back to article 'New discipline' of 'Network Science' birthed by US Army

Assorted American boffins and social scientists armed with supercomputers and US Army funds will come together to create "the new discipline of Network Science", according to those involved. The new Centre for Social and Cognitive Networks will be founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York State. Rensselaer profs were …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The Onion?

    This is like reading an article from the onion. Hard to believe they would spend so much on such a trivial thing.

  2. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    :( ... Full scale Big Brother here we come!...

    This looks like the end of ever being able to speak out against any political corruption or abuse of power. This nightmare just keeps getting worse and its shocking how fast its growing.

    "All aspects of social networks, from the origins of adversarial networks to gauging the level of trust within vast social networks"

    Thats literally Big Brother. Detect any group that is showing signs of disloyalty and becoming "adversarial" and then "gauging the level of trust" (and therefore distrust) in what they are told. Detecting trust is detecting feedback from propaganda used to manipulate people to placate them standing up against (and stopping) the ever growing abuse of power over us all.

    “The impact of our work will be far-reaching," ... yeah right, I bet it will be far-reaching, after all Hitler estimated 1000 years for such a controlled society!

    No wonder they have $16.75m in military funding for this next step towards a police state.

    If you can detect groups growing ever more angry with the politicians manipulative chess moves, then they will be able to seek to block and undermine any opponent groups. This research is the creation of a nightmare level of data mining. Its literally Big Brother.

    This is the beginning of the end of all political protests. Pick them up to have a quiet word with them before they ever step out of line or just add them to ever more lists (that restrict and punish people on the list) to make their lives ever harder to distract them from being political protesters. Meanwhile they seek to send out propaganda gauging its effectiveness in silencing opposition. This looks like the beginning of the end of ever being able to speak out ever again against any political corruption or abuse of power.

    Sorry Mr Orwell, too few decided to listen to you before it was too late. :(

    Time for the global Police State. For the elite, relentless unending power and greed here we come.

    "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face ... forever." - George Orwell

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Shhhh! You hear that?

    That's the sound of the rich and powerful (read: Those who've bought politicians making "campaign contributions") turning the "system" into a method of keeping the unwashed masses under control. They know that the people are smartening up to see that the illusion of democracy in their country has been identified as that: An illusion, and they want to make sure that their landgrab is secure. You cannot have the people electing real politicians, not having been bought. That might lead to reforms that would endanger the status quo of buying laws.

    Maybe it's time the rest of the world revokes the diplomatic status of anybody trying to export their corrupted system out of their country?

  4. Bassey

    BA (rse)

    Will Dissertations be limited to 140 characters?

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Peanuts in, Monkeys out

    "This is like reading an article from the onion. Hard to believe they would spend so much on such a trivial thing." ..... By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 27th October 2009 14:34 GMT


    Whenever such networks as they would need to engage with and understand are embedding stealthy covert remote controls/underground levers in Establishment and SCADA Systems, the trivial spend is a disgrace which will be very costly to them.

    There is already a sliding scale for such works as they would be trying to recreate/mimic and that is ......

    Seven Sevens for a Systems Plug-in

    Eight Eights for Hands On Consolare Access

    Nine Nines for a Fully AIMentored and Monitored Bridge.

    Nevertheless, I would wish them well for IT keeps them off the street, if nothing else, and it's only costing paper money, which as you know is easily invented and quantitatively eased into dodgy pockets, as is required, and therefore costs nothing at all except a few trees, and maybe not even that as everything is now electronic with figures and vast sums easily readjusted and virtually transferred at the click of the Mighty Mouse.

    It does have one wondering though, why whenever it is so easily produced and routed, so many have less than they need to prosper, and so few have so much that they are incapable of ever spending such ill gotten gains. I Guess that just like IT, it must be a Weapon of Mass Control and Colossal Artificial Power, I suppose, and roundly abused by those with purse strings and their fingers in the pie/noses in the trough.

  6. karlsbad

    Cybertropology Is Born

    Let's hope something good becomes of this.

  7. barrywellman
    Thumb Down

    Reinventing the wheel all over again: ignorance or $35M?

    Whatever the morality of the thing, the accuracy of the press release is woeful. Over a thousand folks do social network stuff already, including a chunk of other claiming to do network science. The field was invented in the 1930s, and developed since the late 1960s. See my history of the fiels in chapter 1 Wellman & Berkowitz, _Social Structures_ (1988): also availble on my website.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Write 1000 times.

    I bear a child and burgle a house, unless I'm a thick illiterati.

    I bore a child and burgled a house, unless I'm a thick illiterati.

  9. AndrewG


    Must be nice to get a multimillion dollar contract to reinvent facebook

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Yes Me Silver badge

    Network scientology

    This is me-tooism really. See for the first gang to make a career opportunity out of this stuff.

    You have to wonder what the funding agency was thinking.

  12. BlueGreen

    re: Write 1000 times

    Other than failing to understand that illiterati is a latin-style plural which then disagrees with the preceding singular 'a' and that the correct form, should you wish to look less inept, is probably illiteratus, well, other than that, what's your point?

    Now the guy above you wrote a book on this subject. *That* is class.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it as bad as you make it out to be?

    It seems to me that this is more about research than monitoring or having an algorithm looking to flag key words or key behaviors. To me this looks to be an attempt at assessing how these networks are used, what the consequence of their use to society, how information propagates, and they can be covertly to distribute items beneath the radar.

    That information could then be used to spread information and ideas more effectively. Educate the hardliners in some areas, tell people what the military is and is not.

    Is the military involved in monitoring the standard person's activities? Probably not so much.

  14. Big-nosed Pengie


    I think the word you're looking for is "born".

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Re: Control Of Finance

    Jawohl, quite so, Frank, but those in Control of Finance are Absolutely Useless at IT, being Fixated on Retaining Personal Control by Spinning Crud and FUD.... Federated Universal Debt.

    In a World of Infinite Choice, bounded only by a Lack of Imagination, is that a Catastrophic Course of Idiot Action, surely?

    Take another Path/any other Path for a Complete Change of Fortune, seems a most Logical and Simple Step. Or are there No Great Working Brains at the top of that Pyramid Scheme/at the bottom propping up that Ponzi Scam?

    Hell..... how much Simpler can it be whenever Money is No Object because you can just Print and/or Transfer what you want, whenever you want it, to wherever you want it, to hire those who will fix anything and everything with IT. It is not Rocket Science, is it, but just Common Sense. Falling off a floating log would be harder and that is something which any fool can do easily.

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