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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

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Many people in this world are more famous than me. I guess that means they're better people than me, right? And better than you, right?

I probably don't even need to example some people more famous than me, famous for their positive achievements. Brad Pitt; Bill Gates; Peyton Manning; and so on. If they're more famous than me for good things they've done, that means they're better than me, right? And also better than you, right?

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    Apr 2 2013: Greg I am intrigued by your reply.

    If we were having this conversation in 1996 I would likely have used Marc Andreessen as an example of a famous person. And yes he did develop and commercialize technology based on other peoples ideas. The thing is I'd guess that now, less than twenty years later, you would more likely have heard of at least one of the people who came up with the idea that Marc Andreessen helped make popular.

    This is why I am intrigued. Famous, as a word, has had a specific meaning for quite a while. We have other words for qualities of people. Wealthy, hard working, heroic and even great can be used to describe people.

    If I was to do a Facebook survey asking your question I'm sure that the people I know would react with a 'no'. That is if I could get a reaction to a question most of the people in that group would regard as obviously misconceived.

    So what is it about fame that makes you think differently, has fame got a new meaning for you? Can you really not conceive of a world where someone can be 'famous' but not 'better'?
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      Apr 3 2013: You know, Seamus, I really can't. I really think the things you do to become famous always involve doing positive things that in fact have the other qualities you mention imbedded in them, hard-workingness, heroicness, greatness, wealthiness. I don't even think in pure intellectual terms you can split fame from these other positive qualities, and definitely not in practical terms.

      Actually, I think it'd be scary if you could. If we thought that fame, this much-sought-after, rarely-achieved thing, didn't involve having good personal qualities, wouldn't it skew our world? It'd be like they were giving away diamonds for free, part of the value of a diamond is that we know it took a lot to get it.

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