The space between

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Much of the time when we think of populations of individuals – be they political or commercial – we imagine that they are merely an aggregate of those individuals (that's why market research uses the notion of sampling to represent a larger population).

However, mass behaviour is more than the sum of individuals' actions: mass behaviour is more often the result of the interaction of individual agents with each other.

In IHWSH we show how patterns in market-level sales data are fundamentally different when a behaviour is rooted in social rather than independent choices (long tails of popularity distribution vs. short tails of popularity distributions).

Two interesting pieces around today – first, Res Publica's report on the wealth of pre-existing community structures (which is interesting, despite the predictably Trollopian tone of some of their output).

And then the return of the twitter trial and the iamspartacus phenomenon.

Both of these point up the importance of the space between – the space where most stuff really happens