Notes on Networks

July 31, 2007 at 9:14 am 4 comments

1)When people meet a stranger on the other side of the world and they find out that they have some common acquaintance, the reaction is usually one of surprise about the meeting.”What a coincidence that we had this acquaintance!”


But the remarkable thing is not that they had an common acquaintance with a complete stranger on the other side of the world, since the average distance between any two persons are only about three links. The remarkable thing is that they managed to find this connection in the brief moment that they conversed. Thus, it is a miracle of communication and not one of a cosmic coincidence.

2) The seduction of networks is their nearness, bringing near what is far while preserving its farness. To be close friends is to be near, to share a world. To network is to believe in the nearness of that which is far away, in a separate world.

3) Our acquaintances are more “useful” in our lives than close friends. Important in the sense of helping you find a job, pick up gossip, get news and so on. This is because your close friends probably all know each other, but with each new acquaintance you get access to a new network of friends.

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Unfinished notes on Richard Florida Föredrag för centern

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. monki  |  July 31, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Note on note 3: This has consequences for social networks. This might be a flaw in Jaiku (not so much in Facebook, which is the other network I use).
    The information you get from Jaiku is basically pointless if it is not related to close friends, even for an aquaintance its not so much use to know that they are eating or if they’re working and so on. Jaiku was designed to give you the immediate presence of people you socialize with on a regular basis.

    And I’ve heard people complaining on jaiku that all there is there is their regular friends that they know about with or without Jaiku. Facebook might be a bit more focused on acquaintances and should therefor be more “useful”.

    Reply
  • 2. monki  |  August 1, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Despite networks being distributed systems and there often being several paths between two given nodes, there are always gigantic hubs that’s hard to ignore if you want to keep the flow of information on an acceptable high level of bandwidth.

    Reply
  • 3. Ville  |  August 18, 2007 at 10:38 am


    since the average distance between any two persons are only about three links.

    Aside from the myth about six on _average_ (coming from Milgram) it’s interesting to see how this number is able to shrink even further when rumor spreads (down to three!). Thus there is something very social and appealing here about the idea..

    Reply
  • 4. Zeus  |  November 7, 2007 at 5:41 am

    Perhaps these articles on seduction would be of interest to you.

    Reply

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