There are a lot of different kinds of super powers: invisibility, elasticity, speed, agility, mind-reading – but I have never heard of someone having the ability to instantly ascertain relatedness.
My wife is from Alaska and she knows a lot of people. Whenever we meet someone that once lived in Alaska – (or even knows someone that did) I watch and listen carefully. Without fail, my wife is able to find some kind of connection to that person within ten minutes. No lie.
This phenomenon happens well in my wife’s case because 1) she is well connected and 2) Alaska is an unusual state. I am originally from the Los Angeles area. If I meet someone new from that area, I usually make no effort to find a connection. Why? Because 1) it has been over 20 years since I lived there and 2) the population of L.A. is FAR more than all the people of the great state of Alaska.
But I would be willing to bet that if somehow we DID have the superpower to see connection, I am sure that the distance between ourselves and “strangers” would be much narrower than we imagine. In fact, I bet it would be more difficult for us to find people that were NOT connected, than it would be to find people of three degrees of separation or less.
Maybe, when Facebook has been up and running for a couple more years, relevance will become more and more apparent. Until then, I can dream and watch my wife work her magic.
~Frank Clayton, Licensed Professional Counselor