20% of this post delivers 80% of the information

Notes based on Week 9: Reading and Symposium

Pareto’s Law: The 80/20 Rule

Observation of economic inequalities: In most cases four-fifths of our efforts are largely irrelevant.

  • 80% land owned by 20% of population
  • 80% profit produced by 20% employees
  • 80% crime commited by 20% criminals
  • 80% web links link to 15% webpages
  • 80% citations go to 38% scientists

Bell curves:

  • pattern in most quantities in nature , with a peak distribution and very few on the extremes ends.
  • A signature of random networks.
  • Disorder

Power laws:

  • a continuously decreasing curve, implying many small events coexisting with a few large events.
  • Acknowledgement of hubs.
  • transition from disorder to order

How does order emerge from disorder?


Some fascinating visualizations of networks.



are the strongest argument

against the Utopian vision

of an egalitarian cyberspace. Yes, we all have the right to put anything we wish on the Web. But

will anybody notice?

If the Web were a random network, we would all have the same chance to be seen and heard. In a collective manner, we somehow create hubs, Websites to which everyone links. They are very easy to find, no matter where you are the Web. Compared to these hubs,

the rest of the web is invisible.’


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