From the Washington Post:
The “small world theory,” embodied in the old saw that there are just “six degrees of separation” between any two strangers on Earth, has been largely corroborated by a massive study of electronic communication.
With records of 30 billion electronic conversations among 180 million people from around the world, researchers have concluded that any two people on average are distanced by just 6.6 degrees of separation, meaning that they could be linked by a string of seven or fewer acquaintances.
The database covered all of the Microsoft Messenger instant-messaging network in June 2006 [...]
Gosh, that’s kinda neat. We’re all just… Hey, wait. 30 billion records from 180 million people? Retained for over 2 years? I wonder how many users of Messenger (and other IM services?) are aware of how much data is being logged.