:: Re: [Squatconf] OT [long]: The two-…
Top Page
Delete this message
Reply to this message
Author: holger krekel
To: Petros at Freelab
CC: squatconf
Subject: Re: [Squatconf] OT [long]: The two-step population or how big is small community?
Hi Petros,

On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:09 +0200, Petros at Freelab wrote:
> I apologise for the OT, but this is about quantitative modelling of
> small communities and it IS connected with hacking AND squatting so I
> hope someone would be interested in helping me out.
> ***
> tl;dr: I need a mathematical function to estimate a size of community,
> based on (actual) Dunbar number and the percentage of shared social
> contacts.
> ***

Hum, why do you need a function for calculating numbers over people and their

> My definition of small community is a community able to govern itself
> without institutional structures, based on natural mechanisms of social
> control and assessment.

What do you see as "natural mechanisms of social control and assessment"?

TLDR; i don't think there are magic numbers indicating how many relations
people can deal with. Computing numbers claiming to reflect some metaphysical
truth about how humans relate ... inherently works with normalizing people and
rids us of our autonomy to evolve practises on our own which can accomodate
even strangers which often have no "internal" friend to begin with.

Let's look at the wikipedia definition of a "Dunbar" number.

    Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people
    with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are
    relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how
    each person relates to every other person. Dunbar explained it
    informally as "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about
    joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a

I find that sometimes just bumping into a few people (sometimes even
just myself :) is hard. At other times like most of 33c3 congress i feel
fine joining almost any group or individual out of 12000 people. There,
I and many others practise talking to _random_ people and i ceased to
feel Dunbar's embarrassment in doing so. Then again, for other people this
might be different -- i am not claiming that everybody will feel fine
walking around 33c3 like i do; it's not a general model.