/Message: Authority Is A Highly Charged Particle

I’ve discussed my thoughts on authority before and I think follower count is a poor measure; but Stowe Boyd as has a great post (where the name for this post came from) summing up much of the controversy.

Two things I particularly like about the post: his spelling out why follower count is not without merit as a measure, and his unshy conviction that influence is a good thing.

To these I’ll add one short thought and one quote.  Follower count, for all of its failings is the single measure we can all agree on.  That alone is powerful. As for influence:

It is the pressure of our peers, after all, that gives us the support to try things we otherwise wouldn’t have.  — BILL TREASURER, Right Risk

A very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to you and your social network. Keep connecting.

Random Graph Generation in Perl

If you ever find yourself needing to generate random graphs in Perl (quite the ice breaker, I can tell you), I recommend checking out Matt Spear’s Graph::Maker, which has generators for everything from Erdos-Renyi and Watts-Strogatz to Lollipop graphs. The only downside is the use of Graph which is s-l-o-w for graphs of even moderate size, so makes using it directly for simulations of Social Networks out.

Watts Strogatz Network from Wikipedia

[Image from Wikipedia]

Happiness is Contagious in Social Networks

Social Happines (From the NY Times)
Social Happiness (From the NY Times)

Knowing someone who is happy makes you 15.3% more likely to be happy yourself, the study found. A happy friend of a friend increases your odds of happiness by 9.8%, and even your neighbor’s sister’s friend can give you a 5.6% boost.

“Your emotional state depends not just on actions and choices that you make, but also on actions and choices of other people, many of which you don’t even know,” said Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis, a physician and medical sociologist at Harvard who co-wrote the study.

…quoth the LA Times; and there’s more coverage over at the NY Times (including a full size of that great image).

Game Theory + Network Analysis = ?; An Example

During one Saturday in the beginning of November, I took part in a multi-party negotiation, which had some surprising results. Out of curiosity, I mapped who wanted what from whom, and ran a basic network analysis.  The second surprise of the day was the analysis was really close to the observed results. I hope this description of my network analysis of a common game theory problem spurs discussion about how use network analysis and game theory in combination.