The Science of Six Degrees of Separation

The Science of Six Degrees of Separation

Are all people on Earth really connected through just six steps?
Check out “Six Degrees of Everything” Tuesdays @ 9:30/8:30c on truTV #SixDegrees:

1. Do not send it directly to me unless you know me.
2. Send the email to someone you have met IN PERSON and know on a first name basis AND THEY KNOW YOU.
3. Make the subject line ‘Six Degrees of Veritasium’
4. Explain that you’re trying to get this email to me and ask them to forward it on to me or someone they know who might know me.
5. If your email reaches me by Sept. 1, 2015 I will email you back and ask for your address so I can send you a postcard.

There are some great books on this topic:
Duncan Watts, Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Linkds: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else

And here are articles I referred to:
Milgram’s small world experiment:

Granovetter, Strength of Weak Ties:

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20 Responses

  1. Luciano Rocha says:

    Holy tight pants, Batman!

  2. Mark “The Ficanator” Burgess says:

    do you really have to be that guy who films something in a really busy
    space? would it have killed you to do this sort of thing in a studio?

  3. Mark “The Ficanator” Burgess says:

    7:15 wait, wait, hold on… You did not adequately prepare me for Neil
    Degrasse Tyson. His voice is so smooth.

  4. Zsolt Müller says:

    I gave this a try. 🙂 Not really for getting a postcard from Derek ;-),
    but to find out if the theory is right. Of course sending a single email
    has pretty slim chances of reaching him (since there’s no guarantee that I
    can correctly guess which of my friends has the best chance to get closer
    to his connection network), but statistically if enough viewers get in the
    game, some will eventually/hopefully succeed. :-)

  5. Gregor Lüdi says:

    What a pity that you mention Paul Erdös but not the Erdösnumber. Good Video
    as always

  6. Mark Rose says:

    linkedin says Derek’s a 3rd degree connection but I don’t know who my 2nd
    degree connections are. I don’t know if I can trust my 1st degree
    connections to forward an email either. :/ I’ve worked with several big
    YouTubers but they don’t “know” me and they aren’t in the science vein.

  7. Vendulum says:

    8:22 your pockets :I

  8. morethejamesx39 says:

    Bit of a long shot but could this same idea be applied to getting from one
    YouTube video to another using nothing but suggestions from the video
    you’re on?

  9. Andrew Bulman says:

    Wow, I just realised the Prime Minister is only three degrees from me (two
    if I push it), so the Queen or the President are only four (or three)

  10. mattystewart8 says:

    Can you only send it to one person or does this thing work if i send it to
    say six of my friends?

  11. ZeaMoore4 says:

    1:03 That’s a wrong calculation, as most of them would know people you know
    the first two groups wouldn’t know each other but group 3 would probably
    know a lot of the once in the first 2 or last 2 groups. Making 44 into a
    lot less connections per group. Still, it would be a lot of people…

  12. JackTjWorld says:

    I love you man I love you I fuckin’ love you for your amazing content you
    have a high level of consciousness

  13. Skimo Jones says:

    This is a cool experiment but it has no apparent method for measuring

  14. MirceaKitsune says:

    7:02 Thumbs up if your reaction was “OMG, Derek met up with Neil”! Which,
    by the way, I think was a great way to illustrate the point of the video…
    as always on a Veritasium video!

  15. Magnivore519 says:

    I would like to conduct a similar experiment. I want to ask Anna Kendrick
    to the upcoming Air Force ball that is happening near my base. Does anyone
    know her?

  16. L4Vo5 says:

    What if the only way for me to get to you is trough obama?(i dont know if
    you met him, but i know Vsauce did so…) xD that would be funny

  17. David Lewis says:

    your friend is a genius. just saying.

  18. Estée Zeller says:

    i wish this video was longer i could watch it for hours it’s so interesting

  19. Chris Cox says:

    +Chris Cox It’s Paul `air-dish’

  20. Kat Rockenbach says:

    I’m from Brazil, but I’m gonna do this!