James’s new book, “Connected”… Unintentionally influencing your friend’s friend’s friend… How happiness is like the flu… Obesity spreads like an idea …… … but don’t try to lose weight by dumping your fat friends… An old shampoo commercial, voting, and Facebook pseudo-friends…
Also huffduffed as…
"Connected (broadcast Friday, September 25th, 2009) How can your friends — and your friends’ friends — affect you? We’ll talk with Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, two researchers exploring social networks and how they affect our health and behavior. In their new book ‘Connected,’ the pair describe research into how social networks tie into obesity, smoking, voting behavior, happiness, and more. "
The notion of the self-determining, self-directed individual is rapidly losing favour as we discover ever more about the way humans operate, behave, and make decisions in social contexts.
Social scientist Nicholas A. Christakis visits the RSA to explain how our social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behaviour, politics, and so much more. It transpires that your colleague’s husband’s sister can make you fat, even if you don’t know her. And a happy friend is more relevant to your happiness than a bigger income. Our connections - our friends, their friends, and even their friends’ friends - have an astonishing power to influence everything from what we eat to who we vote for. And we, in turn, influence others. Our actions can change the behaviours, the beliefs, and even the basic health of people we’ve never met.
In showing how we are all unavoidably and inextricably connected, Christakis presents a picture of an unknowingly collaborative society, and what we can do to best utilise the power of these networks.
Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA
September 27, 2005
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, a Notre Dame University physics professor, explores the relationships of various kinds of complex networks from cells and epidemics, to the World Wide Web, with a bit of ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ in between. In accessible language and with humor, Barabasi explains how seemingly unrelated types of networks, for example corporations, social networks, living organisms, are more similar than previously thought. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi is the author of Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life.