Who do you know?
It’s not what you know but who you know they say — well, who do you know?
My wife was watching a TV programme called Human Footprint the other day, which had all kinds of information about what we consume and produce from the cradle to the grave. For example, if all the farts the average person produces over a lifetime were collected and set alight, they would produce a 35000 litre fireball.
One of the more interesting statistics was that the average person knows 1750 people in their lifetime — that is, people they can remember within 2 years of having met them.
I thought it might be interesting to try to list the ones that I’ve known: where I know them from, how I met them, and what I can remember about them. Family, friends, teachers, work colleagues, acquaintances, people one meets on courses and conferences, and so on.
So far I’ve managed to list 144, and the target of 1750 seems a long way off. I wonder how they arrived at that figure. But it’s been quite fun. Many of the people I’ve listed I haven’t seen for years, and I’ve no idea what happened to them. Some people one can find out more about by a Web search — and, interestingly enough, Google is not necessarily the best search engine for this purpose. For some people Google produced page after page of irrelevant results, while Altavista popped up information about the person I was looking for at the top of the list.