The Newnan Times-Herald


You could know someone affected

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Aug. 03, 2017 - 6:21 AM

"Six degrees of separation" is an idea originally proposed by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929. It basically states that all living things, and everything else on earth, are connected in six or fewer steps or degrees. This is based on knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone, etc. 

For example, if every person on earth is on a first-name basis with at least 1,000 others, then they are only six degrees or less from knowing each other. Here's the math: Start with one (you) and add three zeros for each step or degree – 1 quintillion. The population of the U.S. is only a little more than 326 million. The world population is approximately 7.5 billion, and it is estimated that only 115 billion humanoids have ever existed.

All humans today would be connected by less than four degrees. In other words, you or I know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone.

I bring this up because when we look at health care and say 25 million people will lose coverage, 2 million people may go bankrupt, and 25,000 people per year will die, we are not just looking at abstract statistics. Based on 1,000 friends, any of these people are less that three degrees separation from us, and some will be one degree removed and others only two degrees. This could be a close friend or family member, and it could be you.

Nazi Adolf Eichmann stated, "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” People are not statistics; they are flesh and blood human beings, all are somebody's loved one, and they could be yours.

Please support universal health care.

Dennis Thompson