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Ian – Concerning certification my background includes a long history of opposing certification for management, decision-making or leadership.

 

The implied subtext of SNA in the Drone Program is that it is used prescriptively versus descriptively. That is crazy, but it sounds good to nut-jobs that hate the military.

 

Remember, the US Military is controlled by civilians. Drone target lists are ultimately a civilian and political decision, of course. Insofar as SNA can aid targeting opportunities descriptively, while leaving the final shoot orders to the civilian/political masters, then it makes sense. A drone strike is a complex geopolitical decision needing to be corroborated with multiple agencies and governments. That’s not a job for SNA.

 

As long a ‘SNA Certification’ is bounded as specific analytical techniques, for professional analysts only, then certification may be okay.

 

However, the tendency and temptation is to believe technique certification lends decision-making credibility or allows analysts to determine the ultimate course of action. That is very dangerous and must be continuously rejected. Decision making, robust management and strong leadership can never be certified.

 

Certified analysts master technique not context.

 

 

-j

 

 

From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian McCulloh
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 5:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] What is an old/dormant strong tie?

 

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I am disappointed that Matt Brashears has not commented on the tie strength issue.  I like his theories on tie strength so much I published it in my book.

 

Matt argues that there are several components to the strength of a tie, for example intimacy and frequency of contact.  He illustrates this with the example of an old friend (high intimacy, low frequency), a spouse (high intimacy, high frequency), a co-worker (low intimacy, high frequency), and a stranger (low intimacy, low frequency).  The tie strength is a diagonal line where the spouse quadrant is the strong tie and the stranger quadrant is a weak tie.  Strong ties often require more effort and resources to maintain and cultivate.  A person utilizes different dimensions of strength depending upon the nature of the need.  For example, if you need to borrow a few dollars for lunch, you won't ask an old friend in a different town.  You'd ask a co-worker.  If you were faced with a personal tragedy, you may not rely on a co-worker, but would call an old friend.  

 

Look for Matt's paper when he publishes it.  

 

As for John Maloney's point, I think the main idea was that there are people using SNA for pretty important things (military targeting, criminal investigations, etc) that don't really know what they are talking about.  Regardless of the specific point (tie strength, centrality, etc), I think he is totally right.  Perhaps we are at the point as an academic field, where we should consider certifications.  Should there be some kind of certification process for practitioners?  We require certification for teachers, lawyers, medical doctors, even hair stylists.  If people in government are going to use SNA for military targeting and criminal investigation, I think it would be a good idea to certify them to make sure they know what they are doing.

 

ian

 

On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM, John McCreery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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Dan, 

 

I just downloaded your dissertation and read the introduction. You have me hooked. Both as an advertising copywriter and as a veteran of several volunteer organizations mired in old divisions and quarrels, I responded instantly to your title "Ghosts of Organization Past." The introduction has drawn me in. Yes, yes, yes....I find my head nodding yes over and over again as I read. 

 

You point to another important aspect of real world social networks that distinguish them from the mathematical models we construct based on random graphs that mirror free market assumptions. I am tempted to call it innocence. We chatter on about homophily and brokerage, for example, without considering the social debris, old quarrels, grudges, unhealed wounds, etc., that affect how ties are may or may not be activated and, perhaps more important, how they will be activated—in warm support, chilly alliance, bitter factionalism or vendetta.  Not saying the models are wrong. The math works really well. What it has to do with the messiness of real life and real politics? That is an interesting question, indeed.

 

John

 

 

On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 5:01 AM, Dan Ryan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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I wrote about broken ties and such as "social organizational junk" and urban communities as "organizational junk yards" in my "Ghosts of Organization Past" (http://bit.ly/16llywd -- currently under review) -- idea being that organizations and networks don't really go away when they die.  Instead they degrade over time, but have the potential for "re-animation" when new resources appear and can be either obstacles or opportunities to new organizing/intervention efforts.  A related concept of the down-side of connection was "network noise" that happens when perturbations meander across networks (when bad planning on your part becomes and an emergency for me, whether I like it or not).


Dan

----

Kathryn P. Hannam Associate Professor, teaching in sociology and public policy

Mills College, Oakland, CA.



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--
John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324
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http://www.wordworks.jp/

_____________________________________________________________________ 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.

_____________________________________________________________________ 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.