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Friday, September 23, 2005

The 100th Monkey Syndrome or Why We All Blog About the Same Thing At About the Same Time

New Spring : The Novel (Wheel of Time)Several years ago, I came across a very thin, small paperback titled "The Hundredth Monkey Syndrome". What I learned there surprised and charmed me enough that I've been writing about it in print for quite some time. This, however, is the first time I've written about it online. Apparently, in the 1950s and 1960s some Japanese scientists/researchers dropped sweet potatoes onto the sandy beaches of several uninhabited islands. Most of the time, the monkeys on each island would find the potatoes and eat them, without wiping off the sand. It took one younger monkey on one island to wash his potato in the water, and then the rest of the monkeys on that island did the same. And then something unexpected happened.

The researchers found out that, all of a sudden, monkeys on other islands were also washing their sweet potatoes. These are islands that are separated by many miles of seawater, so the monkeys had no physical way of comunicating. They conducted this experiment several times over and came to the conclusion that at approximately 100 monkeys, the phenomenon jumped over to other, disconnected societies. Their hypothesis was that this also happens with human beings.

Now we human beings are not so disconnected, especially now with the Internet and its global village. But it does appear that the blogosphere experiences a similar phenomena with blogging about topics. One influential blogger will blog about a topic, then so will several others and so on. Robert Jordan, in his fantasy series The Wheel of Time, talked about people who cause ripples in the fabric of life. He called these people ta'veren, those who changed the web of destiny. I'm not sure that Darren at ProBlogger will agree with me, but I think of him as ta'veren as far as the web of the blogosphere goes. He has a related post called Blogging In Formation - Lessons From A Goose, about tangential posting.

Footnote: BTW, when I searched Google to try finding the author of the "Hundredth Monkey" book, I got exactly 118 results :D. I guess the phenomenon is experiencing itself.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.blogspot.com

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BlogSpinner-X serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it houses the original version of my Blogspinner blog, and contains the full-text of my older entries. Secondly, the more recent entries are excerpts of the full-text entries posted over on Blogspinner V2.0. In other words, the "X" stands for "eXcerpt".

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I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ web programmer/ consultant/ photographer/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. This is one of several blogs that I write.

 
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