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[Opinion] Hub and Network

Posted February. 03, 2003 22:33,   


There is a Korean saying that a three-woman’s gathering can break a plate. This is a mockery of the talkative women. However, it is wrong to think that only women are talkative. It is a human instinct to feel pleasure and make relationships deeper through badmouthing other people. On conference rooms, smoking rooms or pub, men are as talkative as women. According to Nigel Nicholson, professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, men just call their talks as “networking” euphemistically.

▷Even when you emphasize “This is just between us” and talk about something, it is often spread through the whole town and, in turn, you hear it again from other person. In that case, original story usually get bulky because there is something called “Network Politics,” in which one have to give more than what he or she received. Especially when you speak frankly to someone who is known as an information source, it is like to speak on a round-the-clock broadcasting. Paul the Apostle was one who used this system very well. When he preached the gospel, he contacted very sociable persons in a large community at that time. Presumably, he is the first one who understood network, in which everything is connected with each other, and hub, which is the center of connections.

▷Those who study marketing are eager to catch a human hub. Products are more likely to be popular when the advertisement is focused on those who know the tendency very well. Moreover, venereal diseases such as AIDS are rapidly spread through hubs. So it is more effective to cure those hubs for prevention. According to New York Times, this network theory becomes a fad in the U.S. from fashion, AIDS, terrorist attack, to prevention of stock market collapse.

▷Some analyzed that the worm virus attack in the end of last month is a domino effect of network. According to the analysis, as a hub with the most websites collapsed, the subordinate sites collapsed consecutively and the entire network was paralyzed. Whether we want or not, the world we are living is a network, and network is everywhere. It is very paradoxical that the strongest hub in the network has the weakest Achilles tendon since the theories such as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer still dominate the world of network.

Kim Sun-deok, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com