The Lighthouse Press, LLC

Six Degrees of Separation Experiment Coming-up Short

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, FL (NOVEMBER 3, 2006) — The Lighthouse Press Inc. is offering free novels in a test of the popularized concept that everyone on the planet is linked through a chain of intermediary acquaintances numbering five or fewer individuals. Now into its tenth day, the experiment shows little sign of validating the Six Degrees of Separation Theory.

According to the on-line Wikipedia Encyclopedia, the Six Degrees of Separation hypothesis was formulated in 1929 and tested in the years 1967 and 2001. In now exploring the hypothesis, The Lighthouse Press is awarding the novels, The Gray Stopgap and The Wayfarers to participants who validate the theory within the control parameters established by the small press publishing company.

“We have yet to see any evidence that the theory works,” remarked Lighthouse Publisher, Ron Richard, referring to the company’s web site server logs. “The irony is that this experiment began because I told one of our authors that if the theory was true, his name and novel should now be household words—but not even our Steven Spielberg endorsed novel, The Wayfarers, by Stuart Tower, had obtained that sort of fame.”

The Lighthouse author with whom Richard had that discussion was DL Tolleson.

“I told him (Richard) that we were all only five people away from anybody on the planet,” Tolleson remarked. “According to what I’m hearing from Lighthouse, I would be losing a wager if I had made one.”

The well-orchestrated experiment was expected to exponentially grow to beyond 600,000 participants. The goal was to establish five separate chains of five of intermediary acquaintances between Lighthouse author DL Tolleson and five target people who have been identified in private e-mail messages sent to 49 initial recipients.

“The results are perplexing,” admitted Stuart Tower, author of one of the two book incentives being freely awarded to eligible participants in the experiment. “But considering the power of e-mail, I’m still guardedly optimistic that the theory will work, despite the gloominess of my friend, Tolleson.”

The small press publishing company has yet to set a termination date for the test and for more information people are invited to review the experiment parameters on the web at, Tolleson’s novel, The Gray Stopgap, had garnered three Barnes & Noble staff recommendations and occasional inquiries from Hollywood. This was the topic in a casual e-mail correspondence between our publisher and Tolleson when the legitimacy of the Six Degrees of Separation hypothesis came up.


Public Relations Liaison