It can be hard to connect in the real world because space keeps us apart. Until the invention of the telephone, the only people you could connect with were the people who lived near you. You could write letters, but usually you were writing to people you already knew. And the same is true for the telephone: we almost always call people we know. In the real world, our connections have usually been to the people who happen to live around us: our family, our neighbors, the people who go to our school or to where we worship.

There's obviously something very important about living among the people who are near us. We get to know our family and our neighbors very well because their nearness means that we run into them every day or every week. And the fact that you can walk down a sidewalk and bump into someone you like can turn a chore into fun.

Nevertheless, the real world makes it hard to connect and generally limits us to the people near us.

Links to Explore

History of the Telephone

Six Degrees of Separation

page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6 page 7 page 8 page 9 page 10 page 11 page 12 page 13 page 14 page 15 page 16
This is a children's version of David Weinberger's book
Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web.
copyright © 2002 David Weinberger