I’ve completely changed the home page for this site. Here is the former one:
This site is nominally devoted to Social Technology, but will include discussions, not only of related topics but of topics dear to the heart of its author.
Most especially, this site exists to promote a specific view of Social Technology. It is one highly influenced by mathematics and information theory. Various pages and posts explain how and why.
A fundamental concept is that of a social network, which is what computer scientists and mathematicians call a graph. Each link, or edge, in such a graph may be given a weight, which is important for manipulating the graph. Here we discuss graphs (networks) in which the weight or strength of a link is a representation of how well the individuals in the social network communicate. This is discussed in terms of signal strength and distortion, important concepts in information theory.
Signal strength is further broken down into the compatibility of the individuals involved and the amount of communication between them. Compatibility also affects distortion, so it would be more correct to express signal strength and distortion in terms of compatibility and contact.
An analysis of social networks in this way reveals that how badly information flow through them is affected by how many compatible friends one has, and at what levels. A scale is presented for judging the compatibility, and its use is explained. From this analysis one basic conclusion is drawn: that having few very compatible friends and being in close contact with them is much much better than having many less important “friends” in your life.