One reason why it is difficult to find "networking gods" may lie in our
mythic heritage. As I recall, a strong theme in Joseph Campbell's work was
in the ascendency of Greco-Roman male-hero figures over earlier maternal
mythical figures (I believe he refers to a "Mother Right").

The gist was that these more contemporary myths tended to portray the male
heroes overcoming the female personas. The female figures in these myths
tended to be re-cast rather negatively. The myth of Perseus and Medusa is
a great example. In a nutshell, we find an underlying theme of (rational)
man versus the irrational, chaotic forces of nature ("mother" nature).

So, what I'm suggesting is that it will be easier to find "defenders" of
networks rather than "builders" of networks. Builders such as Arachne are
kind of marginalized carryovers from earlier days who get whacked by male
heroes (in this case by Minerva, who is closer to the hero mold).

BTW, my favorite of these hero versus chaos myths is Thor. He would use
his famous hammer, boomerang-like, to regularly hold back the forces of
chaos enveloping and closing in on our world.

Is there some useful lesson in all this? I think so. Social networks are
constructs in our minds. How we view them is how we view them.

-- Richard Southwick
   Syracuse University                          [log in to unmask]
   School of Information Studies      
   4-116 Center for Science and Technology      Tel: 315.443.2911
   Syracuse, NY 13244                           Fax: 315.443.5806