Three days later, along the same route (I take different paths to work for variety), before I knew it, my body had involuntarily turned down the same shortcut. There was no conscious effort involved, in fact my mind was heavily occupied with other thoughts. Some sort of coordination between my subconscious mind and my body had occurred, and I was now taking the shortest distance between two points.
It made me think: I'd like to try an experiment. Take an urban area, say a 10-block by 10-block zone, with a lot of irregularities internally, and ask 100 or more people to participate. Then set a "Point A"--the beginning--and a "Point B"--the destination. Set up some barriers in the zone--things that prevent people from taking the obviously shortest route. Then create several hidden shortcuts that are far from obvious.
I'll bet that before 10 minutes elapses, everyone will be taking the shortcuts. The Path of Least Resistance, an irresistible, instinctive force, will govern the situation.
y = e ^ x - 3.141592654
Back to our example. The internet, and similarly P2P networks, rely on small scale, interconnected, redundant "pieces" to achieve their power. We should have learned by now that the network, not the central plant, is the key to our future. Actually, I believe we have already learned this lesson (nature of course taught us first), but there is much in this world that is highly dependent on the old ways of thinking, and fearful of losing economies of scale (because what would we do then?), so it will take a long time for things to change.