November 1, 2009

from social networking to souls

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:41 pm by changisme

Earlier this year, it was all over the media when scientist from the US showed that people’s social network circle has a strong impact on their health. The few studies that were conducted focused on pregnancy and obesity. It was shown that where you are in the network is associated with your individual makeup, which is unsurprising, but also, the network that is not immediately related to you, is also associated with your DNA. For example, some people like to introduce their friends to their other friends, so their networks are more entangled than others. In other words, how my network and my friend’s network look like is more than the sum of our two immediate networks. There is another layer of meaning that comes from the information that describes how we are connected. This is described in the book Connected.

What it makes me think of are souls. We always talk about how we are more than an aggregate of billions of cells. It all sounds beautiful but like a wishful thinking. Now, however, it’s much easier for me to imagine how my soul is really there, not just there because I want it to be. It’s the part that is beyond.

*****************
For the math/stats nerds out there, I used to think of my soul as the residuals that are left unexplained by my model. Now I don’t like it anymore, because all models are false, and the remaining variations can also be explained further by augmenting the model, but my cells are real. Even if I fully understand each cell, I cannot augment my cell model enough to account for all my individuality. Afterall, this is only an analogy. Social networking though, is not just an analogy, I think it’s really the same mechanisms.

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. Jingchan said,

    It was shown that where you are in the network is associated with your individual makeup, which is unsurprising, but also, the network that is not immediately related to you, is also associated with your DNA.啥意思?讲讲~~

  2. Karen said,

    我觉得他们的意思是说在一个网络里,你可能在中间(联系多),也可能在周边(联系少),这是个个人性质有关的。


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: