Cornel West’s Bacon number is 2

So sayth Google. I know about this via Google introduces Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon search function in the Inquirer: Just type “Bacon number” followed by an actor’s name and you’ll find out what degree of separation they have from Kevin Bacon.

I still think we need something like this for law professors, only it would be a Lemley number, based on how many co-authors away you are from Mark A. Lemley.

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4 Responses to Cornel West’s Bacon number is 2

  1. “I still think we need something like this for law professors, only it would be a” Marx “number, based on how many co-authors away you are from” Karl Marx.

  2. Just me says:

    Ooh! We have reached the Marxist/Communist corollary of Godwin’s Law (not sure if such a thing actually exists, but if not, I just invented it). The longer you talk about politics with people who disagree with you the higher the probability of a comparison involving communists or Karl Marx.

    Well done Jewish Marksman! Well done. Do you often refer to Pres. Obama as a Marxist as well?

    • There was no political discussion, just a jab at law professors.

      “Do you often refer to Pres. Obama as a Marxist as well?”

      Nowadays Obama is constantly quoting Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, so it would be ridiculous to call him a Marxist. Obama is a free market capitalist through and through.

      But since you bring it up, the degrees of separation for him from Obama to Marx is a very low number, by his own words in Dreams From My Father:

      “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully…[t]he Marxist Professors … we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints…”

      I wish I could point you to a free copy of the book somewhere online so you can verify the passage, but Obama being the capitalist big he is, charges for his book.

      • I think you are the victim of a misunderstanding: a ‘Bacon number’ is about appearing in movies with other people. The ‘Erdos number‘ on which it is modeled, is about co-authoring papers. I think of a Lemley number like an Erdos number.

        Thus, since I wrote a paper with Lemley, my Lemley number is one. My Erdos number seems to be five.

        You seem to think a “Marx number” comes from *mentioning Marx’s name* in paper. That seems sort of silly. He’s not Voldermort. If we calculate Marx numbers like Erdos numbers, Engles would have a Marx number of one. I don’t know if either Marx or Engles had other co-authors besides each other, but if not, that would be the end of it — no one else would have a Marx number at all. (I’m assuming neither Marx nor Engels ever acted in a movie.)

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