1. Poll results are affected by how the questions are phrased. Wikipedia skews heavily toward certain kinds of fame, such as media culture celebrity. That’s only one kind of achievement. Every “well-known” porn star has a Wikipedia page, but few of the top 100 trial lawyers do, and things like the Forbes lists get lumped on a single page instead of separate entries for the CEOs. Large metro areas express pop culture more obviously.

    1. Best i can tell there are 657,000 living people with wikipedia entries. Can there be more than 5,000 that are pop stars? That’s less than 1%. The rest are politicians, inventors, business leaders, artists, scientists, etc…And, remember, these ratings are as a percent of population and based on place of birth, not where they move to further their careers. So i think its fair to say that pop stars’ residence in large cities as adults is not whats behind the cities’ high per capita ranking of accomplished people born there.

      1. 5,000 doesn’t even come close. Try adding actors, movies, songs, TV shows to your number, and as I said PORN stars, of which there are several hundred who have pages. I’ve personally read about at least 25-35k celebrities, since it’s an area I write about with regularity. And I only look up the ones I haven’t heard of!

      2. Songs, movies, tv shows aren’t people and therefore aren’t germane. And if there are say 60,000 ‘celebrities’ in wikipedia, that’s still less than 10% of the entries for living people. And not all celebrities are pop stars. Either way, the question remains: why do a higher percentage of people born in big cities and college towns end up being ‘well known’? Is your view that thats because being well known is more valued in big cities and college towns? If so, that’s legitimate and having that as an option would have been a good idea. Maybe thats why 16% checked ‘other’.

      3. I said to add those pages because they LINK to long lists of people who have individual pages. I do know the difference between a person and a topic.

        Yes, it’s the ambiguity of a word like “achievement”, and the relativity of one like “well-known”. Well known by who? If by the general public, then that would always skew toward population centers because that sort of fame has a social context.

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