Month: March 2007

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 how I think…

In this “small world” architecture of the brain, clusters of cells link to their nearest neighbors with some neurons connecting to distant clusters. It’s the same phenomenon that social networking pioneer Duncan Watts of NYU and Steven Strogatz of Cornell previously showed emerges in the electric-power grid, relationships between professional actors, and the brain cells of worms. read more

Societal Culture and the Internet’s Clusters

China’s internet users 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 theĀ Chinese Acadamy of Social Sciences published a study showing that one third (andĀ growing) of internet users had no email accounts, and of them, only a third check their email daily. Forty-two percent of netizens did not use a search engine. Seventy-five percent had never made an online purchase. read more