BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti Goes Long Medium... Discovered on 2014-06-11 06:50:42 · https://medium.com/@readmatter/e98cf13160e7 JP: A cricket would chirp, and then neighboring crickets would chirp, and that sound would cascade. So he was measuring that empirically. [Psychologist] Stanley Milgram, in the 1970s, had coined the phrase six degrees of separation. He had figured out experimentally that you could start with a chain letter in Chicago and reach a stockbroker in Boston and it took on average six steps, but he did it without any mathematical rigor and with all these broken chains, where it would go three hops and go dark. So Duncan essentially looked at that and said, â€śWell, what if we re-did this experiment? What if we mapped this out?â€ť With his advisor, he created the Watts-Strogatz theorem, which described the conditions that a network needs to have for it to be a small world, where through a few short hops, you can get to any other node in the network.