first to the second is represented by a single real number, g(i, j), denoting the strength of the connection. All of this data, the g(i, j), may be set out in a single tableau, which is a square matrix of size N, the total number of nodes. After maturity is attained by the evolving neural net, this number may be regarded as fixed, although perhaps enormously large. The further evolution, such as learning, is then manifest by changes in this large matrix of real numbers.

And it is this matrix which we wish to observe, in Operation Web Watch, and to present to the web-literate public, the cybercitizens of the future planetary society, in order to empower self reflection on this morphogenetic process, in which we may consciously participate in the creation of the future.