Monday, December 28, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.

The social links and the complexity of the human web has always held me fascinated. My personal experiences of seeing people I know or meeting people who know someone I know in the most unusual and least expected places draws me even further into believing this theory to a degree. Coincidence or proof?

  • Sitting in a pub in Manly (NSW) with a group of friends. One of the people was a close friend of one of my close friends, we had socialised often over a three year period. I made some smart-arse off the cuff remark, to which the mutual friend sternly called me by my full name. His other friend started, having never heard my surname. "Your name is ******?" "Yes, didn't you know?" "No. I flatted with a Jodie ****** at Uni in Armadale, do you know her?" "I should - she's my cousin..."

  • Same close friend and I met whilst working together in huge organisation. His best mate from school was the younger brother of one of my closest friends from Uni. They grew up in another small country town on the North Coast many hours from my hometown. Found out well after friendship began.

  • Rocking up to McDonalds Bondi Junction at 3am one Sunday morning. Waiting to be served with best mate from Uni days, hear this yell from the front of the store: "Madmother... well the people you see when you haven't got a shotgun..." Friend turns to me and says: "*North Coast Town*?" Yep - someone I went to school with over a decade before
  • Checking out of a hostel in Florence, glance over my shoulder to the vaguely familiar girl behind me, she smiles as if she knows me. I figure "Meh, someone I have seen/met in my travels" as you tend to bump into people again and again. Wait for her to complete her checkout, smile, say "I know you..." expecting a "Oh, we stayed in the same place in yada yada", instead she replies: "I was the year below you at *North Coast Town* High. I was friends with T**** who is one of your friends still."

  • Staying in a wonderful hostel in Salzburg, Austria. Went back three times it was so good. Second time was talking in the common room with an Aussie and his Canadian girlfriend. It came out in conversation that he was close friends with a group I worked and played with at a huge insurance company in Sydney. Over 1500 employees in our branch alone, and I played squash with the people he grew up with. Were actually meant to have met, but the nights he was out with them I piked, and vise versa!

  • Checking into a hostel in Amsterdam run smack bang into a friend from Sydney. When I left the country he was firmly ensconced in his work and had no intention of travelling.
  • When we moved interstate the first two people I became friends with both had links to my country hometown.
Weird, huh?

Now what I am finding is that the bloggers I gravitate towards have children with ASD. No, I do not know this before reading and enjoying their blogs. It is usually revealed a little down the track, after I have become addicted. The universe seems to be sending me messages again.

It is a very small world indeed!

I must be in a musing mood with all this rain.



timeformich said...

The six degree thing is rather freaky - I must admit when I met my now DH at 16 I didnt know that not only did we share friends from the past 5 years, but somwhere along the lines, back in the motherland (Ireland) our two families have married before. Spooky stuff.

I have also found myself gravitiating to blogs where people are making large changes to thier lives. Who have seen that things arent good the way they are and are spending time looking at the why (and the who!) of that.

I enjoy your blog a lot (and am sorry that I dont comment.... ) i guess I sometimes feel I am reading someones private thoughts and commenting may feel like an intrusion! Even though I know on EB we all said how much we enjoy comments... *sigh* I still struggle to do it!

Madmother said...

And now the weirdness of this being the topic for a Blog This challenge...Wow.

Lori said...

Some very weird stuff goes on there MM. I love little coincidences like that- the world sending you messages, most of the time, that everything is ok.

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

Wow - totally incredible!