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Six degrees of Kevin Bacon

Posted by TheFallen on October 21, 2004

In Reply to: Six degrees of separation posted by Henry on October 21, 2004

: : Hi,

: : I read an article from Design Management Review. There's a sentence I found very confusing. Could anyone here kindly help me out? Could you please phrase the whole sentence in a simpler way? especially the 'as due to rationalization......reducing risk' part and 'by some six degrees ' part. Thank you very much for your help.
: : "Its [Strategic Initiatives Group] mere existence could be interpreted by some business analysts as due to the rationalization of innovation investments that comes as industries mature and become more competent at reducing risk. This is often done by 'unbundling' the corporation--of separating, sometimes by just six degrees, from the company's normal operations the generally higher-risk business of innovation that sets out to achieve sustained high growth by finding gaps, incongruities, and opportunities in the marketplace."

: There is a theory that any two individuals are separated by no more than six acquaintances, the 'six degrees of separation' theory. I don't know how this accords with the phrase 'by just six degrees'. According to the theory, the maximum degree of separation is six degrees.

For movie buffs, there is an online challenge (linked to below) that is based around linking any mainstream movie actor or actress to the undeniable centre of the Hollywood universe, Kevin Bacon. To give you an example, Charlie Chaplin has a Bacon factor of only three:-

The Oracle says: Charles Chaplin has a Bacon number of 3.

Charles Chaplin was in Hollywood on Parade (1932/II) with Fay Wray
Fay Wray was in Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There with Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon

The average Bacon number is appparently 2.94, but some stalwarts have come up with Bacons of 7 or even 8, and a 9 has been rumoured to have been found.