Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus

Choice. Diversity. Equity. You can't have all three.

An interesting article. So, if you rail and battle against the evil of inequity, face the music. Which are you willing to kill? Choice? Or diversity?
Because it seems that the law is "Choice. Diversity. Equity. Pick no more than two."

Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality

Prior to recent theoretical work on social networks, the usual explanations invoked individual behaviors: some members of the community had sold out, the spirit of the early days was being diluted by the newcomers, et cetera. We now know that these explanations are wrong, or at least beside the point. What matters is this: Diversity plus freedom of choice creates inequality, and the greater the diversity, the more extreme the inequality.

In systems where many people are free to choose between many options, a small subset of the whole will get a disproportionate amount of traffic (or attention, or income), even if no members of the system actively work towards such an outcome. This has nothing to do with moral weakness, selling out, or any other psychological explanation. The very act of choosing, spread widely enough and freely enough, creates a power law distribution.
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