The number of my online friends and Dunbar's not-so-hidden scientific agenda

First of all, you might want to read this remarkably insightful blog post featured in Paola Tubaro’s Blog – about a recent article on social network size, online friending and Dunbar’s number published in Cyberpsychology. Here’s the complete reference to the article:

ResearchBlogging.orgPollet, T., Roberts, S., & Dunbar, R. (2011). Use of Social Network Sites and Instant Messaging Does Not Lead to Increased Offline Social Network Size, or to Emotionally Closer Relationships with Offline Network Members Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14 (4), 253-258 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0161

As for the analysis, let me just quote from Paola (it’s not that I’m lazy, but I tend to agree with pretty much evertything she says, especially because she draws heavily on previous posts and conferences of mine dealing with the same subjects ;P)

How many friends do you have? « Paola Tubaro’s Blog

What I would like to add here is just that the article might not be all that interesting, weren’t it authored by Robin “Dunbar’s number” Dunbar himself. (more…)

Hidden track #2: Cartoon philosopher fustigates reductionism

It’s a sad, sad world, one where we have to rely on Richard Linklater’s innocuous films to express unpopular opinions. Like for instance this one:

“Believing that biology and physics can explain all of human behavior is nothing short of a reductionistic fallacy, as they do not take into account culture, individual choices – and ultimately free will”.

But don’t take my word for it. Here is a short excerpt from Linklater’s movie Waking Life (2001), where philosopher David Sosa (University of Texas, Austin) discusses determinism in a…ehm, cartoon interview.