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Subject: [Fwd: 6 degrees of email connectivity?]
From: Valdis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Thu, 20 Dec 2001 20:44:08 -0500
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"Kathleen M. Carley" wrote:

> It is worth remembering that
> a) Milgram only reported on the small portion of letters that were
> actually returned
> b) a large portion of the leters were sent to "church" or "groups" in
> the vicinity trusting that due to the receivers role they would then
> have the knowledge and ability to pass on the letter. - in other words
> people sent the letters to roles not people at times
>
> Also in our simulation experiments, email has this effect:
> a) it speeds up transmittal of information
> b) however, it can slow, speed up or have no impact on consensus,
> solving problems, or reaching the right decision as
>     b.1) information becomes redundant - multiple milgram letters come
> back or are received by the same person
>     b.2) erroneous information speeds up at the same rate as accurate
> information
>     b.3) excess information on one topic causes individuals to drop out
> of group lists (confirmed by empirical data - Brian Butler)
>             this reduces spread of information that generates agreement
>    b.4) internet and email lead to a redistribution of knowledge but
> still engender a knowledge elite that is more likely to get access to
> medical information, technical informatoin, etc. and so be able to "self
> help" better
>                 in other words  - email doesnot simply reduce the number
> of degrees of connectivity
>                 for some it decreases, for others it increases it
>                 what this appears to do is redistribute connections and
> lead at timea to more "chance" linkages
>
> Also, in terms of response to diseases; recent polls show that, for
> those with access to the internet, there is a high rate of usage of the
> system to
>     get information on diseases, do self diagnoses, and join online help
> groups for dealing with disease
>     In that sense - for Milgram, what the internet is doing is
> increasing the number of possible "roles" that people can send to or
> receive information from
>
> So where without email it might have been 6 degrees +- 2 or never
> now it might be 4 degrees +- 10 or many copies
>
> Kathleen
>
> Valdis wrote:
>
> > How would Milgram's experiment be different in the age of email?
> >
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/20/technology/circuits/20STUD.html
> > [NY Times requires a 'free' registration]
> >
> > Happy Holidays Everyone!
> >
> > Valdis

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