Wednesday, 2 September 2009

3 degrees of separation

Six degrees of separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. (extract from wikipedia)

I love this theory and I use it often in many conversations and as a person that should of but never did join the debating team at school, I find I get into many heated debates about it. I of course are on the affirmative side and fully believe that this entirely possible. I would ask the other person to choose someone on earth and I show them how they are six steps from that person. It is amazing how it works and how everyone eventually interlinks with everyone else. I it find so fascinating and of course with the Internet and social networking the world is getting smaller.

So if everyone is six degrees away from everyone all over the world then you could easily half that number for a town that you live in. Although I live in the capital city of Australia it is quite small town of 300,00 people. The acronym ACT(A Country Town) says it all ok it really stands for Australian capital territory but I think the former is a much better description. So in Canberra there is at least 3 if not 2 degrees of separation. Everybody knows everybody or a least a friend of a friend knows them. The other big thing that interlinks everyone here it is a government town and at some point along the way you interact with other government departments which give you a bigger pool of people that you know.

If I am out somewhere and I mention where I work . I get oh really do you know such and such and nine times out of ten I do know them or at least have heard of them. The running joke is that Canberra is so incestuous and it is so true. The upside is that you know everyone and know who to avoid or who to make friends with the downside being that you have to a upstanding citzen at all times because everyone would of heard about you.

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