Windows XP System Information, Khajuraho

Two Degrees of Separation

I thought I’d gotten pretty lofty in my brushes with greatness.

After all, I’ve served cake to Ursala K. LeGuin.

And I’m just three degrees of separation from Fidel Castro.

What?!” some of you say. “How’s that?

That connection is through my work with Mercy Corps, where one of my colleagues is a very able Columbian woman, Diana Roa, who’d spent time working with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. It turns out that the zone between the rest of Cuba and Guantanamo Bay is one of the most heavily mined areas in the world. Civilians die there regularly, and she’d spent time working with both sides on marking the zones and reducing casualties.

To summarize that chain: Me <-> Diana <-> Raul Castro <-> Fidel Castro.

I thought I’d gotten pretty lofty in my brushes with greatness, until today.

Today I reached new heights of loftiness.

Today I found out that I am just two degrees of separation from Bill Gates. Yes, him of Microsoft. Him of The Foundation.

How’s that?

The key is Verghese Jacob, Alison’s colleague at the Byrraju Foundation (Yes, we acknowledge that there is more than one foundation in the world.). We knew he was wickedly smart, but what we did not know until our dinner this evening was that Verghese is a world-class bridge player.

His team played against, made friends with, and got a higher score than Bill Gates’s team at the World Bridge Championships in Las Vegas a few years ago.

To summarize: Me <-> (Alison, until tonight <->) Verghese Jacob <-> Bill Gates.

It’s all who you know,