Saturday, July 30, 2011

The 10% Solution

Well, it seems the minority rules when it comes to discovering the "tipping point for the spread of ideas". To whit:

"When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority," said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. "Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame."

Chaos rules here as it does for phase transitions whereby the "break" from one phase to another tends not to be linear but exponential. i.e. the day before a pond freezes over, 50% of the water remains ice free. Seen below is a phase transition diagram detailing how water changes from a solid to liquid and gas using pressure and temperature to make it happen.

Click here to see how phase transitions work. Pretty cool I must say.
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