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Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Proved Globally Via Text Messages

Hey, don't I know you from somewhere? According to this new study, chances are, yes. Using records of 30 billion electronic conversations from 180 million people the world over, researchers have concluded that on average, any two people are only separated by 6.6 degrees of separation — meaning they could be linked together by seven acquaintances.

Kevin Bacon eat your heart out.

The researchers say, "to our knowledge, this is the first time a planetary-scale social network has been available to validate the well-known '6 degrees of separation' finding by Travers and Milgram." Within the study two people were dubbed acquaintances if they had zapped one another a text message. They then calculated the minimum chain lengths it would take to connect 180 billion different pairs of users in the database, finding it to be 6.6 hops.

Is it a small world after all? To see the study that started the six-degrees game,


In 1969 researchers Milgram and Travers set out to find how well people knew each other by asking almost 300 people in Boston and Nebraska to get a letter to a Boston stockbroker by sending it through acquaintances. Though only 64 of the 300 letters made it to their target, with the average number of stops pegged at 6.2.

The text message study was the first concrete global test of the theory, and it's perhaps heartening — that even in a text message vs. knock-on-your-neighbor's-door world, we're not so separate after all.

Want to kiss the rest of your Saturday goodbye? Play the Oracle of Bacon where you can type in any actor's name and get his "Bacon" number. Seth Rogen, incidentally, is a two.


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stephley stephley 8 years
My goodness, you're a man of many talents.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
stephley stephley 8 years
Nice job! Who the heck is he?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I found an infinity one. David Hampton III two roles, no connection.
stephley stephley 8 years
OMG, do they all live in Sudan or something?
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Elsewhere on the site it says only 12 people have a number of 8.
stephley stephley 8 years
I did my boss' daughter on Oracle. She's done one movie, and has a Bacon # of 2.
georgie2 georgie2 8 years
What about all the people who don't have phones?
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Whoa. It took me like a half hour, but I finally got a 3 with Emily Proctor.
menthadict menthadict 8 years
I'm trying to find somebody that's more than 2 away far no luck lol
stephley stephley 8 years
This is pretty surprising when you start figuring it out in terms of your own life and connections.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
That is neat!I bet it's actually even smaller since I don't text most people I know.
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