Archive for March, 2010

Social networks and the war on terror

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

For those interested in the role of networks in contemporary warfare, Chris Wilson’s recent Searching for Saddam: A five-part series on how the U.S. military used social networking to capture the Iraqi dictator in Slate is worth reading. Wilson provides an accessible account of social network analysis and the manner in which interconnections can be mapped. His account of the construction of link diagrams to identify those that were harbouring Saddam after he had been deposed from power in 2003, resonates with much that has been written about the relationship of networks and contemporary warfare.
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The Chilean earthquake: urban materiality and feral cities

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Two articles in the Guardian on the Chilean earthquake caught my eye on Monday:

  • In Chile’s earthquake was horrible – but it could have been so much worse Rory Carrol points to the material differences between the Chilean earthquake and January’s much more destructive Haiti quake. The tectonic movements that Carol points to as the determinant of a quake’s strength are a reminder of the irruptive materiality of the environment. What caught my eye in this report, however, was the reference to the manner in which the urban fabric was key to the fate of the population in both cases. (more…)