Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a facebook world

Facebook intern Paul Butler has been poring through some of the data held by the social networking firm on its 500m members. The map above is the result of his attempts to visualise where people live relative to their Facebook friends. Each line connects cities with pairs of friends. The brighter the line, the more friends between those cities. After tweaking the graphic and data set it produced a "surprisingly detailed map of the world," he said in a blog post. "Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well," he wrote."What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn't represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships."


The Internet is the backbone on which the current exponential expansion in human consciousness is occurring.  Our facebook connections, for example, are typically some expression of love (i.e., our facebook "friends" are usually people for whom we have some degree of affection: family members, close friends, old friends, former lovers, crushes, classmates, one-night-stands, admirers, etc.).  In many ways, the above map illustrates the love that envelops this planet. That's a comforting thought this holiday season!

No doubt facebook's Mark Zuckerberg deserves to be Time magazine's Person of the Year. Cheers, dude!

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