Yes, Even the Web Itself Has a Kevin Bacon Number

Author: Steve Woods
Published: February 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Remember the Bacon Number, that most ancient of web-based memes that said that all actors and actresses are linked through inter-connected roles, to ubiquitous actor Kevin Bacon?

Apparently the entire damn Internet itself has a Bacon Number of its own, and it's somewhere around 19.

Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási constructed a computer model of the Web's interconnectivity, in order to better understand its structure. According to Smithsonian Magazine, after some deeper examination, Barabási found that anyone could get from the most isolated and neglected of sites, networks or blogs to any other one out there in just 19 clicks or less.

Barabási's findings were recently published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and stresses not only the relativity of the Web itself, but also the importance of keeping its backbone secure.

Despite approximately 14 billion pages out there on the Inter-webs, Barabási followed the trail on many of the sites examined, and discovered most serve up hyperlinks to popular "nodes" like Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, eHarmony, CNN, Yahoo and others. These oft-visited larger, aggregative sites serve the Baconesque and coincidental purpose of connecting our sources of laughter, love, news, friendship and more.

According to Barabási, even as the Web grows and evolves, human nature's desire to create community will remain, causing us to continue to link our virtual existence to places where others congregate and share. As long as that communal desire exists, the Internet as a whole will maintain that fairly low Bacon number.

And yes, since you can find everything about the actor on Google, it means every single bump and curve on the Information Superhighway is tied to Kevin Bacon. Go figure.


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Article Author: Steve Woods

Tech Geek. Digital Sommelier. Tea Aficionado. Founder of Twitter: @YouKnowSteve

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