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>> On Jan 21, 2006, at 4:50 AM, Darrell Berry wrote:
>>> Wondering if any of you socnetters has a view on, or references
>>> for the Economist's claim (January 21st 2006, A Survey of the
>>> Company, p.2) that 'according to more recent work along the same
>>> lines [as Milgram's 6-degrees study], that number has now fallen
>>> to 4.6' due mostly, they infer, to organisationally- and
>>> electronically-mediated networking?
> Valdis Krebs wrote:
>> It all depends what they are using as a definition of a "tie".
>> You put the bar low enough and we can beat the average of 4.6
>> steps easily. For instance, how is everyone tied in this group --
>> SOCNET? Darrell, am I now "connected" to you, because I responded
>> directly to your post -- even though by most definitions we are
>> strangers? We can probably come up with several, contrasting,
>> definitions of what is a tie here, and therefore who is connected
>> [directly and indirectly], and what the average distance is.
>> Oh... is that a simple average or a weighted average?
>> Remember the old joke about looking for an accountant, and you ask
>> each candidate: "What does 1 + 1 equal?" And supposedly the
>> "ideal" candidate responds with: "What would you like it to be?"
On 21 Jan 2006, at 13:17, Darrell Berry wrote:
> Well that's nub of the question -- I was wondering if anyone know
> what study this referred to, and what the methodology was! I have
> the horrible feeling that the meme they're suggesting here will be
> picked up unquestioningly by other media outlets and become a much-
> quoted factoid without any real substance to it!
You mean, more than "six degrees of separation" already is? I don't
see that it would make much of a difference if it were picked up: one
largely substance-free much-quoted factoid would replace another.
(I'm not running down Milgram's original study--far from it!--but its
applicability, as Valdis points out, is far more constrained than the
popular imagination would have it.)
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Joshua O'Madadhain: Information Scientist, Musician, and Philosopher-
It's that moment of dawning comprehension that I live for--Bill
My opinions are too rational and insightful to be those of any
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