Following up on the Small World

The concept of the Small World and the chain-links gripped me. This post follows on that discussion.

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 1.5 billion inhabitants of the Earth—anyone, anywhere at all. 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.

It is taken from Chain-Links, written by Figyes Karinthy and translated from Hungarian with annotations by Adam Makkai and Enikö Jankó.

I now know why the concept of the Small World first attracted me. I have become involved with a conceptual working social net framework in the past months and I find this theoretical postulation to be quite indicative of the future.

I believe that we humans are attracted to the new social networks like moths to the flame … but with a bit of a twist in that as I see it we are the light and the networks are the moths. As our numbers increase, our collective light results in more and more variations on the theme of the social network. I think that soon we will see the numbers of users for online and real networks surpassing those of internet porn sites. And these networks will be much more valuable.

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