According to popular culture, all human beings on the planet are connected to one another by only six degrees of separation. A 'degree of separation' is defined as personal contact in which both parties know the name of the other and have some means by which to contact them.
If you were to try to communicate directly with actor Kevin Bacon, using only persons (as opposed to corporations, chat rooms, or other non-personal intermediaries), which of your acquaintances would you select as your first contact, and why?
Which famous person or persons do you have the smallest degree of separation from? (You may use whatever definition of 'celebrity' seems appropriate to you. Bear in mind that if you name someone sufficiently obscure, you may be called upon to define the field in which your celebrity is famous.)
As with Part A, except substitute a poor Ivory Coast farmer for Kevin Bacon. Was your answer different from your answer to Part A? If so, explain.
Your answers to Parts A-C will be read to the class, and then I will ask you to write a short (<5 pp.) essay in which you discuss whether or not you believe that six degrees of separation are sufficient to connect any two individuals on the planet, according to the popular theory. (Keep in mind that any celebrities named by your classmates in their answers to Part B are now connected to you by only one more degree of separation: e.g., if Christy is three degrees from President Bush, you are now four degrees from President Bush.)