Friday, August 14, 2009

Twitter as a global brain

When I was using twitter yesterday, I noticed the fact that the structure of following and followers at twitter just resembles neural network. I thought that this structure was so obvious that everybody had already taken it for granted. However, I got some positive feedbacks from my twitter followers so I decided to elaborate this idea a little further on my blog.

Twitter and a human brain look alike in many ways. Both of them are networks with a tremendous number of small nodes. These nodes are brain cells or neurons in a brain, while they are users on twitter. A neuron has many inputs and outputs called synapses that conduct stimulus. Similarly, a twitter user has following users and followers, where inputs come from following users and outputs go to followers.

Twitter and a human brain have the same mechanism to channel information. So we may say that twitter has literally become "a brain" now . Just as collaboration of all the brain cells creates a thinking process collectively, twitter "thinks" when innumerable people tweet, exchange ideas and influence each other. On twitter, we all become one brain.


31o5 said...

Very interesting.

One of my favorite book is '唯脳論' written by Takeshi Yoro about 20 years ago, which explains a lot what I've been feeling and about the city-society and brain.

Society looks like brain, because the society is just an expanded brain. In our brain we have the same structure or functions of anything we made in the society etc. City is expanded brain.

Twitter is like bunch of nodes. Every single user is a hub to connect others.

Eiji Sakai a.k.a. elm200 said...

Hi 31o5,

Thank you for your comment.
Although I have known the name of the book Yuinoron(唯脳論) for years, I have never read it before.

As you say, a society itself can be a brain...since it is a network of communication paths going through numerous hubs.