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Supporting Kalyanamittata Online:  New Architectures for Sustainable Social Networking
 

Supporting Kalyanamittata Online: New Architectures for Sustainable Social Networking

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From a position paper arguing that Buddhist insights can help to improve the design of social networkings sites with new architectures that help in the cultivation of deeper and more long-lasting ...

From a position paper arguing that Buddhist insights can help to improve the design of social networkings sites with new architectures that help in the cultivation of deeper and more long-lasting friendships. These slides were used at the 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science (section: Buddhism and Social Science), held 1-2 December BE2553 (2010 CE) at the College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand.

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    Supporting Kalyanamittata Online:  New Architectures for Sustainable Social Networking Supporting Kalyanamittata Online: New Architectures for Sustainable Social Networking Presentation Transcript

    • Supporting Kalyāṇamittatā Online: New Architectures for Sustainable Social Networking Paul Trafford Oxford, UK paul.trafford@stx.oxon.org1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 1
    • About these slides (version 1.0s for Slideshare) These slides are based on those that I used for a presentation entitled: Supporting Kalyāṇamittatā Online: New Architectures for Sustainable Social Networking given at the 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science ( http://www.wcbsthailand.com/ ) held 1-2 December 2010 at the College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand. The slides are generally the same, except here Ive inserted details of citations. Note also that some words use diacritics and were authored with the Times Ext Roman font. The content is provided under the Creative Commons License 2.0 Attribution 2.0 Generic. - Paul Trafford, Oxford.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 2
    • Preface: School Friends "Paul doesnt have many friends but he has good friends.” Teacher, Parents Evening, Hagley First School c.19771-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 3
    • Overview of Presentation 1. Introduction 2. Approaches in Social Sciences: Well-being 3. Buddhist Architectures for Sustainable Relationships Online 4. Conclusions1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 4
    • Part 1: Introduction1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 5
    • Background to this paper Personal research context: ● Web2.0 research in UK Higher Education ● EDUCAUSE Blog post: On Friends and other associations http://www.educause.edu/blog/pault/OnFriendsando therassociations/1672851-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 6
    • Basic terminology:Internet, Web and Social Networking ● Internet: federated [computer] network of networks, evolved from ARPANET (1969) ● World Wide Web: Internet service based on hypertext (1989) ● Social Networking: Internet services, especially Web-based, for people to connect and share ● Social Networking Sites (SNS): Social networking focused around a particular web site or service. Examples: Planetall.com (c. 1996); Facebook (2004)1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 7
    • Facebook numbers: growth in usage Number of Facebook Users (source: Facebook.com) 600 500 400 No. of users (millions) 300 200 100 0 01/04 05/05 10/06 02/08 07/09 11/10 Date1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 8
    • Example of Facebook usage (page)1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 9
    • More Facebook numbers: MHS page1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 10
    • Problem of SNS: Poor Sustainability ● Evanescent nature and majority of online communities dont even get off the ground. ● Major sites have become obsolete: PlanetAll (1996-2000), Six Degrees (1997-2001) or else receding from view (Friends Reunited); even Google has not been so successful (Orkut, Buzz) ● Whats become of friendship? Many people are dissatisfied with Facebook [e.g. National Unfriend Day, 17 November 2010]1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 11
    • Part 2: Approaches in Social Sciences: Well-being1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 12
    • The changing meanings of social Alejandro Portes (in literature review of social capital) [1998] observes: ● foundational work of 19th century sociologists, particularly Émile Durkheim ● sense has broadened from small-scale individual and family kinships to large-scale societies (cities, nations etc) Portes, A. 1998. Social Capital:Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology 24, 1-24 Sociology.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 13
    • Social Capital: Definition? There is no standard definition, but following is characteristic: the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance or recognition (Bourdieu 1980). Bourdieu P. 1980. Le capital social: notes provisoires. Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales. LÉcole des hautes études en sciences sociales.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 14
    • Well-being Typically regarded as a subjective view of happiness. Social dimension: short and long-term well-being: Generally speaking, self-ratings of ‘happiness’ turn out to reflect relatively short-term, situation- dependent expressions of mood, whereas self- ratings of ‘life satisfaction’ appear to measure longer-term, more stable evaluations (Helliwell and Putnam 2004)Helliwell, J.F., Putnam R.D. 2004. The social context of well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the RoyalSociety London: Biological Sciences 359, 1435-1446 1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 15
    • Well-being and Social Capital Social capital identified as a key factor for social well- being, but refinements needed: ● bonding social capital: "refers to the links between like-minded people, or the reinforcement of homogeneity. It builds strong ties, but can also result in higher walls excluding those who do not qualify" ● bridging social capital: “refers to the building of connections between heterogeneous groups; these are likely to be more fragile, but more likely also to foster social inclusion" (Schuller et al. 2000:10) Baron, S. , Field, J., Schuller, T. (eds.). 2000. Social Capital. Oxford University Press, Oxford.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 16
    • Social Capital and Online Activity ● General Social Survey (nationally representative data on Americans and their online discussion networks of close confidants) ● GSS distinguishes between kinship and non-kinship networks ● Comparative analysis [1985 c.f. 2004] (McPherson et al. 2006): reduction in strong ties indicate increased loneliness ● Some dispute about results (e.g. Fischer 2009), but authors maintain methodology is sound. Fischer, C. S., 2009. The 2004 GSS Finding of Shrunken Social Networks: An Artifact? American Sociological Review 74:4. 657-669. McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin L., Brashears M. E., 2006. Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades American Sociological Review 71:3. American Sociological Association, 353-375.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 17
    • Facebook and Well-being (1) Survey: College Students: Ellison et al (2007) ● useful measures of well-being, significant correlations between life satisfaction and intensity of Facebook usage ● limited context: undergraduate students and predictors based on evolving Facebook functionality (2) Survey 2: Burke et al (2010) ● same approach, broader sample ● a positive relationship between directed communications (i.e. where a user initiates some activity) and social capital ● Increased loneliness found with the most intense users Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. 2007. The benefits of Facebook "friends:" Social capital and college students use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 12:4, article 1. Burke, M., Marlow, C., Lento M. 2010. Social Network Activity and Social Well-Being. CHI 2010: Social Media Users, April 10-15, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 18
    • More clues: Ethnographic Observations A more vivid picture of motivations. Trinidadian culture (Daniel Miller 2010): “important in galvanising the response to the recent catastrophe of fellow Caribbeans in Haiti” but: exacerbating “a national characteristic leading to the disorder of bacchanal” Highlights issue of social ethics... ● but online ethics information-oriented. Miller, D. 2010. `Fas’ book (Facebook) in Trinidad. Material World blog post, 7 February 2010. New York University. http://blogs.nyu.edu/projects/materialworld/2010/02/fas_book_facebook_in_trinidad.html1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 19
    • The Decline of Netiquette Have we forgotten responsible behaviour online? In general, rules of common courtesy for interaction with people should be in force for any situation and on the Internet its doubly important where, for example, body language and tone of voice must be inferred. (Hambridge, IETF, 1995)1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 20
    • Part 3: Buddhist Architectures for Sustainable Relationships Online1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 21
    • Buddhism in the Social Sphere Many works exist that offer applications of Buddhism to the contemporary social context: ● Payutto, Bhikkhu P.A. 2007. Visions of the Dhamma, Wat Nyanavesakavan, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand ● Soni R.L. (revised Khantipalo). 1978. Lifes Highest Blessings: The Maha Mangala Sutta, translation and Commentary. WH 254. Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy ● Mendis, P. 1994. Buddhist Economics and Community Development Strategies Community Development Journal 29:4, OUP. 195-202 ● Dhammakaya Foundation 2005. A Manual of Peace: 38 Steps Towards Enlightened Living, Dhammakaya Foundation, Bangkok Can apply to the online context similarly...1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 22
    • Kalyāṇamittatā as true friendship "Herein, Vyagghapajja, in whatsoever village or market town a householder dwells, he associates, converses, engages in discussions with householders or householders sons, whether young and highly cultured or old and highly cultured, full of faith (saddha), full of virtue (sila), full of charity (caga), full of wisdom (pañña). He acts in accordance with the faith of the faithful, with the virtue of the virtuous, with the charity of the charitable, with the wisdom of the wise.” [A iv 281, Narada trans.]1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 23
    • Facebooks 1-Dimensional Friendship1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 24
    • The Sigalovāda Sutta ● Context: Buddhas advice to Sigala, householder, on personal conduct ● Distinguishes between true and false friends ● Has become de facto moral code for householder in some Buddhist countries ● Classifies relationships into multiple types (6 in all) ● Specifies different modes of conduct for each type of relationship1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 25
    • The Six Directions of Sigalovāda Sutta Source: Dattajeevo, Bhikkhu P., (Methmanus, A., trans.) 2005. Mans Personal Transformation, Dhammakaya Foundation, Bangkok1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 26
    • The Sigalovāda Sutta (fragments)1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 27
    • Schoyen Exhibition at Buddhamonthon1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 28
    • Quality of Speech: Status Updates1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 29
    • Status Updates Compared with Vaca Sutta Status Updates Vaca Sutta (Facebook, Twitter etc) Spoken at any time – encouraged Spoken at the right time May or may not be spoken in truth – Spoken in truth guidance? May be spoken with or without affection Spoken affectionately – guidance? May or not be beneficial – guidance? Spoken beneficially May or not be spoken with a mind of Spoken with a mind of good-will good-will – guidance?1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 30
    • The Mind of Goodwill vs Worldly Affection “Metta succeeds when it loves, and it fails when it degenerates into worldly affection” (Buddharakkhita 1989). ● wordly affection: tanhā-pema or rāga ● Visuddhimagga: rāga is the near enemy of mettā [Vsm. IX.98] ● worldly affection is thus an obstacle to building social welfare.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 31
    • Friendship cultivation is Gradual ● Mangala Sutta develops quality of mind (and hence quality of friendship) ● Modern Commentary [Dattajeevo] describes seven levels of association... ● Making a connection is only the first step... ● A relationship develops over time ... Assertion: SNS can implement these aspects. (maybe using AI techniques)1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 32
    • A Change in Online Interaction Connection paradigms can then evolve From ● static objects, oriented around self, possession and acquisition (“Have x friends, consume y apps,” etc.) To: ● dynamic process-oriented relationships whose nature keeps changing and evolving1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 33
    • Social Impact ● Multiple relationship types give more attention to bridging social capital ● Infinite iterations or varied connections supported: friends of friends, parents of parents (ancestry), teachers of teachers (expert knowledge transfer), etc. ● Iterations over types: parents of friends etc. ● Can scale right across human population1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 34
    • Part 4: Conclusions1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 35
    • Summary ● Social networking sites are growing in significance, but currently design weaknesses limit the benefits to society ● Buddhist teachings offer solutions to build longer- term friendship online: → Guidance on virtuous behaviour → Multiple relationship types (supports greater breadth of connections) → Guidance on true friendship (supports greater depth of connections)1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 36
    • Recommendations ● Further research. ● Recognise the need for a universal social ethic and apply it to SNS ● Reconsider SNS architectures in light of the Sigalovāda Sutta ● Build a prototype! <><><>1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 37
    • Discussion Any Questions?1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 38
    • Acknowledgements The author is grateful to Dr. Gabriel Hanganu, for prompting ethnographic reflections on online interactions, and to Prof. Damien Keown, for encouragement in this particular line of research. Thanks are also due to Phrabhavanaviriyakhun (Ven. Dattajeevo) for granting permission to use the illustration of the Six Directions of the Sigalovāda Sutta. Finally, the author would like to thank the organisers of the conference for kindly providing an opportunity to share these thoughts and for financial assistance to attend the conference.1-2 December 2010 3rd World Conference on Buddhism and Science 39