Flat Earth Praxis

1. Dunbar’s number

How many different faces can you imagine at one time? Imagine one face. You can visualize it in great detail. Now imagine two faces, side by side. The level of detail suffers, the individual picture is less precise. Imagine 10 faces, imagine 100, imagine 40.000. At what point — at what number, does the faces cease to be faces and revert into symbols? At what point do the individual faces cease to be “individuals” and become an abstraction, a number to be counted?

:) :( :P :-D :^) (o_o) :D :-/

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There’s this thing someone made up called the Dunbar’s number. It’s a postulation about human psychology, that there are only so many particular individuals you can mentally distinguish between. The number varies from person to person, but it tops off in the hundreds. The idea is, after a certain point, it stops being a personal relationship and starts being statistics, abstraction. Math. There’s a lot of interesting things going on with Dunbar’s number, such as it being the ideal size of any kind of human community (~100 people), because staying within that makes it so you can still have a personal relationship with everyone involved. Going above it, and we start to get into all kinds of shenanigans. It’s basically why you…

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