The story of a lost manuscript

In “The development of social network analysis” (for which I have blogged too) Linton C. Freeman, among other things, tracks the efforts of different scientists to lay a mathematical foundation for SNA. For two such efforts he writes:

“both Fararo (circa 1964) and I separately set out to specify the common mathmatical properties of all these seemingly different studies. Fararo circulated but never published his paper. Mine was presented several times and eventually published, but not until twenty-five years later.”

The unpublished manuscript in question was entitled “Theory of Webs and Social Systems Data“. I contacted Professor Fararo for the unpublished manuscript. He told me that he had lost his copy and that I might be lucky by asking Professor Freeman, which I did. When I contacted Professor Freeman he was away from home, but promised to look for it. Indeed about a week later he found the manuscript, had it scanned and emailed it to me. Like I told to my wife who is an archaeologist, I think this is what it feels when they (archaeologists) make a discovery.

Prior to writing this blog post, I told this story to two friends of mine. Funnily enough they asked me the same question:

– Name one Greek Professor who (a) would answer to your email and (b) would go into all that effort to locate something written circa 1965-1966 and send it to you.

This humble blog post stands to publicly thank both Professors for their kind replies and help.

Update: After getting permission, I uploaded the document on Scribd.

2 thoughts on “The story of a lost manuscript

  1. I think there are Greek professors who would satisfy both criteria. I don’t know many Greek professors, but I was lucky enough to meet a few who are brilliant in their field and at the same time wonderful human beings. One of them is prof. George Moustakides, whom I will always respect immensely, both as an expert in Signal Processing and, more importantly, as a person.

    Several years ago, when Photis Georgatos and me were working on a diploma thesis related to seismic signal detection prof. Moustakides asked me about the topic of our work in the computer center of CEID and found out it was related to signal processing. A few days later he invited me at his office. He was talking on the phone when I arrived, so I waited for him to finish his phone call. When he finished his call he handed me a binder with several papers and journal articles. They were all related to the work we were trying to do, and this was his way of helping two of his past students.

    This was, obviously, something he planned since the first time he heard about the topic of our work. He didn’t have to spend any time to search for those papers, but he did. This is why I still remember every bit & detail of this, after more than a decade. I believe I’ll still remember how deep and profound impression this made on me for several more decades.

  2. Like you, I too have a lifetime shaping experience. In fact, I think that because most Greek Professors that I know either I have worked with them or they are friends (some of them even classmates) asking for “weird” stuff is not a problem.

    However, I think what my friends point out is that cases like Moustakides or Sellis are the exception and not the rule.

    [ About the manuscript: I got permission and I will upload it on Scribd later today. ]

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