I (again) realized that just because I'm your peer doesn't mean that you are my peer. Therefore my commentary on circular paths of message distribution is bunk. I wish I had somebody to argue this stuff out with. I end up arguing myself from one corner to another.
Let me clarify; You are in my list of people to forward messages to. If I also happen to be on your list of people to forward messages to, then that's great. But it's merely coincidence if I am.
I'm starting to think that a static list of 5 peers is enough to scale me to a medium-sized network. I spent several hours tonight theorizing about self-growing lists based on various criteria, including fields in the wire protocol that tell you how many peers the person who forwarded you a message has. Unfortunately, everyone I could come up with would eventually force the user into a position of being peers with at least half the network on an elongated time-scale. That's no good.
Please mail me if this doesn't make sense.