"The figure of 150 people has become known as 'Dunbar's Number.' The Number is a conjecture so far, supported only by statistical and anecdotal evidence. Dunbar, now at the University of Liverpool School of Biological Sciences, is conducting a 10-year study that may offer firm proof in 2008. ... On the web, humorist David Wong used the Number to launch a funny (but not-safe-for-work) screed about the 'monkeysphere' - 'the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brain, is able to conceptualize as people. ... [I]n our monkey brains the old woman next door is a human being, while the cable company is a big, cold, faceless machine. That the company is, in reality, nothing but a group of people every bit as human as the old lady, or that some kind old ladies actually work there and would lose their jobs if enough cable were stolen, rarely occurs to us.'
"Today, Dunbar's Number has gained currency among sociologists, anthropologists, managers and - increasingly - online game designers."
Well, I had written a whole response to this piece. Just as I was coming to a close I accidentally hit the 'back' button on my brother's laptop (why the heck did they squeeze back and forward keys onto a tiny laptop setup?). My lack of familiarity with this keyboard and my imprecise fingers have sabotaged me once again...
Anyway, I'm going to sum up my post quickly...
Neat article. I liked how it summed up this week's issue of The Escapist by discussing some really interesting findings in the science of psychology. I got my BA in Psychology, and I have lost my intimacy with it since I graduated (even though it was less than a year ago). I was glad to revisit the subject within another subject that I enjoy.
Also, I just read and watched a bunch of cyberpunk (Neuromancer and the Ghost in the Shell movies and a few more titles that are really more general Sci-Fi than cyberpunk), and I can't wait to see what the future will bring in terms of implants and external memory sources. Socialization will certainly be changed by the advent of these technologies. As the author of the article stated there are already manifestations on the net in the form of "MySpace" and "Facebook". Things are going to get really exciting in the next few decades. I hope that I have an opportunity to jack into the matrix before my time is up (and don't mistake 'the matrix' to be the one described in those ridiculous movies with Keanu "I know kung fu" Reeves).