Today on Context Florida: Gettysburg address and small world networks

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Today on Context Florida:

An anniversary of one of the most significant moments in our history slipped by, says Martin Dyckman, one largely overlooked by those of us preoccupied with a worrisome future. It was on Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield cemetery, that President Abraham Lincoln expressed the purpose of America as we like to think of it today, pledging himself and the nation to honor the fallen heroes by ensuring that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

This concept of “Six Degrees of Separation” is actually more than just a game or song; it has been studied by scientists for the past 50 years, writes UCF Forum columnist Alaina Bernard. Called “small-world networks” – the idea that there are patterns to connections and that those patterns influence the way the overall systems respond – something heavily studied by disease specialists, food-web ecologists and engineers.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.