Fame

There are two sides to fame, subjective and objective. The subjective fame is the feeling of being famous, the idea that you are famous, well-known, talked-about etc, which may or may not be true. It is entirely possible that a person may not be very famous but he is deluded with the belief that he is. The second is the objective side... the degree to which people really do talk about you, which you may or may not be aware of. One could be like Ludwig Wittgenstein, who returned to Cambridge after about a decade in 1929, and he was greeted at the railway station by a crowd of England's greatest intellectuals and thinkers, and Wittgenstein realized to his horror that he had become one of the world's most famous philosophers during the time of his absence. Well, in the normal course of events, the subjective aspect is derived from the objective one, and for a public celebrity, it is not that difficult to determine the extent to which he is famous: you can check the news that appear in newspapers, number of articles done on him, the frequency with which is quoted or referred to etc. Such parameters can be developed at the larger scale, but talking on a smaller scale, say a university or a college... what parameters can you develop to judge how famous a particular person is? Usually it is thought to be determined by the extent to which the person becomes the subject of a discussion. But there are problems here: a person is usually only exposed to his circle of friends, which of course doesn't represent the whole student body. A person maybe talked about a lot in that particular circle, while being markedly ignored in others. Is it really possible to form an accurate perception of how much a person is really being talked about on the whole? And secondly, the line between notoriety and fame tends to be blurred... a person maybe very talked about, but how many of the people are talking against him and how many in his favour? Due to these reasons, i believe there is a high chance that at a moderately small level like a college or university (not so small that everyone knows everyone intimately), there is a fair chance of a mismatch between the subjective and objective sides of being famous.

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