Print

Print


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

howdy,

i am a political scientist and merely a consumer of the SOCNET 
discussions, which i enjoy and learn from. over the past week, i was 
struck by lack of response to barry wellman's post regarding the absence 
of a discussion about the recent revelations concerning the NSA 
("puzzling omissions," 6/14). indeed, this dearth was thrown into even 
greater relief by the impressive buzz regarding attribution for 
achievements in network analysis and the veracity of information on 
wikipedia.

while most of us are rarely trained in the normative and ethical 
implications of our pursuit of normal science, it seems to me that 
pondering the social, political, and economic ethical implications of 
the science we do is an important exercise, even if it is difficult and 
often inconclusive. political science certainly has a long history (even 
preceding its modern incarnation) rife with examples of theories not 
used for "good", or well-intentioned efforts to implement theories for 
the good that go awry. the post-WWII qualms of hard scientists wrestling 
with the implications of their creations is also notable, and helped 
motivate the field of peace science. yet, even peace science is cut 
through with a normative tension: if one is a peace scientist, can one 
do research demonstrating how to win wars that may in turn be used by 
governments?

i simply wonder what scientists of social networks think about these 
normative issues in their general form, rather than as an indictment of 
a specific government policy, the NSA, and so forth.  perhaps it is 
simply better to address the negative implications of network analysis 
in fora other than science (e.g., politics), to forge ahead confident 
that when the chips fall where they may, good outcomes will exceed the bad?

regards,
andrew

On 6/14/2013 8:09 AM, Barry Wellman wrote:
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
>
> I am flabbergasted that there has been no discussion on this list -- 
> or even announcement -- of the NSA's use of social network analysis to 
> do massive surveillance of American and unAmerican populations.
>
> Nor any talk of the Turkish situation -- seems to fit Chuck Tilly's 
> network-basis analyses of collective political behaviour.
>
>   Barry Wellman
>  _______________________________________________________________________
>
>   S.D. Clark Professor               FRSC               NetLab Director
>   Faculty of Information (iSchool)                 611 Bissell Building
>   140 St. George St.    University of Toronto    Toronto Canada M5S 3G6
>   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman          twitter: @barrywellman
>
>   NETWORKED:The New Social Operating System. Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman
>   MIT Press            http://amzn.to/zXZg39      Print $22 Kindle $16
>                  Old/NewCyberTimes http://bit.ly/c8N9V8
> ________________________________________________________________________
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> 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.