This week, our latest article with Young-Ho Eom, David Laniado, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Sebastiano Vigna & Dima L. Shepelyansky has been published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE (full article here).
In this paper, we apply methods of Markov chains and Google matrix on 24 editions of Wikipedia that cover languages which played an important role in human history and include Western, Asian and Arabic cultures. We find spatial, temporal, and gender skewness in Wikipedia. Each language edition highlights local figures so that most of its own historical figures are born in the countries which use the language of the edition. In summary, we believe that the analysis of historical figures can be a useful step towards the understanding of local and global history and interactions of world cultures.
Birth place distributions over countries of the top historical figures of 24 Wikipedia edition, according to PageRank.
Wikipedia is a huge global repository of human knowledge that can be leveraged to investigate interwinements between cultures. With this aim, we apply methods of Markov chains and Google matrix for the analysis of the hyperlink networks of 24 Wikipedia language editions, and rank all their articles by PageRank, 2DRank and CheiRank algorithms. Using automatic extraction of people names, we obtain the top 100 historical figures, for each edition and for each algorithm. We investigate their spatial, temporal, and gender distributions in dependence of their cultural origins. Our study demonstrates not only the existence of skewness with local figures, mainly recognized only in their own cultures, but also the existence of global historical figures appearing in a large number of editions. By determining the birth time and place of these persons, we perform an analysis of the evolution of such figures through 35 centuries of human history for each language, thus recovering interactions and entanglement of cultures over time. We also obtain the distributions of historical figures over world countries, highlighting geographical aspects of cross-cultural links. Considering historical figures who appear in multiple editions as interactions between cultures, we construct a network of cultures and identify the most influential cultures according to this network.
My colleagues Ismael Peña-López, Mariluz Congosto and I just got a paper published. It is the final, improved version of a research that had already been presented thus:
- Peña-López, I., Congosto, M. & Aragón, P. (2013). “Spanish Indignados and the evolution of 15M: towards networked para-institutions”. In Balcells, J., Cerrillo i Martínez, A., Peguera, M., Peña-López, I., Pifarré de Moner, M.J. & Vilasau, M. (Coords.), Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities, 359-386. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, 25-26 June, 2013. Barcelona: UOC-Huygens Editorial.
- Peña-López, I., Congosto, M. & Aragón, P. (2013). “Los indignados españoles y la evolución del #15M: hacia las para-instituciones en red”. Comunicación para el 15MP2P (Papers & Productions) Encuentro transdisciplinar del 15M. Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Barcelona, 3-5 de Junio de 2013. Barcelona: UOC/IN3.
This one paper has been published at the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies as Spanish Indignados and the evolution of the 15M movement on Twitter: towards networked para-institutions. The paper explains how is it possible that a movement can actually work with a distributed (and ever changing) leadership, and how it ends up looking like an institution on the outside, but as a network on the inside — which we call a para-institution.
The Arab Spring, the Spanish Indignados, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the #YoSoy132 movement, the protests in Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park, the Brazilian Spring (#jan25, #arabspring, #15M, #ows, #YoSoy132, #occupyGezi, #vemprarua): in the last three years the world has witnessed the emergence of networked citizen politics. These movements are not institutions, but oftentimes mimic their nature. At the same time, they are unlike traditional citizens’ movements, but very much alike in their decentralized structure. Networked citizen politics, characterized by decentralization, swarm-like action and an intensive use of information and communication technologies have been playing an increasing role in worldwide protests and movements, often overtaking and circumventing the actions of governments, parliaments, political parties, labour unions, non-governmental organizations, mass media and all kinds of formal democratic institutions. Taking the case of Spanish Indignados, we analyse the nature of networked citizen politics as an extra-representational kind of political participation – for instance, the pervasiveness of Twitter’s use in the 15M movement. We begin by characterizing users, including a description of how movements propagate from one to another. Next we explore the bonds between networked citizen movements and formal democratic institutions and how they relate to each other, especially the movements with political parties and mass media. We also examine how networked citizen politics may use tools similar to those of the so-called Politics 2.0 but with very different purposes and, accordingly, the result is of the two conflicting approaches. Our analysis shows that different movements – that is, 15M and 25S – act as a continuum for networked citizen politics that use the Internet as the support for new institutionalisms, and despite the lack of traditional organizations, people, practices and ideas are shared and used as foundations for further action. Nevertheless, there is almost no inter-institutional dialogue, with exceptions being individuals belonging to minor and left-wing parties.