Mihai Stancu

Notes & Rants

Liquid networks — 2015-08-26

Liquid networks

Chemical interaction

Gasses are a chaotic and dynamic state of matter. In gases elements can meet and mix and react, fast. Heat, pressure and newer more attractive reactions can separate the newly formed compound in a very short span.

Solids are orderly and still. In solids elements cannot move and reactions can take place only on the fringes of the solid. Unmoved the newly formed compound won’t enter any new reactions.

Liquids on the other hand can allow mixing and precipitation and thus reactions which take longer to catalyze will get a chance to occur. The newly formed compound can drift and enter new reactions.

Human interaction

A human network with the properties of a gas is like a boiler room or the open floor of a trade market with no walls, they talk to so many people under heat and pressure trying to find the most attractive deal. Things get done and things get undone quickly — there’s little time for creativity.

A human networks with the properties of a solid is like a rigid departments system with walls between them. They mostly talk among themselves and only communicate with certain other departments according to the normal workflow. Things get done a certain way and only that way — no room for creativity.

A human network with the properties of a liquid1 is an open space with just the most basic rules to not be disruptive and just the right amount of freedom to allow for ideas to flow and mix and combine in several stages before a good one can finally surface.

Paradigm — 2015-08-23


A distinct set of concepts or thought patterns 1
A world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject. 2
A framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community 3

I’d add that the concepts construct a particular context around themselves and the result is a guideline for derivative thinking based on the starting points.

But perhaps my understanding of this concept is skewed due to its use in the programming world especially to describe the need for a paradigm shift in order to correctly understand and use tools which are based on (initially) foreign concepts.

Exaptation — 2015-08-08
The adjacent possible —

The adjacent possible

Ideas need to be used by people and people need the proper resources to usefully wield ideas.

It’s no wonder that the simplest ideas and the ones that recycle readily available resources will enjoy faster and wider acceptance.

Good ideas [..] are, inevitably, constrained by the parts and skills that surround them.1

Mentally skipping steps from adjacent possibilities to conceivable possibilities creates those ideas which are “ahead of their time” but also renders them inapplicable until “their time” — until the prerequisite conceivable possibilities become adjacent possibilities.


  • Simplify: prerequisites, usage, maintenance;
  • Recycle: components, tools, skills;