The Original "Six Degrees of Separation"

Rohit Khare (
Wed, 14 Jan 1998 23:16:16 -0800

Ithiel de Sola Pool was the political science / sociology / systems theorist
/ jack-of-all-communications-trades who intially floated the
siz-degrees-of-separation hypothesis (and much more) in his group's work.
One of my recent bosses worked in that team, and dug out the original
reference. I haven't had a chance to look it up yet, but I wanted it in the

Truly a landmark meme I believe deeply in. Somewhere in it is the key to
munchkins: How locally egocentric connections can form a fully connected
civilization (except for the occasional Unabomber... :-)


------- Forwarded Message

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 10:28:22 -0500 (EST)
From: John C Klensin
Subject: Sixdegrees


Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 09:17:27 -0500 (EST)
From: "Lloyd S. Etheredge"
Subject: Reference
To: John C Klensin

John -
Heard from Roger that you were inquiring about the reference to Ithiel's 6
degrees of separation (etc.) work.

Best current overview is Manfred Kochen (ed.) _The Small World: A Volume
of Recent Research Advance Commemorating Ithiel de Sola Pool, Stanley
Milgram, Theodore Newcomb_ (Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp., 1989).

The original draft circulated for about 20 years: the first published
version was Ithiel de Sola Pool & Manfred Kochen, "Contacts and Influence"
that appeared in the first issue of _Social Networks_ i (1978/79), pp. 5 -
best regards,

- -------------
(Dr.) Lloyd S. Etheredge, Director
International Scientific Networks Project
Policy Science Center, 127 Wall St., Room 314
New Haven, CT 06520

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