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The evolution of celebrity

Why is “Honey Boo-Boo” a megastar? Fame can seem an empty category. But it also shows up everywhere. Daniel Dennett has described consciousness as the happy spoils of a competition among various representations of reality: “fame in the brain.” Is fame an important natural process, and our obsession with it inevitable?

  • The Twin Prime Hero: Rags, riches, and fame in mathematics, by Michael Segal
  • The Hannah Montana Hypothesis: Does the Fame Virus plague our youth, and is multimedia to blame? By Jessica Seigel
  • The Origin of Celebrity: Why Julia Roberts rules our world, by Robert Sapolsky
  • This issue also includes contributions from: Yvonne Bang, Patchen Barss, John Bohannon, Robert Burton, Claire Cameron, Naomi Ching, Jaed Coffin, Peter Sheridan Dodds, Jonathon Keats, Tom Payne, Abby Rabinowitz, and Brian Switek.