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I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING SIMPLICITY: DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, LIFE John Maeda, Editor The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda, 2006 The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff, Rich Gold, 2007 Simulation and Its Discontents, Sherry Turkle, 2009 Redesigning Leadership, John Maeda, 2011 I’ll Have What She’s Having: Mapping Social Behavior, Alex Bentley, Mark Earls, and Michael J O’Brien, 2011 I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING Mapping Social Behavior ALEX BENTLEY, MARK EARLS, AND MICHAEL J O’BRIEN The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England © 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher For information about special quantity discounts, please email special_sales@mitpress.mit.edu This book was set in Scala and Scala Sans by the MIT Press Printed and bound in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data I’ll have what she’s having : mapping social behavior / Alex Bentley, Mark Earls, and Michael J O’Brien ; foreword by John Maeda â•… p.â•… cm — (Simplicity: design, technology, business, life) Includes bibliographical references and index ISBN 978-0-262-01615-5 (hbk : alk paper) Social learning.╇ Social interaction.╇ Social psychology.╇ I Bentley, Alex, 1970–╇ II Earls, Mark.╇ III O’Brien, Michael J (Michael John), 1950– HM1106.I42â•… 2011╆ 303.3’2—dc22╆ 2011004966 10â•… 9â•… 8â•… 7â•… 6â•… 5â•… 4â•… 3â•… 2â•… CONTENTS Foreword by John Maedâ•… vii Preface: In Katz’s Deliâ•… ix OUT OF THE TREESâ•… Playboy and the Pleistocenê•… The Forest for the Trees: The Social Side of Thingsâ•… Organizing Our Thinking as Treesâ•… 11 RULES OF THE GAMEâ•… 15 COPYING BRAIN, SOCIAL MINDâ•… 25 More Really Is Differentâ•… 27 Why Copy?â•… 29 The Social Brain: Organized in Treesâ•… 32 The Social Mind and Collective Memoryâ•… 35 v CONTENTS SOCIAL LEARNING, EN MASSEâ•… 41 Models of Social Diffusionâ•… 44 Anyone for “Less Nuanced”?â•… 48 Why “Cold Fusion” Is Differentâ•… 51 The Idea and the Virusâ•… 55 Heard That Name Before?â•… 57 Traditionsâ•… 62 CASCADESâ•… 67 Unintended Cascadesâ•… 68 “Impact” Cascadesâ•… 70 Not Solid Groundâ•… 71 Things Get Complexâ•… 73 When Power Laws Cascadedâ•… 76 Avalanches and Wildfiresâ•… 78 Cascades in Highly Connected Networksâ•… 81 Trees, Againâ•… 83 Learning from Cascadesâ•… 85 WHEN IN DOUBT, COP•… 87 Extending the Gamê•… 90 Long Tailsâ•… 91 Copycatsâ•… 94 How Are People Copying?â•… 105 MAPPING COLLECTIVE BEHAVIORâ•… 111 A Map with Four Regionsâ•… 114 The Age of “What She’s Having”â•… 123 Back in the Deliâ•… 126 Bibliographyâ•… 129 Indexâ•… 141 vi FOREWORD John Maeda Simplicity is a desirable state to achieve in the complex world we live in today, especially with the ongoing turmoil in our world’s economy Alex Bentley, Mark Earls, and Michael O’Brien’s assertion that our civilization’s guaranteed means for survival has always been quite simple—namely to just copy the other guy—is an important one It means that we need not worry at all because someone out there is bound to come up with a solution And we will all copy it en masse But what does their work say for all manners of copying? For example, in the negative forms of copying that we know, such as academic plagiarism or copyright infringement, we exact a serious punishment on such instances of “diffusion of innovation”—to use the authors’ terms In our inherently social environment rooted in the desire to achieve fairness and justice, we prescribe judgment on what makes a certain kind of innovation appropriate—and thus, vii FOREWORD make it more complex for innovation and much of the “social learning” described in this book to happen The work described in this book will make you scratch your head and wonder about your own culture’s proclivities for sharing (or hoarding)—whether that be your culture at work, your country’s, or the unique social space within your own family If innovation is, as the authors imply in this text, just one part good idea and many other parts setting it loose to be copied, then you will think differently about how tightly you hold onto “your stuff” and increase your own inclination to just let it all go Doesn’t that feel simple? Now, just don’t tell your intellectual property lawyer (smile) viii PREFACE: IN KATZ’S DELI Much of the 1989 Rob Reiner movie When Harry Met Sally now seems more than a little sugary This tale of dating and friendship among Manhattan’s middle class trumpets its moral almost as loudly as its plot twists, as Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) meet and mate and remeet (as friends) and so on, until the inevitable final reunion That said, the movie contains one of the more memorable scenes of romantic comedy As they’re sitting in a Lower East Side delicatessen, the topic of female orgasms comes up, and Harry tells Sally that no woman has ever faked one with him How does he know? Sally asks He just knows, Harry responds Sally then shows him—and the rest of the deli’s clientele—just how wrong he is What happens after that is what lies at the heart of our book At the next table is a woman of what is politely known as “a certain ix BIBLIOGRAPHY Wuchty, Stefan, Benjamin F Jones, and Brian Uzzi “The Increasing Dominance of Teams in Production of Knowledge.” Science 316 (2005): 1036–1039 CHAPTER Aiello, Leslie C., and Robin I M Dunbar “Neocortex Size, Group Size, and the Evolution of Language.” Current Anthropology 34 (1993): 184–193 Bass, Frank M “A New Product Growth Model for Consumer Durables.” Management Science 15 (1969): 215–227 Beinhocker, Eric The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics New York: Random House, 2006 Bentley, R Alexander, and Michael J O’Brien “The Selectivity of Social Learning and the Tempo of Cultural Evolution.” Journal of Evolutionary Psychology (2011): 1–17 Bentley, R Alexander, and Paul Ormerod 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Yanomamö Humphrey, Nicholas, 25, 29 Hunter-gatherers, 20, 21, 28, 32, 38, 103 Laland, Kevin, 31, 95 Lamelera, 21, 22 Language buzzwords in, 48–52, 69 (see also Buzzwords) evolution of, 34 fashions of, 48–52 hierarchical structure of, 12 recursive nature of, 12, 28 Le Mens, Gael, 58–60 Linguistics, 28 Linnaeus, Carl, 32 Long-tail markets, 77, 91, 92, 102, 103 Iacoboni, Marco, 30 Ideas, spread of, 41–45, 72, 80 Imitation, 30 See also Copying Innovation, 41–65 See also Diffusion Iroquois, Machiguenga, 22 See also Horticulturalists 143 INDEX Powell, Adam, 36 Power-law distributions, 76–80, 102, 103 Predictability, 73, 74, 88 Preferential-attachment models, 103 Presidents, U.S., 17, 57, 62 Primates, 25–26, 29, 30, 32 Prisoner’s dilemma, 16 Punctuated equilibrium, 78, 79 Marketing, 44, 45, 116 Markets, 77, 87–88, 122 Mate choice, 3–8, 104 Matsigenka, Memes, 55–57 Milgram, Stanley, 2, 119 Munros, 63 Music, 121–122 Names, 32, 34, 94 popularity of, 57–62 Neanderthals, 34 Nettle, Daniel, 37 Networks, 33, 71, 72, 81, 82, 86, 108 Newman, Mark, 80 Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems, 18 Nowak, Martin, 18, 19 Random copying See Copying Rapoport, Anatol, 17 Rational-choice model, xi, 22, 23, 115, 116 Reciprocity direct, 19 indirect, 19, 20 Red Queen effect, 75 Rich-get-richer effect, 103 Richerson, Peter, 45 Rizzolatti, Giacomo, 29 Ormerod, Paul, 63, 88 Pareto, Vilfredo, 76 See also 80/20 rule Perot, Ross, 17 Personality, evolution of, 37 Pinker, Steven, xii, 58 Pirahã, 28 Playboy, 3–8 Pop culture, turnover in, 102 Population size, and behavior,Â� 27–29, 35–39 See also Distributed mind Salganik, Matt, 121–122 Samsø, Denmark, 41, 42, 43, 64 Santa Fe Institute, 74 Scale of analysis, xii, 27–29 Schelling, Thomas, 16 Science evolution of, 83–85 paradigms of, 83 Self-organized criticality, 78, 79 144 INDEX Shenkar, Oded, 118 Shennan, Stephen, 36 Shepard, Glenn, Slack, Gordy, 30 Sneppen, Kim, 79 Social brain, 26, 29, 35, 36 See also Distributed mind; Dunbar, Robin; Primates Social learning biased form of, 31, 36, 61, 62, 97–100, 118–121, 125, 126 conformity and, 31, 36, 81, 99 copying and, 30, 31, 36, 41–65, 94–109 Sontag, Susan, Soprano, Tony, 58 Stewart, Jon, 87 Stochastic change, 104, 105 Sunstein, Cass, x, Surowiecki, James, 36 Swine flu, 55–57 Tit-for-tat strategy, 17, 19 See also Game theory Traditions, 63, 64 Trees and group organization, 32, 33 technological evolution and, 39, 83, 84, 85, 124 thinking in terms of, 11, 32, 33, 124 Turcotte, Donald, 80 Twitter, 67, 68 Universal moral grammar, theory of, 11, 14 Unpredictability, 89 Upper Paleolithic, 27, 34, 35, 36 Uzzi, Brian, 18 van Valen, Leigh, 75 Waist-to-hip ratio, Wars, 81 Watts, Duncan, 81–83, 86, 121, 122 Wegener, Alfred, 83 When Harry Met Sally, ix Whiten, Andrew, 26 Wilde, Oscar, 95 Wisdom of crowds, 36, 37, 38, 125 See also Groups; Surowiecki, James Wright, Sewall, 75 Writing, 36 Tarde, Gabriele, x Technology, evolution of, 39 See also Diffusion Thaler, Richard, x, The Apprentice, 90 Theory of mind, 26 See also Social brain Thomas, Mark, 36 Three-body problem, 89 Tipping points, 72 145 INDEX X Factor, 86 Yanomamö, 8, 34 See also Horticulturalists Yu, Douglas, Zimbardo, Philip, 146 ... storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher For information about special quantity discounts, please email special_sales@mitpress.mit.edu This book was set in Scala and... complexity—not so overly simple as billiard balls or omniscient rational actors but not so overly detailed either, like the neurotic patient in Freudian psychoanalysis It is difficult to imagine... confronting big issues such as the spread of HIV, which is mediated by individual behaviors but manifest at the population scale by an incredible diversity of those behaviors and their interactions
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