Sunday, February 21, 2010


In The Sunday Times I talk about shrinking penises, obesity and networks. The book is Connected by Christakis and Fowler.


  1. So, to summarise:

    Society is made up of networks of individuals, with non-linear interactions between the individuals, such that the properties of the entire social system supervene on the properties and interactions of the individuals. Thus, there is no change in the state of a society without a change in the state of the individuals, but it is possible that a change in the state of the individuals will not manifest itself at the level of the society.

    The properties of the society are emergent in the sense that they cannot be epistemologically reduced to the properties and interactions of the individuals in the society.

    Society is adaptive in the sense that the individuals modify their properties and behaviour in light of a changing enviroment, and thereby determine different supervenient properties and states of the entire social system.

    Society is self-organizing in the sense that individuals modify their properties and behaviour in light of the different supervenient properties and behaviour of the social system which they themselves jointly determine. In other words, there is a feedback loop.

    In other words, society is a self-organizing, adaptive complex system.

  2. I wrote about tiny penises the other relation to my old friend Martin Amis but I cant afford the paper this week..

  3. Alas, most individuals are appallingly disorganised. Presumably, then, the few who are actually on top of things lead the rest of us poor muddled eejits (present company excluded).

  4. Bryan are you going to the Sunday Times Christmas books party -er - tomorrow?

  5. I need you back, Bryan. I really hope all is well. Best.

  6. I'm afraid I got this article confused with the previous one & was going to write about the problem of penile dementia ... apologies.

  7. Where you at, yo?

  8. Woman to man: Is it just me or has your dick gotten smaller?

    Man to woman: It's just that your ass has gotten bigger!




    Elberry you dog! Did you get laid? LOL.