Albert Hupa on Sun, 16 Apr 2006 12:03:18 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re[2]: network


first of all, I'd like to say that I totally agree with Brian Carroll that the
issue is related conceptualisation. What I want to avoid is fight for words, and
such is, according to me, the notion of network.

As I see it, network, at least in this discussion, has two meanings:

1.  a map, a plan of relations (any: market, chierarchical, commune, etc). It is
like that one used in sociometrics

2. pattern of behaviour nad cooperation, constantly changing set of different
relations, where it is the position what is fought for, with no ridgid chierarchy.
It is something similar to me to multiagent systems, like genetic or evolutionary
algorythms or linux bazaar.

My point is, that a metaphor of network itself has nowadays less and less
explanatory value. The proove is the question which turned up in this discussion:

> Does  social  network  analysis  make  specific  contributions  to our
> understandings of the ways people structure and govern their relations to
> each other? Or does it just subsume every kind of relation
> under the picture of a network?

That is way I am now thinking of swarms which say something more. I agree with
Brian Carrol here:

>   * to me it sounds as if this is an issue related to conceptualization;
>   and that 'networks' may function in a larger environment of ideas-
>   for instance, with regard to flow, swarms, etc... it would seem that
>   'networks' could be considered in terms of an ecological system
>   in which various ecosystems (self-contained groups) are linked to
>   eachother, with flows between ecosystems in the larger ecology...
>   (where, possibly, groups are balancing in a larger dynamic, etc.)

Let's consciously combine two meanings of a network a map, a set of relations
analyzed from ecological point of view and the kind of behaviour. Ned Rossiter
said that they are unpredictable attractors. I don't agree with it at all. That is
why I think of using the notion of swarm - it's emergent behaviour cannot be
described as unpredictable. We may find out some patterns in its behaviour and
thus, learn something out of networks.

that was all I wanted to say at the begining


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