One of the magistrates in Harbour Grace, in Newfoundland, had an old dog of the regular web-footed species peculiar to this island, who was in the habit of carrying a lantern before his master at night, as steadily as the most attentive servant could do, stopping short when his master made a stop, and proceeding when he saw him disposed to follow. If his master was absent from home, on the lantern being fixed to his mouth, and the command given, ‘Go fetch thy master,’ he would immediately set off, and proceed directly to the town, which lay at the distance of more than a mile from the place of his master’s residence: he would then stop at the door of every house which he knew his master was in the habit of frequenting, and laying down his lantern, growl and strike the door, making all the noise in his power until it was opened; if his master was not there, he would proceed farther in the same manner, until he had found him. If he had accompanied him only once into a house, this was sufficient to induce him to take that house in his round.
– The Scrap Book, Or, A Selection of Interesting and Authentic Anecdotes, 1825
by Leena Rao on Apr 29, 2010
Many of you may have heard of or played the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which is a trivia game based on the idea that any actor can be linked to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps through roles in movies. Of course, this game is based on an actual philosophical theory, Six Degrees of Separation, which refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person in terms of relationships. Today, social media monitoring and analytics startup Sysomos has released a report examining the interconnectedness of Twitter users and has uncovered a number of interesting results.
has released a report
examining the interconnectedness of Twitter users and has uncovered a number of interesting results.
First, Sysomos examined the 5.2 billion Twitter friendships (the number of friend and follower relationships) to determine how connected users are with each other. And based on this, Sysomos discovered that Twitter is mostly a network with only five degrees of separation, with nearly everyone on Twitter just five steps (or friends, i.e. people you follow) away from each other.
According to the report, 41% of Twitter users have five degrees of separation between each other – meaning nearly everyone within Twitter is only five steps away. And many Twitter users are more closely connected; 37% of users have only four degrees of separation with each other. And 13% of users have six degrees of separation between each other.
Sysomos also examined the reachability of Twitter users, looking at the percentage of Twitter users that can be touched by reaching out a certain distance. Using the Twitter network graph, Sysomos reports that a Twitter user will encounter 83% of all other Twitter users by visiting everyone’s friends up to a distance of five steps. If the user visits all friends of friends up to six steps, 96% of all Twitter users will be covered.
In terms of local connectivity, Sysomos discovered that it only takes 3.32 steps to find someone who is following you (with a standard deviation of 1.25 friendship distances). This mean that if you trace your friends on Twitter (the people you follow) and their friends and so on, in 3.32 steps on average you will discover a follower of your own.
The interconnectivity on Twitter isn’t particularly surprising. Interconnectivity between strangers on the web in general has been increasing thanks to social networking. It’s also important to note the fact that relationships on Twitter are nonreciprocal (someone can follow you without you following back). This might explain why it takes fewer degrees to be connected on the microblogging network. In the real world relationships are two-way, similar to Facebook. Stalkers don’t really count.
Facebook already shows you your possible connections through suggested friends. And Cruxlux does this for you across connections on the web.Read more: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/29/sysomos-the-kevin-bacon-game-applies-to-twitter/#ixzz0mYnQEoze
On Stephen Hawking’s (1942 CE) new show, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, Dr. Hawking suggests a new time paradox. He calls it the mad scientist paradox. I will give you a brief outline of it.
- A scientist creates a wormhole.
- It peers one minute in the past.
- He sees himself through it.
- He uses a gun to shoot himself.
- He kills himself before he shot the gun.
Who killed him? Would he even be dead? This is certainly something I do not have a resolution for. Hawking’s answer is that it is impossible to travel back in time because nature can not have paradoxes such as this and the grandfather paradox.