Civilizations and E-Mail
March 11, 2013 11:03 AM Subscribe
A team of computer researchers analyzed ten million Yahoo! e-mails
posted by spaltavian (26 comments total)
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and noticed a phenomenon: "E-mails tend to flow much more frequently between countries with certain economic and cultural similarities".
The paper, titled "The Mesh of Civilizations and International Email Flows
" was written by researchers at Stanford, Cornell, Yahoo! and Qatar’s Computational Research Institute. It places the research in the context of Samuel Huntington’s much-maligned “Clash of Civilizations
"In this respect we cautiously assign a level of validity to Huntington’s contentions, with a few caveats. The ﬁrst issue was already mentioned – overlap between civilizations and other factors contributing to countries’ level of association. Huntington’s thesis is clearly reﬂected in the graph presented in Figure 3, but some of these civilizational clusters are found to be explained by other factors in Table 5. The second limitation concerns the fact that we investigated a communication network. There is no necessary “clash” between countries that do not communicate, and Huntington’s thesis was concerned primarily with ethnic conﬂict."
We see in the study that nations placed into the same "civilization" per Huntington’s definitions do e-mail each other more frequently than nations e-mail nations e-mail outside their civilization. The authors themselves, however, add “the advancement of an explanation is premature.”