500 Real People

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by SenatorB, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    "It is a small world. You do not have to live in it particularly long to learn that for yourself. There is a theory that, in the whole world, there are only 500 real people (the cast, as it were; all the rest of the people in the world, the theory suggests, are extras) and what is more, they all know each other. And it’s true, or true as far as it goes. In reality the world is made of thousands upon thousands of groups of about 500 people, all of whom will spend their lives bumping into each other, and discovering each other in the same unlikely teashops in Vancouver. There is an unvoidability to this process. It’s not even coincidence. It’s just the way the world works, with no regard for individuals or for propriety."
    (from Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys)

    Now obviously this is a work of fiction, but it's interesting to think about anyways... Does anybody ever really meet more than around 500 people? And it's surprising all those times you're on vacation somewhere and you happen to run into people you know even though you had no idea they were going to be there too (or maybe it's only an accident that you or them are there, further making it weird). What are people's thoughts on this...?

  2. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    About your latter comment, eh. You notice them because you know them from back there, but in a lot of places there are thousands of travelers from all around the world. It's not excessively unlikely.

    I have only met about 500 people, so it's interesting. I guess we live in pre-determined cells of sorts, and we don't even realize it. Intriguing.

  3. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    There've been times when my family was on vacation or something and we'd be in a museum and would randomly run into someone we know... the chances of a specific person being in a specific place at a specific time are pretty low. Although it makes sense that we encounter lots of people we dont know and it's only the people we do know who stand out, it's just not very likely that of those lots of people, any of them would be someone we know at all... and it happens with startling frequency.
  4. Malificus

    Malificus Likes snow

    I meet hundreds of people due to moving, so I'm more of an adventure story. I must be a main character though, since I get sick, but no one goes on quests for me.
  5. Hoosier_Daddy

    Hoosier_Daddy Registered Member

    Hmmmm.....My graduating class in HS had 367 students. My graduating unit in boot camp had around 70 members. I directly served in the Navy with well over 4,000 men and women at different times. My graduating class in college had over 400. I had over 100 friends and soon to be relatives show up to my bachelor party. I know hundreds of people that I deal with in my work. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the point.

  6. SenatorB

    SenatorB J.S.P.S

    But do you actually know all of them, or are they just faces and people in a crowd? Have you ever talked to all of them, do you know all their names?
  7. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    I'd imagine in the Navy most of the people were just people you saw briefly in work, much like just people walking on the street.

    I don't have a very big network. 16 people in my middle school class, 60 in my high school class, 350 in my whole high school. Most of the people I know now come from the 1,500+ public high school I live near.

  8. Hoosier_Daddy

    Hoosier_Daddy Registered Member

    I would imagine I can name somewhere around 250 of my HS alum, 50 from college, 20 from boot camp, maybe 100 from the Navy, all of them at my bachelor party, 200 or so that I've worked with, 200 or so that I see every year as an umpire and know personally, 50 neighbors, 100 from church, and many more I'm sure.

  9. TalkSick

    TalkSick Guest

    It is an interesting thought but i was thinking about a concert, or superbowl. are you saying that at a concert of 10 000 people, there are duplicated and triples of one another?
  10. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    He's saying that:

    1) They 500 real people thing in a literal sense is from fiction


    2) People you know and have met personally, not people you've seen once or twice or have been near (someone at college you've seen but know nothing about or haven't talked to).


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