She had to possess the secret code.
How the Law Protects the Idea of a Famous Person
A woman walks in to the room. She is wearing a white dress and has a mole over her bright red lips. She could be anybody, but you might have instantly guessed she was Marilyn Monroe. For every famous person, there is a handful of traits that we use to recognize them. Caricaturists and comedians […]
The Underdogs of Fame
This issue of Nautilus deals with fame: what it is, where it resides, and why. But we all know that fame is a fickle beast, smiling upon a fortunate few and forsaking others who are more deserving. So, tell us, who should be more famous than they are? Who’s the most underrated scientist, thinker, […]
Fame’s Troubling Ability to Turn Off the Brain
Fame may be an unavoidable aspect of reality, an inherent part of the human condition, or just a quirk in the minds of some smart, social primates. In any case, it brings with it big problems. Here is the trouble with fame: It too often makes the recipient of it prone to hubris, and it even […]
What “The Tipping Point” Missed About the Spread of Ideas
Jonah Berger says his goal is nothing less than entirely upending the premise of The Tipping Point, the book that launched both the ongoing trend of big-think pop-science books and Malcolm Gladwell’s career as a famous and well-paid corporate guru. In classes he taught at Wharton, Berger told students that “Fifty percent of The Tipping […]
Fame Is a Magnet that Reveals Our Weak Hold on Reality
This past July the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy. An international press corps was parked in front of the entrance of the hospital for over four weeks before that. The UK’s Daily Mail interviewed a woman who’d flown in from New Zealand to camp out in front of Buckingham Palace awaiting the […]
Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame
We think that fame is deserved. We are wrong.
On the Origin of Celebrity
Why Julia Roberts rules our world.