Symposium Panel 4.1 – Intro to Network Science


The symposium, consisting of only Simon and Elliot today discussed Duncan Watts’ film, ‘Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age’.


In relation to the video, Simon spoke of the parlor game that features Kevin Bacon, titled ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’. Kevin Bacon attempted to demonstrate the truth of the concept of ‘six degrees of separation’ by trying to connect any living or dead celebrity in Hollywood to himself. The experiment that adapted into ‘The Parlor Game’ consists of cinema fans working against each other to find the quickest path between an actor and the character, Kevin Bacon, in six degrees or less. Furthermore, Simon told that Kevin Bacon didn’t particularly take the experiment too seriously to start with, however the project proved to be quite successful in proving Bacon’s point.


Interestingly enough, Kevin Bacon’s project is chartable giving website titled, The official ‘Six Degrees’ page tells, “That is a social networking with social science”.


The second academic resource to be discussed in the panel was Chris Anderson’s ‘The Long Tail’.  In relation to the reading, Simon spoke of dinosaur erotica novels by Kristy Sims and how there is pretty much a market for anyone. Righto. Drawing on a different point from the reading, Eliot spoke of heritage media and the point  “where distribution is no longer viable”. Furthermore, Elliot told that “The Conservative argument is that only the best quality media would be making it out there, however that is not necessary the case, it is what is most popular is more successful.”