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Tagged with “two” (2)

  1. 6 Degrees of Separation

    Episode three of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    Six is often treated as 2x3, but has many characteristics of its own. Six is also the "pivot" of its divisors (1 2 3=6=1x2x3) and also the centre of the first five even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Six seems to have a pivoting action both mathematically and socially. How is it that everyone in the world can be linked through just six social ties? As Simon discovers, the concept of “six degrees of separation” emerged from a huge postal experiment conducted by the social psychologist Stanley Milgram in 1967. Milgram asked volunteers to send a package by mail to one of a hundred people chosen at random. But they could only send mail to people they knew on first name terms.

    —Huffduffed by srushe

  2. 2 — At The Double

    Episode two of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.

    We all remember the story of the Persian who invented chess and who asked to be paid with 1 grain of rice on the first square, 2 on the second, 4 on the third and so on, doubling all the way to the 64th square. He bankrupted the state!

    This doubling is a form of exponential growth, which appears in everything from population growth to financial inflation to the inflation theory that supposedly caused the Big Bang.

    —Huffduffed by srushe