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The Physics of Friendship 112

Santosh Maharshi wrote to mention a Physorg story about a new way to model social networks. From the article: "Applying a mathematical model to the social dynamics of people presents difficulties not involved with more physical - and perhaps more rational - applications. The many factors that influence an individual's fate to meet an acquaintance and decide to become a friend are impossible to capture, but physicists have used techniques from physical systems to model social networks with near precision. By modeling people's interactions based on how particles bounce off each other in an enclosed area, physicists Marta Gonzalez, Pedro Lind and Hans Herrmann found that the characteristics of social networks emerge 'in a very natural way.'"
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The Physics of Friendship

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  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @05:41AM (#14906020)
    I do not think friendships work in such a way that math can literally outline the direction they are headed. Friendship is based on loyalty, when someone involved is disloyal it usually ends, and this can happy at any time. So friendships by nature come and go, and all relationships are temporary. The goal in this I suppose is to try to find patterns, so here is a pattern

    If you want to have stronger friendships, have leverage, enough money, or charisma to keep people hovering around you. These variables can be added into the equation and then there are patterns, but if you just look at it emotionally then it will be complete chaos because emotion is not logical. There are logical elements of friendship, logical components, and logical tools which one can use to keep a friendship together or tear it apart.

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @06:07AM (#14906090)
    That's actually a good point. I can see this working on the scale of billions because there will definately be patterns, but I don't know how or why you'd want to apply this to billions of people.
  • by Kupek ( 75469 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:52AM (#14907315)
    I have very close friends from high school (one is actually from my middle school days) that as far as I'm concerned, are family. I also formed very close friendships in college. Your high school experiences don't necessarily map to others.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb