Three weeks after the conference, here is what is still clear in my mind and left from my notes. These are my three big take-aways:
1. Robin Dunbar’s Invited Talk
A much anticipated talk by Dunbar (the Dunbar number http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number), full of fun yet important research. I am not sure how much of it was done by Dunbar himself but this is more or less what the talk was about:
Social grooming online (interesting analogy with ape grooming behaviour here); As little as “liking” someone’s photo online can help sustain a relationship over distance. This online “grooming” can also increase social capital. This is more easily done by women, who can sustain a friendship with another female entirely based on distance communication e.g. phone conversations (thus the higher social media usage for females too), on the other hand male friends need to engage in activities with one another to sustain the relationship e.g., go to the pub and watch a game. As male and female call times and patterns were compared, there was laughter in the audience due to the sharp contrast (you can imagine which was higher). This has obvious implications for how male and female social networks change over distance.
Social investment in romantic relationships is higher from women at the beginning and shifts later in the relationship (possibly after childbirth). Evidence shows that males are much more passive when it comes to choosing a mate, whereas females do most of the work associated with finding and keeping a partner. Entering in a romantic relationship also costs you two friends. Human capacity for giving attention in sustaining relationships is limited and a lot of investment is required for “securing a mate”, at an
estimated cost of two friends (one friend and one family member usually). This is also where the Dunbar number comes in. It was pointed out that you can’t tattoo more than 150 Facebook profile pictures on a standard arm, another validation of the number (see http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/facebook-tattoo-hoax-video-woman-friends-pictures-tattooed/story?id=13795834 to get this).
2. Igor Perisic (LinkedIn), keynote talk
Despite being the only person in the audience not familiar with LinkedIn, I really enjoyed this talk because LinkedIn seems to be a transparent and data-rich platform.
3. The state we’re in.
some things that stood out to me as “novel” were: