§ You’ve Got to Have (150) Friends - New York Times (réseau sociaux, "amis" Facebook, Twitter)
Put simply, our minds are not designed to allow us to have more than a very limited number of people in our social world. The emotional and psychological investments that a close relationship requires are considerable, and the emotional capital we have available is limited. Indeed, no matter what Facebook allows us to do, I have found that most of us can maintain only around 150 meaningful relationships, online and off — what has become known as Dunbar’s number. Yes, you can “friend” 500, 1,000, even 5,000 people with your Facebook page, but all save the core 150 are mere voyeurs looking into your daily life — a fact incorporated into the new social networking site Path, which limits the number of friends you can have to 50. What’s more, contrary to all the hype and hope, the people in our electronic social worlds are, for most of us, the same people in our offline social worlds. In fact, the average number of friends on Facebook is 120 to 130, just short enough of Dunbar’s number to allow room for grandparents and babies, people too old or too young to have acquired the digital habit.
§ Why Wikileaks Will Kill Big Business And Big Government - The New Republic (Wikileaks)
Wikileaks is, in effect, a huge tax on internal coordination. And, as any economist will tell you, the way to get less of something is to tax it. As a practical matter, that means the days of bureaucracies in the tens of thousands of employees are probably numbered. In a decade or two, we may not only see USAID spun off from the State Department. We may see dozens of mini-State Departments servicing separate regions of the world. Or hundreds of micro-State Departments—one for every country on the planet. Don’t like the stranglehold that a handful of megabanks have on the financial sector? Don’t worry! Twenty years from now there won’t be such a thing as megabanks, because the cost of employing 100,000 potential leakers will be prohibitive.
§ The philosophical underpinnings of David Foster Wallace's fiction - Slate Magazine (David Foster Wallace, philosophie, fiction, Wittgenstein)
When the future novelist David Foster Wallace was about 14 years old, he asked his father, the University of Illinois philosophy professor James D. Wallace, to explain to him what philosophy is, so that when people would ask him exactly what it was that his father did, he could give them an answer. James had the two of them read Plato's Phaedo dialogue together, an experience that turned out to be pivotal in his understanding of his son. "I had never had an undergraduate student who caught on so quickly or who responded with such maturity and sophistication," James recalls. "This was this first time I realized what a phenomenal mind David had."
§ AD Classics: Chrysler Building - ArchDaily (le plus beau gratte-ciel de New York)
In a skyline that has developed New York as a destination for architects and city lovers alike, the Chrysler Building by William Van Alen is identifiable from any distance for its distinguishable style and profile against its surroundings. With the initial intention to be the world’s tallest building, it remained so for only eleven months until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. The Chrysler Building is a classic example of the Art Deco style, from the street to its terraced crown. Interior and exterior alike, it is admired for its distinctive ornamentation based on features that were also found on Chrysler automobiles at the time.
§ Scott Adams Blog: Two Conspiracy Theories (Scott Adams, Wilileaks)
I'm a fan of conspiracy theories. I'm fascinated by the fact that any wild story can be engineered to sound feasible to some portion of the public. Let's call this the ordinary kind of conspiracy theory, such as the idea that a small group of rich people are secretly running the world, or that aliens are abducting people and implanting chips in their necks. These conspiracy theories are hugely unlikely by their nature. But there's another category of conspiracy theory that is way cooler. These are the theories that are far more likely to be true than not, although no smoking gun has been found. I give you today, two conspiracy theories of my own design. I'm not saying these are true. I'm just saying they are far more likely to be true than false. We'll probably never know.