Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ The danger of claiming that relationships can’t scale

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The point of departure for this article is New York Times columnist David Brooks's assertion, "Relationships do not scale." I think most of recognie that there is an upper limit, designated by Dunbar's number, on the number of relationships a person can sustain. But what, then, can the idea that 'relationships scale' actually mean? Julia Freeland Fisher has some uggestions. For example, "scaling our relationship reservoirs," that is, allowing us to keep trak of old relationships. Also, "scaling support and trust online." Or, "scaling public investment," for example, "increasing public investment in relationships and the infrastructure required to nurture social capital development." I'm not sure any of these count as 'relationships' in the way the term is usually used. And I am wary of combining the idea of relationships with business and investment (though, I guess, there's obviously a link). Also here.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jul 22, 2024 09:22 a.m.

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