First off, I could not get the pitch perfect sound bite out of my mind as I read this reading…
In ‘The Seventh Link- Rich get Richer’ Barabasi explores the 2 fundamental laws of Network Evolution: Growth and Preferential Attachment.
The first law is explained thoughtfully through his assertion that the only thing all networks have in common is their constant, incremental growth through the addition of new nodes (which would be hard for Brittany Snow to do in Pitch Perfect as she has them removed). We cannot think of nodes as static, they are unpredictable, empowered parts of a whole. I love this idea but it is not new to me after what we have studied so far in this semester.
Preferential Attachment places the things in a network with most links to them as in prime, prominent position within the system. That is, the way something establishes prominence in the network is it’s ability to garner a heap of links, forming a ‘hub’ or a convergence of nodes.
This idea is especially true on sites like Pirate Bay. I’ve heard that the most popular torrents on the site (which I just heard of today) are the ones which have been ‘seeded’ the most number of times. There is apparently even a quick way of showing the most popular ones if you just press the ‘SE’ title of the seeder column. Thus, users participate in preferential attachment as the credibility of torrents are usually associated by a high number of ‘links’ or ‘seeds’ in this case. Of course, you wouldn’t always get dodgy content if you clicked on a link which had a low amount of seeders (though often you absolutley do, I’ve heard) but there are just too many advantages of going with the most popular option. Significantly, going with the most linked option ensures the most efficient and fast download too as there are so many others in the act of ‘torrenting’ in the swarm- making links in their own special way.
Hubs are simply more efficient and less likely to give you a weird virus.