Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Power of Networking




So I saw this website a long time ago but I thought I would share. The website is called theyrule.net. In their own words they:

They Rule aims to provide a glimpse of some of the relationships of the US ruling class. It takes as its focus the boards of some of the most powerful U.S. companies, which share many of the same directors. Some individuals sit on 5, 6 or 7 of the top 500 companies. It allows users to browse through these interlocking directories and run searches on the boards and companies. A user can save a map of connections complete with their annotations and email links to these maps to others. They Rule is a starting point for research about these powerful individuals and corporations.
Basically this website takes a snapshot in time, circa 2004 I believe, and allows you to graphically see the members of the 'board of directors' of  major companies and institutions.  You can go on there, select a company, see their board, and then see what other boards their board members sit on.  The 'fatter' the dude icon the more connections he/she has.  The graphic I provided is one of the preloaded popular mappings you can load up. It is called the Magnificent Seven and it basically shows how 7 individuals can have influence on almost all the other major pieces through 1/2 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Try it out, its pretty interesting.

However... Depending on your world view, this high level of connectivity could either be sinister or totally awesome. In a way this high inter-connectivity is a testament to the sheer power of interpersonal relationships and shared goals.  Like it or not, the old phrase of who you know is not just a trite saying.... (usually when people say it it is with a negative connotation instead of expressing the crystallized truth of it - aka being a hater) it is a cold literal bit of knowledge which reflects into wisdom. IF you have the choice,  better to look into your blind spot, sometimes you need to look into the abyss. =-)

Notice I said IF, sometimes not seeing the abyss is more favorable, but the IF implies you actually notice glitches in the matrix..... if you don't notice the glitches then there is no abyss.

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