Nugget of Knowledge: Six degrees of separation

Kevin Bacon embraces his link to six degrees

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Is there anything to this saying: “six degrees of separation?”

Yes, it suggests that every person on Earth can be connected to any other person by five or six other people.

In 1967, a social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, ran an experiment using strangers sending packages. It took between five and seven people to reach the person who was really supposed to get it. At the same time, mathematicians from MIT and IBM were looking into this and agreed it was true.

In 2001, Columbia University used emails instead of packages and was able to connect anyone with anyone in about six moves.

In 1990, an American playwright named John Guare wrote “Six Degrees of Separation,” and it was produced on Broadway. Later, it was a movie starring Donald Sutherland and Will Smith.

About the same time, three college friends invented a trivia game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. You connect Bacon with any other actor in as few movies as possible.

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