3.13.2009

Weekend Reading

Off to Philly to meet my friend's ridiculously cute new baby Ethan (yay!) - some weekend reading to keep me busy on the plane...

Fatal Distraction, by Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post (This one is a must-read)

David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College. (I've read this but it's so good, worth another go)

Adam Smith gets the last laugh, by P.J. O’Rourke, Financial Times

Organize Your Life!
by James Fallows, The Atlantic

How the Crash Will Reshape America, by Richard Florida, The Atlantic

The Size of Social Networks: Primates on Facebook, The Economist

A teaser excerpt:

"Thus an average man—one with 120 friends—generally responds to the postings of only seven of those friends by leaving comments on the posting individual’s photos, status messages or “wall”. An average woman is slightly more sociable, responding to ten. When it comes to two-way communication such as e-mails or chats, the average man interacts with only four people and the average woman with six. Among those Facebook users with 500 friends, these numbers are somewhat higher, but not hugely so. Men leave comments for 17 friends, women for 26. Men communicate with ten, women with 16.

What mainly goes up, therefore, is not the core network but the number of casual contacts that people track more passively. This corroborates Dr Marsden’s ideas about core networks, since even those Facebook users with the most friends communicate only with a relatively small number of them."

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