Going Critical

Going Critical โ€” Melting Asphalt

I’ve had this essay stashed in my to read pile for ages and it was totally worth the wait. It explains the concept of ‘diffusion’ in networks using concision, clarity and interactive demos. Better yet, you can tweak the parameters of the demoes live to get an intuitive grasp of how, for example, transmission rates affects critical thresholds. Reading this and playing with the demos has given me a much better understanding of how memes, infectious disease, knowledge and culture spread through networks. The end of the piece, which focusses on how cities / density are powerful both for positive (scenius, cultural transformation and intellectual breakthroughs) and negative (infectious disease, shitty social phenomena) reasons was particularly interesting. One to read on a desktop, not mobile.