— blending the mix

Robert Scoble has a big brain – it’s official

Proof, if proof were ever required, that Robert Scoble has a bigger brain than the rest of us:

Previous research has suggested that a person’s conventional friendship group consists of around 150 people, with five very close friends but larger numbers of people who we keep in touch with less regularly. This figure is so consistent that scientists have suggested it is determined by the cognitive constraints of keeping up with large numbers of people. Larger numbers just require too much brain effort to keep track of.

With 4,999 facebook friends, it is obvious that Robert is able to process many more relationships that most normal human beings. Robert, I salute you! On a more sensible note, I find it interesting how important this 150:5 ratio is when you consider that Facebook adapts your friend list according to the frequency of contact and similarities between, groups of friends. Does this enhance or reduce our ability to carry out relationships with a greater number of people? Is it better to have fleeting relationships with more people or closer relationships with fewer people? I don’t think Facebook necessarily solves this problem, but with its adaptive friendship algorithm (where you see less news from people you don’t contact regularly), it certainly helps meaning we can all be a bit more like Robert!

Update 129/07/: Robert has published that Facebook now helps him decide which friends are worth adding by indicating how many friends he already has in common withe the person looking to be added! Cool. More reason again for Robert to be able to manage more contacts than anyh other human being!

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