#461: Frothworld

It seems that social networks are ‘small-worlds’ -everyone is only six handshakes away from the president because these networks consist of clusters of individuals and quasi-random, long-range links between clusters. These arrangements form because people tend to get introduced to others who are slightly better connected than average.

Small-world networks (and the Internet is one such) have a major problem which is that they can be seriously damaged by the removal of a small number of key people at the centres of a smallish number of clusters. If their identities are known, (and those people are by definition, self promoters) the whole system is at risk.


Today’s invention is therefore a ‘wallflower’ network. One in which newcomers are naturally linked to people who are less well-connected than average. This results in networks which consist of loops surrounding voids…a bit like the structure of lace or froth.

I haven’t yet worked up a simulation, but I believe this means that you get a similar level of connectivity, without the vulnerability -everyone is president in such a network.

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