Eight Theses on Networks

These are the main organizing points for the lecture portion of Tuesday’s class:

  1. Networks have three basic facts: connectioncommunication, and compression. (To which we might add two more: content and control.) (McLuhan, Galloway, Sterne)
  2. There are many different types of networks. (Galloway, Sandvig)
  3. Most times we use the term “network,” we mean (or at least invoke) “the internet.” But the internet itself is a complex, layered assemblage of many different types of networks. (Mattern, Sandvig)
  4. Different kinds of networks demand different kinds of analysis. (Galloway, Jagoda)
  5. Control and organization are embodied in network form. (Galloway)
  6. Different things flow through networks in different ways: power, but also affect. Different network forms channel these differently. (Galloway, Jagoda)
  7. Network analysis demands an attention to things other than content. Our position here is one of network formalism.
  8. That said, nobody really knows what follows from these analyses, or what responses to take. (Galloway, Cohen, Jagoda)