Week 1 | Issue 1 | Contents
A map of the internet circa 2003 showing the connections between different internet routers, from the Opte Project
Renownedly, the blogosphere has fertile soil; things fizz within and its surface is relentlessly broken up and out by the new. It is a network – a thing to join, or not. And joining in is not an act of participation; more, being part. And then, once you are integrated, you may realize what you have done.
In a recent lecture, Nickolas Christakis explained his findings on the influence of networks on our behavior – how those around us define us – like a ripple in fabric where each stitch goes with the flow. He demonstrated, through a study of body mass, the tendency of obesity to cluster. The study- as a graph- is a line of diminishing rectangles, with height representing the increase in probability of one's obesity, given that a social contact is obese. The largest, leftmost rectangle represents a 45% increase in your risk of becoming obese if your friends are obese. Increasing the degrees of separation, if only your friends' friends are obese, then your chances of becoming obese are 25% higher, friends of friends of friends – 10%. It is only until friends of friends of friends of friends that there is no longer a relationship between your body size and that of the network at large.
Of course, the principle is by no means limited to belt length. Layer upon layer of networks operate at the levels of our lives – smoking, drinking, hobbies and even emotions can be mapped out and the patches of shared feeling and action visualised. Collective existences are formed – and the network is what dictates its properties. Christakis uses the analogy of carbon in both coal and diamond. Both materials are constructs of carbon – it is not the individual components that dictate the final form but instead the arrangement of the network.
It is a strange way of seeing the world, as a place of group thinking and domino trails. However, it does present an opportunity – a chance to sneeze good things in your face.
So Silkworms Ink has stepped up its game. We have three new editors.
Poetry Editor - Phil Brown
Fiction Editor - Jon Ware
Music Editor - Sam Kinchin-Smith
We even have a schedule and a weekly theme.
Monday – Introduction – James Harringman – A letter from the editor on the week’s theme.
Tuesday – Poetry Article – Phil Brown
Wednesday – Fiction Article – Jon Ware
Thursday – Music Article – Sam Kinchin-Smith
Friday – Chapbook – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Friday’s business will be as usual – a weekly chapbook sized dose of poetry or prose from some the best writers around.
Saturday – Mixtape – Keep your ears peeled; these are going to be awesome. I won’t spoil the surprise with details now.
Sunday – Mini Essay – Something new. Interested in submitting? Click here for details.
This week's theme is 'Issue 1's'. And so it starts.
Lastly, Bob (Dylan) if you are reading this - Happy Birthday