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degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 4th, 2018, 4:29 pm
by hyksos
Everyone on earth is separated by six people. The rules for what constitutes an actual "degree" in a social network isn't clear. Personally, I don't count having met a late night talkshow host as a degree. I don't think that "worked for" constitutes a degree either. I met someone who carved the wooden banister (actually the newell post) of the staircase in Madonna's house. Is that a degree? Probably not.

I am 3 degrees from Werner Heisenberg.

One of my physics professors studied under Jochen Heisenberg, the son of Werner. I got to know him personally beyond the usual student/professor interaction. It's hard to say how well my professor "knew" Jochen. It's possible that he might have circulated through one of Heisenberg's courses like any regular student. I still relay the anecdote, though.

My sister is likely 3 degrees from Mike Score. (lead singer of 80s band, Flock of Seagulls)

My father is 2 degrees from Slash, the former lead guitar from Guns n Roses. This means he is 3 degrees from Axl Rose.

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 4th, 2018, 8:29 pm
by TheVat
2 degrees: David Ogden-Stiers (Charles, on MASH), Calvin Trillin, Michael Stipe (frontman, REM), Debra Winger, Jeff Daniels, Jimmy Carter, LBJ, Eisenhower (and other famous politicians who knew former Nebraska governor Robert Crosby) (whose lovely and smart stepdaughter I briefly dated). Also WV Quine, Saul Kripke, and Ray Manzarek (The Doors keyboardist). And Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg (famous violinist). James Michener. Henry Fonda.

1 degree: Robert Crosby, Kevin White (former mayor of Boston), George Plimpton, Arthur C. Clarke (eat your hearts out, geeks), Charles Sayward (well-known American logician), Alan Ginsberg (so put all the Beats like Kerouac and Burroughs up in 2 degrees....also Timothy Leary, Philip Dick, and hundreds of other famous writers, musicians, Buddhist leaders, celebrities...). And last and possibly the weirdest, actress Kirstie Alley, known to me as a girl who lived up the street in Wichita, KS. So that would give me 2 degrees with a crap-ton of actors, including William Shatner and the rest of the cast of Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan.

It's fun to be connected, however tenuously. :-)

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 4th, 2018, 11:15 pm
by hyksos
Wait a second. How are you defining 1 degree here? Because there is no zero degree.

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 5th, 2018, 10:00 am
by TheVat
One degree = you met them and interacted, right? As I indicated, some of my one degree folks have given me a crap-ton of two degrees.

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 5th, 2018, 12:04 pm
by hyksos
I'm not sure that Arthur C Clarke signing a book cover counts as a degree.

But Kristie Alley living up the street is truly weird.

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 5th, 2018, 1:37 pm
by TheVat
Indeed. I didn't really make the connection until I saw "Savik" in ST II and thought "Holy ___, she really looks like Kirstie...") She would have been 16 when we moved away from Wichita, so her facial features had matured enough that she didn't look massively different at 30, in The Wrath of Khan. Clarke and I also corresponded, so I feel I can count that as contact. All the other one degrees, were unequivocal contact. My uncle invited Ginsberg over to my parents house and we all had a great time. Ginsberg read this fictitious report I had written about my parents (as if I were a foreign agent surveilling them) (I was 9) and had hysterics and then urged me to keep writing. It all seems surreal now, when I think back on it.

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 5th, 2018, 2:50 pm
by hyksos
Ginsberg story .. awesome!

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 6th, 2018, 11:26 am
by toucana
One of the better moments of TDOS that once happened to me back in the 1990s was coming home from work, checking the answerphone and finding a message that began:
Hello - This is Arthur Miller phoning from USA ..

My wife is a freelance writer and editor specialising in theatre. She had been preparing a theatre programme for one of Arthur Miller's plays that was about to be restaged locally, and she needed permission to use some of Inge Morath's photographs for the design layout. (The Austrian photographer Inge Morath was Arthur Millers's third wife. They married in 1962 and remained together until her death in 2002)

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: November 6th, 2018, 2:01 pm
by TheVat
Arthur Miller - also awesome. I guess it was your wife who gets the one degree, and you get the second. (don't "give me the third degree")

Since the Kevin Bacon game is based on the DOS concept, I went to see if Kirstie and Bacon had ever collaborated in any way. I found a 1990s prison documentary ("Cancelled Lives: Letters from the Inside") in which actors did voice-overs, reading prisoner's letters. Both actors did VOs in the film. The thing is, that may not really count as one degree contact, as each actor could have come to the sound studio on different days and not interacted at all. ... evin_Bacon

So I may not have 2 degrees from Kevin, but I am pretty sure I can come up with 3, given all the actors Kevin has worked with directly. Probably very easy, since I interacted with the set manager and also a casting director on the film "Terms of Endearment" (I play "Student going past on bicycle, reacting to Jeff Daniels chasing Debra Winger across campus"). Pretty sure Jack Nicholson, also in that film, has shared the screen with Bacon. In fact, even non-film freaks might remember the movie in which they one-degreed. I'm sure a few good men will recall...

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: December 16th, 2018, 1:01 pm
by -1-
I sent a book I had written and got published by a clandestinely vanity publisher, to Stephen Hawking, dr. prof. This was back in the nineties, when he was still alive. The connecton was the topic of my book, which dealt with the eventual end of the universe as we know it, and its rejuvenation, as well as other science fiction stuff.

I got back a postcard, on one side my name and address, on the other side a poorly reproduced copy of a form letter, with lines and check-mark boxes at the ends of the lines. It read, roughly:

Dr. Prof. Hawking (Or Hawkins, I can never remember) Thanks you for the:

- knitted scarf
- prayers
- book
- cash donation
- running shoes
- designer book mark
- other __________________________

But very understandably he can't personally thank you.

(some female assistant's name)


Does this count as a degree with Stephen, with the assistant, or with anything else?

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: December 16th, 2018, 1:13 pm
by -1-
I have 1 degree of separation with Dr. Prof. Palko Erdos, Dr. Prof. Peter Forbath, with Dr. Prof. Farkas Lorandt, with Dr. Prof. Endre Szemeredi, and two degrees with Ede Teller. One degree with poet Faludi Gyorgy. Two degrees with Authors Karinthy Frigyes, Dezso Kosztolanyi, and Moldova Gyorgy. Two degrees of separation with Dr. Prof. Albert Szentgyorgyi. I got one degree of separation with Ryerson University. (They said, "Here's your degree, now get the heck out of here. And don't you come back no more.")

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: December 17th, 2018, 3:57 am
by dandelion
All very impressive! I like the OP Heisenberg connection.

Re: degrees of Separation

PostPosted: February 16th, 2019, 2:55 am
by Serpent
I have a pair of snowmobile mitts that are too big - you can come by and pick them up. Bit of a detour to Ontario, but it'll at least get you out of the flood-plain.

I've met Richard Needham, Morton Shulman, Andres Segovia, George Jonas, David Suzuki and Leona Boyd.
None of them rubbed off.