Identifying influential people - Deepstash

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What Do We Learn from Our Networks?

Identifying influential people

To identify influential people, you need to define the kinds of interactions you're interested in.

For example, you might ask people about many different sorts of ties. "Who do you rely on to do your job well?" "Who do you hang out with after work?" "Who would you trust for a referral for a babysitter?" Then you could consider which individuals are structurally influential for this or that purpose and focus on them.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Social structure
Social structure

Social structure is the organized set of social institutions and patterns of institutionalized relationships that together make up a society.

Social structures are not immediately vis...

The Macro Level of Society

The major social institutions include family, religion, education, media, law, politics, and economy. These are separate institutions that are interrelated and interdependent. Together they form the overarching social structure of a society.

There usually is a hierarchy to these relationships, which results in a power differential. The organization and operation of these social institutions result in other aspects of social structure, including socio-economic stratification.

The Meso Level

The meso level can be seen in the social networks that are organized by social institutions and institutionalized social relationships.

Our social networks also show up in social stratification, where relations are structured by class differences, differences in educational attainment, and differences in levels of wealth. In turn, it may shape the kinds of opportunities available and foster behavioral norms that determine the direction of our lives.

Homo Narrativus
Homo Narrativus

We, humans, seek stories.

We are essentially ‘story finders’ looking for meaning, narrative and shape in everything around us. We tend to not believe in improbable...

Bias Towards The Individual

Stories built around individuals provide relatability and a sense of being in the shoes of the people involved, living in the narrative.

Our tendency to give a ‘face’ and a story to a group or collection of people made us invent a dominant leader of the group, like the President, or the Team Captain, or the Monarch.

How Fame Alters Our Perceptions
  • The popularity or fame of an individual or a piece of art (like a painting, song or a movie) alters how we perceive it.
  • The characteristics and behaviour of the people among whom fame spreads matters more than the actual merit or quality.
  • A study showed that more people liked the songs that were topping the charts, copying the behaviour of other listeners, and if the same songs were arranged randomly, they were not chosen or liked that much.
When civilizations collapse
When civilizations collapse

Looking at the rise and fall of historical civilizations, the forces that precipitate or delay a collapse can tell us about our own.

We can define collapse as a rapid and enduring l...

We're not immune to collapse

Societies of the past and present are just complex systems comprising of people and technology.

Although we have better technologies, we are not immune to the threats that faced our ancestors. If anything, our technological abilities bring more challenges. Our globalized economic system may be more likely to cause a crisis to spread.

A roadmap of past collapses

Although there is no conclusive explanation of why civilizations collapse, there are factors that can contribute.

  • Climatic change can result in disaster, resulting in crop failure, starvation, and desertification. The Akkadians, the Mayan, the Roman Empire, and many others coincided with abrupt climatic changes.
  • Ecological collapse theory: When societies overdo the carrying capacity of their environment, e.g., excessive deforestation, water pollution, soil degradation, and the loss of biodiversity.
  • Inequality and oligarchy: As a population increases, the supply of labor outstrips demand, workers become cheap and society top-heavy. Political violence follows.
  • Complexity: Accumulated complexity and bureaucracy eventually leads to collapse. The returns from complexity eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, causing collapse.
  • External shocks: War, natural disasters, famine, and plagues. The Aztec Empire was brought to its knees by Spanish invaders. Early agrarian states were passing due to deadly epidemics.
  • Randomness: Collapse is often random and independent of age.