You are here

Analysing causal chains and temporal association of blog behavior.

I'm tossing up a response to someone else's blog post that I wrote just to get something up here.

Danadarko has observed a pattern in her behavior linking housecleaning with posting to LiveJournal.. For some reason, her call for experiment/research models on the matter tripped something and I vomited forth a bunch of interesting-to-me-at-least random thought.

Reposted below the fold is my response and a slight expansion of that respose.

---Begin LSMFT response---

Suggest that hypothesis "Cleaning products result in LiveJournal posts" untestable as stated.

Alternative Hypothesis: housecleaning/organizing behaviors result in LJ posts.

Experiment: Subjects shall keep a log at blogspot recording their daily activites and times at which they occurred in minute detail. LJ activities shall be analyzied for temporal proximity to cleaning activites, suggesting a general trend from subject-reported data on which to base further, more focused investigation.
This has the advantage of allowing further trends relating to LJ posting behavior to be suggested by the data themselves.

Wild Speculation: I expect that this is a case of microcosm reflecting macrocosm. "as above, so below, as without, so within." Dasein is fractal, baby.

Extra Credit: Having observed a similar pattern in my own behavior, I have observed (elsewhere, I wrote this up in my hardcopy journal.) that the more organized and clean my environment is, the more inclined I become to similarly organize and tidy up my mental junkyard. For me this is expressed as the impulse to create vast tables of association under somewhat arbitrary principals. Kabbalah as the activity of taxonomically obsessed in ontological crisis. (see Nathan Walker, et al; 1993 - [?])

Journaling and other introspective public expression behaviors are cast as attempts to correlate the contents of the mind, and propose them for consensus agreement (see Habermas on communicative reason) based on the reflective reactions of other communicators. David Hume would be a useful reference as relates to perception and interpretation of causal relationships.

I'm with Lilly and Leary generally on this- the brain wet-ware and behavioral mind-programs are co-evolutionary. As learned behavior programs prove survivable, they eventually embed in the wet-ware, which has the material function of observationally and experimentally testing new mind-programs for survivability. The mechanism is viral - meme transference via communicative processes; survivability determined by confrontation of the meme with the world; successful memes are generationally embedded and eventually expressed as "instinctive behavior" or a simple tendency to process certain classes of information in certain ways.
---End LSMFT response---

This is going to have to be expanded at some point, and I may actually commit myself to creating a more solid design for the research and experimental phase- although likely not based on cleaning behavior as such, but a more general approach to map in-the-world behavior of individuals to their online activities.

It seems quite possible to me that we could see some interesting things show up related to temporal proximity of online and offline activities, mechanisms of substitution and cross-talk for activities occurring in these contexts, and some of the frankly bizarre paradoxes that arise regarding the matter of the internet.

How else can you be sitting alone and in a dark room, while simultaneously experiencing a level of social activity that potentially far exceeds that of even a court ball at Versailles or an orgy in Tangiers?

The "Brain in a Vat" implications of this are nearly terrifying. Bob Nozick, please chime in.