Metcalfe’s Law before Metcalfe

I copy from the preface of “Structuring Complex Systems” by J. N. Warfield:

“Since the structuring of systems has largely been done in an ad hoc way in the past, it may seem that a theory designed to permit this process to become more explicit, and to be carried out with machine assistance, would be superfluous. […] when the number of elements to be considered is large, the number of interactions to be considered is at least comparable to the square of the number of elements. The logistics of dealing with so many interactions is by itself an inhibiting factor in conducting a studied structuring exercise and in manipulating the perceived relations.”

My beloved N2 network effect pattern has been noticed before then. But it still seems that Metcalfe was the first to attach value to it.

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