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Monads are mathematical objects that people seem to have trouble explaining and understanding, but the principle is quite simple: they're values that consist of basic atoms that can be constructed, and then concatenation operations that join them together in an order-preserving way.
Once a point of origin, a unit length, and a direction have been picked for the latter, the two systems are directly relatable: each rational number can be correlated, in a unique and order-preserving way, with a point on the line.
Consistent hashing vs order-preserving partitioning in distributed databases
For the Twitter application, if we were using the order-preserving partitioner, all recent statuses would be stored on the same node.
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