Category Archives: Anthropology

Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks


Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks. We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of traits — from happiness to obesity — can spread from person to person, showing how your location in the network might impact your life in ways you don’t even know.

Nicholas Christakis: How social networks predict epidemics


Nicholas Christakis: How social networks predict epidemics. After mapping humans’ intricate social networks, Nicholas Christakis and colleague James Fowler began investigating how this information could better our lives. Now, he reveals his hot-off-the-press findings: These networks can be used to detect epidemics earlier than ever, from the spread of innovative ideas to risky behaviors to viruses (like H1N1).

Mechai Viravaidya: How Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place


Mechai Viravaidya: How Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place. Thailand’s “Mr. Condom,” Mechai Viravaidya, walks us through the country’s bold plan to raise its standard of living, starting in the 1970s. First step: population control. And that means a lot of frank, funny — and very effective — talk about condoms.