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BS: Six Degrees Of Separation

GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 11 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM
Mr Red 11 Oct 07 - 08:02 AM
Mooh 11 Oct 07 - 07:21 AM
Emma B 11 Oct 07 - 06:01 AM
JohnInKansas 11 Oct 07 - 04:22 AM
Ruth Archer 11 Oct 07 - 03:15 AM
Herga Kitty 11 Oct 07 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 11 Oct 07 - 02:29 AM
Azizi 11 Oct 07 - 01:07 AM
Azizi 11 Oct 07 - 12:54 AM
Alice 11 Oct 07 - 12:54 AM
Sorcha 11 Oct 07 - 12:51 AM
Alice 11 Oct 07 - 12:47 AM
Azizi 11 Oct 07 - 12:11 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM

Some while ago, I took part in an experiment where the idea was to pass on an email message to reach a randomly selected person (I think my "target" was a Russian university student). The only drawback I can see with this kind of experiment is you'd need to get everyone you know to pass on the message to everyone they know, to be sure you weren't missing a potential link in the chain.

Maybe there should be a folk version of the Kevin Bacon game...


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 08:02 AM

I am amazed that no-one has mentions the game of Kevin Bacon. Film buffs and Hollywood play it.

Connect Kevin Bacon to any actor in 6 moves.

Why Mr Bacon? - probably he has appeared in plenty of films making it easier. It is important in web search engines and why having loads of links on your site improves search engine ratings. Such sites are portals. There is a related genre - the travelling salesman problem, best route from A to B calling at all waystations. Very important in GPS routing, courier delivery, internet traffic and information storage technologies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 07:21 AM

Last summer my neice was telling me about a friend in her industry who she thought had a lot in common with me, and it ends up the guy was my best friend in high school. As we all live and work in very different places, and there's been a lot of water under the bridge, it was a small world experience.

As for degrees of separation, a lifelong friend did a semester (and chummed with) with Englsh royalty, so that represents a large circle of hands shaken. This is not to pretend to have met or to know any of those folks, of course.

But, as a musician, the ones I like are the ones that start with, "Hey, didn't you used to play with...?". They always lead to more of the same, and lots of fun stories.

I also like the "what are YOU doing here" encounters. They sometimes lead to "Really? I know him." revelations.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Emma B
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 06:01 AM

While on a walking holiday I stayed overnight in a small village in rural Spain and was talking to the only other British couple for miles around.
During conversation I discovered that I had helped his brother move into his new home on a small Irish island (where I was staying with a friend) after he had broken his arm just the year before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 04:22 AM

This is an area that has had quite a number of published analyses, and one area that's received a lot of attention is the population of movie actors/actresses, with the premise being pretty well accepted that every performer has been in a movie with another performer who was in another movie with ... etc., with the result that the population of movie performers is a closed set with 6-degree of separation paths joining every pair of performers. For this particular population, some have claimed "proofs" that even 5 degrees of separation may be sufficient; but I don't believe they're considered "rigorous" proofs.

There have been numerous arguments, however, that for "really complex populations" the six-degrees may not hold. Some have argued that the current internet (i.e. every user on every server accessible from any server that's accessible from ... etc) is a higher order population, with arguments that the maximum degree of separation may reach 13 or more. (I believe that's the highest credible estimate I've seen.) Ohers claim to be able to show it's "no more than 9." There seems to be general agreement that 6 is not enough.

The greater "separation" of the internet is due largely to many "sequestered" servers that connect to the net as a whole only via extremely narrow paths, and the analysis is complicated by how one treats members of the population who can receive but not send (i.e. "half-links") or vice-versa.

If one person in the general population is six-degrees removed from at least one other person, then the hermit/survivalist in the wilds of Idaho (a random pick) who is known only to the first person is seven-degrees removed from at least one other person - hence it's easy to see how the separation could be rapidly expanded, although the expansion past 6 would apply only if rather extreme "misfits" are included in the population.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 03:15 AM

I was working with someone about 10 years ago and she was telling me about her best friend's new fiance - after a few minutes I realised that the fiance was a friend of ours from London, with whom my husband had worked for years. It really is odd when that kind of thing happens.

Of course, in the folk world there's only ever about 2 degrees of separation...


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 02:45 AM

When I was corresponding with Canberra Chris about the Shiny Bums' visit to England a few months ago, he told me that his mother had been born in a house in the road in Harrow where I now live....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 02:29 AM

In my other life, I am a member of a formal choir. One of my friends in this choir comes from Belfast, Northern Ireland - a city I have only ever driven through, and he moved to London some years ago. Whilst chatting to this friend, oddly enough in Denmark of all places, we discovered that we both knew a guy called Mike through completely different circles - him from the cycling scene and me from the folk music scene. My friend recognised my description of Mike through the violently coloured shirts and ties he used to wear.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 01:07 AM

Well, one of these days I'll get that HYML font thingy down pat and won't make any more mistakes using it.

Here's how I tried to write that sentence:
"Perhaps connect is a better word than bind but I like the spirit of that song."

Did that work?

Actually, come to think about it, I would like that Bless Be The Tie That Binds song much more if it were more ecumenical...

But I digress. Back to 6 degrees-or less-of separation...

**
Speaking of which:

Hi, Sorcha!

Thanks for joining Alice and me on this thread.

I hope other folks post to this thread. If so, hi to you too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:54 AM

Thanks, Alice, for not only posting to this thread but for expanding its concept.

Posting where and when else-besides on Mudcat-people have experienced "6 degrees of separation" with another person on persons or situation would also be interesting.

Bless be the ties that bind!

[Perhaps connecti is a better word than than bind but I like the spirit of that song]


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Alice
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:54 AM

Even when I've traveled in a foreign country, it is amazing how many close connections I've encountered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:51 AM

I find this fascinating, and have had experiences of it, but I can't recall any specifics right now.

My dad used to say, you can never go so far from home that you don't meet someone you know, or who knows someone you know. I have found this to be very true.

It might even take less than six degrees.


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Subject: RE: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Alice
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:47 AM

In my dad's generation, it was popularized by the saying "now you've shook the hand of a man who has shook the hand of John L. Sullivan".

I was very aware of the six degrees idea in the 1970's and 80's when I was shaking the hands of celebrities who had shook the hand of presidents who had shook the hand of world leaders. And when I was 18, I worked for our Congressional Delegation, men who had all shook the hand of...


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Subject: BS: Six Degrees Of Separation
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:11 AM

Rather than emphasizing how we are different from each other, why not focus on what we have in common?

The six degrees of separation concept may be one way we can show how people are more alike than we are different.

"Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one "step" away from each person he or she knows and two "steps" away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six "steps" away from each person on Earth. Several studies, such as Milgram's small world experiment, have been conducted to empirically measure this connectedness. While the exact number of links between people differs depending on the population measured, it is generally found to be relatively small. Hence, six degrees of separation is somewhat synonymous with the idea of the "small world" phenomenon."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation

-snip-

It really is a small world after all. For example, by happenchance [?] I found out that another Mudcatter and I grew up in the same hometown though we didn't live there at the same time. But what are the odds that two people who don't know each other but who grew up in the same smallish city-albeit at different times-would end up posting on the same smallish [?] online discussion forum at the same time? Furthermore, what are the odds that one of these posters would would "happen" to mention her roots in that city, and the other poster would happen to read the thread in which this was mentioned?

Maybe this doesn't seem like that much of a coincidence to you.
And actually, the word "coincidence" doesn't totally convey what I'm thinking of when I consider this and other types of things that I've found out that I have in common with some folks who post on Mudcat.
I think there's some kind of divine intervention that draws folks to certain places and people and things [like particular online discussion forums]. Or at least, it sometimes seems that way to me.

Are there any "it's a small world after all" stories that you can share about the connections you were surprised to learn that you have with one or more Mudcatter?

If so, how about sharing that example or examples on this thread?

I, for one, would be interested in reading those kinds of stories.

Thanks in advance for posting on this thread!


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