Source: The Limits of Friendship by Maria Konnikova

There’s only so big a social group can get before it decays into smaller ones.

Social Brain Hypothesis: primates have large brains because they live in socially complex societies: the larger the group, the larger the brain

Applied to humans, Dunbar computed a theoretical maximum of 150 for human social groups.

A range (by a factor of 3)

  1. Casual Friends: 150
  2. ‘Dinner’ Friends: 50
  3. Close Friends: 15
  4. Intimate Friends: 5

Can we scale trust beyond the Dunbar number? Is this what makes large orgs so sluggish and boring to work at?

This applies to scaling orgs and projects too. How do we ensure that open source software works when more than say 150 people are contributing? (see also: Universal Scaling Law)

What about in web3? Structure helps us scale beyond ‘natural’ community sizes but this seems difficult in a group where the ethos is very much against said centralized structure.