Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crossing Over

In 2007, for the first time, the majority of human beings lived in cities.

In 2008, the U.S. overtook France as the world's leading wine-drinking nation.  

In 2009, for the first time, more people worldwide used the Internet for social networking than for email. 

I’ve amassed a big collection of such “crossovers” here, with the sources for each. Why? Well, it has always been thought that these points are rather uninteresting; Modis and others showed that chaos can manifest at the beginning and end of an s-shaped growth curve, but that the middle – where these crossovers occur – are as steady and predictable as the day is long.

Hwang, Limprayoon and I will soon submit a paper showing that in many cases, these bland crossover points mask a true tipping point. It is the point where resistance to change – and the people who are influenced by the resistance – become a minority phenomenon. Innovation diffusion really is “touch and go” all the way to the midpoint.

Don’t care about that? Visit the collection anyway. The crossovers are fun to read, and the sheer number of them says volumes about our changing society.

Use the blog’s Comment area to let me know of other interesting crossovers you might be aware of.

1 comment:

Louise Kelly said...


I believe on crossover is when California became the first state where the minorities are now the majority...this was a year or two ago.