Print

Print


*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Another couple things:

1. Someone mentioned that one difference between sociology and physics
is that sociologists are interested in individuals. While in some way we
are  interested in individuals, I think (and I will admit that others
not cited here have thought this before me) that sociology was the first
truly "holistic" science. (Psychology, Micro Economics etc. are micro
level social sciences) Physics is a traditionally reductionist science
that saw the light of the holistic approach somewhere around the 80s.
Sociologists should realize that it takes a couple of generations to
change a culture. It may take physicists some time to accumulate some
lessons learned.

2. When looked at from a distance all networks do and should look alike,
but that is a function of distance not the object of study. Simmel noted
that: "the qualities and behaviors with which the individual forms a
mass, because he shares them with others, are rated valuationally
inferior." (The Sociology of Georg Simmel, Kurt Wolfe, Free Press p. 31
(pink book)). It seems as though when studying many networks it is
easier to see the least common denominator that understand  the
processes that differentiate them.

Just a thought.


-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Wolfe, Alvin
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 12:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: All Networks Look the Same?

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Valdis' reference to Erica Klarreich's little article "Sizing up Complex
Webs: Close or far, many networks look th same" (Science News Online
http://www.scincenews.org/articles/20050129/fob3.asp) certainly
attracted comment on SOCNET.  27 messages in the two days of February
2nd and 3rd!

I don't know much about math, but the article and some of the relevant
comments seemed to be perfectly consistent with what I was talking about
in my Keynote address to the INSNA Sunbelt Social Network Conference in
Cancun, February, 2003.   It was entitled "Connecting the Dots Without
Forgetting the Circles" by which I meant that everything scientists try
to study - everything material, everything biological, everything
socio-cultural - is organized in hierarchically structured networks
that, as Klarreich says, "display similar patterns, whether viewed from
up close or far away."  As you approach closer, the dots become circles,
and as you distance yourself the circles become dots.  Similar patterns
at each level of the hierarchy.
 The address is supposed to be published soon in CONNECTIONS, but you
can read some excerpts relevant to this issue at:
http://luna.cas.usf.edu/~wolfe/Excerpt-re-self-similarity.pdf
Or, if you want to read the whole thing, at
http://luna.cas.usf.edu/~wolfe/Wolfe2003-ConnectingDots&Circles.pdf
--Alvin
Alvin W. Wolfe Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Department of
Anthropology 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SOC107 University of South Florida
Tampa, FL  33620-8100   813-974-0794

-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Valdis
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 8:24 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: All Networks Look the Same?


*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Hmm... I have real networks from real organizations that do NOT look
like this...

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20050129/fob3.asp

Any other views?

Valdis

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an
email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE
SOCNET in the body of the message.

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.