Introduction Despite 50 years of development experience, fundamental questions remain unanswered. The world still lacks a comprehensive theoretical framework that adequately explains such phenomenon as the accelerating velocity of development exhibited by East Asian countries, the failure of Malthusian projections, the growing contribution of non-material resources not subject to depletion, the apparent failure of market policies in the transition of Eastern Europe, and conflicting predictions about the future of work based on the contrary recent experiences of North America and Western Europe. A profusion of economic theories provide explanations for specific expressions of development, but none unite the pieces into a unified theory that adequately defines the central principles, process and stages of development. This paper is identifies the central principle of development and traces its expression in different fields, levels and stages of expression.
Shrinking world[ edit ] Theories on optimal design of cities, city traffic flows, neighborhoods, and demographics were in vogue after World War I. These[ citation needed ] conjectures were expanded in by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthywho published a volume of short stories titled Everything is Different.
One of these pieces was titled "Chains," or "Chain-Links. In particular, Karinthy believed that the modern world was 'shrinking' due to this ever-increasing connectedness of human beings. He posited that despite great physical distances between the globe's individuals, the growing density of human networks made the actual social distance far smaller.
In his story, the characters create a game out of this notion. A fascinating game grew out of this discussion. One of us suggested performing the following experiment to prove that the population of the Earth is closer together now than they have ever been before.
We should select any person from the 1. He bet us that, using no more than five individuals, one of whom is a personal acquaintance, he could contact the selected individual using nothing except the network of personal acquaintances.
Karinthy has been regarded as the originator of the notion of six degrees of separation. The theory of three degrees of influence was created by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Small-world experiment Michael Gurevich conducted seminal work in his empirical study of the structure of social networks in his Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD dissertation under Ithiel de Sola Pool.
In a [socially] structured population it is less likely but still seems probable. And perhaps for the whole world's population, probably only one more bridging individual should be needed. The simulations, carried out on the relatively limited computers ofwere nonetheless able to predict that a more realistic three degrees of separation existed across the U.
Kochen and de Sola Pool's manuscript, Contacts and Influences,  was conceived while both were working at the University of Paris in the early s, during a time when Milgram visited and collaborated in their research.
Their unpublished manuscript circulated among academics for over 20 years before publication in It formally articulated the mechanics of social networks, and explored the mathematical consequences of these including the degree of connectedness.
The manuscript left many significant questions about networks unresolved, and one of these was the number of degrees of separation in actual social networks. Milgram took up the challenge on his return from Parisleading to the experiments reported in The Small World Problem  in popular science journal Psychology Todaywith a more rigorous version of the paper appearing in Sociometry two years later.
Milgram's article made famous  his set of experiments to investigate de Sola Pool and Kochen's "small world problem. This circle of researchers was fascinated by the interconnectedness and "social capital" of human networks.
Milgram's study results showed that people in the United States seemed to be connected by approximately three friendship links, on average, without speculating on global linkages; he never actually used the term "six degrees of separation.
Small World Project[ edit ] InColumbia University conducted an analogous experiment on social connectedness amongst Internet email users. Their effort was named the Columbia Small World Project, and included 24, e-mail chains, aimed at 18 targets from 13 different countries around the world.
Amongst the successful chains, while shorter lengths were more common some reached their target after only 7, 8, 9 or 10 steps. The authors cite "lack of interest" as the predominating factor in the high attrition rate, [Note 2] a finding consistent with earlier studies.
The phrase "six degrees of separation" is often used as a synonym for the idea of the "small world" phenomenon. Computer networks[ edit ] InDuncan Wattsa professor at Columbia Universityattempted to recreate Milgram's experiment on the Internet, using an e-mail message as the "package" that needed to be delivered, with 48, senders and 19 targets in countries.
Watts found that the average though not maximum number of intermediaries was around six. They found the average path length among Microsoft Messenger users to be 6.
An optimal algorithm to calculate degrees of separation in social networks[ edit ] Bakhshandeh et al. They have introduced new search techniques to provide optimal or near optimal solutions.
The experiments are performed using Twitter, and they show an improvement of several orders of magnitude over greedy approaches. Their optimal algorithm finds an average degree of separation of 3. A near-optimal solution of length 3. Popularization[ edit ] No longer limited strictly to academic or philosophical thinking, the notion of six degrees recently has become influential throughout popular culture.
Further advances in communication technology — and particularly the Internet — have drawn great attention to social networks and human interconnectedness. As a result, many popular media sources have addressed the term. The following provide a brief outline of the ways such ideas have shaped popular culture.
Six Degrees of Separation play and Six Degrees of Separation film American playwright John Guare wrote a play in and later released a film in that popularized it.
It is Guare's most widely known work. As one of the characters states:Scientific Facts Proving Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution is Wrong, False, and Impossible.
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