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Friday, April 13, 2007

My new aphorism

I got called a guru the other day. The context isn't important, but it was flattering, if not lucrative. But it did lead me to a new aphorism for these blog posts, so in truly recursive style, I am of course driven to blog about it.

Everyone is an expert about something, if you draw the boundaries tightly enough. But to make the step to being a guru you also have to have made a lucky guess about something that subsequently turns out to be true: in these particular circumstances, it was to do with some observations I had made some years ago about the role of mobile phones in the future of financial services. But you also have to have an audience to be a guru too, and that set me thinking about the various blogs that take up more and more of my time.

Andy Warhol's famous maxim that "in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes" has now been updated thanks to the web, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube: in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen megabytes. The spread of blogs mutates it further to "in the future everyone will be famous to fifteen people". A phrase that I love so it has become my new blaphorism (ie, blogging aphorism, attached to end of all my blog posts).

I can't source the "megabytes" quote, although I have found it via google being used back in 1997 so it's a least a decade old but I hadn't heard it until recently. Spookily, Uri Geller predicts it only three years after it first appeared on the web, a testament to his psychic powers. I've found the "fifteen people" version being used back in 1996 in it's Internet context and later being ascribed to a Scottish artist called Momus back in 1991, but apparently it also dates back to the the man himself. Perhaps Warhol really was some kind of savant.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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JaZilla said...

I’m JaNell Golden, dba JaZilla.
When I originally came up with the 15 megabytes of fame saying a few years back I Googled it and had no results…
So I guess it’s mine.

“In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 megabytes.”
© JG

Cayce Pollard said...

Thanks for joining the debate. It's very fascinating to try and trace the origin of the phrase. When did you first publish it as I'd love to link to your first use, if you still have it.