Let me break this down for you: Horus, savior of his people was in Egypt, the same place Moses grew up before he lead his people to Israel, where Jesus paralleled the life of Horus in his attempt to redeem mankind and founded his own church which spread all across Europe where British Actor Pierce Brosnan was born who starred in Mrs. Doubtfire with Mary Mackey who was in Murder of the First with Kevin Bacon.

Whew!

I’m not sure if Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is well known in places other than the United States, but it’s a rather amusing trivia game built off of what’s known as The Small World Phenomenon. Stanley Milgram, renowned social psychologist and kind of a douche, came up with a way to test the average length of social networks in a society. Out of this came the the trivia game Six Degrees of Separation, where one attempts to connect seemingly disparate elements to one another within six moves. Kevin Bacon, a prolific American Actor, became an amusing offshoot of this game, as you can connect almost any Hollywood actor to him in less than six moves.

As ridiculous as it sounds, this all brings up some interesting food for thought. I’ve heard plenty of people (hippies and otherwise) tell me, “We’re all, like, inter-connected, man.” Thought experiments and games like these really point out just how true that is. It may not be in the energy, faith-healing, paranormal way that it is occasionally portrayed as, but there are scientific and rational bases for the concept. We all know someone who knows someone else who met some actor or is friends with a politician or whatever but it goes even beyond just personal relationships and into every aspect of our lives. The food you eat is grown by another regular person, the clothes you wear are manufactured by other human beings. The animals we consume share the same planet with us. There’s a web of ideas, consumption, and social networks that, when examined, is vast and seemingly unending. While our social networks may be short in personal ways, they are connected in ways that are unimaginable. Just outside your group of friends may be an immigrant who has family across the ocean who, in turn, maybe survived World War 2. It’s a tangible connection that spans not only physical distance, but also time.

We’re all influenced by the people around us, and experiencing someone else is, in a way, experiencing the history of their family and their country. When people speak to you they aren’t speaking with someone who grew up in a void (I, on the other hand, did grow up in a void. Summers there were lovely.) they’re speaking with you plus all the influences you’ve experienced in your life from your family to your friends to the food that you eat and the books that you read. It’s amazing to think about just how we’re influenced and how we influence others. To then consider that many of the most populous religions (and philosophical concepts) in the world are over two thousand years old gives us a strong connection to the past.

It’s totally wild, really.

Much like Kevin Bacon was in the movie Footloose.