3.21.2013

Six Degrees of Seperation

Pin It       Few days ago a friend of mine and I were talking about how we got to know some people by chance and how we had unexpected mutual friends (of course most of the time we find that out through social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). That conversation led us to the theory called "Six Degrees of Seperation". It simply means that WE ARE ONLY SIX OR LESS PEOPLE AWAY FROM EACHOTHER and here eachother refers to "anyone in the world".
     By this way, a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. I learned that this idea was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play (Six Degrees of Seperation - 1990) written by John Guare. We all use the cliche "it is a small world" and this theory seems to underline it.

      Here are some researches made to prove this:
      In 2001, Duncan Watts, a professor at Columbia University, used an e-mail message as the "package" that needed to be delivered, with 48,000 senders and 19 targets (in 157 countries). He found that not maximum but the average number of intermediaries was around six.

      For those who wonder, Facebook has a 'six degrees' application to test the theory through the connections of its users.

      Also in 2007 Microsoft researchers Jure Leskovec and Eric Horvitz studied records of 30 billion electronic conversations among 180 million people in various countries. They found out that the average path length among Microsoft Messenger users is 6.6. Among these people, 78 per cent of the pairs could be connected in seven steps or fewer but some were separated by as many as 29 steps (Well, at least still there is a possible connection).

      I find this theory interesting, exciting and inspiring in many ways.
      P.S. It seems everything we write on this screen is kept somewhere. Either for such researches or "some other" purposes..

Follow This Blog

No comments:

Post a Comment