Learning for 2020

My journey to understand what life will be in year 2020 and how we should prepare our next generation to cope with life at 2020.

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Social Network and its implication for the future

Recently, the posts have mostly concentrated in identifying the inadequacy of the current school systems in the developed countries. There is little insight into how we can break away from that model and what will/should the new model be.

I am not any wiser, but after reading a number of posts (recommended by Stephen Downes) on Structured holes, part 1 and part 2 here; and following some links I become excited by the studies.

"Strutural holes" is an alternate name to signify the separation between groups within organisations. These informal groups usually do not connect. However, the study shows that by connecting these groups, innovative ideas are plenty. The next problem is the ability to identify the gems and have people with sufficient "power" to realise the innovation. But that is not the subject of this post.

What I am excited about is the application of the techniques which have advanced Physics so much in the last century to the study of social networks, e.g. Physics Department of University of Notre Dame.

For instance, in the paper Bose-Einstein Condensation in Complex Networks, the authors, by mapping the complex system (such as World Wide Web, business, citation network) into a quantum gas framework, then they demonstrated that "first-mover-advantage", "fit-get-rich" and "winner-takes-all" are actually Bose-Einstein condensation - a thermodynamically distinct phases of the underlying complext network.

I sense that this would lead to some interesting insight into the work nature in the future. I majored in Physics in my first degree and I have been using Physics Letters as my bedside reading for many years after my graduation. This is a good opportunity to refresh my Physics and follow the study in this new field.


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