From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Jun 08 2002 - 12:57:52 MDT
(Forwarded here because of some previous discussions about whether a seed AI
team could plausibly work together over the 'Net; I think probably not.)
> Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 08:58:08 -0700
> From: Jim Whitehead <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: Open Source: Cave or Community?
> One paper that gives very similar data is:
> "Informal Communication in Organizations: Form, Function, and Technology",
> by Robert E. Kraut, Robert S. Fish, Robert W. Root, and Barbara L.
> Chalfonte, in People's Reactions to Technologies in Factories, Offices, and
> Aerospace, The Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology, pp.
> 145-199, 1990 (there is a reprint in "Readings in Groupware and
> Computer-Supported Cooperative Work", ed. Ronald M. Baecker, Morgan
> Kaufmann, 1993).
> Salient points: 88% of conversations in R&D settings are informal (i.e., no
> formal schedule), and 50% of all conversations were *unplanned* -- people
> just running into each other. As a result, informal communication is *very*
> distance sensitive. The article claims an exponential dropoff of
> communication with distance.
> One figure (5.2) shows that for one location, about 50% of the conversations
> happened either in the same office, next door, or the same corridor. Add in
> the same wing, and same floor, and the number jumps to around 80%. Looking
> at just spontaneous conversations, 91% of these occurred among people on the
> same floor.
> IMO, improved network connectivity doesn't help matters much, because most
> forms of network-based communication are intentional. You choose to send an
> email to someone. But, you don't choose to run into someone in the hall --
> it just happens. Yet, over 50% of the communication in the Kraut et al.
> article are unplanned.
> - Jim
> > On Fri, 2002-05-31 at 15:48, Dave Long wrote:
> > > Stewart has an interesting graph in
> > > _The Wealth of Knowledge_  which
> > > shows that the probability of once-
> > > a-week technical communication (in
> > > brass rats?) drops to 10% as desks
> > > get 10m apart, and 5% by 25m. 
> > >  "The Probability That Two People
> > > Will Communicate as a Function of the
> > > Distance Separating Them", after a
> > > study by Thomas J. Allen (ca. 70s)
> > What's the date on that? Seems like something that would be increasingly
> > less accurate in a net-connected workplace, and nearly completely
> > irrelevant to Free Software- my most frequent technical communications,
> > in order, are with the guy at the desk next to me, a couple of Irishman,
> > a Brit, a Swede, several Indian guys, and /then/ the guy on the other
> > side of the cube wall. So I'd be curious to see a link to the paper, if
> > you can find one (I couldn't, off hand.)
> > Luis
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