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According To This MIT Study, More Famous People Should Die In 2017


2016 has been a disastrous year regarding the deaths of celebrities, everyone will agree with that, starting with Bowie almost exactly a year ago, it didn’t stop, we lost too many music celebrities to count, from Prince, Leonard Cohen, Merle Haggard, Sharon Jones, and recently George Michael to only cite a few, but it may not have been as bad as you thought… compared to what’s in store for 2017?

This study, led by MIT people, C. Candia-Castro-Vallejos, Cristian Jara-Figueroa, and César A. Hidalgo, confirms your worst fear: ‘we should expect more famous people to die in 2017 than in 2016’. And why is that? Just because the number of famous people has increased over time. Sure, it may not be famous people we care about, 2016 took many people I, we, deeply care about, and that’s why it felt so heavy, but there are so many famous people these days.

But this is a serious study in which they took into consideration only people who had a Wikipedia page in at least 20 languages… just for comparison you can read about David Bowie in 104 different languages on Wikipedia, which gives an indication of the level of celebrity we are talking about. Previous studies have demonstrated the number of famous people born each year has been proportional to the square of global population, which shows a linear growth with the population. There are more famous people just because there are more people on earth, but this trend has obviously recently accelerated with the introduction of new communication technologies. social media queens and kings are also famous for no other reason.

So what does this research show? Plotting the number of deaths of famous people (according to the Wikipedia criteria) each year reveals some surprising finding: less famous people than expected died in 2016, as the 2016 dot is slightly below the trending line!! So why is everyone thinking it was the worst year ever? Of course people like Bowie, Cohen and Prince are not your average celebrities, they were beyond famous, they were icons and when the same graph is rebuilt using the death of only very famous people, or famous people in the performing arts category, 2016 appears exceptional. According to this research, we should see the trend continue to increase in the next years, more celebrities should die next year, but may be 2017 will kill less hyper-famous celebrities and so will not appear as deadly?

Despite the increasing number of celebrities, being famous is evolving to a different phase, more and more everything is fragmented, everything is getting its little niche of fame, and it’s possible that iconic stars like Bowie and Prince, known by everyone will soon be an idea of the past. 2016 and the upcoming few years, may be the last years the entire planet is crying over the death of a celebrity.

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