A famous person once famously said that everyone is famous for 15 minutes.
Well let's see if it's possible to determine if this is correct, using nothing more than my own criteria for fame, the internet, and the back of a conveniently located fag packet.
Well there are approximately 7 billion people on the planet, as far as is known.
The average human lifespan is 67.2 years.
My arbitrary criteria for being famous is the inclusion in wikipedia's list of living people. This contains 612,250 entries.
So how many 15 minutes are there in 67.2 years?
Well 4 of them make an hour. Therefore 96 of them make a day. Allowing for leapyears, there are 365.25 days in a year. So that means there are 35,064 fifteen minute blocks in an average year. Multiply that by 67.2 and you get 2,356,300.8.
So if you divide 7 billion by 2,356,300.8, you should end up with the number of people that are famous at any given moment.
This I have done, and I got the figure, 2,970.7582325652140847212715795878.
This is clearly far fewer than the number of people included in wikipedia's list of living people, and so I have to conclude that we're on average famous for longer than 15 minutes. If not, then there would be far fewer famous people, unless you introduce some criteria such as only being famous while the person doing the counting is awake.
So how long on average are we famous for? To find this figure I need to divide the number of wikipedia'd living people, by that long number above, and multiply the result by 15. This will give the answer, in minutes.
612,250 / 2970.7582325652140847212715795878 = 206.0921664
Multiply that by 15 and you get 3,091.382496 minutes. That's 51 hours. 51.5230416 to be precise.
So, Mr Warhol, I'm afraid you were out by quite a substantial amount. You should have researched it, like what I did.
This does of course lead to a follow up question.
When will I, will I be famous?
I can't answer. I can't answer that.
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