Repeating the famous Six Degrees experiment

David Lazer reports some interesting findings from his class when he attempts to recreate the famous Six Degrees experiment by Stanley Milgram.

Complexity and Social Networks Blog
The results: for 25 students (and about 40 attempts) 4 chains were completed, plus a fifth chain completed from a split from one of the completed chains (i.e., one of the students hit the target twice with a single e-mail because one of the recipients down chain sent the e-mail to multiple others). The number of hops varied from 3 (a student in the class who happens to be from North Dakota), to 8), with an average of 5.25.

Interesting points include how three of four completed chains included the prson’s profession, how junk mail may have effected participation, how much students relied on string ties (and not weak), and how some people used the message as a justification to back in touch with others.

Why are placesbin the midwest considered “so far” from the east coast?  Lazer used Fargo ND as the most faraway and still be in US.  Why is Seattle or San Francisco not just as “far away”?  Would Fargons (Fargoites?) list Boston as most distant?  Wouldn’t a someone from a poor neighborhood in Boston be just as far away?

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