[Neo4j] "the social graph is neither" (blog post)

Jacob Hansson jacob.hansson at neotechnology.com
Tue Nov 22 11:56:07 CET 2011

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM, serge <s.fedorov91 at gmail.com> wrote:

> what do you think of this post ?
> http://blog.pinboard.in/2011/11/the_social_graph_is_neither/

His first point, that modeling the social graph accurately is impossible is
of course true. It is impossible to model reality exactly like it is,
because we are already using all the matter in the universe to model
reality in the first place.

And the "social act" aspect of declaring a relationship to someone is very
true as well. I think he is correct in saying that the "we're gonna
accurately model all social relationships on the planet" plan is bound to

Relationships on facebook and twitter and so on don't actually *model*
social relationships, but rather *are* social relationships. We as users
define the meaning of them, we say things like "don't know him really, but
I think I'm Facebook friends with him". "Facebook friend" is not the same
thing as being friends, it is a social relationship of its own, which we
have collectively defined.

The social graph does not accurately model the intricacies of our social
life, in fact, it increases the complexity of it.

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Jacob Hansson
Phone: +46 (0) 763503395
Twitter: @jakewins

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