My Bacon Number is 3

Someone shared the “Oracle of Bacon” on Facebook. Through it, I learned that I have a Bacon Number of 3, assuming that one is calculating connections of all genuine friends and acquaintances, and not only people who were in movies together.

Krystina Ptasinski, an actress who majored in religion as well as theater at Butler University, has a Bacon Number of 2. And since I know Krystina, that makes my Bacon Number 3. And if you are acquainted with me, that makes yours a 4, unless you have a closer connection by another route.

Can “reads the blog of” be a close enough connection for this purpose? If so, then you can follow Kevin Bacon on Twitter and have a Bacon Number of 1.

But if blog reading and Twitter following doesn’t cut it for these purposes, then I wonder whether we could attract majors to Butler University’s religion program by pointing out that taking classes and becoming acquainted with the professors will boost your Bacon Number?

In related news, my colleague Brent Hege pointed out that Rashida Jones majored in religion and philosophy at Harvard. And so that needs to be added to all the “What you can do with a degree in religionlists.

Finally, if you have determined that your Bacon Number is 4 as a result of your acquaintance with me, then I would point out that, according to Google, you share the same Bacon Number as Ludwig van Beethoven:


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  • arcseconds

    I’m afraid that only the co-acting relationship counts, James. You need to act in a film with Ptasinski to claim a Bacon number of 4.

    You’re presumably familiar with the more venerable Erdös number? A low Erdös number is a point of pride amongst mathematicians and related disciplines. Claiming a low Erdös number on the basis of an acquaintance with a mathematician with a low Erdös number doesn’t wash, either. Some people take this quite seriously, and it may even result in some anger directed at you!

    You could play the ‘degrees of seperation’ game with Kevin Bacon, where only genuine friends and acquaintances count, but that’s a different game, and it’s not clear to me you can claim a degree of 4 with Kevin Bacon, as appearing in the same film as someone isn’t being a genuine acquaintance of someone.

    By counting both acquaintance and co-acting as links, you’re playing a different game, one that will of course get you lower numbers than in the usual games, because you’ve got more possible links to draw on.

    (if we’re going to play that game, why, I’ll just add the ‘being in the same room as someone once’ relationship, in which case I’ve got an Erdös number of no more than 4, and a Bacon number of 3.)

    • Spoilsport. 🙁

      Would a promotional video about the study of religion at Butler University count?

      • arcseconds

        I don’t think the ‘co-acting’ relationship has ever been fully specified, and the Oracle of Bacon admits as much, so sure, why not?

        I’ve definitely heard people use some pretty obscure indy films in the Kevin Bacon game…