Reading Week 9

“The 80/20 Rule”. Barabási, Albert-László. Linked: The New Science of Networks. Cambridge (MA): Perseus, 2002.

Again, I found this difficult to read. I feel like it was all over the place, and apart from recognising the 80/20 rule in conjunction to networks, I am not really sure what we were meant to draw from this… Perhaps my brain is melting in this late stage of the year. There was a lot of mentioning of a lot of people and how they relate to or helped define the 80/20 rule, which ultimately comes down to Pareto’s theory that 80% of one thing can often come down to 20% of another. For example, 80% of his peas were grown from 20% of his pea pods. Or in a wider example, 80% of the world’s crime is committed by 20% of the world’s population. It also refers to the idea that 60% of what you do is inconsequential. The rule can in no way be applied to everything, but is relevant to networks in things such as the web and how things are linked. After this the reading got a bit complex… but I think the idea that the networks can leave a lot of content out is what is to be taken away. It is an understanding that networks are not necessarily all-encompassing.


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