What’s it about?

  • Models

Elsewhere it says: Mister Node may be right in assuming that taking measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus often results in a move towards a forest fire architecture. That comment is about the meaning of the architecture of networks. In forest fires, this is determined by the distance between trees. A network can be formed by following how the fire jumps from tree to tree. A network can also be formed by predicting how the fire will jump from tree to tree. That prediction is about fire. And when used in real situations, it will turn out that not only distance plays a role. The wind, of course, and the drought also have an influence. But the forest-fire architecture is characterized by static actors that, although under conditions that cause differences, can only infect each other over a limited distance.

This architecture has properties that are sometimes good and sometimes bad. When you know them you can influence the forest fire network. In the event of a fire (you want to fight this) by creating firebreaks and removing some trees until the others are far enough apart. But at festivals (social hypes you want to fire up) you do the opposite. In order to survive, the coronavirus searches for people who are close together and the driver who wants to fight the pandemic looks for rules that promote social distance. Knowing the associated network architecture is helpful in both cases.

And it is good to understand the working of both architectures. The logistics architecture is efficient and leads to nodes often referred to as hubs. If you want to promote the spread of the virus, it is best done via air traffic that is extremely efficient and has clear hubs. Those hubs are good for the virus because the wanderlust of its carrier uses them to get somewhere efficiently. Fighting the virus may then have been helped by paralyzing aviation.

But the use of that knowledge has economic, social and political consequences. And they seem to complicate reaching agreement on where a balance can be found. Europe is trying to do something about that.