It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

1. Who you know is a subset of what you know.

2. You say that like it’s a bad thing?

Sure there’s nepotism in society, but to come out with this old cliche ignores that we’re all social animals. Who we know is vital to getting anything done, and it’s through weak ties to a much larger social circle than say our immediate family and close friends that gives us the kind of “small world” effect that allows civilisations to function. No seriously, if it wasn’t for those random connections to people you sort of know, we’d probably all be living in little tribes scared of our own shadows, dying of dysentery before we hit 30.

I’ve been reading about this aspect of network theory and more in Guido Caldarelli and Michele Catanzaro’s book, Networks: A Very Short Introduction. £5.75 on Amazon. Great stocking filler if you’ve forgotten about Christmas until now and have geeky friends and family like me.


Author: Stuart Hughes

Twenty-something from the hills and vales of Wales, grappling with the logistics of becoming a little more cosmopolitan.

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