Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Don't stand so close ... "

Just how close are we to each other?

Somewhere back in the UK (on Ruth's shelves I suspect) I have a book on numbers - and statistics.

In there it pointed out that if you sit next to someone on a plane who you don't know, then the probability is you have an acquaintance who has an acquaintance in common (4 or five steps away from each other).

In other words, if I wanted to pass a letter by hand between any two people on earth, it ought to be possible to do it in 5 or six steps.

Of course, we would need perfect knowledge of who knows who to achieve this - but it does suggest the world is a much smaller place than we imagine.

Over on Ron Schuler's Parlour Tricks I keep coming across connections - quite irritating I am sure for poor old Mr Schuler, but intriguing for me.

I suspect that age has something to do with it too - the longer I last, the greater the number of connections.

And the job - think of all those children and parents who pass through my world.

Add to that the globe trotting - China, Russia, Eastern Europe, Cyprus.

Strange though, most of the connections seem to pop up from earlier times.