Many, maybe even most, of what we are like as human beings derives not from within ourselves but from our relationships—our bonds, our dealings, our links—with others of our kind.
“The only rules of scientific method are honest observations and accurate logic. To be great it must also be guided by a judgment, almost an instinct, for what is worth studying.”— Robert MacArthur
If you want to learn not just how social relations are structured but also why, then it would be naive to assume what you are seeing can be explained solely by social properties and processes.
John Terrell Recently many news outlets around the world carried the startling news that archaeologists had found the world’s oldest bread—as witnessed by this headline for a story by Helen Briggs published on 17 July 2018 in the BBC News: Prehistoric bake-off: Scientists discover oldest evidence of bread NPR carried a similar story by Lina Zeldovich … Continue reading “Oldest piece of cheese?”
When you are asking good questions and trying to use network analysis to answer them, the focus should not only be on nodes and linkages, but also on exploring the consequences of the relationships being examined.
A network is an interrelated series of events having consequences affecting the likely repetition of those interactions.
Instead of seeing networks as systems or structures, it is useful as well as more truthful to describe dynamic network analysis as the study of relational events in time and space of differing character and probability.
The premise of dynamic network analysis is that the characteristics of things, people, and places are circumstantial and contingent on the interactions—the relationships—involved.
Categorical thinking assumes that things exist apart from one another, and may then become connected. Relational thinking assumes instead things exist because they are connected.
Truth may not be as appealing and important—as useful—to us as the benefits of things and events (and people, too) that are easy, convenient, and predictable.