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Old 05-15-2016, 12:06 PM   #1
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Six degrees of separation....

A recent post about a fellow Escape owner traveling ran into a person who knows this person who also may know yourself got me thinking about the "6 degrees of separation" theory. It seems, based upon the proliferation of Facebook and other online forums that this number has been reduced to approximately 3.5. Makes one wonder how we are growing closer?
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:29 PM   #2
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There is even a Bacon Number now according to Wiki:

The Bacon number of an actor or actress is the number of degrees of separation he or she has from Bacon, as defined by the game. This is an application of the Erdős number concept to the Hollywood movie industry. The higher the Bacon number, the farther away from Kevin Bacon the actor is.
The computation of a Bacon number for actor X is a "shortest path" algorithm, applied to the co-stardom network:
  • Kevin Bacon himself has a Bacon number of 0.
  • Those actors who have worked directly with Kevin Bacon have a Bacon number of 1.
  • If the lowest Bacon number of any actor with whom X has appeared in any movie is N, X's Bacon number is N+1.
Edited: But I'm curious how the number 3.5 came about and I wonder if social media has really changed the number or just that we think it has. In other words, those who have 500 "friends" on FB--do they really know them? I know my nephew has over 500 and he admits he doesn't know who they all are...he just clicks "Accept" to any friend request (but then he rarely posts anything).
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Old 05-15-2016, 04:01 PM   #3
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Bacon # .....oh gosh ...we are such old croaks .....so behind - we'll never catch up .....
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Old 05-15-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gabeck View Post
Bacon # .....oh gosh ...we are such old croaks .....so behind - we'll never catch up .....

Not true Gabi, you learned how to post pictures on this site.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:22 PM   #5
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Just think, a bacon number below the parallel and a poutine number above it.....
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
But I'm curious how the number 3.5 came about and I wonder if social media has really changed the number or just that we think it has. In other words, those who have 500 "friends" on FB--do they really know them? I know my nephew has over 500 and he admits he doesn't know who they all are...he just clicks "Accept" to any friend request (but then he rarely posts anything).
I think this is an excellent point. The Bacon number has strict rules to determine a "connection" (working in the same movie, readily confirmed in the credits), but in a more general sense "degrees of separation" requires some definition of connection. If being Facebook Friends is now sufficient, I think appearing in the same school yearbook, or maybe living in the same postal code (Zip code), would be good enough too... are any of those meaningful connections?

Facebook "relatedness" tends to be extreme. Many Facebook users have vast lists of meaningless connection while others have very carefully chosen lists, and most people don't have Facebook accounts at all. Other social media tools are even less widely used than Facebook.

The value of 3.5 is not in any way applicable to the general population, anyway. From the Facebook section of Wikipedia's page on Six degrees of separation:
Quote:
Facebook's data team released two papers in November 2011 which document that amongst all Facebook users at the time of research (721 million users with 69 billion friendship links) there is an average distance of 4.74.[36] Probabilistic algorithms were applied on statistical metadata to verify the accuracy of the measurements.[37] It was also found that 99.91% of Facebook users were interconnected, forming a large connected component.[38]

Facebook reported that the distance had decreased to 3.57 in February 2016, when it had 1.6 billion users (about 22% of world population).[39]

36: Barnett, Emma (22 November 2011). "Facebook cuts six degrees of separation to four". Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
37: Backstrom, Lars; Boldi, Paolo; Rosa, Marco; Ugander, Johan; Vigna, Sebastiano (2011-11-19). "Four Degrees of Separation". ArXiv. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
38: Ugander, Johan; Karrer, Brian; Backstrom, Lars; Marlow, Cameron. "The Anatomy of the Facebook Social Graph". ArXiv. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
39: "Facebook says there are only 3.57 degrees of separation". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
This is only about degrees of separation between Facebook users and considering only Facebook connections, not among the general population (most of whom are not in Facebook) or considering actual connections. It is as is Ford sold more F-150 trucks and then some idiot at The Telegraph used those sales numbers to claim that the world was driving more trucks.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:13 PM   #7
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So Brian, will you be my friend?
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So Brian, will you be my friend?

I'd say we're already connected!
I don't have any trailer people in my Facebook contacts, as that is for a different purpose - it's all family and people that personally know and have physically met... so unlike those "Friend collectors", my network of meaningful contacts outside of Facebook is many times larger than my network within Facebook.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:35 PM   #9
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From Brian's Wiki post: "It was also found that 99.91% of Facebook users were interconnected, forming a large connected component."

Of course, otherwise what is the point? I really feel sorry for the 0.09% of the 1.6 billion people on FB who must have a stand-alone wall/page with absolutely no friends or connections. Probably still live in the basement of their parents' house...
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
Not true Gabi, you learned how to post pictures on this site.
Lol ...
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