Archive for December 6th, 2010
This weeks’ complexity lecture on network science covered much of the content from the Foundations lectures, and from the book Linked. This is something I find particularly interesting, and of relevance to collective problem solving, primarily in terms of characterising the structure of the networks people can form. Interestingly, human social networks are very different from most other networks because they are characterized by a positive rather than a negative node degree correlation.
Last week, the complexity lecture was on Autopoiesis – an attempt to create a non-circular definition of life. It defines it as a self-sustaining system with it’s own semi-permeable boundary to the outside world, containing various processes that both sustain themselves and maintain the membrane. This leads to the extraction of nourishment from the external environment and excretion of waste. Whilst this was designed primarily to clarify the distinction between life and non-life at the microscopic level, the analogy to human groups (such as, for instance, the Catholic Church) may be of some interest to my topic in terms of answering – what is it that makes a group (such as one formed online to solve a problem) sustainable?
PRIVACY – Politics and Psychology (Blog Post 7)
Unfortunately my reading this week has been rather limited due to other work commitments and so for my politics research I have just read an article on the political philosophy of John Locke, in a return to the fundamental ideas and principles that have influenced political development: A Tuckness (2010) – Locke’s Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy).
John Locke (1632-1704) is particularly influential within the context of this research as he presented political ideologies in relation to the issue of privacy. Locke purported a rather radical conception of political philosophy deduced from the principle of self-ownership and the collar right to own property. This is also based on Locke’s famous statement that a man earns ownership over a resource when he mixes his labour with it. He argued that Government should be limited to securing the life and property of its citizens and it is only necessary when problems occur that would make lives more insecure. Locke’s work – Two Treatises of Government in 1690 was a direct counter-argument to Thomas Hobbs’ Leviathan, in which Hobbes argues in favour of absolutist Government to prevent people from abusing property and privacy. Whilst The Second Treatise of Government is still influential today which has helped shape political philosophy and formed the basis for political doctrines such as The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. It places sovereignty into the hands of society. His fundamental argument is that people are equal and invested with natural rights in a state of nature in which they live free from outside rule. Individuals can change some of their natural rights to enter into society with other people, and be protected by common laws and a common executive power to enforce the laws, having executive power to protect their property and defend their liberty. The civil state is bound to its people, and has power over the people only insofar as it exists to protect and preserve their welfare. Thus citizens have the right to dissolve their government, if that government ceases to work solely in their best interest. The government has no sovereignty of its own–it exists to serve the people. Locke sees personal liberty as the key factor of a society that works toward the individual’s and the state’s best interest.
For psychology I have collated the previous readings in order to attempt to provide answers for some questions that have arisen through the research. Such as within behaviour privacy is an important aspect, but is it important as an overall issue within psychology. I have identified that the areas within psychology that are most closely associated with privacy are self and identity however there are other aspect which can be associated such as: Social psychology, Industrial/ organizational psychology, and environmental psychology. Ellen Berscheid (1977) stated that social psychologists have studied many topics that address privacy-related issues “but which are often overlooked as privacy related.” She included social facilitation, attitude formation and change, social influence, deindividuation, and social comparison processes, among other topics. I am also of the opinion that deception and disclosure could be linked to this area. In particular the latter has been linked to privacy for nearly 30 years. (e.g., Derlega & Chaiken, 1977; Derlega, Metts, Petronio, & Margulis, 1993). Bella DePaulo et al, 2003) and Andy Johnson (1974) have made persuasive cases, respectively, for linking privacy and deception and privacy and psychological control.
Next week I intend to do further reading into the areas of democracy and behaviour.