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Well, I think they both are salient:
the media has investigated Obama for buying his house from indicted
political fundraiser Tony Rezko and they have investigated McCain for
buying too many houses (as an academic, I too lose count of how many
houses I own sometimes).
and the media was also quite interested in who Bill Clinton kissed
(now *that's* a lot of collaboration) and now who Sarah Palin's
daughter kissed (Bill swears it wasn't him).
so from their point of view, a past connection could mean a current,
hidden connection, and thus current influence....
but, yes, that way of viewing the world asymptotes all of us towards
having a Palin number of 2!
James H. Fowler
On Sep 15, 2008, at 3:02 AM, Blyden Potts wrote:
> The most interesting question here IMO is: Which kinds of compound
> relations have political salience?
> I would imagine that buying your house from a person who had a
> personal relationship with the candidate would have not have any
> appreciable impact on voting behavior or political ideology. Does
> the relation "buying a house from" or any compound relation stemming
> from that direct relation have any impact on one's politics? Does it
> make your politics more similar to Palin's than they otherwise be?
> Or do you find yourself more likely to vote for her on account of
> your closeness? OTOH if you were close friends with someone who had
> been intimate with her that seems more likely to matter. Also the
> direction of that impact, of each relation, could be either positive
> or negative.
> Timing would seem to be a factor. Your relation to the house seller
> is in the past, and his relation to Palin is in the past, so you
> only have a Palin number of 2 if you consider relations in
> cumulative time. Wouldn't your current Palin number matter more?
> I used to be 2 steps from Jesse Ventura, and when I was there was
> some minor active political influence that came across those two
> links, but now my Ventura number must be at least 3, and I no longer
> get that active political influence. I'm no longer even sure what
> the path distance may be. Across all time my Ventura number would
> still be two, but clearly the impact has changed.
> Blyden Potts
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> On Behalf Of James Fowler
> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 1:16 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: me, Paul Erdos, and Sara Palin
> I bought my house from a man who kissed Sara Palin.
> All sorts of interesting questions arise.
> *In high school was Palin as prolific in "collaborating" as Erdos was
> at publishing?
> *Could this be a factor behind "the Palin bump?"
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