Networks are very confusing, but it seems like they are here to stay. Out of both admiration and dread we've increasingly fetishized the network diagram to become the mystical representation of Big Data. We look to the network as the all-wise oracle, it demands our data sacrifice, a lot of it, and if it is well fed, and as long as we wisely formulate our queries, it will deliver us the answer we're looking for. Or would it?
As they grow, networks become more complex, going way beyond the limits of what our eyes can query. We are then forced to use algorithms to analyze these vast bodies of data. Yet, network algorithms do not see points connected by lines, while we humans cannot even imagine networks without visualizing a net. Can we go beyond the myth of big data embedded in the network diagram? Can we go beyond the web of nodes and edges to also visualize the network flow and the protocols that govern it? How can we develop a more humanist, political and critical approach to thinking, drafting and constructing networks?