tedster - 7:01 am on Mar 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
And the main reason you need a dampening factor is to keep the PageRank values from going off to the sky as the calculation is iterated, over and over. Without a dampening factor, the numbers would never settle down to a stable value. With the dampening factor, after a number of iterations around the entire webgraph, PageRank numbers are only changing out at the 8th, 9th or 10th decimal place. That's the "dampening" that it creates.