March 8, 2007

A Physics of Society: Critical Mass Notes #1

Ton has written an elegant post about the value of maths in the design of social tools. It reminded me of a book by Philip Ball called Critical Mass, and I realised how little I could really remember of it...

April 10, 2006


"Nonlinear dynamics is central to the future of science. Chaos theory revealed that simple nonlinear systems could behave in extremely complicated ways, and showed us how to understand them with pictures instead of equations. Complexity theory taight us that many...

January 13, 2006

The truth "out there" is different

A couple of curiosities have come up recently concerning national identity and how it distorts (rightly or wrongly) one's view of things. First was a map of national stereotypes based on Google searches for e.g. "what the English are known...

December 1, 2005

Mapping your blog mind revisited

A while ago I posted some thoughts about creating a mindmap of your blog. I've spent the last couple of evenings fiddling around with tags, a little easy php and Ucinet, some SNA software. I thought I'd post the rough...

November 15, 2005

Design Principles for Common Pool Resources

Interesting article on CPRs which I missed from Howard Rheingold. [Hat tip to Ross]. As Wikipedia has it, a common-pool resource is a natural or human made resource system the size or characteristics of which makes it costly, but not...

October 27, 2005

You say profession, I say passion

Missed this while on my travels. Anjo, Lilia and Stephanie have been doing some interesting things analysing blog communities through terminology rather than links. [Anjo writes it up here, here and here.] One of the upshots of it all is...

August 21, 2005

Looks like Martin Visser is doing some interesting work on grid thinking over at - and there's a blog about it here....

June 10, 2005

Network Enabled Capability: Promise and Practise

There's a great, short article hereRUSI- Network Centric Operations Today: Between the Promise and the Practice that looks at some of the findings the US military (and others) are making trying to put Network Enabled Operations into practice. A coupe...

May 18, 2005

Concierges and Secure Communities

Interesting interview with Richard Rogers in in today's Guardian. The conversation turned to high-rise living, and this snippet caught my eye RR: We are beginning to learn that management is one of the key elements with tall buildings. Now, of...

April 22, 2005

Diversity and Problem Solving

On our naturally under-performing in groups

April 18, 2005

The Mathematics of Love

On Gottman and his love lab.

March 23, 2005

The Grameen Bank

On a way for poorer people to self-regulate their loans.

February 15, 2005


Basic Training: Module #1 in the PKM handbook

February 9, 2005

Networks and the Military

A military must read on operating in a network age

February 3, 2005

Traffic, Congestion and Information Flows

On a possible mathematical basis for the cost-benefit of connections.

January 19, 2005

Hierarchies hurt your health

... and autonomy makes you better

January 18, 2005

Where we stop and you start

Can companies ever be more than the sum of their parts?

October 25, 2004

Negotiating the divide

On persuasion through the word "we", and just-in-time relationship reminders.

October 21, 2004

The Sting in the Tail

On why you're more likely to get "bad behaviour" outside the mainstream, but why you need to go there.

August 17, 2004

MeshForum, Cascades and The Inquisition

On a new find (for me) and a link between physicians in Germany and the Early Modern Catholic Church.

August 5, 2004

The One, The Many and The Fractal

On behaviours being fractal

May 28, 2004

Curing Bystander Apathy: 5 Easy Steps

By reading this, you'll be more likely to help someone in trouble.

May 24, 2004

The Flipside of the Collective is War.

Group forming activities release the brain's natural opiates - so what happens when someone tells you you group's misguided?

March 1, 2004

Echoes in the Invisible College

On Echo Chambers as new, improved Invisible Colleges.

February 16, 2004

Poisoned Chalices

On why those who want to share aren't always the experts

February 7, 2004

Sleeping with the Devil

On the social network of bestselling political books.

February 3, 2004

Hello (Familiar) Stranger

On Milgram's Familiar stranger and the backlash against YASNs

January 30, 2004


On gossip, communication problems, and the rule of meaningful chit chat.

December 10, 2003

The Future of Networks (and other theories)

On spotting a common trajectory for holistic theories like Complexity.

December 8, 2003

Networks, Complexity & Emergence

On Taoism, emergence and my trying to remember the basics of complexity theory

December 2, 2003

Network Heretics

On networks, heretics and the Spanish Inquisition

November 28, 2003

What the network might look like

OPTE Project mapping the internet

November 27, 2003

Mr O'Reilly's Meme Maps

On meme maps, and the importance of understanding people to people (P2P) networks.