Tuesday, August 05, 2008

6 degrees of missions

So it appears that 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon was off by ".6". The small world theory has been around for a while. It is the idea that you can connect any two people on the planet by 6 people. This gave rise to the game 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon which took this idea and applied it to movie stars.

And now Microsoft has it's own calculations to conclude that the 6 degrees theories was pretty close to dead on. Microsoft researchers Eric Horvitz and Jure Leskovec looked at over 30 billion conversations over Microsoft Messenger in June 2006. These messages represented about 180 million people in the world. Horvitz told the Washington Post, "What we're seeing suggests there may be a social connectivity constant for humanity."

I like this theory because it makes global issues much "closer to home". The smaller the world, even if it is simply psychological, makes missions much more personal. The tribe in Africa or the village in Cambodia or the people group in Peru that we have been praying for is just under 7 people from your very doorstep.