Long time ago I wrote 2 articles titled “Different kinds of connectivity” and “Network Externalities“. This is a fascinating topic. I intended to follow up. I guess the time is now.
I wrote few more articles related to the concept of connectivity:
In the scientific literature the concept of “connectivity” is used in a limited sense. We need to expand the coverage of the “connectivity” concept.
There are many different types of connectivity. The “connection” does not have to be physical. Besides, the physical connection may manifest in many different ways. The most obvious physical connections are connected cables, connected elements of an electronic circuit, and synaptic connections in a brain. We can count more examples where elements touch each other. On the other hand, there are cases where there is interaction at a distance. Elementary particles do not have to touch each other, they interact through fields. Then there is the gravitational attraction where the “connection” manifests through the curvature of space-time. Quantum entanglement is yet another type of interaction at a distance.
Most physical connections are synchronous within the possibilities allowed by the universal speed limit (speed of light in vacuum).
Mind-to-mind connections, on the other hand, are asynchronous. The time dimension is relaxed. You can read my blog post many days, weeks, or months after I published it.
Mind-to-mind connections manifest through various media: spoken word (myths, oral traditions, direct language communication), written word (books, newspapers), visual media (movies, television), internet media.
Another aspect of the mind-to-mind connection is that the strength of the connection is subjective. It depends on the receiving mind.
Various networks emerge as physical and mind-to-mind connections manifest . The scientific disciplines of Graph Theory and Network Theory are very active. I mentioned the strength of the connection above. Mathematical treatment of this in the context of Network/Graph theory would the weighted networks .
I will update the types of connectivity listed in “Different kinds of connectivity” as follows:
- DNA connectivity: Human beings are connected because of the high degree of similarity in the human genome.
- Environmental connectivity: Common environment may lead to shared characteristics in individuals in the course of biological evolution.
- Behavioral connectivity: Common conditioning (common training or education) creates connectivity.
- Historical connectivity: Common histories, being connected in the past may have lingering effects in the present.
- Language connectivity: Common language enables strong connections among humans. We can expand this to messaging protocols in electronic communication. Internet evolved due to the connectivity established by messaging protocols.
- Correlation: Connection is not strong enough to be causal.
- Coupling: Connection by causal interaction.
- Co-movement: Staying connected in time, evolving together.
- Synaptic coupling: One-to-many connections leading to layers and clusters and varied functionality.
- Connectivity due to bound state: electrons and protons in an atom are connected because they are bound by the electromagnetic force. We could refer to many other examples of bound-state in physics especially in the branch of physics known as condensed matter physics.
- Connectivity as similarity: This is a huge subject. The study of similarity measures is big part of research in artificial intelligence, experimental psychology, and many other fields. Similarity indicates connection.
- Topological connectivity: “Topology can be used to abstract the inherent connectivity of objects while ignoring their detailed form.” – Wolfram MathWorld. Two objects can be very different geometrically but equivalent topologically. If two geometric objects have the same number of holes they are topologically equivalent which means that they can be deformed into each other. Topology studies connectivity.
- Connectivity due to common cognitive core: This type of connectivity is similar to the “DNA connectivity” mentioned above. For example, all electrons have the same cognitive core. They carry the same electric charge and spin magnitude. This establishes the connection (interaction) which is repulsive in the case of electrons. It does not matter wheather the interaction is attractive or repulsive. Any interaction counts as a connection.
Communication is key to connection strength
Interaction certainly implies the existence of a connection but the reverse is not true. There may be a connection (channel) but an interaction (communication) may not take place over this connection.
We may be connected because we belong to the same group but if there is no communication among group members connections are weakened. This can be generalized to all areas including physics. Communication is key to connection strength.