We keep talking about how linking to each other creates the network’s structure. Well hashtags are also a way of linking to other stuff online, and we should definitely continue using hashtags – but ONLY in writing. Imagine if we start speaking in hashtags…
Week 9’s ‘unlecture’ was primarily about the Barabási readings for week 8, which I also wrote about yesterday. In there I wrote about my confusion about his mathematically founded theory and his mentioning of the 80/20 rule. Well I suppose that’s ok, at least Adrian shared some of my thoughts when he said: “The 80/20 rule – don’t know why that rule rules. It’s a simple model, but I don’t know where it comes from and why it isn’t 60/40”. I guess I’ll just leave it there and focus on other thoughts from the ‘unlecture’ and the Barabási readings.
The question about networks having centers, were again a part of the ‘unlecture’ today. Adrian said something interesting about how hubs are defined by how many connections they have, in and out. That made me think about how a network as LinkedIn works and how the nodes inside that networks organise themselves. If you as a node know the hubs, the people who are connected to a lot of people, you would have easier access to a greater network, than if you only know newcomers in the LinkedIn network. I don’t know if that is preferable, but I do know fellow students from Denmark who have been offered very relevant jobs because of their network on LinkedIn.
Working with the term ‘hub’ got me thinking about what Brian said today about how networks are dynamic and that they are growing. Further more he talked about how the network of cities are changing over time and therefor the hubs changes location. That makes sense and if you look at some sort of flight plan, it is probably easy to identify the cities with the most connections, in and out like with the hubs on LinkedIn. But but but.. I am just wondering. Wouldn’t the hub be different in terms of what you are looking for? What I am trying to say is; if a filmmaker is searching for some sort of a nature location the hub might appear as a small town on Iceland, and if the family are looking for the next vacation location the hub might appear as Kuta on Bali. Again on LinkedIn, a ‘hub person’ for me might not be an international well known doctor from New York, but he might be to a person studying medicine.
I’m a bit confused now…
Barabási, the Hungarian-American physicist born in Transylvania, Romania is known for his work in the research of network-theory. Barabási played a role in the discovery of the scale-free network concept, which figures in the category of statistical physics of complex systems. A scale-free network is a network whose degree distribution follows a power law, at least asymptotically. That is, the fraction P(k) of nodes in the network having k connections to other nodes goes for large values of k as where y is a parameter whose value is typically in the range 2 < y < 3, although occasionally it may lie outside these bounds (say what!?). In the readings for week 9: “The 80/20 Rule” and “Rich get Richer” Barabási explains his network-theory and how it developed.
I can’t say I totally understand his scale-free network concept. I think it seems complex and way to mathematical for me to understand compared to Castells and his power-in-networks theory. Barabási’s theory is clearly grounded in the positive ontology and the assumption that there is an objective reality ‘out there’ that we can observe, represent and make corresponding thrush claims about. Therefor the theory’s epistemology (what knowledge is and how we can acquire it) dualistic – it’s separating mind and matter. What I am trying to say is that Barabási’s theory measure data in order to understand the way we are all connected online, which for me seems kind of cryptic. What about questions like: “Why do nodes link to preferential nodes?” and “Why do nodes add themselves to networks and make them grow?”. Aren’t nodes the same as individuals and do individuals not have different demographics and psychographics which make them act and interpret differently inside networks, like Stuart Hall would say?
I’m not saying that the theory of the scale-free network doesn’t make sense at all, I’m just saying that I think there are missing pieces in the puzzle.
This weeks ‘unlecture’ was again performed differently by Adrian and his accomplices. But if you ask me, it worked. I think that the 50 minutes now contained a lot of interesting points from different perspectives. Therefor I have quite a lot of keywords in my notebook to write about even thought this weeks subject was ‘Design Fiction’ again. Apparently I missed out on a few interesting points when it comes to ‘Design Fiction, but I think that Brian explained the difference between ‘Design Fiction’ and ‘Science Fiction’ in an understandable way: ‘Design Fiction’ is speculating about how the actual design is going to fit in to an organisation, institution, society etc. ‘Science Fiction’ is more keen on speculate about the one technology and how it works. Brain also argued that ‘Design Fiction’ is humble and that it is not about creating the perfect solution and therefor it is not about saving the planet with one great technology solution. No, ‘Design Fiction’ is about “what people do matter”.
The “unlecture” of week 3 was not like last week. I spend 50 minutes in the theatre listening to Adrian talking, and after class I only remembered what would be 15 seconds of talking. But that doesn’t mean that the 15 seconds I remember wasn’t important, in fact I think these 15 seconds might be the summary of what Adrian was trying to tell us during the 50 minutes:
“People, this is an invitation to dance. Just because you don’t know the steps it’s not an excuse to not join in”
OK, I really don’t know how to start of this post. This whole blogging thing just makes me think about a lot of stuff. How do I want my blog to present itself to readers? Which attributes are the most appropriate and what should I write about besides the networked media related thinking?
All of this thinking is good or at least I think it is. One of my first thoughts about the fact that Adrian wants us to build up our own blog was that: “Can he actually force us to create our own blog?”. Especially because blogging is publishing and publishing is being public, so are we being forced to do public writing? I really thought a lot about this because it is kind of an ethical question, if you ask me. But with that being said I know that most people of my generation is using other types of social media as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., and when we use these types of media we are being just as public as when we write a blog post on our own blog. We just don’t have a teacher like Adrian reminding us that what we are writing is now out there!
So. From being really skeptical about this whole blogging thing, I now think that blogging in The Networked Media course, could give me the right skills to manage all of the publishing I do every day on the internet. Jesus, I’ve got a headache…