We all know our systems are really broken. They have overgrown sort of their role and responsibility. They were originally written or created when there was a lot less of us, and there wasn’t this sort of interconnection between corporations, people and goods. So, when our democracies were originally founded, it was around the time or around—took about 50 years to evolve after the first information revolution, when we started to print books. And that’s when we moved the kings away and the popes and the bishops and the princesses and the princes, and got representative government, or… But what happened in the meantime, like it’s been a long, long, long time. We had a new information revolution, where we came to understand, hey, it’s not only in my country that it looks like we have a dictatorship with many heads, where the politicians have become professional politicians, and they are so far removed from the reality of what most people are living in.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir 

(via Birgitta Jónsdóttir on Criminalization of Cyber-Activists, Bradley Manning & Iceland’s Pirate Party (Pt. 2) - Amy Goodman)

"It’s not only in my country that it looks like we have a dictatorship with many heads.’"

(see also How the US Justice Department legally hacked my Twitter accountA Call to the People of the World to Support Iceland Against Financial Blackmail )

Social Media’s ‘Law’ of Short Messages

MIT News (02/26/14) Peter Dizikes

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Senseable City Lab recently conducted a study showing that social media messages grow shorter as the volume of activity rises. “This helps us better understand what is going on—the way we respond to things becomes faster and more impulsive,” says MIT professor Carlo Ratti. For example, at times of lower activity, the most popular length of tweets ranges from about 70 to 120 characters. However, at moments of greater traffic, the highest concentration of tweets is only about 25 characters in length. “If you plot the rate of the messages versus the length, then you can find a mathematical relation between these two things during [major] events,” says MIT’s Michael Szell. The researchers focused on data from several social media sources at a variety of points in time. University of Namur mathematician Renaud Lambiotte says this is “an interesting piece of research” that may lead to fruitful follow-up work, “in particular for the modeling of the relation between behavioral response and emotional stimuli.” The study also found an “index of frustration” among some social media users, particularly during major events when a small portion of users run up against Twitter’s 140-character limit.

(via social-network-and-computing)

New Map of Twitterverse Finds 6 Types of Networks


UMD Newsdesk (02/21/14) Tom Ventsias; Lee Tune

University of Maryland professor Ben Shneiderman, working with researchers from the Pew Research Internet Project, the Social Media Research Foundation, and the University of Georgia, has found that most of the information being discussed on Twitter falls into six distinct patterns or networks. Their study analyzed tens of thousands of Twitter conversations over the past four years and developed a “topographical map” of these patterns based on the topic being discussed, the information and influencers driving the conversation, and the social network structures of the participants. The six network patterns the researchers found are polarized crowds, tight crowds, brand clusters, community clusters, broadcast networks, and support networks. “What we’ve done is to provide a visual map of the Twitterverse that will ultimately help others to better interpret the trends, topics, and implications of these new communication technologies,” Shneiderman says. The researchers used NodeXL, an open source program, to interpret the data. NodeXL enables researchers to examine the combination of tweets, retweets, and the social networks Twitter users. “It could eventually have a large impact on our understanding of everything from health to community safety, from business innovation to citizen science, and from civic engagement to sustainable energy programs,” Shneiderman says.

(via social-network-and-computing)

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