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i am totally with you on that point. talking about social networks, one needs some knowledge about social sciences. and if one does not have that knowledge, it definitly should lead to finding a helpful sociologist.

But about the general laws: physicists have a very long tradition of finding laws in nature that did not look as though they have anything in common. Later research found they had thouhg! So maybe it would be a very good idea to let the physisicst look for general laws, while the sociologists use the methods to gain mor insight into the sociological questions.

On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 12:59:05AM -0800, Martina Morris wrote:
> i just think if you study social networks, it helps to know something
> about social science.
> of course physicists have done research on networks.  and it is
> fascinating to think about some of the parallels, but the idea that all
> networks have the same form, or come from the same generational mechanism,
> doesn't make much sense -- empirically, scientifically, or intuitively.
> it's a bit like saying that if you have independent observations, all you
> need is a (one parameter) linear regression model. and without a good
> statistical method to evaluate the fit of alternative models, it's not
> clear how this (or any other) claim could be assessed.
> On Thu, 3 Feb 2005, Bettina Hoser wrote:
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> >
> >I do not support the view of Martina, but partly that of Moses. networks
> >do play a very large role in physics: much of solid state physics
> >(semi-conducter, conducter, cristals, etc) is about transport in
> >networks or growth of networks. on the other hand for example aome
> >quantum mechanical effects like entanglement etc is also about particles
> >that are somehow or other connected.
> >
> >I guess the question is, how many and who in the relative scientific
> >network are willing to share their ideas and thoughts in such a way to
> >help all of us to better understand networks and their dynamics. I look at
> >it as a kind of mosaic: if whoever has something to contribute does that
> >regardless of "old" animosities between different fields of science, then
> >the whole field will be better off.
> >
> >I really do hope to see more physicists interested in sociology (and also
> >citing the relevant people).
> >--
> >Dipl.-Phys. Bettina Hoser
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> >Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
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> >
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> >
> >Telefon: +49.721.608-8407
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> >
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