150: A Network Threshold

I was thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s interesting book Tipping Point and it occurred to me that there is a network that is similar to his “The Magic Number 150” chapter that says communities break down when the membership reaches 150.

It is the C60 Buckminsterfullerine or a truncated icosahedron.

Truncated icosahedron

This interesting little geodesate has 60 vertexes and 90 edges.

In the context of an associative database that is 60 entities and 90 associations or 150 Entity Types.

It is interesting that the most symmetrical of shapes might as a network correspond to the threshold he describes in communities.


The Brain: No Thinking Here

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. — Albert Einstein

I bought this book expecting insights into the faithful servant of Einstein’s quote. When I read the only quote endorsing the book from The Washington Times, I had a flash of intuition. Wasn’t that the newspaper published by Reverend Moon? I Googled that evening and lo and behold blink I was right.

This book does not explore rational thought, it makes a superficial attack against Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink and then turns into a baseless Moonie styled neo-con rant. I will be returning my copy for a refund.

Sociology: The Six Adopter Types

I’ve finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and came away with one picture in my head. That is the type of adopters of any new product or service goes through as it reaches its tipping point and beyond. I’ll share that with you now:

The pattern can be described as follows:

  1. The Maven (expert) is a creative adopter
  2. The Connector (leader) is a creative adopter
  3. The Salesman (logician) is an innovative adopter
  4. The Accountant (physicist) is an innovative adopter
  5. The Secretary (security) is an intelligent adopter
  6. The Receptionist (operator) is an intelligent adopter

The first three adopt because the epidemic is contagious, the second three adopt because the epidemic is sticky. It should be noted that the names I give the adopters is contextually sensitive. Malcolm points out that in one context a person can be a Maven, in another an Secretary and in another a Salesman. This involves the transitive memory roles within groups, the message (datum) and the media (node).

All in all I consider The Tipping Point a thought provoking book worth reading, along with Malcolm’s other book Blink.

Sociology: A Master Repackager

I have just finished reading the first four chapters of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and I must say it is interesting to see so much of my social psychology education being proven and applied. However, is Malcolm covering new territory? Let’s look at my visual summary of these chapters as a Zachman Framework:

In the first chapter Malcolm presents us with his Three Rules of Epidemics:

  1. The Law of the Few (Person)
  2. The Stickiness Factor (Datum)
  3. The Power of Context (Node)

In chapter two we look at The Law of the Few. Malcolm gives exotic names to his concept person (maven), context person (connector) and logic person (salesman). Nothing new here and I’ve added three of my own. In chapter three Malcolm describes his Stickiness Factor and advocates Blue’s Clues as the finest example of a “sticky” message. Nothing really new here either. In chapter four we are exposed to the astonishing change in the crime rate in New York City and the valiant efforts of David Gunn and William Bratton to clean up the New York Subway system. Malcolm discusses the Broken Window policy and makes a good case that “context” can reduce crime. Nothing really new when I include it in my diagram either.

One thing that did change for me is the positioning of Event and Node. If you have been following the evolution of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework you can see Node and Event have switched places. This is because it occurred to me that Event, Function and Goal are logical while Node, Datum and Person are physical. The new order has a better fit. Which leads to changing the following:

All the above considered, I can say so far that Malcolm’s book is a good read but in the same way that Blink is the repackaging of Intuition, The Tipping Point is the repackaging of Person, Datum and Node.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

The Brain: Intuition

blink.jpg malcomgladwell.jpg

While thinking about the Seven Hat, Six Coat Framework I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book blink and I realized that here I had an indepth analysis of the Manipulation row otherwise known as Red Hat or Intuition.

Malcolm’s book is about how our intuitive thinking process works, how it can be developed and how it can be compromised. It is a perfect extension to de Bono’s definition of intuition and a great way to approach the manipulation perspective of each of the focuses. There is simply a certain amount of “Red Perspective” that influences the system even before domain or “White Perspective” is recorded.

Below is a ring diagram describing the perspectives as concentric circles.


The progression is as follows:

  • RESORT: Orange Hat: Medium : Media
  • RENDER: Red Hat: Manipulation : Intuition
  • READY: Black Hat: Definition: Pessimism
  • RECORD: White Hat: Physics: Data
  • REPORT: Yellow Hat: Logic: Optimism
  • RELATE: Blue Hat: Context: Control
  • REVISE: Green Hat: Concept: Creativity

As you can see there is a hiearchy from outermost “medium” or “Media Hat” to innermost “entity” perspective or “Creativity Hat”. Also note that the focus need not always be data. Any of the Six Coats can be used.

I might also add as a footnote that Blink style judgements may be looked at as heuristics.