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Showing posts from March, 2009

TED, Memes, Metaphors, but no Economics?

TED: IDEAS WORTH SPREADING is the welcome line at ted.com - an intellectual platform blending Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and almost attaining a cult status. Who's who of the world have marked their presence at its annual conferences starting 1984. This is the stage where Prof. Stephen Hawking urged mankind to colonise neighbouring planets; where the UN peace ambassador Jane Goodall spoke about her 45 years old chimpanzee studies; where Bono won the price of expressing three wishes in a bid to change the world; and where Bill Gates opened a jar of mosquitoes to the audience to spread (with them) awareness about malaria (later, when the panic subsided it was declared that the mosquitoes were harmless for they were cured of the germs. I am not entirely sure though which anti-virus was used by Mr. Gates.) A meme is an information packet with an attitude. For the current young generation world over, and those leaning towards entrepreneurship, TED is the "in thing&

The Dunbar Number and Limits of Our Social Networks

THE SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEB 2.0 (though both are considered synonymous by some) provided the netizens with amazing new possibilities, like a new universe opening up with everyone mingling with everyone else. While the web (no pun intended) of these collaboration network, social in nature, kept increasing in complexity and continued expanding, there was no measure for if it were to follow the same yo-yo model of the actual Universe (try here ) . In other words, it was very difficult to ascertain if the motion was inward or outward, for there were no clear boundaries defined or known. The size of the neocortex of the brain allows humans to have stable networks of about 150. This is known as "the Dunbar number". With the help of Dr. Robin Dunbar’s research, perhaps we now have the first indications toward the limitations of Web 2.0 vis-a-vis human psychology and behaviour. Dr. Dunbar is an anthropologist currently with the Oxford University and has studied primates and humans and t