6 Degrees?

July 1, 2008

I’m in a down town, crowded trendy bar a couple of nights ago and I find myself talking with a charming New Yorker who, on discovering my surname, asks if it hails from a small town in the north west of Ireland (it does). And on proffering his own in return (which is also from the same part of Ireland as mine) he reveals that he spent his summer holidays in the same small townland as I did. We probably bumped into each other in the empty streets of the local village.
In a networked and wired world it’s easy to see how we’re all just 6 degrees from somebody else. But it’s also nice to know that the old fashioned face to face communication with strangers can sometimes yield the most surprising synchronicities and in this case it’s not 6 degrees but perhaps closer to 2.