In politics, it is well known that connections are critical. When a
well-connected person needs something, they simply pick up their phone,
and give a quick call to a friend in the right place.
In research, being well connected is also an important asset. I have a
short list of "oracles" who can help me with thorny questions, each in
their respective area of specialty.
For example, the other day I was working with a colleague on a question
related to expanders and combinatorics on graphs. After we thought about
it for a bit, and searched the internet without success, I dropped an
email to Noga Alon. Less than an hour later, I got an answer!
Informative, precise, and with a reference to a directly relevant
paper. For efficient research, how precious it is to have the right
connections at the right time!