Friday, September 14, 2012

Connected and "Hyperconnected"

Many of us like cities.  We vote with our feet and choose to live in, work in, play in, and visit these places.  We also know that cities are good for economic growth which is good for people.  Many supply chains benefit from some degree of clustering.  This includes the less formal supply chains by which we become inventive and creative.

And these human chains also nurture our keen interest in sociability and groupishness.  And the latter feed back to the economic benefits.

Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler address the many ways that we connect. Some are well known.  Many others are worth learning about.  The authors offer a wonderful and readable survey in their Connected: How your friends' friends' friends affect everything you think feel and do.  They note that we are now "Hyperconnected" (their Chapter 8).  The book was published in 2009.  We must know be moving beyond the "hyper".

Most people who write about cities love "density" and use it to proxy for all the networking options cities make possible.  That story is much too interesting to leave it to one aggregate index.