Six degrees of separation is not just a party game, it's a reality. Everyone is the world is interconnected, and thanks to social media, that connectedness gets tighter and richer each day. See the research, history, and experiments proving our influence is much bigger than any of us imagine. Six degrees of separation describes the idea that all people and things and places in the world are just six or fewer interpersonal connections away from each other. You may have first heard about the theory from a weird friend at a party who said that all actors in Hollywood are connected back to Kevin Bacon in six movies or less.
But, really, the truth began far before our footloose friend was even born. One of us suggested performing the following experiment to prove that the population of the Earth is closer together now than they have ever been before. We should select any person from the 1. He bet us that, using no more than five individuals, one of whom is a personal acquaintance, he could contact the selected individual using nothing except the network of personal acquaintances.
If you take a few minutes to read his brilliant and innovative essay, you would think his discussions were happening now and not 88 years ago, as they are just as relevant and interesting today. This phrase became an easy response to use any time you made a random connection of friends with another person, especially a stranger. All the best bits of information in every computer at CERN and on the planet would be available to me and anyone else. There would be a single global information space.
The internet, with its accompanying chat rooms, emails, webpages, search engines, and wikis, undoubtedly caused more of a quantum leap in global communication and connectedness than any other past technology. Nevertheless, we should still be grateful that the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, the television, and the computer were invented. All forms of media build, iterate, improve, compete, and eventually synergize with each other to connect the human race through communication.
In a way the phrase is redundant. All media is social. How many out there think you can persuade , people to do anything? I am accepting paypal contributions But of course the study measured propensities therefore actual propagation impact is considerably less than , Many people are trying to capitalize on the social graph. This post is fun. Hi Mitch. Rock stars, movie stars, the Pope… they all influence people who are degrees and degrees away from them.
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They influence how the fashion, the language and the viewpoints of people. You put the influence factor together with something people will clamor for and then I think at that moment your premise takes on a different type of existence. Your email is safe with me. It will not be sold or shared with anybody else. A fascinating game grew out of this discussion. One of us suggested performing the following experiment to prove that the population of the Earth is closer together now than they have ever been before.
We should select any person from the 1. He bet us that, using no more than five individuals, one of whom is a personal acquaintance, he could contact the selected individual using nothing except the network of personal acquaintances. This idea both directly and indirectly influenced a great deal of early thought on social networks.
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Karinthy has been regarded as the originator of the notion of six degrees of separation. The theory of three degrees of influence was created by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H.omega-spice.kz/includes/voridiwy/russkie-znakomstva-otzivi.php
Three and a half degrees of separation
Michael Gurevich conducted seminal work in his empirical study of the structure of social networks in his Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD dissertation under Ithiel de Sola Pool. In a [socially] structured population it is less likely but still seems probable. And perhaps for the whole world's population, probably only one more bridging individual should be needed. The simulations, carried out on the relatively limited computers of , were nonetheless able to predict that a more realistic three degrees of separation existed across the U. Milgram continued Gurevich's experiments in acquaintanceship networks at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.
Kochen and de Sola Pool's manuscript, Contacts and Influences ,  was conceived while both were working at the University of Paris in the early s, during a time when Milgram visited and collaborated in their research. Their unpublished manuscript circulated among academics for over 20 years before publication in It formally articulated the mechanics of social networks, and explored the mathematical consequences of these including the degree of connectedness.
The manuscript left many significant questions about networks unresolved, and one of these was the number of degrees of separation in actual social networks. Milgram took up the challenge on his return from Paris , leading to the experiments reported in The Small World Problem  in popular science journal Psychology Today , with a more rigorous version of the paper appearing in Sociometry two years later. Milgram's article made famous  his set of experiments to investigate de Sola Pool and Kochen's "small world problem.
This circle of researchers was fascinated by the interconnectedness and "social capital" of human networks. Milgram's study results showed that people in the United States seemed to be connected by approximately three friendship links, on average, without speculating on global linkages; he never actually used the term "six degrees of separation. In , Columbia University conducted an analogous experiment on social connectedness amongst Internet email users.
Their effort was named the Columbia Small World Project, and included 24, e-mail chains, aimed at 18 targets from 13 different countries around the world. Amongst the successful chains, while shorter lengths were more common some reached their target after only 7, 8, 9 or 10 steps. Dodds et al. The authors cite "lack of interest" as the predominating factor in the high attrition rate, [Note 2] a finding consistent with earlier studies. Several studies, such as Milgram's small world experiment , have been conducted to measure this connectedness empirically.
Calculating degrees-of-separation at scale
The phrase "six degrees of separation" is often used as a synonym for the idea of the "small world" phenomenon. However, detractors argue that Milgram's experiment did not demonstrate such a link,  and the "six degrees" claim has been decried as an "academic urban myth ". In , Duncan Watts , a professor at Columbia University , attempted to recreate Milgram's experiment on the Internet, using an e-mail message as the "package" that needed to be delivered, with 48, senders and 19 targets in countries.
Watts found that the average though not maximum number of intermediaries was around six. They found the average path length among Microsoft Messenger users to be 6. It has been suggested by some commentators  that interlocking networks of computer mediated lateral communication could diffuse single messages to all interested users worldwide as per the 6 degrees of separation principle via Information Routing Groups, which are networks specifically designed to exploit this principle and lateral diffusion. Bakhshandeh et al. They have introduced new search techniques to provide optimal or near optimal solutions.
The experiments are performed using Twitter, and they show an improvement of several orders of magnitude over greedy approaches. Their optimal algorithm finds an average degree of separation of 3. A near-optimal solution of length 3. No longer limited strictly to academic or philosophical thinking, the notion of six degrees recently has become influential throughout popular culture.
Further advances in communication technology — and particularly the Internet — have drawn great attention to social networks and human interconnectedness.
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As a result, many popular media sources have addressed the term. The following provide a brief outline of the ways such ideas have shaped popular culture. American playwright John Guare wrote a play in and released a film that popularized it; it is Guare's most widely-known work. As one of the characters states:. I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names.
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