Small world: Jazzer and dolphins best networkers …

Small world: Jazzer and dolphins best networkers

As I always say: We need more Jazz in our lives!

Swing era was a very small world: Scientists, dolphins and jazz musicians are connected.: “Swing era was a very small world Scientists, dolphins and jazz musicians are connected. ”

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In fact, jazz musicians before 1940 enjoyed much closer links than that: on average, any one was separated from another by only 2.79 steps. As in most human networks, a few individuals have very high degrees of connectivity. Lang, also known as Blind Willie Dunn, collaborated with 415 musicians – despite dying aged 30.

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Meanwhile, David Lusseau of the University of Aberdeen, UK, has found that even dolphins swim in small worlds. He spent seven years distinguishing the distinctive dorsal-fin markings of around 60 bottlenose dolphins living in Doubtful Sound fjord in New Zealand2.

Lusseau concludes that the dolphin swim-buddy network features about five degrees of separation.

It is also very robust. Unlike jazzers or scientists, only a few dolphins have very few connections: most have an intermediate number. Lusseau thinks this helps to hold the community together even if the highly connected hubs die. He calculates that the network would remain cohesive even if a third of the population were wiped out.

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