Six Degrees of Separation – connectivity and connectedness

The Six Degrees of Separationtheory (also called the “Human Web“) refers to the idea that if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth i.e. anyone on the planet is connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. 


 The theory, first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called Chains,  has captivated, and been  investigated in abstract, conceptual, and fictional terms, by many mathematicians, sociologists, and physicists within the field of network theory.

Due to technological advances in communications and travel, friendship networks have grown larger and span greater distances. Karinthy in 1929 believed that the modern world was ‘shrinking’due to the ever-increasing connectedness of human beings (even back then!). He posited that despite great physical distances between the globe’s individuals, the growing density of human networks made the real social distance far smaller.

I had thought that I had left it so long to start the search for information about my father being MoM? (MurderedorMissing?). However the internet offers unprecedented opportunity. If the theory of six degrees of separation appliers, and I already know a few people in Uganda, and other people help too, through this blog and their connections, then I can not be so very far away from someone who will know something. It is not a need for retribution, for how would that help any body, but  a need to bring closure to this question of MoM?

Please! Please! Please!circulate this blog as widely as you can,  harness the opportunity presented by technology, word of mouth, snail mail, email, gossip and newspapers to find out once and for all what did happen to Bob Scanlon, my father, in Uganda, in 1977.


……………….WALL of REMEMBERANCE………………..

 My father, Robert (Bob) Scanlon went murderedormissing (MoM?) in Uganda in 1977.  This was during the Idi Amin years. I just wonder does any one out there have any information which might help to discover what happened to him and why.

Let this be a ‘wall of rememberance’ for my father

White Man’s Burden

my father is the second from the left, the one with the moustache
my father is the second from the left, the one with the moustache

This  image of my father and other white men carrying Idi Amin in a sedan chair shocked the world.  I find frequent use of this image in all kinds of media relating to Idi Amin. The fact that later my father became one of Idi Amin’s victims does not seem to have been recognised. I found one blog discussing the prescence of Europeans in Africa and in particular, Bob Astles and the ‘Last King of Scotland’ :

‘ The character ( Nicholas Garrigan)  in the movie was a fictional account that  was inspired by 3 real life characters. Bob Asltes part was the one that looked up to Amin. I am not sure who the other two were.’
‘I am thinking its 2 of these guys carrying him .Amin’s Carriers
This is comical but it shows you to whatextent these British people will go to get what they want.’

The Village blog site is written by Grata who says she is:  ‘ An East African foreign student expanding my knowledge base in America while trying to make sense of this crazy world’.