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SOCNET  June 2001

SOCNET June 2001

Subject:

Re: Mythic Heros of Connection

From:

"Andrew V. Shipilov" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andrew V. Shipilov

Date:

Wed, 27 Jun 2001 16:44:06 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (81 lines)

Dear All,

What about Mercury, the God of Trade ? If "The Handbook of Economic Sociology" is
correct, Trade = Markets = Networks, so the God of Trade = God of Markets = God
of Networks?

Andrew Shipilov


Carter T Butts wrote:

> Now, _here's_ a question we don't see every day:
>
> On Wed, 27 Jun 2001, Milstein, Bobby (OD) wrote:
>
> > Does anyone know of a character in mythology (of any culture) who might be
> > associated with ties, connections, or interactions among things. Basically
> > I'm curious to know if there are any gods/angels/saints/spirits/heros/etc.
> > who are thought of as patrons for putting things together. Thanks for any
> > clues.
> >
> > Bobby
>
> If Lee Siegel's account of things is to be believed, Indra might fit your
> requirements: in addition to his other mythic exploits, he was purported
> to wield a magic net (!) which could transform one thing into
> another. This can be interpreted as a symbolic statement regarding the
> essential unity of all things within (at least some threads of) Indian
> religious philosophy, and in that sense the "net that transforms" could be
> seen as a "net which reveals" if you will. (Or maybe not. Not my area of
> expertise.)
>
> Another vaguely "netty" thing which may or may not be close enough for
> your purposes would be the World Tree, Yggdrasil, of Norse mythology. A
> giant ash, Yggdrasil connects all of the nine worlds of the norse
> pantheon. (Interestingly, Yggdrasil was said to be watered by the three
> Norns who were - you guessed it - essentially similar to the three Fates
> of Greek mythology. And, of course, both the Norns and the Fates were
> spinners of thread....)
>
> Aside from the Fates, Greek mythology also gives us the story of
> Arachne...alas, she's not really a heroine so much as the lead player in a
> cautionary tale about getting uppity with the gods. She was a weaver,
> though (by profession initially, and by biology ultimately). (Speaking of
> spiders, Old Spider Woman figures in various parts of Native American
> lore, but I can't recall any good stories offhand.)
>
> Oh, and of course one cannot forget Papa Legba, a central figure in Voudou
> (or however it's being spelled these days). Papa Legba is a loa of some
> importance, since it is believed that he must be invoked before other loas
> can be contacted. ("Papa Legba, come and open the gate!" goes one chant,
> IIRC.) The idea of a central intercessory figure who serves as a link
> between worlds shows up in many myth systems, including two
> which are familiar to North Americans: Catholicism (Mary, at least in some
> interpretations), and Christianity generally (Jesus as the Intermediary
> Son, a concept swiped from the Greeks). There were a number of salvific
> cults with intercessory figures in the Mediterranean area around the start
> of the Common Era (including some versions of Dionysus worship, Mithraism,
> certain Jewish messianic movements, the worship of god/man/heroes such as
> Attis, Adonis and Osiris, etc.); evidently, the memes for belief in
> anthropomorphic world-connectors were in the air at the time....
>
> So, anyway, it does seem that there have been many mythical figures
> whose roles have involved managing connections between things. I don't
> know of any religion with a "God of Networks" (though some tech support
> superstitions come close :-)), but perhaps these will be close enough for
> your purposes.
>
> -Carter

--
Andrew V. Shipilov
Ph.D. Candidate
Strategic Management and Organizational Theory
Joseph L. Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
105 St. George Street
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5S 3E6
Fax: 416-978-5433
http://rotman.utoronto.ca/~shipilov

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