Time magazine appointed Zuckerberg person of the year 2010 (followed by the Tea Party…and Julian Assange and..$%$%^%) and also argued (in its “piece”) that Dunbars’ 150 people cliques is meaningful to some extent(s)). Dunbar himself wrote abut it at the NYT a rather puzzling comment.
Engel in Time: “Evolutionary biologists suggest there is a correlation between the size of the cerebral neocortex and the number of social relationships a primate species can have. Humans have the largest neocortex and the widest social circle — about 150, according to the scientist Robin Dunbar. Dunbar’s number — 150 — also happens to mirror the average number of friends people have on Facebook. Because of airplanes and telephones and now social media, human beings touch the lives of vastly more people than did our ancestors, who might have encountered only 150 people in their lifetime. Now the possibility of connection is accelerating at an extraordinary pace. As the great biologist E.O. Wilson says, “We’re in uncharted territory.” There are other numbers: 250 (Rusell?)Not so popular.
Dunbar: “Until relatively recently, almost everyone on earth lived in small, rural, densely interconnected communities, where our 150 friends all knew one another, and everyone’s 150 friends list was everyone else’s” (well yeah, we spent all our time staying alive..not much time for socializing, especially if you are an eskimo..I wonder how chimps would do facebooking)
An obviously annoyed reader of the NYT “Anyone who believes that Facebook operates out of revolutionary devotion to human advancement is free to stalk the electronic village shouting its name, but he also risks becoming that village’s idiot”. We are all idiots.