Category: Physics and Social Media

Google has launched a new, highly relevant capability. Google search now supports the Bacon Number for actors, based on building a small world social network, probably from spidering IMDb or the like. If you type in, for example, ‘bacon number laurence olivier’ you will see this:

Padraig Mac Carron and Ralph Kenna apply social network analysis to old texts — like The Iliad and Beowolf — to see if the relationships between the characters is like real social snetwork. If they are, that lends support for the premise that these tales are about real people, not just some shadows cast on the […]

Megan Garber at The Atlantic caught my attention with a post about Twitter and the use of swearing: We know, at this point, how the nation tweets. But what about how the nation swears? The Ukrainian-based web development firm Vertaline, aiming to answer that question, scanned tweets posted from across 462 specific locations in the U.S. The team then […]

A recent startup called SNTMNT has opened its Trading Indicator API, which provides price predictions about the price of S&P 500 stocks. The company says its accuracy is about 64%, which suggests that users of the API will be consolidating these indicators with other sources of information. The approach is a very detailed level of […]

Gossip — talking about people when they are not present — is a staple of human societies, a universal aspect of human interaction. Not surprising, gossip occurs in all social contexts, including online conversations, like email, Twitter, and instant messaging. “Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who […]

One thing we can learn from even a casual inspection of the science of networks is the limits of our everyday understanding of people. For example, consider how much time and energy social metrics companies are spending convincing us that they can find those with the highest levels of influence (‘influencers’) relative to a market […]

Valdis Krebs makes an interesting supposition. He wonders if Amazon might launch a new social network based on the connections we have through books? If I have commented on David Weinberger’s new book, Too Big To Know, that could connect me with others who have read and commented on it. Below is a network map(via […]

The city is a built environment, and has been designed by our actions and behaviors. I grew up in Boston, where there is a perplexing layout in the oldest sections of town, with the apocryphal rationale is that the streets were paved over the wanderings of cows and drunken sailors. There are cognitive universals in […]

As just one of the fascinating results of recent research into social networks is the fact that happiness (and sadness) spread through social networks like headcolds. We are influencing — and influenced by — people up to three connections away from us in our social networks. Social Networks And Happiness, Nicholas A. Christakis & James […]

At the height of the Cold War, I was a 15-year-old farm boy and I was half convinced that we were heading for a scenario straight out of “The Day After”  or, at best, a “Red Dawn”. The Russians were kicking our ass at hockey and, according to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, our farm was in […]