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It is global because the core activities of production, consumption, and circulation, as well as their components (capital, labor, raw materials, management, information, technology, markets) are organized on a global scale, either directly or through a network of linkages between economic agents.It is networked because, under the new historical conditions, productivity is generated through and competition is played out in a global network of interaction between business networks." But other examples can be proven, or at least asserted with more confidence.For example, Barabasi has shown that at most 20 clicks separated the 1 billion pages on the Internet circa 1999.
Feedback -- the ability of nodes to respond to the state of nearby nodes, or in response to messages from other nodes -- is essential for emergent properties in networks to appear.Building on complexity theory, in the 1990s, researchers began to investigate processes using the "network" metaphor.Drawing on sociology work on social networks, physics, work in biology and systems theory, and armed with computers, researchers like Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Steven Strogatz, Duncan Watts and numerous others began to discover certain common properties of "real-world networks", that is, networks that spontaneously self-organized in nature or in society. For example, the links among the nodes in "real-world networks" are not distributed randomly, or according to a normal bell-curve.Two other important points should be noted about networks.First, for Barabasi, conceptualizing processes as networks led to an important breakthrough: "By seeing only nodes and links, we were privileged to observe the architecture of complexity.
If any process, though, can be seen as a "set of interconnected nodes", and historically "network" has been used to describe many systems, in what sense can we elevate "network" today, to say that now is the "network society"?