There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Proving the Kevin Bacon Theory? No!

By analyzing billions of instant messages, Microsoft researchers have proven that the average number of connections it takes to get from any one person to another is about 6.6. This number is darn close to 6, as in Six Degrees of Separation, title of the well-known 1990 play by John Guare. According to Wikipedia, the idea may actually have originated from a Hungarian author named Frigyes Karinthy. But in any case, there has certainly been a lot of research done by mathematicians and computer scientists over the years trying to prove or disprove the idea that any two strangers are separated by only six relationships, and so this Microsoft study may be the first such work that is really conclusive.

Unfortunately, it appears that some major news outlets are referring to the results of this research as proof of the “Kevin Bacon Theory,” which is all wrong! There is no such thing as the Kevin Bacon theory. Rather, there is a party game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” that was invented by some college students who thought Kevin Bacon was in a lot of movies. In the game you try to connect him to other actors through their roles in the same movies, which is sort of similar to the idea of Six Degrees of Separation. But it’s a game – it ain’t no theory!

1 comment

1 horny { 04.09.13 at 10:57 pm }

Leave a Comment