30 May 2013

The world is very small

We all run in to plenty of situations which make us think or notice that the world is a very small place. Last week gave me yet another example, though in a bit I'll be challenging you to do some examination to see just how surprising it really is.

 The smallness of the world comes from this photo of Genevieve (Jenny to family) Ramsey getting her Master of Fine Arts from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina last week. I was down for my wife's graduation from the program, but ran in to Genevieve, who's looking (my wife said) a decade younger than she had in January.
Small world aspect: I mentioned my interest in weather/climate, and she mentioned her nephew and his father who also are. Turns out one is Steve Skolnik (I guess this is the father), who is also proprietor of Capital Climate, a blog to which I link over in the blogroll, and whom I've met in 3d.

Do keep an eye out for Genevieve's memoirs when they get published.  The first book includes autobiography, and her fight with cancer (hence looking so much better now).

The challenge aspect:
Let's say I know something like 5000 people.  It's a more or less reasonable number for me, at least for some description of 'know'.  And let's suppose that this is a typical figure.  At least for a Fermi Estimate.  And let's take 50 as the number of people I interacted with enough last week to get some idea of whether we have some common contact (probably a high figure, but it's a round number).  What was the likelihood that I'd encounter at least 1 person where we both had a personal connection to the same person?

But it's still surprising and amusing to me that I go to North Carolina, which I have no particular connection to either by family or profession, talk to a few people strictly outside groups I've met people in before (i.e., a group of writers and writing students, as opposed to oceanographers or runners or ...), and wind up meeting 'Aunt Jenny' to someone I know.

1 comment:

Steve Scolnik said...

Small world dept: Thanks for the mention, but I'm not related to any Ramsey as far as I know.