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SOCNET  March 2004

SOCNET March 2004

Subject:

Re: fractals and threshold points

From:

Paul STOKES <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Paul STOKES <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 20 Mar 2004 12:23:51 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (204 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****

I would have thought the idea was fairly firmly and empirically established
in the literature, viz:

Aiello, Leslie C., and R. I. M. Dunbar. 1993. "Neocortex size, group size,
and the evolution of language." Current Anthropology 34:184-193.

Carneiro, Robert L. 1967. "On the Relationship between Size of Population
and Complexity of Social Organization." Southwestern Journal of Anthropology
23:234-243.

-. 1970. "A Theory of the Origin of the State." Science:733-738.

-. 1987. "The Evolution of Complexity in Human Societies and its
Mathematical Expression." International Journal of Comparative Sociology
28:111-128.

-. 2000. "The Transition from Quantity to Quality: A neglected causal
mechanism in accounting for social evolution." Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97:12926-12931.

Dunbar, R. I. M. 1988. Primate Social Systems. London & Ithaca: Chapman &
Hall and Cornell University Press.

-. 1989. "Social systems as optimal strategy sets: the costs and benefits of
sociality." Pp. 131-149 in Comparative Socioecology, edited by V. Standen
and R. A. Foley. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.

-. 1991. "Functional Significance of Social Grooming in Primates." Folia
Primatologica 57:121-131.

-. 1998. "The Social Brain Hypothesis." Evolutionary Anthropology 6:178-190.

Dunbar, R. I. M., N. D. C. Duncan, and A. Marriott. 1995. "Size and
structure of freely forming conversational groups." Human Nature 6:67-78.

Dunbar, R. I. M., N. D. C. Duncan, and Anna Marriott. 1997. "Human
Conversational Behaviour." Human Nature 8:231-246.

Dunbar, R. I. M., and M. Spoors. 1995. "Social Networks, Support Cliques,
and Kinship." Human Nature 6:273-290.

Dunbar, Robin. 1992. "Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in
primates." Journal of Human Evolution 20:469-493.

-. 1992. "Why gossip is good for you." New Scientist 136:28-31.

-. 1993. "Coevolution of neocortical size, group size and language in
humans." Behavioural and Brain Sciences 16:681-735.

-. 1996. "Determinants of Group Size in Primates: A General Model." Pp.
33-57 in Evolution of Social Behaviour Patterns in Primates and Man, edited
by W. G. Runciman, John Maynard Smith, and R. I. M. Dunbar. Oxford: British
Academy/Oxford University Press.

-. 1996. Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. London: Faber and
Faber.

Kudo, H., S. Bloom, and R. I. M. Dunbar. 1996. "Neocortex size as a
constraint on social network size in primates." Behaviour.

Naroll, Raoul. 1956. "A Preliminary Index of Social Development." American
Anthropologist 58:687-715.

Nettle, Daniel, and Robin I. M. Dunbar. 1997. "Social Markers and the
Evolution of Reciprocal Exchange." Current Anthropology 38:93-99.

Runciman, W. G., John Maynard Smith, and R. I. M. Dunbar. 1996. Evolution of
Social Behaviour Patterns in Primates and Man. Oxford: British
Academy/Oxford University Press.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bonnie H. Erickson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 9:47 PM
Subject: Re: fractals and threshold points


> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>
> I do not know about Diamond, but Gerhard Lenski has extensive material on
> this which DOES include real comparisons. See, for example, his textbook
> Human Societies, with various co-authors in different editions. He argues
> that the primie mover is the predominant mode of technology, so that for
> example egalitarian small bands emerge in hunting and gethering societies.
>
> Also of interest is every networker's favourite classic theorist, Simmel,
> especially in The Web of Group Affiliations. Here the prime mover is
> societal differentiation, with powerful consequences for both groups
> (including organizations, special interest groups, subcultures etc.) and
> individual networks, with further consequences for individual personality.
>
> There is also some work on variations within modern society, such as the
> logarithmic effect of group size on in-group friendship choices. But this
> is a continuous (though non-linear) effect of size; I cannot think of any
> more abrupt size effects.
>
> Bonnie Erickson
>
> On Thu, 18 Mar 2004, Barry Wellman wrote:
>
> > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
> >
> > Andy, et al
> > This strikes me as (smart) surmise by Diamond
> > And not empirically grounded.
> > Has he searched HRAF for example?
> >
> >  Barry
> >  _____________________________________________________________________
> >
> >   Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
> >   wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
> >
> >   Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
> >   455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
> >              To network is to live; to live is to network
> >  _____________________________________________________________________
> >
> > On Thu, 18 Mar 2004, Andy Smith wrote:
> >
> > > Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 10:48:24 -0800
> > > From: Andy Smith <[log in to unmask]>
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: Re: [SOCNET] fractals and threshold points
> > >
> > > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
> > >
> > > Doug,
> > >
> > > In his book _Guns, Germs, and Steel_, Jared Diamond writes about a
similar
> > > subject, breaking down social complexity based on size of the group.
His
> > > results extended to three tiers:
> > >
> > > Size: Dozens
> > >   Basically bands, no fixed home, "Egalitarian" leadership, no real
> > >   bureaucracy, no laws, unstratified culture.
> > > Size: Hundreds
> > >   Tribes, a single home, "Egalitarian" or "Big Man," organized
reesource
> > >   extraction, still unstratified
> > > Size: Thousands
> > >   Chiefdoms, many homes, castes and classes, cronyism and monarchs,
> > >   bureacracy and laws, taxes, indentured labor, slavery, public
> > >   architecture, luxuries for the elite.
> > >
> > > These examples, by the way, are taken from a presentation by Raph
Koster
> > > concerning competitive and cooperative structures in online worlds,
> > > available
> > > here (appears to be IE only):
> > > http://www.legendmud.org/raph/gaming/smallworlds.html
> > >
> > > - Andy Smith
> > >
> > >
> > > Doug Fraiser wrote:
> > >
> > > >Fractal theory has brought out that in many natural systems, the
> > > >system's pattern of organization is constant over a certain range in
> > > >scale but changes at particular threshold points.  Has anyone
> > > >experimented with the idea that patterns of social networks are
likewise
> > > >constant over a certain range of scale (e.g., within groups ranging
from
> > > >5 to 500 members) but change at particular threshold points (at
> > > >approximately 500 members, in the previous example)?
> > > >
> > > >Thanks,
> > > >
> > > >Doug Fraiser
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > _____________________________________________________________________
> > > SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
> > > network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
> > > an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
> > > UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
> > >
> >
> > _____________________________________________________________________
> > SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
> > network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
> > an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
> > UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
> >
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
> network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
> an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
> UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>
>

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
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