Networking in isolation

Crooked Timber

Eszter Hargittai recently posted an interesting discussion of "small world" phenomena and re-invention of the wheel (i.e., network theory) within disciplinary cul-de-sacs.

The main theme (repeated in the comments) questions whether it's useful or appropriate to apply concepts from physics to human behavior. Although I've simulated Brownian motion in more than one mosh pit, I'm inclined to be skeptical as well.

One might make similar observations about economic theory.

And of course, a rebuttal.

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