The Six Degrees of Bacon

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16 Responses to “The Six Degrees of Bacon”

  1. Glen Able says:

    Good thinking, David.  It is sad to think of the inevitable expiry of Kevin Bacon (well, except if you’ve recently watched Hollow Man).
    Perhaps the perpetual title of the position should be “Lord Bacon”, a title that Francis Bacon held.   (Amusingly, his mother’s maiden name was Cooke, making her Anne Cooke Bacon.)  My feeling is that bacon, the tremendously hip foodstuff, is more popular than dancing, so the title could be earned by winning an international bacon-eating competition.  Although that might not help with the goal of having title-holders with reasonable longevity.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Lord_Bacon_-_the_guiding_spirit_of_colonization_scheme.jpg

  2. Bacon in a religion is unkosher!

  3. Wreckrob8 says:

    With so many people concerned about population there is the Pol Pot model – the ideal being zero degrees of separation – and the problem is solved.

  4. chgoliz says:

    There seem to be a lot of threads on BB today that make me think about genealogy.

    In family genealogy, you have two components: the degree of relatedness and that of removed-ness.

    Someone dying in 1626 does not necessarily mean all their connections are dead too.   The connection is to the family; the individual may be a number of generations removed from the individual in question, but they are still connected.

    If someone is tied to Kevin Bacon via a family member, living or dead, then they are tied to Kevin Bacon.  In other words, if I am 5-degrees-separated to Kevin, then my great-great-grandchildren will be 5-degrees-4x-removed.  Doesn’t matter if he’s alive or dead.

  5. Are you aware of the Erdős–Bacon number?

  6. David Ng says:

    Lord and Lady Bacon does have a nice ring to it.  And then, of course, there is “Darth Bacon.”   Seriously though, I am actually curious to see if there is a great heir suggestion: one that kind of makes you go THAT’S IT!  I think I’d be fine with any nomination just as long as it’s not Justin Bieber, a Kardashian, or any member of Nickelback. #heirofkevinbacon

  7. frank255 says:

    The Erdős number precedes the Bacon number by 25 years, so there’s the true original concept!

  8. SamSam says:

    You know, just because Sir Francis Bacon is dead, doesn’t mean that the concept of degrees-of-seperatedness no longer applies.

    Indeed, it is almost certain that there is at least one person alive today who was friends with someone (possibly now dead) who was friends with someone (possibly now dead) who [...] was friends with Sir Francis Bacon. No?

    And if there is at least one person who was connected to Sir Francis Bacon in this way, then the rest of the planet is separated from Sir Francis Bacon by no further than six degrees more.

    Kind of mind-boggling this: We are all friends with someone who was friends with someone who was friends with someone who [...] was friends with almost anyone in history. It reminds me of the fact that the last Civil War widow died recently.

  9. If we’re going to pick someone out would have to be someone whose name has the same metre and sort of rhyme with “separation” so my choice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is out.

    As this is the internet the obvious choices would be Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Will Wheaton or Felicia Day, but none of those fit the metre quite right.

    Jason Statham kind of fits, and he makes for more of a challange than Kevin Bacon ever did (which is actually all that matters to me).

    Maybe we’ll just have to wait for another star named Bacon to turn up?

  10. thatbob says:

     It’s my understanding that Kevin Bacon became the posterboy for this kind of game because he was a hardworking actor who built up a sizable body of work over the years, going from teen actor, to leading man, to character actor, while acting in ensemble films, genre films, blockbusters, indies, etc.  So his heir to the Motion Picture version of this game will be someone who, by popular accord, has spent some 20+ years doing the same.  Since Bacon should have at least another 20 years left in his career – who doesn’t want to see his Lear, when the time comes? – his heir may be a child or teen actor today.  Future generations just might play Six Degrees of Zac Efron.

    Or, better yet, Six Degrees of Mickey Rooney’s Brain in a Jar.

  11. TaymonBeal says:

    The most mathematically rigorous option would be to give the position to the current Center of the Hollywood Universe.

    To elaborate: The Oracle of Bacon uses IMDb to calculate the Bacon number of any given actor. Based on this information, it can be determined that among the people who have defined Bacon numbers, the mean Bacon number is 2.981747. The Oracle, however, doesn’t just calculate Bacon numbers—it can find the number of degrees of separation between any two actors.

    From there, it is possible to calculate the connectedness score of any given actor—the mean number of degrees of separation between that actor and all other actors who can be connected to them. For instance, since the mean Bacon number is 2.981747, that’s Kevin Bacon’s connectedness score.

    The Center of the Hollywood Universe is defined as the actor (living or dead) with the lowest connectedness score. Currently, that’s Dennis Hopper, with 2.802166.

  12. David Ng says:

    For some reason, I’ve been thinking” The Six Degrees of Thom Yorke.” I don’t know why, but there you have it…

  13. Gary Bacon says:

    I’ll gladly step up as a younger generation. I’ve traced my Bacon roots to the 1400s and know how my family ties to Kevin Bacon.

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