How Social Networks Think

I’ve had difficulty explaining my networking concepts without resorting to some exasperated cliche like, “that’s just how I think about it.” Well, turns out that scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health are coming to the conclusion that that’s actually how the brain thinks. Of course that’s how I think about it. It’s literally …

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The Internet as Third Place

Ray Oldenburg is an urban sociologist who writes about the importance of informal public gathering places. In his book The Great Good Place, Oldenburg demonstrates why these gathering places are essential to community and public life. He argues that bars, coffee shops, general stores, and other “third places” (in contrast to the first and second …

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Societal Culture and the Internet’s Clusters

China’s “Netizens” number 130 million – and are growing 30% every year. Second only to the U.S., China is installing Broadband everywhere and internet cafes are the size of K-Marts and as abundant as Starbucks. In 2005, Dr. Guo Liang of the Chinese Acadamy of Social Sciences published a study showing that only two thirds …

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Some Great Pictures from NH

This is a great photo set from Steve Garfield. He was in the blogger meeting with Senator Edwards and walked away impressed. You can read his and other New Englanders posts at a few blogs such as this. Edwards, in an unorthodox move, is not asking you to join a campaign. He is asking you …

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Netmask width conversion

When setting up various services you will often be required to provide a subnet mask for the ip address you are configuring the service for. Sometimes you need to input the mask in the form xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, sometimes in terms of a mask width, or bits, in the format xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/ww, where ‘ww’ is the mask width …

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Sweet Commands

I have this knote on my desktop that I use to keep track of commands I use often, but not frequently enough to remember by heart. Its gets fairly long, and is invaluable for me in my daily internet building tasks. I occasionally clean it out, removing things I never use, have found better solutions …

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What works on MySpace

Over here at Future Majority, I answered a question about how one can make MySpace work. I brought up an example of “virtual-to-field back to virtual mobilization.” The hugely unfunny and equally popular comic Dane Cook is the example. The basic point is that the best political tools on the internet have been invented by …

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Migration and Evolution, Intelligently Designed: YouTube

Culture grows and spreads through environments organically. It evolves. When culture spreads via built environments, its evolution can be intelligently designed. Consider this example: What I know of as Lindy Hop, that athletic, exuberant, acrobatic dance, was essentially invented at the Savoy Ballroom in 1935 by Frankie Manning. Like so many things at the time, …

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Identity in Network Culture: MySpace

What is the culture of MySpace? Youth culture in my town’s high school was dominated by the jocks and their rivals, the burnouts. The closer the burnouts were to jocks, preps, or worse their parents, the more miserable they felt about themselves. The further away from the mainstream, the greater their self-respect and higher their …

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The People Who Run The World

Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article in The New Yorker in 1999 called “Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg.” In it, he tangentially explains how it’s been mathematically proven that Kevin Bacon is NOT the most connected actor, that distinction goes to Burgess Meredith (Rocky’s trainer). Why? For value, the 70 year length of Meredith’s career was …

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