Some BBC articles on numbers

I was reading a BBC article on social isolation and came across 3 links about numbers that were quite interesting.

One was The number glitch that can lead to catastrophe that talks about integer overflow and uses a lot of examples that were in an audiobook (Humble Pi by Matt Parker) on number errors that caused problems. It also talks about 32 bit integers and the year 2038, as per my article on the topic Y2K38 Epochalypse.

The 2nd one that was interesting was The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world that talks about this figure being percentage of population that can create change in a society from Non violent Demonstration. I thought it was an interesting hypothesis. A good article.

The 3rd (actually the first read) is Dunbar’s number: Why we can only maintain 150 relationships. The article is about the number of people you have in your social group. Dunbar’s number on wiki.
One aspect of this that hit me was the idea of nested relationships, fewer people closer who we are more intimate with and others further away.

That reminds me of my thoughts on relationships as features in a landscape that I used to think about when riving to/from Tokoroa when I was working at Kinleath. The idea of rich detail for a few items in the foreground, such as individual trees, and a more vague detail for lots of features on the horizon, with more detail for those items in the middle distance.

End comment

I like the ideas in the article, but I also think the 150 number may change over time of life , so circling back to idea of positive social isolation of very first article that let to me exploring the links on numbers. Sloughing off connections and being comfortable with being isolated. As Sam & Kelly getting married this weekend, my thoughts maybe are leaning towards my isolated state and how comfortable I’m feeling about that.