Micro-Singularity

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Definition

Micro-singularities can describe a sets separate entities linked with an access to similar thoughts and ideas. Micro-singularities can exist in networks that are capable of passing information quickly from one node to many with a latency of only a few seconds or minutes. Communities on the website 4Chan are an example of singularities. Global events bring on temporary singularities in which many communities share the same information at the same time, regardless of topic interest. Examples are the information streams passed through social networks during earthquakes in Japan or Haiti, or the death of a globally-recognized celebrity. These singularities are temporary, with the majority of the nodes on a network going quiet on the subject after a while. Fans of Apple products learn about new releases in a manner that most closely resembles a collective consciousness.

Those at the edges of a network may take a longer time to receive information. Conversely, those at the edges of a network may also be the first to discover new information. Sometimes, news is recorded on the edge of a network and brought into the center. In this case, those on the edge will generally need an amplifier, or closely connected community member to amplify their message to the rest of the network. On May 11th, 2008, a earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale hit China. Several of those who experienced the earthquake were Twitter users, including @dtan. When @dtan reported the earthquake, Tech Reporter Robert Scoble was able to rebroadcast the message to 40,000 followers.[1] The news traveled more quickly than the earthquake itself.

References

  1. Scoble, Robert. Twitter Update. 11 May 08 via IM. http://twitter.com/Scobleizer/statuses/809121152 Accessed Jul 2010.