Measurement: Who’s the Most Famous of Them All?

Eric Schulman, famed author of The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less (which appeared in the January/February 1997 issue of AIR), has produced another in his continuing statistical analyses of fame (which is related, in a fashion, to celebrity). Click here to see Schulman’s new study in its entirety. Here is a snippet version, with one simple data chart:

Measuring Fame Quantitatively. IV. Who’s the Most Famous of Them All?
by Eric Schulman, Alexandria, Virginia

Barack Obama.

In this fourth paper on measuring fame quantitatively we introduce a new unit of fame and discover a new category of celebrity with only one known member.
Our research over the past ten years (Schulman 1999, Schulman and Boissier 2001, and Schulman 2006) has shown that many people are famous to some extent and that Internet search engines can measure the exact fame of such people by comparing the number of search engine hits for the person to the number of search engine hits for a universal standard of fame comparison. Previous authors (Schulman 1999, Schulman and Boissier 2001, and Schulman 2006) identified Monica Lewinsky as the universal standard of fame, but we show in this paper that her fame has been decreasing since 2001 and she is therefore not a good candidate for the position. We find that George Harrison‘s fame has been roughly constant over the past ten years, making him a more appropriate universal standard of fame.
Schulman (2006) presented a quantitative method for classifying people as ‘A’ List Celebrities, ‘B’ List Celebrities, and so on, but did not anticipate that there could be a category of people more famous than ‘A’ List Celebrities. Such people would have to be more than 30 times as famous as the archetypal ‘B’ List Celebrity. However, we have now identified one such person and have therefore created a new cateogry of ‘A+’ List Celebrities. In order to motivate readers to continue past the introduction, no revelation will yet be made concerning the identity of this ‘A+’ List Celebrity….