***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ ***** For the sake of argument I'd like to consider the point of view implied in some of the statements made by Bernie Hogan, and offer alternatives from a different point of view. Not because I think the one point of view is right and the other wrong, but just to get people to recognize there may be another way to look at some of these things: "I would add to this by suggesting that a relation cannot be defined without also defining a node.... A relation is a means to specify a specific association between *particular* nodes." Or maybe nodes are ways of defining entities from a particular set of relationships? "A node is a distinct and bounded measurable entity (often referred to as ego or an agent or an actor). Nodes can be people, books, businesses, countries, you name it. If it's discrete and non-trivial then it works. Oceans, for example, wouldn't work by this defition. They are continuous, not contiguous." The "boundaries" that lead us to see people, books, businesses, countries, etc as "distinct" or "discrete" might be just as subjective as the notions that lead us to consider the oceans "continuous". How do you even know that a boundary exists except by virtue of a discontinuity in relationships? You find the edge of your body by recognizing that on one side of it a series of relationships hold (e.g. continuity of flesh for example) that do not continue across the boundary, no? Consider a current in the above mentioned oceans. Where does one current end and another begin? What are the nodes that this relationship connects? In the modern age it seems increasingly that the old, assumed boundaries that defined a business or book or polity (at least) as discrete are no longer valid to assume. Can there be a definition of any THING (i.e. a node) without reference to how that thing relates to other things? Including most notably a symbolic representation of that thing? If so, it would seem that relationships logically precede things or at least the identity of things as things. It seems to me presumptive to privilege nodes over relationships. Blyden Potts _____________________________________________________________________ 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.