by Sandy Shaw

Whatever you may think of Mr. Trump, he has revolutionized the way this government functions. This is not just the election of a “new” president, but the initiation of a truly new way to govern where each individual has a voice, where each man or woman can speak directly to the president, something that has NEVER before been possible.

Trump uses social networking, something no president has done before. In so doing, his “tweets” can be answered by anyone. The bureaucracy and the mainstream media are both bypassed.

A post (Feb. 2, 2017) by John Robb at Global Guerillas puts it this way, “National governance isn’t just in Washington [DC] anymore. It’s [] conducted everywhere at once. Everyone, from the government bureaucrat to the corporate executive to the owner of a Twitter account is now an active participant. It is now MUCH more participatory than it has EVER been. (emphasis on MUCH added).”

The post continues, “Bureaucratic governance mass media coverage focuses on one problem at a time (serially) … In contrast, networked governance can focus on many [problems] in parallel. This makes it very difficult for gatekeepers to exercise control.”

This is how Mr. Trump is flummoxing the media and his political enemies: he tweets and he distracts them from other, more important issues. They can’t respond to everything at once and he has sent them off in directions of his choice to keep them busy.

In a second post (Feb. 10, 2017), at Global Guerrillas, John Robb adds to his well-done analysis of the merging of social networking and politics. He sees social networking as containing three political networks: insurgency, orthodoxy, and participatory. The insurgency is the way that Trump became president without much advertising—about 10% of Hillary’s—and despite the opposition of most of the press. Trump was the catalyst here.

The orthodoxy “arose out of the ashes of the political parties and it is growing without any formal leadership (from the Feb. 10, 2017 post).” It is the part of social networking that fiercely opposes Trump. “Trump feeds the outrage that fuels it,” says Mr. Robb.

The participatory group is something of a combination of the insurgency and the orthodoxy.

In a recent article (Egerstedt, 2011), the author commented on a paper (Liu, 2011) about social networking, specifically, how they can be controlled. The conclusion was that they are VERY difficult to control. “… both social networks and naturally occurring networks, such as those involving gene regulation, are surprisingly hard to control.” (Egerstedt, 2011)

The article contained an analysis of how you choose the most influential individuals (the driver nodes). “The nodes are individual decision makers … The edges [the connections] are the means by which information flows and is shared between nodes.” The analysis continues: “… driver nodes tend to avoid the network hubs. In other words, centrally located nodes are not necessarily the best ones for influencing a network’s performance … the most influential members may not be those with the most friends.” What I think this means is that the most influential decision makers may not be “joiners.” They are influential because of their ideas, which can be reached by large numbers of others without these influential people having any knowledge of who these “others” are.

A social network is a very different form of social connection, because it is not necessary to actually KNOW anybody. You can be a hermit living on a mountain top nowhere near anybody else and still be as connected to the network as “people who need people.” Something like 24,000,000 people are following Trump at Twitter, but few are actually likely to know him or to “need” him.



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