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Social networks

A couple interesting links and a question...

I've been doing some research in the library, and found a couple things that are probably of interest to Jim and Timlynn, but may be of general interest as well.

  • A list of Professor Gordon Bigelow's (author of "Let There Be Markets: The Evangelical Roots of Economics," published in Harper's magazine) scholarship is located at:

    I've been scouring the College library looking for any publications, but so far I've been unsuccessful...I'll let you know if anything turns up.

  • The Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy ( is very interesting and relevant. I've skimmed over a few of the articles in their resource section; through the links on the site I found an article called "Re-thinking the Network Economy," by Stan Liebowitz, which I will read today.

Of networks and hubs

In his book Linked , Albert-Laszlo Barabasi stresses the importance of hubs--the most prominent nodes--in networks. In a social network, these are the highly connected individuals who keep the network together; in a food economy such as Grinnell's or Fairfield's these are the large businesses that dominate the market. Barabasi discusses how scale-free networks--those networks that are not random and have some nodes that are much more important than others--are at once robust against failure and vulnerable to attack. They are robust against internal failure because they can function without the small nodes that are disproportionately affected by such failure, but are vulnerable to an attack aimed at the hubs of the network.

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