Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Black Death Predated "Small World" Effect, Say Network Theorists (medium.com) 1

KentuckyFC writes: Epidemiologists know that modern diseases can spread almost simultaneously in different parts of the planet because an individual who becomes infected in Hong Kong, for example, can infect friends in New York the following day. This is known as the small world effect. It is the same property that allows any individual to link to another individual anywhere in the world in just a few steps. But in the 14th century, the Black Death spread in a very different way, moving slowly across Europe at a rate of about 2 kilometres a day. Now network theorists have simulated this spread and say it is only possible if the number of long distances travellers in those days was vanishingly small. In other words, people in medieval society were linked almost exclusively to others nearby and so did not form a small world network. That raises an interesting question. If society in 14th century Europe was not a small world but today's society is, when did the change occur? The researchers say the finger of blame points to the invention of railways and steamships which allowed large numbers of people, and the diseases they carried, to travel long distances for the first time.
This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Black Death Predated "Small World" Effect, Say Network Theorists

Comments Filter:

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

Working...