Gogol Ghoshal

Foodie. Writer turned Storyteller. Aspiring globetrotter.

One Big Family

A few days back one of my friends showed me this:

according to computer models. everyone who was alive in 3000 BCE is either an ancestor of everyone alive today (including people in extremely remote and isolated communities), or else an ancestor of nobody alive today; furthermore, someone alive as recently as 1000BCE is also the ancestor of everyone alive today

He got it from here.

Initially we misunderstood it. We thought either all of them present at that time are our ancestors, or none of them are – which is ridiculous!

But then a careful (re)analysis revealed the actual meaning: each one of them is either an ancestor of all alive today, or else all his descendants have died out by now (or never existed in the first place).

Makes a little bit more sense. But still very hard to wrap your head around. Especially the part with the “remote and isolated communities”. The premise seems really counter-intuitive, but there is no way (that I know of) to disprove it.

What it essentially means is that there can be a critical time, after which one extended family will dominate the whole population. The others will have died out or merged with the dominant family.

That got me thinking. What if we assume a similar law for the evolution of social media companies? I chose social media because it is strongly related to human nature. What would be the critical time for a particular social media company to rise above all and establish monopoly? My personal guess is around 20 years.

Obviously there is a key difference. A new social media website can be created without any so-called ancestors. But then again, this can be ignored considering how little chance a new website has of gaining popularity without huge financial and marketing support.

So, maybe the bottom-line is: any social media website will, after a specific time, either dominate the whole field or lose its identity through buy-outs or by going bust. Interesting, eh?