Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Social Economics  Sitting in McCarran Airport in Lo$t Wage$ after the IA Summit with Jason Hobbs and Andrea & Everett Wiggins, we got to talking about social network analysis (Andrea's field) and non-commercial Internet transactions (Jason's recent research topic). Andrea was talking about the interactions of people in Internet cafes in Ecuador. Jason was mentioning that, in South African Internet cafes, no banking or credit card transactions are occurring because of security concerns. They were coming close to a synchronicity of sorts, when I suddenly said, "Social economics."

Both of them kinda turned to me and said, "Hmmmm, yeah, you might have something there." Small smiles of growing recognition that, maybe, there's something there. What if there is a sense of an economy in social interactions that is not based on currency but rather on social costs and benefits? I think there might be something here worth pursuing.

One of the core things that's so cool about the conference is the web of connections that occur. so, grnted, I and Keane spent some chunk of change in my attending the conference. But think about it—I gained friendship, knowledge, and inspiration for my investment in time, extroversion, and, yes, even space invasion (that idea that I allow others to interfere with my sense of space).

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