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Book review: Darwinia
Reviewed: Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer reading: Spin
Reviewed: Saturday, August 5, 2006

Runner
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the Golem's Eye
Reviewed: Wednesday, May 31, 2006





tinderbox

Could it be a big world after all
Judith S. Kleinfeld, 2002 , (Paper URL)
Tuesday, August 3, 2004

I've long been a bit bothered by the conclusions Stanley Milgram reached in his famous "small-world" studies back in the 1960s. Reaching the global conclusion that every human is only several relationships away from every other human on the basis of a few studies with poorish completion rates seemed a bit over the top. Of course, I never did anything with my doubts whereas Judith Kleinfeld not only tried to replicate the study but also did extensive literature reviews and went through Milgrim's notes at Yale.

She finds that although Milgram's data does support a sort of small-world hypothesis, it also supports the hypothesis that we remain fundamentally separated by class and race. She also investigates the psychological strength of the hypothesis: why do we want to believe that "it's a small world after all".


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