link to CSIRO’s computational informatics page

well worth a visit and a browse.

several projects using data-mining to gather intel on a range of natural and man-made phenomena:

http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Computational-Informatics.aspx

lead there by an article on one of their latest projects using emotion semantic categories (very rough to a linguist) to map reactions on twitter from tweets around the world. (see http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/popular-culture/mapping-the-worlds-emotions-with-twitter-20140519-38ixe.html)

twitter pulse

here an analysis of twitter tweets over the past year or so using some sort of algorithm + “sentiment analysis” . it is based on local political stuff, so may not make sense to those in the USA – and also i have to annonce the rider that, not being privy to what has been used to make the algorithm, and furthermore, being extremely skeptical of anything called “sentiment analysis” that is automatically compiled, i cannot say that some of the readouts will be of any actual authenticity or believability… however, my interest lies in the use of info-graphics for rendering lots of data. as the site says, “see more. read less”.

patterns of interaction recorded

this guy, deb roy, is working in visualising interaction, and trying to create machines that will interact in a “human-like” way. well, good luck with that, but the graphic visualisation of language and group dynamic interactions has me thinking maybe i should give up… although there’s always room for the micro as well as the macro patterning….

‘Caused’ / Enabling

(src) click for zoom in

I get the ’caused’ as opposed to caused, but my tentative reflection is that a distinction without a difference is implied in your remark, Apurr.

We know that social networks don’t cause anything. This would be the cybernetic view against presumptions that an instrumentality is ever wholly/directly/primarily causal. The various instrumentalities are networks for information conveyance in a “minded” system, so the network enables information to flow between instances of human consciousness. In turn a piece of information is propagated via other channels simultaneously, and, propagated as a consequence of, for example, Twitter. It could be said, a piece of information is off-loaded from the network conveyor and set on the, for example, mouth-to-ear conveyor.

In the larger minded system there are various conveyances. Web sites (including forums, al-Jazeera, blogs, newspapers, telephones, cell phones, one-to-one verbal, meetings, etc.. These sum to constitute an ecology. As Phillip Howard puts it:

Digital media didn’t oust Mubarak, but it did provide the medium by which soulful calls for freedom have cascaded across North Africa and the Middle East.

So: Digital media didn’t oust Mubarak, but it did provide a medium by which soulful calls for freedom have cascaded across North Africa and the Middle East.

I.
Influence and effects and consequences and other social results can be measured and assessed. I remember several years ago discussing with a social network expert and graphic specialist what a social network diagram does and does not show. I suggested to him that the qualities of the relationships and their relational effects are not aspects of the network diagram we were talking about. Depictions of network relationships represent implicit schemata. These pictures include and exclude functional aspects, and often also represent slices rather than dynamics.

With respect to a system and the system of systems–and granting Batesonian mindedness–I suspect the question of causality can be addressed only at the point a lot more dimensionality is built into the analysis.

II.

“There’s 80 million people in Egypt, and almost 40 percent are below the poverty line,” Sharma said. “Cell phone penetration is incredibly high, but the majority of the cell phones are not smartphones. A lot of the information that was getting out was from a very small critical mass of people that were able to tweet out of Egypt. Friends of mine in Cairo estimate that it’s less than 200 people who were tweeting from Cairo.”

“The reach of new media is spreading: as of December, 2009, there were over 2,300,000 Facebook users in Egypt. That’s 184 percent growth over the previous twelve months. While Twitter has yet to become the rage in Egypt that it is elsewhere, it has become a popular means for Egyptian activists to alert their friends and followers of arrests and intimidation by security forces.”
(Egypt, Twitter, and the rise of the watchdog crowd By Caroline McCarthy, CNET News on February 14, 2011)

According to a study released by the government-run Information and Decision Support Center in May 2008, blogging provides Egyptian youth “with a refuge where they [can] easily express themselves and their beliefs without restrictions.” The study also asserts that “from 2006 to 2008, a number of demonstrations and expressions of real political protest were associated in one way or another with cyber-protests on the Internet, tapping into the massive public mobilization of youth on political blogs.”

The study estimated that as of 2008 there were approximately 160,000 Egyptian blogs, which accounts for approximately one in four internet subscriptions in the country. The content of the blogs was broken down as follows: 30.7 percent covered a variety of topics, 18.9 percent were political, 15.5 percent personal, 14.4 percent business and culture, 7 percent religious, 4.8 percent social, and 4 percent focused on science and modern technology. Social networking, political action and its real impact in Egypt Sallie Pisch Bikyamasr blog March 21, 2010!

The U.K. government complained to Egypt after Vodafone Group Plc was ordered to send text messages seen to instigate violence as demonstrators demanded the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

U.K. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt contacted the Egyptian ambassador in London to discuss the order to Vodafone after the company reached out to the government, the Foreign Office said last night. British Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday issued a statement calling the “abuse” of Internet and mobile-phone networks “unacceptable and disturbing.”

Egyptian authorities instructed the local mobile-network operators, which also include Etisalat and France Telecom SA’s Mobinil service, to send messages under emergency powers provisions. Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile-phone operator, said yesterday that the messages were not written by the mobile- phone operators. (U.K. Complains to Egypt on Ordered Vodafone Messages By Jonathan Browning and Thomas Penny – Feb 4, 2011 Bloomberg)

Also:

On the Ground at Social Media Week: The Internet & Uprisings in the Arab World: Are We Already In A Post-Social Media World? By Faye Anderson on February 9, 2011

Egyptian Crisis: The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted By Mark Evans – January 31st, 2011 Sysomos blog

III.
I wonder if the critical mass–with respect to social media–for effective social instigation may be a matter of a confluence of early adapters along the spectrum of internet media in a context where there aren’t a lot of internet users overall. In Egypt’s case, there is huge mobile (but not smart) phone penetration. Also, there apparently are longstanding face-to-face ‘network’ regimes too.

WikiLeaks. Which Level, or, Levelling?

The Evolution of FCC Lobbying Coalitions

Pierre de Vries, “The Evolution of FCC Lobbying Coalitions”

source: The Journal of Social Structure | DeVries

This is from Volume 10. Its contents are not yet posted to the JOSS web site, but the directory for the issue is wide-open. Go figure.

At the bottom is Peer Review Comment No. 1.

This visualization captures the formal connections between lobbying organizations in the fight over telephone transfer fees. This representation suggests that the companies lobbying the most, or the most well connected, are not necessarily the most structurally important, or the most influential. Smaller companies can play important lobbying roles if they connect particular lobbying subgroups to each other. This visualization offers a clean picture of the lobbying network but provides little information about the companies: perhaps a different color scheme, combinations of shapes, or more exaggerated node sizes could have told a clearer story about the kinds of companies playing different roles.

Suggested point; discussions about WikiLeaks, and about other internet-centered phenomena, inhabit the various levels discussants are able to utilize.

There are, aside from discussions themselves, all the mediums and modalities that serve to capture the language of descriptions and explanations and operating mechanics, etc..

So, how do we wish to speak of, for example, WikiLeaks, today? In effect from what system of awareness do we wish to view those other systems of awareness, each of which is not necessarily discrete from one another?

(Yup, been revisiting Gregory for the last three months.)

Very crudely put, how do we locate diverse effects of a document dump into the public domain within the means for consideration of those effects? For example, how would one bring to bear on this, social psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and, to clump together more fuzzy social science, political-economics?

I would extend this thought problem (posing as an invitation,) to studying the internet itself. Which is to suggest how do we choose to wrap are head around the unfolding social-political-economic development discoverable in the mash up of communicative and performative modalities given by cyberspace?

And, we understand the development and articulation of individual perspectives happens within the particularities of the context our individual awareness gives up.

Then there are all those spun discourses which obtain some gravity in ‘one scheme of things’ yet are, so-to-speak, the part objects of much more complex schemes and meta-schemes. For example, we can learn that Assange is a horny meglomaniacal anarchist with a messianic mission to embarrass the powers-that-be in the U.S. and West. Maybe he’s a hero depending how one contextualizes and defines heroism.

However, my suggestion here is: meanwhile sophisticated networks such as the one depicted in the above social network map, are working 24-7 to obtain goals likely more complex and with weighty ‘effects’ which are more–how shall I put it–subtle than ’embarrassment.’

how to make money on the net

see fastcompany for some others too…


some data visualisations

here’s a web-site you may have already come across – it’s maintained by david mccandless who’s published a couple of books on graphic visualisation of data, and it sports ‘an array’ of graphics/visual representations of statistics made into diagrams so they’re easy to understand and compare.
this one is is quite amusing, a take on we’re all good at something. other visuals on comparisons of spending, or estimates of spending, wikipedia wars, how much musicians make, and other interesting tidbits…

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