Are contagiousness studies contagious?

Social Network representation (Robin Hamman)

Slate has a nice post highlighting the whole history of contagiousness research and putting Christakis’ and Fowler’s recent work in a broader perspective.

Most of these prior works they cite were not based on mapping people’s social networks, although some of the early epidemiological work, for example on the spread of the plague, was.  [See earlier posts on Christakis and Fowler's work.]

Let’s hope that Oprah’s endorsement of Connected for her Fall reading list is not Christakis and Fowler’s kiss of death.

(Tip of the hat to Chaeyoon Lim)

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2 responses to “Are contagiousness studies contagious?

  1. ruHap, The Happiness Company released April 28, 2010 the first-ever Facebook application designed to spread Happiness through social networks.

    Based on the Framingham Heart Study research, users post whether they are Happy or not thus helping their friends be Happier – and their friends too. ruHap collects the votes and publish a daily Happiness Index.

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  2. Michael Gentile

    There are currently two related essays about “contagiousness” on the http://www.debatethisbook.com site.

    Authro Thomas Mullen discusses his work of fiction LAST TOWN ON EARTH, which concerns one town’s struggle to survive amidst a worldwide contagion, within the context of moral choice:
    http://debatethisbook.com/2010/03/22/the-right-answer-and-other-nonexistent-things/

    And Amanda Ripley, author of THE UNTHINKABLE: WHO SURVIVES WHEN DISASTER STRIKES AND WHY, discusses how the media handles outbreaks in her essay “Your Brain on Swine Flu”:
    http://debatethisbook.com/2009/12/14/your-brain-on-swine-flu/

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