A core pillar in the study of network effects is Metcalfe’s Law, where “the systemic value of compatibly communicating devices grows as a square of their number” (to cite one definition).
The Big 5 — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon — are hitting all-time high valuations. Airbnb is worth more than Hilton in the private market. Uber is worth more than GM.
PayPal. Microsoft. Facebook. Uber. Twitter. Salesforce. These are some of the most impactful and significant companies in the world.
Things seem pretty nuts out there right now, huh? Money is flying around the planet, billionaires are flying off of it.
This is the third part in an unintentional and ongoing series about how the internet and web3 are shaking everything up. It’s a playbook, developing in real time.
I see battlefields everywhere: is the Church a Hierarchy or a Network? Is the climate change movement solidifying the existing Hierar-chy (by promoting a fear larger than all previous fears) or a grassroots shift to include nature in our Network? Is the infrastructure of the internet a Hierarchy or a decentralized Network? And the European Union—Hierarchy or Network?
They are all both at once—a duckrabbit. That’s why conversations on these topics are difficult: one side sees the duck, the other sees the rabbit. Still, the answers can only come from the members of these entities. Nothing distinguishes a Hierarchy from a Network but the members’ own perception. The Church can be a Network, the inter-net can be a Hierarchy. There is nothing keeping the Hierarchy alive but the slave’s mind. And the Network is protected by nothing but the catalyst’s own free thought.
Mathematics is a fundamentally human activity, and a semiotic one at that, which is to say, it is an activity of making and using signs in relation to the wider world of practices whereby humans relate to their worlds.
What might it mean to look at space and time as networks?