***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ ***** I received an off-list comment on some of the discussion on this thread that I thought raised some issues that might be of general interest. I have anonymized the person who sent me the message to which I am responding. What is new here that may or may not be something others want to discuss has to due with the ethics of "technique" and issues of what Human Subjects protection means. My response to a question below: It is not a question of cultures (unless you mean the issues I raised about organization among the troops to defend human values) but of functions and activities. Regardless of subjective intentions among the Commanders, the military of the USA, UK, and others are currently involved in mass killing in Afghanistan and Iraq, for example. You or I may or may not want to defend that on political grounds, but clearly this is what they are doing. What I object to on this or other scientific list-serves is the assumption that there is a value-free "technique" that is the sole object of discussion, whether it be military social network analysis, the creation of poison gases or new viruses for use against populations, or the selling of Coca Cola (or tofu) to clientele. In the medical and public health fields, at least, due to Human SUbjects requirements, these issues are called ethics--and are part of scientific discussion. Has the military social network research been through a properly constituted Human SUbjects Board review? Do those on whom the research is carried out get a chance to reject participation through an informed consent procedure? Do those on whom the re-shaped military will do whatever they do more effiiciently have the chance to be part of the Human Subjects procedure? To reject being done to by the military through an informed consent procedure? >>> Anonymized message to me was:>>> Sam, The common assumption underlying both of your questions is that the Commanders (it is a word in this context that should be capitalized) wish to destroy societies and peoples and are against the creation of a decent world. Also, you juxtapose these two closely related 'goals' (that you impute to Commanders in general) with opposite responses to those goals. So, conceptually speaking, instead of creating a statement that dispassionately illustrates the valid point of making sure that we expose value issues when addressing our organizational structure goals, you have created a stereotyped picture of military organization and culture that becomes a strawman. I will agree that you are not hiding these issues, but I will continue to assert that your underlying assumption is boilerplate in many circles and is generally left unquestioned (perhaps this is a better way to characterize what I previously described as 'hidden'). It is also grossly incorrect. In fact, the evolution of Western militaries (please don't assume this to include Nazi or Soviet militaries) has been continuously toward the antithesis of destruction of "other societies and peoples" and toward destruction of only other militaries. Quite the opposite of the picture you paint with your questions and especially true of the United States' Military. Cheers, Name DeletedOn _____________________________________________________________________ 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.