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I suppose there must be some differences depending on the options that
voters have. Let's say that what these studies make clear is that voters
may get influences by what they know from other voters intentions and from
I'm wondering if this happens also when options or candidates represent
completely and radically different social and political projects. I can't
imagine a liberal voting conservative or the other way round. But in case
conservatives defend proposals related with liberal orientations and
liberal candidates do the opposite, than it becomes hard to decide between
options and random election may be possible.
This is how politics are functioning today. Hillary Clinton and Barak
Obama have similar ways of understanding the American way of life,
Differences are really very small, and the majority of people vote with
not much knowledge on how political decisions work.
Clusters in a social network for political elections may be different when
streams are very distant. Than it seems possible to think that we can see
as many clusters as political trends. When clusters are more distant,
betweenness is more important and random influence is less probably.
I'm not sure if this is really possible, but it comes to my mind that
these characteristics have not included in these studies.
Music taste is also mediated by the market. Who controls really the
offering of songs and artists, are mediators who want to put people in
random election to be able to control the market. Only when artists like
Bob Dylan appear, the market gets a shake and it gets rearranged slowly to
its normal state.
Just some thoughts,
Oriol Miralbell Izard
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Department of Information and Communication Sciences
Rbla. Poble Nou, 156
08018 - BARCELONA - Spain
T:+34 933 263 475
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> I did a lit review, for a general audience publication, about the
> social network dynamics of elections several years ago, and came up
> with a similar conclusion -- "It's the [local] Conversations, Stupid"
> On Dec 31, 2007, at 6:16 PM, Barry Wellman wrote:
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>> But get good networks
>> see below
>> Barry Wellman
>> S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director
>> Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
>> 455 Spadina Avenue Room 418 Toronto Canada M5S 2G8
>> http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman fax:+1-416-978-7162
>> Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
>> Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days
>> Today's Washington Post has an interesting article on the social
>> of selecting a president.
>> "The decisive factor ... is not the presence of influential people but
>> people who are easily influenced. Random, insignificant events are
>> magnified by networks of such malleable people influencing one
>> and this tilts the race one way or another. Blind chance plays a big
>> The pundits are merely gypsys. The meek shall inherit the earth.
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