Notions of collective guilt and collective revenge that underlie cascade of violence seem strange only when we regard responsibility as a personal attribute.
Perhaps the person-to-person spread of violence should not surprise us.
Just as it is often said that “the friend of my friend is my friend” and “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” so too the friend of my enemy is my enemy.
In the United States, 75 percent of all homicides involve people who knew each other, often intimately, prior to the murder.
If you want to know who might take your life, just look at the people around you.
Social-network ties can – and, as we will see, usually do – convey benefits that are the very opposite of violence.
Our connections do not end with the people we know.
Beyond our own social horizons, friends of friends of friends can start chain reactions that eventually reach us, like waves from distant lands that wash up on our shores.
Rules of life in the network:
- We shape our network
- Our network shapes us
- Our friends affect us
- Our friends’ friends’ friends affect us
- The network has a life of its own