***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Broadbent: How about this: Any relationship between two "units," from a tension to a friendship, can be considered a "vector." Whatever the content (relational modality)of the vector, its degree of control over the actions of the units is a variable. The value of the variable runs from highly cohesive (sticky--allowing no agency by the units) to highly "friable" (crumbly--allowing much agency by the units). If we think of it this way, we can compare networks on their degree of cohesiveness. Lanham: A. Vectors have directional relationship to an origin. What would that be in this case or in these cases--the center is unfixed? It is a bit like asking where the Big Bang is located. B. What would be the unit(s) of magnitude and what would an origin mean in these units? If context dependent, why--particularly if "structural"? C. "Linkage" seems more productive. Linkage as might be used in rhetoric, law, international affairs in the same sort of way. It seems to be more productive from a symbolic interactionist perspective. Semantics...but because it has to be! My point, as you might guess, is that there are no standard origins or standard units nor could there be in the "social." Another try...probably as flawed or more so... 1. Network linkages entail bidirectional flows of information--i.e. meaningful data movement, or event-driven responses to information between sets of actors/actants. Interpretation: Information does not flow from the moon to tribes--data does..where it is then interpreted. Information DOES flow from servers to clients and sometimes back. Client/server is a social network. Moon/tribes is not. Border to citizen is a social network. Citizen to identity is a network. Gravity to monkey is not. Whale to seal is. Tree to tree (pollen) is. Wind to tree is not. That is, interpretation of phenomena is not a network unless phenomena had intended meaning. It is intention that makes them perspective-based--i.e. symbolic. They are, necessarily, the subject of interpretation. 2. Networks are partial sets of actants/actors where elements are influenced by information in a way that is remarkable--i.e. symbolic. Note: A set is any non-null group of actants where influence occurs between actants. Remarkable implies that it is noticed from some perspective. Influence is action (including development of an ontology) caused by receipt of information (meaningful data.) Natural forces are information iff their source is considered an actant. 3. "Social" networks occur where humans as actors are included in the partial set. Interpretation: Buoys interacting with monitoring technology is not a social network. Interpretation of the results and planning the placement of the buoys is a social network. Note: The social entails any human involvement motivated by meaning. _____________________________________________________________________ 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.