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The Science of Six Levels of Separation


Related eBooks

Are all people on Earth seriously related by means of just 6 ways?

Ship ME AN E-mail:
one. Do not send it immediately to me unless of course you know me.
two. Ship the e mail to another person you have satisfied IN Particular person and know on a 1st identify foundation AND THEY KNOW YOU.
3. Make the topic line ‘Six Levels of Veritasium’
4. Demonstrate that you happen to be striving to get this e mail to me and talk to them to forward it on to me (only if they know me IRL) or another person they know who may possibly know me.
5. If your e mail reaches me by Sept. one, 2015 I will e mail you again and talk to for your tackle so I can send you a postcard.

Animations in this online video by The Lyosacks:

There are some good guides on this matter:
Duncan Watts, Six Levels: The Science of a Connected Age
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Linkds: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else

And right here are posts I referred to:
Milgram’s compact planet experiment: folks/1969/travers1969.pdf

Granovetter, Toughness of Weak Ties: sites/default/files/publications/the_energy_of_weak_ties_and_exch_w-gans.pdf



  1. There were two separate study's done by two separate universities in the early days of the internet when email was popular but before social media caught fire. I'm thinking it was mid to late 1990's. Sorry, but I can't recall specifics. They were both American universities and I think one was Harvard but I won't swear to it. Participants were instructed to reach a given target they did not know through email using geographic location and other parameters. Anyway, it involved no such social networks as you mentioned, but was truly stranger to stranger, and the average number of people or connections required to reach the targets was between 6 and 7 people. I consider these two studies to be the most accurate and unique in an opportune time of history, because it was easy to forward emails then, spam blockers were nonexistent or very limited, junk mail had not yet gained a grip on email boxes, email was so unique that everybody was getting on board and dumping snail mail, which takes much more effort for anyone, and no formal social networks existed then to skew results . These two landmark studies could never be replicated today.

  2. I shook hand with my advisor which is a relatively good scientist. He shook hand with the Noble prize winner scientist Pierre de Gennes. That guy shook hand with a lot of famous scientist, the queen of Sweden, England and George W Bush. I am connected to all these people only by 3 – 4 hand shakes.

  3. Anyone ever play the "Hitler Game"? Where you start on a random Wikipedia article, and try to get to (with the least clicks) the article on Hitler? Fun little thing you can try. My record is 3 clicks, starting from a city in eastern France.

  4. For everyone that's interested in reading more on this, do look into the book "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. One of the chapter is about the power of Acquaintances, revolving around the Six Degree of Separation.

  5. you just changed the equation dramatically. you can't understate the fact that originally the six degrees was based on well known acquaintances, and then say if you tie in some random people that no one knows except for one or two of the several thousand that you're not all acquainted and I think that was best described by the button exercise. but you changed the equation from the original to the secondary. I'd love to hear a response.

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