Les "lois" d'internet

Internet ne manque pas d’axiomes et de prédictions – mais la consécration ultime de leur véracité ou pertinence semble être la création d’une « loi » en l’honneur de celui ou celle qui l’a édictée. Le numéro spécial du 20e anniversaire de la revue Wired en recensait trois, sous l’onglet « laws » :

by Katie M. Palmer

MOORE’S LAW   In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted the number of transistors crammed onto a microchip would double every two years. The magical exponential trend held steady for more than 40 years before it started to fall off. But the semiconductor industry refers to other kinds of advances as “more than Moore.” The Piggyback: Moore’s law of blogs. Moore’s law of photos. Moore’s law of space. You name it, someone’s misappropriated Moore to “prove” unquantifiable growth.

METCALFE’S LAW   Bob Metcalfe sold Ethernet adapters in the ’80s with a simple claim: As individuals connect, the value of their network grows in step with the square of its user base. The marketing ploy paid off. Connecting things — be they fax machines or people — drove the sky-rocketing success of everything from Ethernet to social networks. The Piggyback: When Metcalfe visited Facebook, execs hadn’t heard of his law. But Zuck’s own law of social sharing is a mashup of Metcalfe’s and Moore’s laws.

DUNBAR’S LAW   And then there’s Dunbar’s law. Anthropologist Robin Dunbar estimated that our neocortex is built to sustain a social network of around 150 friends. Facebook would never force users to so drastically prune friends. But Path, launched in 2010, explicitly limits your connections to 150. The Piggyback: Dunbar’s rubs Metcalfe’s the wrong way — is bigger or smaller better? Jackson West’s corollary allows both: As an online social network grows, your perception of the ratio of idiots to otherwise will approach infinity.

À ces trois dernières, ajoutons la loi de Riepl, selon la revue hebdomadaire britannique The Economist, qui tente d’appréhender l’impact des jeux vidéos sur les autres industries culturelles :

The history of media technologies suggests that it is rare for any of them to be entirely superseded by others. Long-playing records did not make live concerts obsolete. Television did not kill radio. Books still sell in the age of the internet. This is known as “Riepl’s law”, after a German newspaper editor who first noticed the effect in 1913. The chances are that, even if video games overtake books and television (and they are still a long way from doing so), the earlier forms will survive alongside them.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 21 juin 2013 à 11 h 22 min.


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