My goal is to create a foundational theory of learning - one that starts with a solid foundation that serves as a suitable structure on which to build education of the future. From my perspective, this requires consideration of connections as entities on their own. How do they form? Why do they form? I'm not convinced that we have different types of connections. Instead, we have connections that exhibit different attributes in the process of forming and re-forming. But, the connection itself carries the same definition at all levels (neural/social/conceptual)In my current grasp of connectionism, it makes sense that connections are defined by what nodes they connect or what nodes they are located in between. That definition does not change when the connection reforms from weak to strong. It regards connections as "entities on their own". Yet that solid definition of the connection does not characterize the dynamism of the connection or answer process questions like "how do they form?" and "why do they form?". So I pursued the possibility of a characterizing process attributes of connections in a taxonomy. These characteristics begin to answer questions of "how?" and "why?". They frame the definition of the connection as "in process" of forming, growing, changing, learning, evolving, transforming, etc. Here's a sketch of a process taxonomy for defined connections :
- 1. Repellant - connected by mutual exclusion or denial of each other's validity as I've explored in connections that fail to form due to error, distance or dilemma. In the process of rejecting, refuting, correcting or guarding against the connection.
- 2. Tentative - connected by queries, curiosity and openness to new signals. In the process of exploring possibilities, getting questions answered, trying out alternatives, discovering unforeseen options
- 3. Conceptual - connected by agreement in principle. In the process of staying on message together, speaking the same language, sharing the same explanations
- 4. Causal - connected by commitments. In the process of following a sequence, producing outcomes together, providing input that becomes output, proceeding unilaterally through a chain of events
- 5. Recursive - connected by cycles. In the process of providing feedback, maintaining reciprocities, balancing exchanges to seem fair
- 6. Synergistic - connected by compatibility. In the process of realizing mutual enhancement, generating transformations, energizing collaborations
- 7. Comprehensive - connected by paradoxes. In the process of balancing multiple polarities, realizing the "best of both" for each component, escaping the tyranny of either/or