6 Degrees (Of Separation)

It’s the theory that everyone everywhere knows: that we are all connected to each other by at least 6 people in this world. That we are all bound by some large net of destiny in a world where the guy you just bumped into on the street might end up being your boss one day. Everything and everyone is connected, no one is a stranger, for long.

So the guy who brought us LOST has decided to make a show about the theory. And if there was ever a way for a writer to make an audience more intrigued by the stories of 6 peoples and how they’re all connected, this is a great way to do it. The way the scenes play out are pretty realistic: the characters will at times literally pass each other by on the street but only the people watching can follow their stories. I guess it’s almost the way God might see things from way up high.

Although I expected more from the show I think it got off to a good start and it will be interesting to see how the storylines develop and how the relationships of different character will entwine and grow complex. Sometimes shows sound good in theory because they rely so heavily on “the concept” but fail to develop.

I did some reading up on the concept in a Wikipedia article where apparently 6 degrees of separation was first mentioned in the 1929 short story “Chains” by Hungarian writer Karinthy Frigyes. Since the advent of the computer many have even tried to prove it.

I do believe in the concept but recognize its limitations. I doubt it’s 6 people and I doubt the number is fixed. This is like the theory that there is a single mathematical equation that has the ability to explain every single thing in the universe. Maybe the everything was created in mathematics, perhaps thatâ??s the language of the universe, which explains why I’ve never been able to understand so much about it. But sometimes I’m not so sure.

As human beings I feel we have this desire to explain everything in way that’s understandable; zeros and ones. Mathematics comforts us and so does science. The concept of God is an incredibly hard sell these days. It’s really the idea that there are things we have no control over, that our existence is obscure and ambiguous. We don’t know how any of this works, neither God nor science has explained it to us. From the concept of 6 degrees a Pandora’s box springs open and out pours things like fate, destiny, fortune, hope, choice and everything that controls us.

Sometimes when I’m daydreaming I like to imagine I’m zooming out from where I am like I’m seeing the world through a camera lens, until I’m high enough in the universe to watch the intricacies at play. One person bumping into another person, starting a chain reaction that leads to a war or maybe it leads to a cup of coffee being spilt or maybe the birth of a genius or maybe the flight of a bird. I picture the falling dominos and it plays like a movie in my mind. But even my imagination has its limitations and there comes a point where I can imagine the universe no more.

And I suppose that’s as close to God as I can ever get.


  • Q, how do you know it was specific to the US. also i think it is kind of possible if you think about it (hard enough). the whole point is you never really know. and yeah i agree, if done right..

  • You know, in the Arab world they used to say “women are a network” and you will know someone who knows someone that you know usually through women 🙂
    And everyone thinks we have no respect for women… When All social networking is going through them
    By the way, you have a bug in the Tab-order, (when I tab out of this textarea, it

  • Q, yeah there’s also the theory of networking which I suppose works the same way and it’s restricted to women. I’m sure you’ve sat with old men who will ask you for your full name and then trace your linage back to your great great great grandfather who was friends with so and so’s great great cousin, etc. (when i press tab in the text area it goes to the submit button)

    Shaden, thanks 🙂

  • V.interesting. Logical, but I’d make the number variable:p

    I caught that you’re reading “From beirut to Jerusalem”, it would be great if you’d write about it when you finish. I read Dr.Swee Chai Angs “From beirut to Jerusalem” ages ago and would like to see the resemblance if there is at all.

    As far as I know she published her book first but didnt want to press charges against him

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