Man, after the Watts reading, i realised how screwed we are if electricity somehow goes out or messes up or even just cuts out for 25 hours, like what happened in New York in 1977. It made me realise that possibly the most dangerous thing if that happens wont be food production, heating, communication etc, but I’m just scared of the reaction from people. The riots that happened then cost 350 million dollars in damages, and the power was only out for 25 hours. People be cray.
The part about networks made me think… If we picture networks as the electricity grid, which can go out if the one source/ core of the grid malfunctions, can this happen with networks also? I think yes, because typically, really dense networks are based around something similar; many people connecting over their love for a specific author for example. If that author suddenly stopped writing, and told everyone they should never speak of their previous books again for whatever reason, what happens to the network? Sure it will be there, as the network is also linked to things around it, but it can no longer grow, and the links will begin to weaken as people lose interest in this past author, whose works can never be found or discussed again. This is probably true for most networks when they start out. If two weeks into the semester the networked media blog, or media factory somehow disappeared, how would we connect over ideas and readings that none of us have been exposed to because they were on the blog. We would stagnate (unless we found other things to blog about.) (This was definitely a tangent thought xD okay, back to the reading…)
So, ‘6 degrees of separation.’ I had heard of it before, and i had always thought, “Yeah, i can see that, people have weird connections.” but if everyone has roughly 100 friends that they know on a first name basis, then in 5/6 degrees that definitely should cover everyone on the planet, that is, assuming most people don’t have the same groups of friends… I guess it only works with strangers/ acquaintances. If you asked one of your friends, 80 of their 100 friends might be mutual friends, so your not getting as far. So i guess its impossible to determine how big or small that world is. Everyone has different connections and they all cluster differently, I have probably about 20 close friends, someone else may have 100 close friends, or 2 close friends, but that doesn’t mean one of us has a better chance of finding someone on the other side of the world, because what if those 100 close friends are all only acquainted with each other and don’t know anyone else. Is the world bigger for them, or smaller for them? Is the world of the person with 2 close friends bigger because one of those friends knows 200 people? I guess that’s how the theory is rather flawed.