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Four short links: 9 March 2010

Cooperation is Catching, 3D Visualisation Tool, News Dump, and Fighting Censorship

  1. Cooperative Behaviour Spreads Through a Group, But So Does Cheating (Not Exactly Rocket Science) — Fowler and Christakis suggest that people tend to mimic the actions of those they played with. They could be directly imitating the actions of other players, or they could be looking out for cues that tell them the ‘right’ or ‘normal’ way of behaving. Whether it’s specific actions or social norms that are spreading, the result is the same – a ripple effect that causes groups of people to act in similar ways. People copy the modeled behaviour that they see. This is why, when you start a new social site, you should seed it with people who behave the way that you wish newcomers to behave.
  2. Tulip — open source 3D visualisation software of large graphs, homepage here. (via hjl on Delicious)
  3. Six Months of Hacker News Front Page Data — half a million archived records from the Hacker News front page, captured every 15m.
  4. Internet Freedom: Beyond Circumvention (World Changing) — a very thought-provoking post that challenges the idea that all we need to do to help the citizens of (insert censored country here) is to have more people using Tor. I wonder whether we’re looking closely enough at the fundamental limitations of circumvention as a strategy and asking ourselves what we’re hoping internet freedom will do for users in closed societies. [...] o figure out how to promote internet freedom, I believe we need to start addressing the question: “How do we think the Internet changes closed societies?” In other words, do we have a “theory of change” behind our desire to ensure people in Iran, Burma, China, etc. can access the internet? Why do we believe this is a priority for the State Department or for public diplomacy as a whole? (via BoingBoing)
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  • CrisisMaven

    Thanks for pointing me to Tulip! Will feature in my Data Visualisation References resource list, aspiring to be the most comprehensive on the net. (Will be updated a little later today, please be patient.) If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or if you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment.

  • Ken Williams

    Next research project: how to find people who will behave the way I want them to behave.