[Humanist] 28.511 the power of weak ties?
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Nov 23 09:08:28 CET 2014
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 511.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:30:42 -0500
From: Francois Lachance <lachance at chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Power of Weak Ties
In-Reply-To: <20140809052456.34AA4630E at digitalhumanities.org>
Clive Thompson in <i>Smarter Than You Think: How technology is changing
our minds for the better</i> in the chapter on Ambient Awareness rehearses
the sociological literature on the strength of weak ties; he does so along
with compelling anecdotes from social networking. Let him explain:
Granovetter pointed out, your friends have an informational deficit.
They're too similar. This is the principle of homophilly: Socially, we
tend to be close friends with people who mirror us demographically,
culturally, intellectually, politically, and professionally. This makes it
easy to bond, but it also means that we drink from the same informational
pool. [...] Weak ties are different. These people are, as Granovetter
pointed out, further afield, so they're soaking in information we don't
have and moving among people we don't know at all. [...] The ties are
weak, but they are rich conduits for information.
How might this apply to the intellectual ecology of discussion lists?
Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks
[for Mark Granovetter's article, "The Strength of Weak Ties", see The American Journal of Sociology 78.6: 1360-80, in JSTOR --WM]
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