…the more strangers the merrier. (p40)
I don’t think this is always the case. Online, there are less barriers to ‘populate a space’ and for education, especially in disciplines like language learning, there’s a danger of too much information – learner ataxia. Information overload is easy to achieve, and to some degree, dependent on the subject matter.
Information overload is also dependent on the learner’s prior learning, taking it out of the control of educators and course designers. Or, at the least, changing the underlying purpose of education to include coping with abundance.
As mentioned in the previous post, lurking is a natural state of online presence requiring action to engage, as opposed to off-line where one must act to avert their eyes. Closed communities have to deal with the problem of too much horizontal growth, and not enough vertical growth. At some point this would be true for Jacobs, too, on a city street that was densely overpopulated.
Packed commuter trains in Japan are so riddled with gropers and perverts that there exist ‘women only’ cars. The abundance of people reduced safety in this case, rather than maintained it.