One man's attempt at a lifelong headcount.
One man's attempt at a
I've crossed paths with hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the years. I've done the kind of traveling that's a catalyst for memorable meetings and unexpected connections. (Hitchhiking, bicycling, barhopping, extended road trips across America and Europe, an extended stay in Canada.) I've also worked at jobs that put me in front of large chunks of humans in America—journalist, substitute teacher, cab driver.
A few years ago I wondered how big the number would be if I added up:
a.) all the people I know who I've taken a photo of. I was an early adapter in the digital photo era, so my archives are deep. (I'll choose my favorite and post it.)
b) all the people I know who've sent me a photo of themselves in the past. (I'll choose my favorite and post it.)
c) all the people I know, people I've met who left an impression on me—but I don't possess a photo to post of them. (These people will be encouraged to send a favorite photo of themselves. Or I'll find a photo of them online.)
Once we've got a rough figure on the number of folks who've been in my tribe or showed up in my orbit—for a minute, a month, a lifetime–we can try to extrapolate how many people THOSE folks might have on their Big List. If my list is a couple thousand deep, maybe even 5,000 strong, and those 5,000 people each have an average of, say, 2,000 people on their Big List who've never met me (these are both very rough estimates), that would mean there are approximately...
10,000,000 million people on the planet who are 2 degrees of separation from a guy named Bob in Brooklyn who they've probably never heard of.
That's old school connected. Not mob-style. Not cyber-aided. That's eye-contacted face time. Building relationships. Holy communion. Stepping out of the isolation.
How deep does your Big List go?
How many people are 2 degrees of separation from YOU?