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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?"

Valdis


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?

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