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Loet:

>Chacun son gout!

>The system operates in terms of (changing) relations, but the network
of
>relations contains an architecture. This architecture can be expected
to
>change at a pace slower than the first-order variation. 

>Contexts provide disturbances. The disturbances become relevant for the
>architecture where the signal can be distinguished from the noise. One
can
>operationalize in terms of different types of coupling. For example,
what
>you write in a message can be understood by me, but whether you wrote
it on
>a PC or a Macintosh is as a context no longer relevant for our
>communication
>(at this stage). Have a nice breakfast! :-)

Ryan:

Disturbances is an interesting term.  I say open system, you say closed
systems with disturbances.  What is the difference?  I think the
difference is profound.  

The 21st century will be the one of unintended
consequences...disturbances.  The morality of our science will hinge on
who sets the boundaries--as it always has.  The boundary between myth
and history was once thin then fat and is now thin again.  The boundary
between network and context is everything.  SNA wants it to be fat, but
it is always and everywhere very thin...gossamer at best.  

SNA wants to be a highly bounded (discrete) methodology for considering
the social...its error.  "It" believes in structure and selective views
of order.  But you are right not to abandon "It" too quickly--I was
chastised by Professor Wasserman, already!  It is unlikely Eric
Beinhocker will be taught in many economics classes in the next 20
years.  After the next 20, you will find few where he is not mentioned
and then not read--rather like Adam Smith whose title he played with.
Paradigms die slowly.  

Taste is in the eye of the beholder as the French and Romans knew and
know.  But we are not bound to a philosophy of SNA that is in the eye of
the beholder.  We can engage in attempts to justify why we selectively
cull out networks from contexts and who gets to decide what is order and
architecture and what is not.  You are right to use the term
operationalize because he who defines networks defines operations...not
contexts.  And operations always have a purpose.  

I think that is just right.  Social networks are methods of ontology
extension.  They are open systems because they are methods...not
structures.  The processes of inclusion and exclusion matter most.    

Your s/n is my "meaning."  Thanks for chatting mon semblable.

Bon appetit!      

Ryan Lanham   

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