What about communication?
This above question I asked myself after reading two very inspiring pieces of work. The first is the PhD. of Mark Elliott, ‘Stigmergic Collaboration. A Theoretical Framework for Mass Collaboration’. The second is a paper from Paul B. Hartzog, ‘The Autocatalysis of Social Systems and the Emergence of Trust’.
Paul argues that every act of communication is also an act of coordination. In order to communicate, both agents involved have to agree on the way communication works, which language is being used. But how do you agree without communication? Communication seems to be interrelated to coordination.
Mark argues that stigmergy is a form of self-organizing, without the need for any communication. This should resolve the coordination paradox. Because agents leave traces in the system, other agents can act on them. This indirect form of communication is not directly addressed to anyone, but the one that notices the trace can act upon it. But how does coordination work here?
The interesting part is that it seems there are some different approaches. Paul is talking about direct communication, while Mark talks about indirect communication. But coordination is always needed. And communication is always happening. Can stigmergy be the autocatalyst for communication? But how is communication being agreed upon? Please let me know your opinion.
Posted earlier on P2P Foundation.