which was always influenced by others, so that such isolation is really not possible.


18. Ibid., excerpt. Available online at http://www.d.umn.edu/~revans/PPHandouts/buckle.htm.


19. Ibid.


20. Quoted in P.M. Harman, The Natural Philosophy of James Clerk Maxwell, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, p. 131.


21. James Clerk Maxwell, “Does the Progress of Physical Science Tend to Give Any Advantage to the Opinion of Necessity (or Determinism) over that of the Contingency of Events and the Freedom of the Will?” Reprinted in Lewis Campbell and William Garnett, The Life of James Clerk Maxwell, Macmillan and Co., London, 1882, p. 211.


22. Ignoring things like whether your opponent has a weak backhand.



1. www.imdb.com. There are additional actors in the database who cannot be linked to Bacon because they appeared either alone or with no other actors who had appeared in any other movies including actors connected to the mainstream acting community.


2. Similar network math was developed by Anatol Rapoport, who is better known, of course, as a game theorist.


3. Duncan Watts and Steven Strogatz, “Collective Dynamics of ‘Small-World’ Networks,” Nature, 393 (June 4, 1998): 440–442.


4. Steven Strogatz, interview in Quincy, Mass., May 17, 2004.


5. These three examples were chosen because of the availability of full data on their connections; at that time, C. elegans was the only example of a nervecell network that had been completely mapped (with 302 nerve cells), the Internet Movie Data Base provided information for actor-movie links, and the power grid diagram was on public record.


6. Watts and Strogatz, “Collective Dynamics,” p. 441.


7. In fact, here’s a news bulletin: Oracle of Bacon hasn’t updated its list yet, but as of this writing its database shows that Hopper has now surpassed Rod Steiger as the most connected actor, with an average of 2.711 steps to get to another actor versus Steiger’s 2.712. Of course, these numbers continue to change as new movies are made.


8. Réka Albert and Albert-László Barabási, “Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks,” Science, 286 (15 October 1999): 509.


9. Jennifer Chayes, interview in Redmond, Wash., January 7, 2003.

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