Have you heard of the Milgram experiment? Here’s my version of the “Small World” experiment he might still be “conducting.” 😉
On August 18th, I read an article and shared the link on my Facebook page about an experiment based on Stanley Milgram’s “Small World” experiment. Milgram conducted his “Small World” experiments in the 1960s, an experiment designed to test the hypothesis that anyone in the world can get a message to anyone else in just “six degrees of separation” by passing it from friend to friend. The Yahoo-Facebook experiment aims to test whether the degrees of separation between people are as few as Milgram and other investigators concluded. Anyone with a Facebook account can participate in the Facebook-Yahoo experiment by going to the site. When I started this particular post I had not yet been to that site, figuring I had completed my own version of the facebook-degrees-of-separation, but I did go there just to copy the information about what the experiment was, not to join the experiment. Obviously mine is a very different kind of connection.
I make connections all the time, whether it is due to magical thinking, a real unusual sense of pattern documentation or just plain coincidence. I’ll call it an awareness with a twist in that I document my connectivity using comics and anagrams and comments about what I find. I know it sounds weird, but surely there must be science in this somewhere? Here’s the thing. If I were a mathematician, I could probably have figured out my own probabilities years ago, but instead, I document through a more visual method. Here is the my Milgram/Facebook coincidence.
After the August 18th article was read, I really did not think about it any more. I continued to read the comics daily, and did that other thing I do, took photos on a couple of walks. At times, when I take photos, I am aware I am taking it for another “purpose” though explaining this would be difficult. On Labor Day, I took a walk along the Ohio River and later uploaded some photos to my facebook page. I added more the next day, as “leftovers”. This is where connection number one comes into play. On September 6th, a cartoon showing the backside of three letters of the alphabet in a courtoom situation, the judge stating they were out of order, caught my eye and I posted about it on facebook.I did not tell anyone that in order to take the photo of the backside of a metal sign, I had to push past my vertigo to walk up a metal ramp then get myself into a weird position on the floating platform. This is not something done easily because of my vertigo, because it feels as though everything is moving. After seeing the cartoon and making the backwards letters connection in my own way, I looked up the name Adi, to see what it meant. I found a couple of other ways to write it, one being the Hebrew spelling and the other a Chinese tattoo.
I don’t read Hebrew or Chinese, so this was just another connection to me in the form of text art, which is what my comics collages and anagrams are to some extent. We will call it connection number two.
I realize this makes no sense to a lot of people reading this, but stay with me here. I went through the trouble of documenting all of this. Yeah, I took 3 letters from the name of a city and used them to look up a name, so what? Here is the next “what”…connection #3.
Yesterday I received a post card in the mail regarding a class action settlement that seemed a little unusual. I did use the postcard as a drink coaster last night, but have no plans to do anything else with it but throw it out. Oh, I know, that is not the proper way to exclude myself from the settlement, but I already got what I needed from it…the name Milgram. I don’t know if others would call this 3 degrees of separation at this point, but let’s just say I did receive something in text through the US Mail, and it has the name “Milgram”on it.
This morning, having prepared my coffee and checking my Facebook feed, I discovered that a “friend” had just “friended” a person named, of all names, Adi. I ask those who do this sort of thing, is that the requisite steps #4 and #5 that the original Milgram discovered?
**By the way…after I posted this I found this interesting fact, Stanley Milgram’s mother’s name was Adele, for which some may use the nickname “Adi”. Figured I should add that to the post. 😉
I guess it is a small world after all. 😉