Six degrees of separation.

Six_degrees_of_separation_01 kevin_bacon

The theory of six degrees of separation–that every person on earth is separated from every other person on earth by no more than six people–is interesting to me.  It’s also extremely creepy.  But it could also be sort of comforting.   I suppose the same claim could be made for anything on earth, not just humans.  We are all connected?  Maybe.  It’s just one of those odd things I always think about.

Things to ponder:

How does the Internet play into 6DOS?  Would there be fewer “separations” between us all now that most people are online?   Were there more than six degrees of separation back in the days before electronic communication of any kind was possible? Or less, because there were fewer people?  Or does only IRL contact count?

I remember the game based on this theory called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” in which actors–any actors, be they in TV, film, or the stage–are linked to Kevin Bacon with the theory that no more than six individuals are between Bacon and anyone else.

Oh, and I came across the concept of 6DOS by reading about rickrolling.  Is any topic on the Internet only separated from any other by six degrees or less too?

ETA: A commenter just informed me that the number has been reduced to four and it’s probably because of Facebook.  I always suspected that Facebook was evil.  This proves it. Pretty soon there will be only one (or would it be zero?) degrees of separation between every person on earth, or at least those with Internet.   Oh, joy.  We can all hold hands and sing Kumbayah together.

Also see When My Worlds Collide.