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December 29, 2006

Networked Proximity - Section 1


Networks as Metaphors and Models

"Networks have become a powerful metaphor for explaining the social realities of our times. A network, defined minimally, is a system of interconnected elements or nodes, where each node represents an intersection of flows within the network. Everywhere we look there are attempts to explain all kinds of social formations in terms of networks: citizen networks, corporate networks, gamer networks, terrorist networks, learning networks, networks of production, networks of distribution... and so on. The metaphor of the network can be superimposed over just about any form of multiplicity, including non-social ones (for instance, cells in the brain can be described in terms of a network). For the purposes of this study, however, every reference to networks, unless otherwise specified, is meant to allude to technosocial assemblages in which ICT’s facilitate social relations between humans unconstrained by the physical distance between them. If Cognitive Science attempted to explain individual consciousness by adopting the metaphor of the brain as a computer, with its inputs and outputs, Social Science is extending the metaphor a step further by attempting to explain the social in terms of networks—or, in this context, sets of interconnected computers/brains." Continue reading Networked Proximity - Section 1 by Ulises Ali Mejias. Also see Networked Proximity - Introduction.

Posted by jo at December 29, 2006 11:49 AM