Several things:

  • I stumbled across the work of David Bordwell, a film scholar who’s coined the term "network narrative" to describe the kind of multi-plotline ensemble drama where characters don’t all know each other but their paths nonetheless intersect, often by chance. Magnolia is a good example of this genre, which I hadn’t known there was a name for apart from "Altman-thingy." As Bordwell notes in his Poetics of Cinema, which I’ve been dipping into, the audience gets to figure out the intricate social networks that bring the characters together.
  • Shakespearean social networks: the creator of a program that analyzes and visualizes social networks in IRC chat applied the same program to Shakespeare’s plays. I suspect a human could probably do the same thing more accurately, but it’s fascinating to think about. (Found — how else? — via my network on
  • I’ve been watching The L Word on DVD, and Alice’s chart? Is totally a social network diagram. Inside Alice, I’m convinced, is a network theory geek waiting to get out.
  • Does anyone else sometimes wonder if the immense network-ness of the web makes it a lot easier for introverts and solitary types to feel connected to other people, but also makes it a lot easier for those same people to hang back on the edges of every group and not join in? I mean, I think social networking is all kinds of neat, but sometimes I think it encourages my tendency to lurk in the corner at parties. Perhaps there’s a paper, or at least a longer post, in this.

2 Responses to “Networks”

  1. ChrisTheRed says:

    On your last bullet point/question, Amanda: Yes. I’m exactly like that, and completely agree.

  2. Amanda says:

    Hah, I’m not alone! Introverts unite!
    Maybe I will write a paper about it. Though I suspect the topic’s already been written about.