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How Many Handshake Links from Napoleon to a Living Celebrity?
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iSteve commeter jimmyriddle came up with a nifty set of minimal handshake links from Napoleon Bonaparte, who lived from 1769-1821, to a living celebrity:

On Elba in 1814, the exiled Emperor had a 90 minute meeting with the future British prime minister John Russell (1792-1878). In the mid-1870s, the ex-Prime Minister helped raise his toddler grandson Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). In the mid-1960s, Bertrand Russell convinced Paul McCartney (1942 – ) to oppose the Vietnam War at Russell’s house in Chelsea in London.

Bertrand Russell would be my guess for the man who shook hands with more interesting people across a longer expanse of time than anybody else in history, due to his broad interests, ranging from math to popular journalism, and aristocratic social standing. Even as a nonagenarian, he was a major figure in the celebrity culture of Swinging Sixties London, when it was the coolest city in the world. But 50 years before meeting McCartney, Russell was meeting the likes of Ramanujan and Wittgenstein.

iSteve commenter Jonathan Mason adds: Bertrand Russell must be one of the few men who met both Lenin and McCartney.

Did anybody meet both Karl and Groucho Marx?

 
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  1. It may be that we are able to establish these handshake links to people in the early 19th (or even very late 18th) century because people in Britain and America who were accomplished in public service or their chosen professions got into the habit of writing their memoirs in old age, about two hundred years ago. So we know who met whom.

    It also helps that the nineteenth century wasn’t that long ago. Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century. I mentioned that President John Tyler’s (b. 1790) grandsons were confirmed to be alive as recently as a year ago.

    A really challenging exercise would be to try and establish a short-ish handshake chain going back to, say, Isaac Newton, who died in 1727.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @PiltdownMan

    Good challenge.

    Newton was sociable in old age, and had many famous visitors come to see him. Having dinner with Newton was a goal of many bright young Europeans making a Grand Tour. I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn't get to England until about the time of Newton's death, so I doubt if they met. But probably somebody born around 1700 met Newton and lived into the late 18th Century. If as a nonagenarian that person was introduced to a 5 year old John Russell, well then here we are with Paul McCartney.

    How about Galileo? John Milton (1608-1674) visited him in 1638. But Milton, a roundhead, maintained a low profile after the Restoration in 1660. So I haven't found any evidence that Milton met Newton. It's not impossible that somebody else Newton knew had met Galileo.

    Replies: @ziel, @James Speaks, @syonredux

    , @slumber_j
    @PiltdownMan


    Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century.
     
    Yeah, I've certainly mentioned in the past that my grandfather was an army officer during WWI, born in 1896--and I'm 55 years old. His father was born before the Civil War.

    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.

    Replies: @stillCARealist, @AnotherDad

    , @Paleo Liberal
    @PiltdownMan

    My grandfather was born in 1874, but died before I was born. My grandfather knew many prominent people. He sat next to FDR at a dinner party once, he may have delivered an ultimatum to Stalin, and he did some big favors for the Einstein family, and visited Albert Einstein in Princeton. I am not sure if my grandmother went with him to Princeton. If so, then I shook the hand of someone who shook the hand of Einstein.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Old Palo Altan

    , @kihowi
    @PiltdownMan

    I imagine the highway of "historical six degrees of Kevin Bacon" is royal houses. For example, my path to let's say Henry VIII is simple. Me to Bill Clinton is 4, then down the line of presidents, via an ambassador or two and you're already at an English king.

  2. @PiltdownMan
    It may be that we are able to establish these handshake links to people in the early 19th (or even very late 18th) century because people in Britain and America who were accomplished in public service or their chosen professions got into the habit of writing their memoirs in old age, about two hundred years ago. So we know who met whom.

    It also helps that the nineteenth century wasn't that long ago. Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century. I mentioned that President John Tyler's (b. 1790) grandsons were confirmed to be alive as recently as a year ago.

    A really challenging exercise would be to try and establish a short-ish handshake chain going back to, say, Isaac Newton, who died in 1727.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @slumber_j, @Paleo Liberal, @kihowi

    Good challenge.

    Newton was sociable in old age, and had many famous visitors come to see him. Having dinner with Newton was a goal of many bright young Europeans making a Grand Tour. I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn’t get to England until about the time of Newton’s death, so I doubt if they met. But probably somebody born around 1700 met Newton and lived into the late 18th Century. If as a nonagenarian that person was introduced to a 5 year old John Russell, well then here we are with Paul McCartney.

    How about Galileo? John Milton (1608-1674) visited him in 1638. But Milton, a roundhead, maintained a low profile after the Restoration in 1660. So I haven’t found any evidence that Milton met Newton. It’s not impossible that somebody else Newton knew had met Galileo.

    • Replies: @ziel
    @Steve Sailer

    Henry Oldenburg? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Oldenburg

    , @James Speaks
    @Steve Sailer

    A Newton to Einstein link would be interesting.

    , @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn’t get to England until about the time of Newton’s death, so I doubt if they met.
     
    Yeah, but Franklin met Voltaire, and Voltaire knew Newton's niece, Catherine Barton. That puts BF at three degrees of separation from Newton. That also means that a good chunk of the Founders (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, John Adams, etc) were at four degrees of separation from Newton. And, since JQ Adams knew BF, that puts Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr at five degrees of separation and JFK at six. My father shook hands with JFK back in 1960, which puts him at seven degrees. The upshot of all of this is that I am at eight degrees of separation from Isaac Newton.

    Replies: @Paleo Liberal, @Kratoklastes

  3. Thanks to John Russell for demonstrating for all of world history the logical conclusion of Anglo liberalism: the Irish Potato Famine.

    Did Bertrand Russell convince Paul McCartney to oppose the Vietnam War or did he convince Faul McCartney?

    • LOL: Hibernian
  4. I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette’s painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can’t think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @Steve Sailer

    The phenomenon of the "Grand Tour", in which upper-class young men, typically British, toured Europe and took in culture (and often met their social peers in those countries) began a bit after Newton's death and took off in the latter part of the 18th century. But I think it is safe to assume the world of arts and literature from that time onwards (about 1730-1750), in Europe, was quite well connected and well documented in travel writings.

    But Newton? I don't know. Perhaps poring through accounts of historically prominent people at Cambridge University, or the Royal Society, might provide the missing links needed.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Dmitry

    , @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    One truly bizarre juxtaposition involved the late English philosopher Freddie Ayre apparently 'saving' the model Naomi Campbell from a rape attempt by Mike Tyson.

    Apparently, Ayre, posh English accent and all, managed to reason with Tyson and use verbal persuasion and logic to talk Tyson out of it.

    This incident is said to have happened at a 'New York City Party' - the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of 'party' could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @Steve Sailer, @PiltdownMan, @AKAHorace

    , @kaganovitch
    @Steve Sailer

    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Otherwise known as Super Spreaders.

    , @Dmitry
    @Steve Sailer


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)... due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

     

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web - and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    -

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted - and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    https://i.imgur.com/64ZCqwv.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/QHRLRlk.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/WeVuGgr.jpg

    Replies: @Anon, @moshe, @J.Ross, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Steve Sailer

    , @Cowboy Shaw
    @Steve Sailer

    The thing about Bertrand Russell though is that he was a contemporary of the extremely social Churchill, who was also an aristocrat, but they lived completely divergent lives. Unless anyone can point it out, I can't find an instance where they even met each other. Which is pretty odd.

    Any of the zillions of living people who have shaken hands with the Queen has an instant connection into the Victorian world of Churchill.

    , @James Speaks
    @Steve Sailer


    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?
     
    A prostitute?

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    , @prosa123
    @Steve Sailer

    Henry Kissinger may turn out to be a Great Connector. He's a work in progress, so to speak, as not only is he still alive but he's still somewhat active even though he's turning 97 within a month. Kissinger became highly prominent in government over 50 years ago and was a major figure in the foreign policy establishment and at Harvard for 15 years prior to that.

    Replies: @Cowboy Shaw, @PiltdownMan

    , @moshe
    @Steve Sailer

    Being around pretty women got him in trouble in America in 1940 or thereabout.

    If the truth were out, not a single man known for good accomplishments (rather than evil ones) would survive modern metoo standards

    That relevance to The Quarantine and how dating has now more or less decisively moved online (aside for risk-taking alphas):

    Mankind has moved in the direction of safe proliferation due to 2 groups of people: Woman and Jews.

    Of course this is a broad over-generalization but I am drunk, so it will do.

    The womanish tendency is of course toward Safety over Exploration. As Nietzsche put it, the Geologists wife will wake up ahead of him to remove from his path any stones he should stumble upon.

    The Jewish tendency is of course to be as far ahead of the white man in terms of his ability to be both vivacious and civilized at the same time as the white man is ahead of the negro. (I plead Alcohol+Mencken Reading in my defense.)

    I assume that I have some follow-ups to these premises but despite the liquor's inform'ation that I'd be just as happy indoors, I try not to let a day of blessed quarantine catch me indoors all day when there is so much intersteding nature to investigate within areas hitherto infected by humans.The summation was probably that females and pharisees are to thank for so much of the goodness that we enjoy by nagging humanity in a particular direction. It's done so persistently however that it can generally be observed within a particular generation. I think I got there through how Christianity, as an offshoot of femnism+judaism got Bertrand Russell in trouble. Wonderous are the ways of the Lord!*

    [tartei mashma, aramaic for 'clever double meaning intentional']

  5. Anon[261] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    Modeling COVID-19 on a network: super-spreaders, testing and containment

    https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/04/modeling-covid-19-on-a-network-super-spreaders-testing-and-containment.html

    We find that mass-testing is much less effective than testing the symptomatic and contact tracing, and some blend of these with social distancing is required to achieve suppression.

    This is what Japan has been doing, with no great haste to ramp up testing until the last week or two.

    When you think about it, the danger point is the first few days after infection and before symptoms, and how the heck is testing going to help there unless:

    — You test a big percentage of the population every morning with instant results (which means, they agree to be tested daily, unlikely)

    — You pull them out of contact with others (which means what? You have a nationwide network of hotels converted into convalescent hospitals that will take them immediately, and you motivate people to go there with money, and you take care of their kids and families and employers somehow?)

  6. I’ve shaken hands with David Irving. He has shaken hands with more people who shook hands with Adolf Hitler than anyone alive.

    • Agree: neutral
    • LOL: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Cowboy Shaw
    @morris norris

    Craig Brown, the Private Eye satirist, wrote a very clever and amusing book linking people up over time called 'One on One: 101 True Encounters'.

    One of the best links in there is between John Scott-Ellis, 9th Baron Howard de Walden and Adolf Hitler, who Scott-Ellis ran over in Munich in 1931.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Scott-Ellis,_9th_Baron_Howard_de_Walden

    The Howard de Walden estate is a trust that owns most of Marylebone in central London. Scott-Ellis was the head of the family until his death in 1999.

    In 1998/99 I rented a flat in Marylebone from the Howard de Walden estate. So my landlord was a bloke who ran over Hitler.

    Replies: @prosa123

    , @Inquiring Mind
    @morris norris

    Oh yeah? I shook hands with a man who worked as Michael Manley's "advance man", who made a point of informing me that I just shook hands with someone who shook hands with Qaddafi.

  7. @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    The phenomenon of the “Grand Tour”, in which upper-class young men, typically British, toured Europe and took in culture (and often met their social peers in those countries) began a bit after Newton’s death and took off in the latter part of the 18th century. But I think it is safe to assume the world of arts and literature from that time onwards (about 1730-1750), in Europe, was quite well connected and well documented in travel writings.

    But Newton? I don’t know. Perhaps poring through accounts of historically prominent people at Cambridge University, or the Royal Society, might provide the missing links needed.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @PiltdownMan

    A list of Samuel Johnson's attendees at the Turk's Head, or at meetings of the Royal Society, might give some interesting links.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Club_(dining_club)

    But what do you do with kings? I don't think they shook hands in those days, yet they would have met everyone who was anyone.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    , @Dmitry
    @PiltdownMan

    Isn't an idea of this adventure specifically to reach Italy, and therefore access classical civilization? I.e. this was a secular pilgrimage after the Renaissance. This is later fashion in Germany, although not necessary for young people only. Older Goethe is travelling to Italy (to seduce poor teenage brown Italian peasant girls) - and at least he writes like it is quite an exotic and original adventure, that wakes his spirit to inspiration of the classical world.

    By later 19th century, it is a fashion with Americans to do, including for young women (e.g. "Daisy Miller" of Henry James, who dies in - Rome).

    I watched recently an excellent 1950s film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", and they (bourgeoisie of Mississippi ) are discussing about the uselessness of all antiques they bought, and filled their based with, from some Grand Tour in Italy/France.

    The difference nowadays, is that the cultural norm is still for young people - from America, Russia, Japan etc - to pilgrimage to Europe, but without such focus on connecting to classical civilization via Rome. So it's more kids pilgrimage to Great Britain to connect to Harry Potter and Abbey Road.

  8. Anonymous[243] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    One truly bizarre juxtaposition involved the late English philosopher Freddie Ayre apparently ‘saving’ the model Naomi Campbell from a rape attempt by Mike Tyson.

    Apparently, Ayre, posh English accent and all, managed to reason with Tyson and use verbal persuasion and logic to talk Tyson out of it.

    This incident is said to have happened at a ‘New York City Party’ – the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of ‘party’ could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    @Anonymous

    A. J. Ayer.

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Ayer is the model for the successful positivist philosopher department head who appears to be sleeping with the wife of the sad sack moral philosopher hero in Stoppard's comedy "Jumpers."

    Replies: @dried peanuts

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Anonymous


    This incident is said to have happened at a ‘New York City Party’ – the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of ‘party’ could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?
     
    A society party cleverly put together by a creative and well-connected host who likes doing that sort of thing—throwing together prominent or up-and-coming personalities from disparate worlds. That sort of cosmopolitan gathering has been a thing for centuries, in places like New York or London.

    Replies: @James N. Kennett

    , @AKAHorace
    @Anonymous

    Sorry 243,

    I should have checked the previous posts before bringing up the topic of Ayer.

  9. @PiltdownMan
    @Steve Sailer

    The phenomenon of the "Grand Tour", in which upper-class young men, typically British, toured Europe and took in culture (and often met their social peers in those countries) began a bit after Newton's death and took off in the latter part of the 18th century. But I think it is safe to assume the world of arts and literature from that time onwards (about 1730-1750), in Europe, was quite well connected and well documented in travel writings.

    But Newton? I don't know. Perhaps poring through accounts of historically prominent people at Cambridge University, or the Royal Society, might provide the missing links needed.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Dmitry

    A list of Samuel Johnson’s attendees at the Turk’s Head, or at meetings of the Royal Society, might give some interesting links.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Club_(dining_club)

    But what do you do with kings? I don’t think they shook hands in those days, yet they would have met everyone who was anyone.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Samuel Johnson had a meeting with George III, but as you say, we don't know if they shook hands. I think it's the personal meeting that counts, not the hand shake.

  10. Longevity must be a significant factor in making a claim to be a great connector.Vast wealth, enormous personal vitality and a range of interests contribute also. French-Jewish industrialist, aviator, patron of the arts, philanthropist and centenarian bon viveur….

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul-Louis_Weiller

    Truth be told, even he pales into the background when we think of General Sir Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Cortes

    Truth be told, even he pales into the background when we think of General Sir Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE.

    Who could ever forget Sir Harry? Particularly his encounter with thousands of aspiring rappers at Rorke's Drift.

  11. OT: Tucker Carlson seems to have moved on from his Latino Littering critique to a slightly more extreme environmentalist stance:

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @TelfoedJohn

    That channel is hilarious. I appreciated the Zizek and Rand "Barbie Girl" duet.

  12. I shook hands with Paul McCartney so I’m excited today to know how close I am to Napoleon.

    I shook hands with Frank Sinatra once too and he shook hands with big name cats, presidents and potentates, all over the world. So I’ve got that going for me.

    Yes, things are really looking up on Day 980 of SARS CoV-2 as we exit lockdown in my state.

  13. Playing this game in English with English celebrities is going to seriously constrain your output

  14. @PiltdownMan
    It may be that we are able to establish these handshake links to people in the early 19th (or even very late 18th) century because people in Britain and America who were accomplished in public service or their chosen professions got into the habit of writing their memoirs in old age, about two hundred years ago. So we know who met whom.

    It also helps that the nineteenth century wasn't that long ago. Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century. I mentioned that President John Tyler's (b. 1790) grandsons were confirmed to be alive as recently as a year ago.

    A really challenging exercise would be to try and establish a short-ish handshake chain going back to, say, Isaac Newton, who died in 1727.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @slumber_j, @Paleo Liberal, @kihowi

    Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century.

    Yeah, I’ve certainly mentioned in the past that my grandfather was an army officer during WWI, born in 1896–and I’m 55 years old. His father was born before the Civil War.

    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    @slumber_j

    My son was born in 2009. His great grandfather was born in 1885.

    129 years? Something like that.

    Replies: @slumber_j

    , @AnotherDad
    @slumber_j


    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You've got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather. He was born a decade after Russell and didn't live nearly as long so died a few years earlier. Though he did solidly outlive his big name contemporaries Hitler and Stalin.

    There have always been long generational spans for the later children, when the woman is a healthy child bearer.

    But now we are seeing reasonably long spans become routine for UMC whites, where marriages doesn't take place until the bride is 30ish and getting antsy. So the kids don't come until the couple is in their 30s, the last child usually late 30s. 37+37+37 and you're at your 111. (Simply delayed fertility is another population suppressor. Smart whites will be a lower fraction o the population even if every groups fertility was at replacement.)

    And then you've got 2nd marriage families. Baron Trump is 137 from Fredrick Trump (1869). Heck Baron is 101 after his grandfather Fred Trump. Baron could knock up his HS girlfriend tonight and that kid would be 116 after his great-grandfather.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @slumber_j

  15. I came up with a weird second hand link to Paul McCartney.

    When I was a kid, my father’s college friend Allen Ginsberg was at our house for a while visiting. During that time he and I played the piano together for a short time. That was a few months after Allen was part of the chorus for “Give Peace a Chance”, and a few years after his famous role in a Bob Dylan video.

    Anyway, towards the end of Allen’s life, Paul McCartney played the guitar to accompany Allen in a poetry reading in England.

    So I played music with someone who played music with Paul.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Paleo Liberal

    So, you are in the chain of Bertrand Russell !

    , @Anonymous
    @Paleo Liberal

    I met Allen Ginsberg at least a couple of times and William Burroughs and one or two other Beats on several occasions in and around Lawrence, Kansas. There were a few duffers still alive then whose parents remembered Quantrill’s raid.

    I knew the Beats were deviant but did not realize how much so at the time.

    I also met Marianne Faithfull and Debbie Harry for the first time in Lawrence. Faithfull, who I later found out was then an active junkie needing a fix, was nasty. Harry I’ve talked to and even at a little length in three or four cities- no, nothing romantic there, she isn’t quite my type and I’m not in her league financially or career wise, besides she is almost sixteen years older-but I’ve found her to be quite intelligent. Sailer would do well to read her book.

    Another interesting chance meeting I had in Lawrence was George Fullerton, one of Leo Fender’s key people at Fender and the G in G&L. I was doing avionics plant setup at the time and he was a manufacturing person. That was at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on Mass St. downtown, one of the last Woolworth stores still open. Woolworth, there is some history there. I feel old now.

    Replies: @prosa123

  16. Russell has a fun essay, “Eminent Men I Have Known,” where he talks about the various big shots he met over the course of a long and interesting life. It doesn’t seem to be online, but here’s a blogger’s summary of it:

    Though Russell met many famous people, he did not find that the ones who left the greatest mark on history were the most personally impressive. Russell saw little in Browning, for instance, and Tennyson was caught up in “acting the poet [p. 181].” Russell thought Ernest Toller was the most unforgettable of the poets he had known, “chiefly through his capacity for intense impersonal suffering [pp. 181-2].” Rupert Brooke (who looked like a young Hugh Grant) “was beautiful and vital, but the impression was marred by a touch of Byronic insincerity and by a certain flamboyance [p. 182].”

    William James was the philosopher, among those no longer living, considered by Russell to be the most personally impressive. James had no apparent consciousness of being great, but was “a natural aristocrat, a man whose personal distinction commanded respect [p. 182].” Henry Sidgwick was distinguished by his intellectual honesty. Some scientists, like Einstein, combine immense intellects with an admirable disregard for how their actions or opinions will be received.

    Of the seven prime ministers Russell knew (to that point), including his grandfather, Gladstone was the most unforgettable. The only other politician who could match Gladstone for impressiveness was Lenin. Gladstone inspired terror in those he met, including Russell, and Gladstone even was more than a match for the indomitable spirit of Russell’s grandmother. Lenin and Gladstone shared many features, including an absolute certitude of their own rectitude. But “Lenin was cruel, which Gladstone was not [p. 185].” The other differences also tended to favor Gladstone, and this helps to explain why Gladstone’s overall influence was beneficial, while Lenin’s was disastrous. But what if you had met these men on a train without knowing who they were? One would quickly sense Gladstone’s greatness, but with Lenin, narrow-mindedness and cynicism would be the observable traits. Lenin, Russell suspects, needed the unquiet times of 1917 to succeed as a leader. His religious-like conviction and the aura that science and logic were on his side carried the day during those upheavals.

    http://readingrussell.blogspot.com/2008/08/unpopular-essays-chapter-11.html

  17. Harrison Ford, peace be upon him, continues to bring terror into the heart of the infidel. Takbir!
    https://www.tmz.com/2020/04/29/harrison-ford-crosses-runway-plane-air-traffic-control-audio/

  18. This handshake chain concept is like a secular version of the union among the faithful through Holy Communion.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @wiseguy

    No, handshake chain is a parody of Apostolic succession.

  19. Another good linker although he only died in his seventies, Freddie Ayer.

    From 1959 to his retirement in 1978, Sir Alfred held the Wykeham Chair, Professor of Logic at Oxford. He was knighted in 1970. After his retirement, Ayer taught or lectured several times in the United States, including serving as a visiting professor at Bard College in the fall of 1987. At a party that same year held by fashion designer Fernando Sanchez, Ayer, then 77, confronted Mike Tyson who was forcing himself upon the (then) little-known model Naomi Campbell. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer reportedly asked, “Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world,” to which Ayer replied, “And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men”. Ayer and Tyson then began to talk, allowing Campbell to slip out.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @AKAHorace

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igSo3IBKb4s

    Replies: @anon

  20. Canadian government propaganda slams Chinese people calling coronavirus Chinese as “racist;” also note how they slip the “everyone” pretense in there:
    http://archive.is/OBNUt

    ‘Racist and inflammatory’: Canadians upset by Epoch Times* claim China behind virus, made it as a bioweapon

    Oh, Canadians. Canadians are upset about this. All of them, Nunavut to Newfoundland. Canadians and not, say, a Beijing press minder from the embassy.
    *An English-language Chinese paper produced by racially and culturally Chinese people on Hong Kong.

  21. All right – I held off on the last handshake thread, but since it keeps coming up, I’m going to have to note that I was apparently put on earth to monitor Steve’s control group.
    -Born same year, grew up in same place (only made it as close as Grant though)
    -Best friend’s dad was an engineer at Lockheed
    -Brother was on a game show hosted by Alex Trebek
    -Sister lives on same street as Steve
    Given all our history, I’m sure that if I stopped by, Steve would let me take a quick blood oxygen level reading.

  22. Anonymous[412] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal
    I came up with a weird second hand link to Paul McCartney.

    When I was a kid, my father’s college friend Allen Ginsberg was at our house for a while visiting. During that time he and I played the piano together for a short time. That was a few months after Allen was part of the chorus for “Give Peace a Chance”, and a few years after his famous role in a Bob Dylan video.

    Anyway, towards the end of Allen’s life, Paul McCartney played the guitar to accompany Allen in a poetry reading in England.

    So I played music with someone who played music with Paul.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous

    So, you are in the chain of Bertrand Russell !

  23. For a long time Bertrand Russell had about the only readily available book on atheism in print that you could pick up and handle in regular bookstores like Waldenbooks and B. Dalton, even in Tulsa: Why I Am Not a Christian, and Other Essays. I wonder what Russell would have made of the mainstreaming of irreligion, considering that every Barnes & Noble bookstore I’ve ever stepped into in recent years has a full shelf of recently published books on atheism in the philosophy section.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    @advancedatheist

    It was on my Christmas wish-list when I was in my teens. I had to buy it for myself.

    , @PiltdownMan
    @advancedatheist

    As an advanced atheist this is probably old hat to you, but I thought this link was pretty good. I recommend it to people who've stumbled upon a book by Dawkins, Harris or Hitchens, only recently.

    http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=7992

  24. In the early 1990’s I got to shake hands with Timothy Leary, so that probably connects me with a lot of relatively famous people in the mid 20th Century.

    I didn’t experience Leary’s famous charisma, however. Age, an irregular life and ill health had taken their toll by the time I got to see him in person.

    Bohemians, radicals and revolutionists seem to age poorly in general, like they suffer from a genetic predisposition for a “fast life” strategy. They suffer in comparison with low time preference, bourgeois men who reach advanced ages like, say, Warren Buffett.

  25. @PiltdownMan
    It may be that we are able to establish these handshake links to people in the early 19th (or even very late 18th) century because people in Britain and America who were accomplished in public service or their chosen professions got into the habit of writing their memoirs in old age, about two hundred years ago. So we know who met whom.

    It also helps that the nineteenth century wasn't that long ago. Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century. I mentioned that President John Tyler's (b. 1790) grandsons were confirmed to be alive as recently as a year ago.

    A really challenging exercise would be to try and establish a short-ish handshake chain going back to, say, Isaac Newton, who died in 1727.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @slumber_j, @Paleo Liberal, @kihowi

    My grandfather was born in 1874, but died before I was born. My grandfather knew many prominent people. He sat next to FDR at a dinner party once, he may have delivered an ultimatum to Stalin, and he did some big favors for the Einstein family, and visited Albert Einstein in Princeton. I am not sure if my grandmother went with him to Princeton. If so, then I shook the hand of someone who shook the hand of Einstein.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Paleo Liberal

    My grandfather was born after the deaths of his father's parents, though some of his siblings' and cousins' lives had overlapped with theirs. Their grandmother's granduncle had delivered messages for General Washington as a boy. There's probably a handshake chain there somewhere, or at least a head-pat equivalent.

    By the way, I had dismissed the Washington story as sheer fantasy for many years, until stumbling upon a passage in the county history that the General had indeed come to town for a couple months during the war and hired the local boys as "foot pages". Imagine learning, by accident, that the goofiest tale in your family history turns out to have been true.

    Replies: @Paleo Liberal

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Paleo Liberal

    That's impressive. Was FDR president at the time?

  26. Why in blazes did most of the HBD commentariat go ape over this coronavirus? From the start, they were using the metaphor of WWII to tell us we needed to shut down the country and spend trillions. It was all hard sell.

    They also had weird faith in data coming from “experts” in China and the WHO.

    What in their mentality led to this epic mistake? Was it their technocratic tendencies? Think a few smart “really high IQ people who know math” couldn’t possibly flub something like this?

    • Replies: @Manfred Arcane
    @RichardTaylor

    Yes.

    , @Manfred Arcane
    @RichardTaylor

    Pretty much. In particular, the China-worship so disturbingly prevalent in the HBD sphere made them convinced that our High IQ Future Overlords couldn't POSSIBLY overreact and that if they were freaking out it must be extinction-event time.

  27. Apologies in advance to post something so offtopic (which I will add below the MORE tag), but as a discussion point have people in the Sailor forum looked at the arithmetic for herd immunity? It seems like the numbers would be a bit too high.

    [MORE]

    Here is my post below on this topic in Karlin’s forum – it seems like the numbers of deaths you need to achieve herd immunity would be a bit too high. Although obviously, it’s possible the infection fatality rate has just been wildly overestimated. https://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-easens-citizenship-requirements/#comment-3866314

    If infection/reproduction rate is 1,5, then there will need to be 3,4 million Swedes infected before a beginning of herd immunity – so with one of the estimated infection fatality rates (0,66%): 22440 Swedes are killed. But if infection/reproduction rate of the virus is higher at 2,5, then herd immunity would likely be only beginning with 40392 Swedes killed.

    To me, those figures sound quite bad? Obviously “normal” reproduction/infection rate is not something which is determined only by the virus, but also by social life of the country, habits of the people, as well as its climate. However, this just means it is not easy to predict, and authorities should use the higher figure from a precautionary view.

    In China, almost 25000 people had been killed by coronavirus by the first half of February (according to Tencent claims, if we believe this), which would imply 3,8 million people would have been infected by then if infection fatality rate would be 0,66%. If they had been all concentrated in Wuhan (population 11 million), it might have indeed achieved herd immunity in Wuhan if the virus infection/reproduction rate would be 1,44.

    In Wuhan there was a collapse of the health system, videos of piles of dead, all night burning of bodies, arrest of journalists reporting about the chaos, etc. So herd immunity there (if it was achieved there) was not without some difficulties.

    In the Haredi city of Bnei Brak (population 200000) in Israel, there was apparently 38% of the population infected, without Wuhan/Bergamo/New York mass death and chaos. So they might have achieved already herd immunity in Bnei Brak. But then I read that there were only 4500 old people in the city (which were evacuated from the city by the Israeli military) and the median age there has not left the teenage years. This African gypsy demographic profile should result in a very low infection fatality rate – but is not generalizable to more “conventional” nationalities.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-easens-citizenship-requirements/#comment-3866314

  28. @slumber_j
    @PiltdownMan


    Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century.
     
    Yeah, I've certainly mentioned in the past that my grandfather was an army officer during WWI, born in 1896--and I'm 55 years old. His father was born before the Civil War.

    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.

    Replies: @stillCARealist, @AnotherDad

    My son was born in 2009. His great grandfather was born in 1885.

    129 years? Something like that.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    @stillCARealist

    That's a long time.

  29. Correction: It is Paul McCarthy (1942-1966.) You are think of his replacement…. oops….I talk too much. Got to hide.

  30. Can it be done with William Shakespeare, who must have known everyone of note in the second half of reign of Elizabeth I of England, and the first half of the Jacobean Era?

  31. @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Otherwise known as Super Spreaders.

  32. @Steve Sailer
    @PiltdownMan

    Good challenge.

    Newton was sociable in old age, and had many famous visitors come to see him. Having dinner with Newton was a goal of many bright young Europeans making a Grand Tour. I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn't get to England until about the time of Newton's death, so I doubt if they met. But probably somebody born around 1700 met Newton and lived into the late 18th Century. If as a nonagenarian that person was introduced to a 5 year old John Russell, well then here we are with Paul McCartney.

    How about Galileo? John Milton (1608-1674) visited him in 1638. But Milton, a roundhead, maintained a low profile after the Restoration in 1660. So I haven't found any evidence that Milton met Newton. It's not impossible that somebody else Newton knew had met Galileo.

    Replies: @ziel, @James Speaks, @syonredux

  33. @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)… due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web – and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted – and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    • Agree: donut
    • Thanks: Neoconned
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Dmitry

    The Russells were Whig central, so they had a lot of influence. Some of this was social. They held Whig salons where the like-minded met. I've always found the lesser-known Russells to be more interesting than Bertrand, who was a bit of a fathead.

    , @moshe
    @Dmitry

    Cool! How did you upload pics?

    , @J.Ross
    @Dmitry


    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries.
     
    https://ianfarrington.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/p01jxr6k.jpg
    , @The Germ Theory of Disease
    @Dmitry

    Wow, those are some lovely photos of some rather splendid future mosques and madrasas.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Dmitry

    Cecil, Spencer, Churchill, Spencer-Churchill, etc.

  34. Emperors, even ex-Emperors, generally don’t shake hands.

  35. OT Question:

    Will flu season be worse next year? Although the flu is usually different year to year, you’re protected someone by your previous year’s antibodies. If the population doesn’t get the flu for over a year do the antibodies you have go away?

    • Replies: @epebble
    @Lugash

    My answer (as a non-epidemiologist) would be, next year's flu will be less intense. Covid appears to be such an efficient infector that most people who may ever be infected by anything (i.e. everyone except some recluses in Montana/Wyoming/Idaho mountains), would have been infected by then. Covid also appears to take away anyone slightly scratched or dented. Putting it all together - intense fear of personal nearness/contact, extensive use of masks, OCD level use of washing and disinfectant usage, hesitation to go to clinic or hospital - flu should be practically non-existent.

  36. @slumber_j
    @PiltdownMan


    Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century.
     
    Yeah, I've certainly mentioned in the past that my grandfather was an army officer during WWI, born in 1896--and I'm 55 years old. His father was born before the Civil War.

    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.

    Replies: @stillCARealist, @AnotherDad

    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.

    You’ve got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather. He was born a decade after Russell and didn’t live nearly as long so died a few years earlier. Though he did solidly outlive his big name contemporaries Hitler and Stalin.

    There have always been long generational spans for the later children, when the woman is a healthy child bearer.

    But now we are seeing reasonably long spans become routine for UMC whites, where marriages doesn’t take place until the bride is 30ish and getting antsy. So the kids don’t come until the couple is in their 30s, the last child usually late 30s. 37+37+37 and you’re at your 111. (Simply delayed fertility is another population suppressor. Smart whites will be a lower fraction o the population even if every groups fertility was at replacement.)

    And then you’ve got 2nd marriage families. Baron Trump is 137 from Fredrick Trump (1869). Heck Baron is 101 after his grandfather Fred Trump. Baron could knock up his HS girlfriend tonight and that kid would be 116 after his great-grandfather.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @AnotherDad



    Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You’ve got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather.
     
    We pushed it to 124-- and I refuse to accept we're done yet.

    Frank Loesser's daughter was born 113 years after his father. She married at a respectable 25, and has four children. The youngest, twins, were born 154 years after their great-grandfather.

    Late fatherhood is a crap shoot. Frank's father was 58 when Frank was born, and lived a number of years into his son's life. Frank had barely turned 59 when he died; Emily was only three.

    Emily with her family ca. 1992; mom passed away at 91 last year:


    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JGOcXLBVL._SX466_.jpg

    Replies: @prosa123, @I, Libertine, @PiltdownMan

    , @slumber_j
    @AnotherDad

    I think my father was born when my grandfather was 37. My parents were both I think 32 when I was born? I made up the difference: I secondly married a widow and was 42 when our son was born, so yeah: the math works out.

  37. @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    The thing about Bertrand Russell though is that he was a contemporary of the extremely social Churchill, who was also an aristocrat, but they lived completely divergent lives. Unless anyone can point it out, I can’t find an instance where they even met each other. Which is pretty odd.

    Any of the zillions of living people who have shaken hands with the Queen has an instant connection into the Victorian world of Churchill.

  38. @Steve Sailer
    @PiltdownMan

    Good challenge.

    Newton was sociable in old age, and had many famous visitors come to see him. Having dinner with Newton was a goal of many bright young Europeans making a Grand Tour. I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn't get to England until about the time of Newton's death, so I doubt if they met. But probably somebody born around 1700 met Newton and lived into the late 18th Century. If as a nonagenarian that person was introduced to a 5 year old John Russell, well then here we are with Paul McCartney.

    How about Galileo? John Milton (1608-1674) visited him in 1638. But Milton, a roundhead, maintained a low profile after the Restoration in 1660. So I haven't found any evidence that Milton met Newton. It's not impossible that somebody else Newton knew had met Galileo.

    Replies: @ziel, @James Speaks, @syonredux

    A Newton to Einstein link would be interesting.

  39. @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    A prostitute?

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @James Speaks



    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?
     
    A prostitute?
     
    In a given evening, you can shake a lot more hands.

    Replies: @B36

  40. @PiltdownMan
    @Steve Sailer

    The phenomenon of the "Grand Tour", in which upper-class young men, typically British, toured Europe and took in culture (and often met their social peers in those countries) began a bit after Newton's death and took off in the latter part of the 18th century. But I think it is safe to assume the world of arts and literature from that time onwards (about 1730-1750), in Europe, was quite well connected and well documented in travel writings.

    But Newton? I don't know. Perhaps poring through accounts of historically prominent people at Cambridge University, or the Royal Society, might provide the missing links needed.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Dmitry

    Isn’t an idea of this adventure specifically to reach Italy, and therefore access classical civilization? I.e. this was a secular pilgrimage after the Renaissance. This is later fashion in Germany, although not necessary for young people only. Older Goethe is travelling to Italy (to seduce poor teenage brown Italian peasant girls) – and at least he writes like it is quite an exotic and original adventure, that wakes his spirit to inspiration of the classical world.

    By later 19th century, it is a fashion with Americans to do, including for young women (e.g. “Daisy Miller” of Henry James, who dies in – Rome).

    I watched recently an excellent 1950s film “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, and they (bourgeoisie of Mississippi ) are discussing about the uselessness of all antiques they bought, and filled their based with, from some Grand Tour in Italy/France.

    The difference nowadays, is that the cultural norm is still for young people – from America, Russia, Japan etc – to pilgrimage to Europe, but without such focus on connecting to classical civilization via Rome. So it’s more kids pilgrimage to Great Britain to connect to Harry Potter and Abbey Road.

  41. @morris norris
    I've shaken hands with David Irving. He has shaken hands with more people who shook hands with Adolf Hitler than anyone alive.

    Replies: @Cowboy Shaw, @Inquiring Mind

    Craig Brown, the Private Eye satirist, wrote a very clever and amusing book linking people up over time called ‘One on One: 101 True Encounters’.

    One of the best links in there is between John Scott-Ellis, 9th Baron Howard de Walden and Adolf Hitler, who Scott-Ellis ran over in Munich in 1931.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Scott-Ellis,_9th_Baron_Howard_de_Walden

    The Howard de Walden estate is a trust that owns most of Marylebone in central London. Scott-Ellis was the head of the family until his death in 1999.

    In 1998/99 I rented a flat in Marylebone from the Howard de Walden estate. So my landlord was a bloke who ran over Hitler.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Cowboy Shaw

    One of the best links in there is between John Scott-Ellis, 9th Baron Howard de Walden and Adolf Hitler, who Scott-Ellis ran over in Munich in 1931.


    20 mph faster would have changed the course of world history.

  42. @Dmitry
    @Steve Sailer


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)... due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

     

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web - and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    -

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted - and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    https://i.imgur.com/64ZCqwv.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/QHRLRlk.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/WeVuGgr.jpg

    Replies: @Anon, @moshe, @J.Ross, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Steve Sailer

    The Russells were Whig central, so they had a lot of influence. Some of this was social. They held Whig salons where the like-minded met. I’ve always found the lesser-known Russells to be more interesting than Bertrand, who was a bit of a fathead.

  43. I have shaken hands with Lech Walesa, and he obviously has shaken hands with many great, famous, or infamous men. But as to Steve’s point regarding “great connectors” in history: Michaelangelo would not be a “connector”; he would be a focal point, so to speak, of the handshake connections. I’m not discounting the greatness of da Vinci. I’m only pointing out that Michaelangelo’s influence on the West is immeasurable, not the least reason being he was one of the absolutely crucial men who got St. Peter’s Basilica built, even though it wasn’t consecrated until the 17th Century.

  44. @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    Henry Kissinger may turn out to be a Great Connector. He’s a work in progress, so to speak, as not only is he still alive but he’s still somewhat active even though he’s turning 97 within a month. Kissinger became highly prominent in government over 50 years ago and was a major figure in the foreign policy establishment and at Harvard for 15 years prior to that.

    • Replies: @Cowboy Shaw
    @prosa123

    Has Barron Trump met Kissinger I wonder. That could be a long connection.

    , @PiltdownMan
    @prosa123

    George Shultz, age 99, was on Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers 15 years before Kissinger became prominent in Washington circles. So he might also be a good connector.

    Olivia de Havilland is 103 and became a Hollywood star by the late 1930s. And pretty major movie stars tend to get introduced to a lot of famous and well-connected people at parties. So, she might be one, too.

  45. @PiltdownMan
    It may be that we are able to establish these handshake links to people in the early 19th (or even very late 18th) century because people in Britain and America who were accomplished in public service or their chosen professions got into the habit of writing their memoirs in old age, about two hundred years ago. So we know who met whom.

    It also helps that the nineteenth century wasn't that long ago. Some of us commenters have mentioned that we had at least one grandparent born in the last third of the 19th century. I mentioned that President John Tyler's (b. 1790) grandsons were confirmed to be alive as recently as a year ago.

    A really challenging exercise would be to try and establish a short-ish handshake chain going back to, say, Isaac Newton, who died in 1727.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @slumber_j, @Paleo Liberal, @kihowi

    I imagine the highway of “historical six degrees of Kevin Bacon” is royal houses. For example, my path to let’s say Henry VIII is simple. Me to Bill Clinton is 4, then down the line of presidents, via an ambassador or two and you’re already at an English king.

  46. Let’s see, I’ve met Stephen Greenblatt…..Greenblatt knocked down an elderly TS Eliot….TS Eliot knew Bertrand Russell….Bertie gets me to John Russell….John Russell met Napoleon….

    I get to Napoleon in 5 links……

  47. @AnotherDad
    @slumber_j


    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You've got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather. He was born a decade after Russell and didn't live nearly as long so died a few years earlier. Though he did solidly outlive his big name contemporaries Hitler and Stalin.

    There have always been long generational spans for the later children, when the woman is a healthy child bearer.

    But now we are seeing reasonably long spans become routine for UMC whites, where marriages doesn't take place until the bride is 30ish and getting antsy. So the kids don't come until the couple is in their 30s, the last child usually late 30s. 37+37+37 and you're at your 111. (Simply delayed fertility is another population suppressor. Smart whites will be a lower fraction o the population even if every groups fertility was at replacement.)

    And then you've got 2nd marriage families. Baron Trump is 137 from Fredrick Trump (1869). Heck Baron is 101 after his grandfather Fred Trump. Baron could knock up his HS girlfriend tonight and that kid would be 116 after his great-grandfather.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @slumber_j

    Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.

    You’ve got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather.

    We pushed it to 124– and I refuse to accept we’re done yet.

    Frank Loesser’s daughter was born 113 years after his father. She married at a respectable 25, and has four children. The youngest, twins, were born 154 years after their great-grandfather.

    Late fatherhood is a crap shoot. Frank’s father was 58 when Frank was born, and lived a number of years into his son’s life. Frank had barely turned 59 when he died; Emily was only three.

    Emily with her family ca. 1992; mom passed away at 91 last year:

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Reg Cæsar

    Despite this generational span the Loesser family was not a long-lived one. Not only did Frank die at only 59, but his daughter Hannah (Emily's sister) died young from cancer.

    , @I, Libertine
    @Reg Cæsar

    Jo Sullivan was his second wife. His first wife, Lynn Garland, is said to have been so despised by their friends that she was known as the Evil Of Two Loessers.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Reg Cæsar

    My paternal grandfather was born in 1867. My youngest was born in 2004.

    So that’s 137 years.

    President John Tyler’s family, mentioned above and elsewhere, has us all beat.

    His father, John Tyler Sr. Was born in 1747. Tyler Sr.’s great-grandson, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, was born in 1928.

    That’s 181 years between three generations.

  48. @Reg Cæsar
    @AnotherDad



    Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You’ve got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather.
     
    We pushed it to 124-- and I refuse to accept we're done yet.

    Frank Loesser's daughter was born 113 years after his father. She married at a respectable 25, and has four children. The youngest, twins, were born 154 years after their great-grandfather.

    Late fatherhood is a crap shoot. Frank's father was 58 when Frank was born, and lived a number of years into his son's life. Frank had barely turned 59 when he died; Emily was only three.

    Emily with her family ca. 1992; mom passed away at 91 last year:


    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JGOcXLBVL._SX466_.jpg

    Replies: @prosa123, @I, Libertine, @PiltdownMan

    Despite this generational span the Loesser family was not a long-lived one. Not only did Frank die at only 59, but his daughter Hannah (Emily’s sister) died young from cancer.

  49. @Lugash
    OT Question:

    Will flu season be worse next year? Although the flu is usually different year to year, you're protected someone by your previous year's antibodies. If the population doesn't get the flu for over a year do the antibodies you have go away?

    Replies: @epebble

    My answer (as a non-epidemiologist) would be, next year’s flu will be less intense. Covid appears to be such an efficient infector that most people who may ever be infected by anything (i.e. everyone except some recluses in Montana/Wyoming/Idaho mountains), would have been infected by then. Covid also appears to take away anyone slightly scratched or dented. Putting it all together – intense fear of personal nearness/contact, extensive use of masks, OCD level use of washing and disinfectant usage, hesitation to go to clinic or hospital – flu should be practically non-existent.

  50. To go full Freudian, the topic seems to me a reflection of “collective American psychology” (whatever it may mean). How could anyone even consider such a bizarre question (I know it was C-chan induced, but, nevertheless?).

    American celebrity worship stems from the same archetypal delusion: if I could only touch some true celebrity, a portion of magic fluid of success will, somehow, rub off on me. Probably something similar was in the Clinton-Lewinsky case: she cherished & preserved the possession of the fluid of her sex-success-idol-icon “god”.

    When I read something from, say, Heraclitus or Confucius, I am in contact with thoughts of people who I have some affinity with, who speak to me across the centuries, kindred spirits in some aspects. On the other hand, I gain nothing from physical or any contact with anyone who may be of the world stature now, or who may have known such a person. I simply don’t give a hoot.

    OK, Freudian mode off.

  51. @Paleo Liberal
    @PiltdownMan

    My grandfather was born in 1874, but died before I was born. My grandfather knew many prominent people. He sat next to FDR at a dinner party once, he may have delivered an ultimatum to Stalin, and he did some big favors for the Einstein family, and visited Albert Einstein in Princeton. I am not sure if my grandmother went with him to Princeton. If so, then I shook the hand of someone who shook the hand of Einstein.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Old Palo Altan

    My grandfather was born after the deaths of his father’s parents, though some of his siblings’ and cousins’ lives had overlapped with theirs. Their grandmother’s granduncle had delivered messages for General Washington as a boy. There’s probably a handshake chain there somewhere, or at least a head-pat equivalent.

    By the way, I had dismissed the Washington story as sheer fantasy for many years, until stumbling upon a passage in the county history that the General had indeed come to town for a couple months during the war and hired the local boys as “foot pages”. Imagine learning, by accident, that the goofiest tale in your family history turns out to have been true.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    @Reg Cæsar

    I love that story.

    The widest story my maternal grandmother told me turned out not to be true. Her maiden name was from a rich Scottish family, and our first ancestor with that name came to the colonies during the Revolution. My grandmother insisted he had been a notorious rake who was banned to the colonies by his own father because of an accidental manslaughter. Turns out the fellow was a British officer who deserted. He was a quartermaster who embezzled from the Royal Army. When he was discovered, he was able to escape and hide, never to return to Scotland.

  52. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal
    I came up with a weird second hand link to Paul McCartney.

    When I was a kid, my father’s college friend Allen Ginsberg was at our house for a while visiting. During that time he and I played the piano together for a short time. That was a few months after Allen was part of the chorus for “Give Peace a Chance”, and a few years after his famous role in a Bob Dylan video.

    Anyway, towards the end of Allen’s life, Paul McCartney played the guitar to accompany Allen in a poetry reading in England.

    So I played music with someone who played music with Paul.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Anonymous

    I met Allen Ginsberg at least a couple of times and William Burroughs and one or two other Beats on several occasions in and around Lawrence, Kansas. There were a few duffers still alive then whose parents remembered Quantrill’s raid.

    I knew the Beats were deviant but did not realize how much so at the time.

    I also met Marianne Faithfull and Debbie Harry for the first time in Lawrence. Faithfull, who I later found out was then an active junkie needing a fix, was nasty. Harry I’ve talked to and even at a little length in three or four cities- no, nothing romantic there, she isn’t quite my type and I’m not in her league financially or career wise, besides she is almost sixteen years older-but I’ve found her to be quite intelligent. Sailer would do well to read her book.

    Another interesting chance meeting I had in Lawrence was George Fullerton, one of Leo Fender’s key people at Fender and the G in G&L. I was doing avionics plant setup at the time and he was a manufacturing person. That was at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on Mass St. downtown, one of the last Woolworth stores still open. Woolworth, there is some history there. I feel old now.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Anonymous

    Your encounter with Marianne Faithfull gives you a connection to her ancestor Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

  53. My mother once touched Tim Curry as he ran down the aisle at a 1973 London performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Presumably, Curry and Paul McCartney have met at some point in their lives. So I’m two more links removed from Napoleon.

    Now we need to determine how Kevin Bacon fits into all of this.

  54. moshe says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    Some would be great men who lived a long time, such as Michelangelo, who would get you back to Leonardo.

    Others would be near-greats who knew everybody, like Fontenelle (1657-1757) a philosophe who knew everybody in both French official circles and advanced philosophe circles. Marie-Antoinette's painter Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) had to go into peripatetic exile with the Revolution and met everybody in Europe. First rate female painters like the pretty Vigee-Lebrun tended to be very famous and glamorous during their lifetimes, even if their fame generally faded after their deaths.

    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) would be near the top of the list of Connectors due to his aristocratic birth, his family's accomplishments, his broad range of talents (e.g., mathematics and popular journalism) and interests, his social orientation (e.g., he liked to be out and about around smart and pretty women), and his immense longevity. The nonagenarian Russell was a major figure in the celebrity culture of 1960s London, when it was the coolest city in the world. I can't think of anybody else of that age who pops up so frequently in the memoirs of the then young.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan, @Anonymous, @kaganovitch, @Dmitry, @Cowboy Shaw, @James Speaks, @prosa123, @moshe

    Being around pretty women got him in trouble in America in 1940 or thereabout.

    If the truth were out, not a single man known for good accomplishments (rather than evil ones) would survive modern metoo standards

    That relevance to The Quarantine and how dating has now more or less decisively moved online (aside for risk-taking alphas):

    Mankind has moved in the direction of safe proliferation due to 2 groups of people: Woman and Jews.

    Of course this is a broad over-generalization but I am drunk, so it will do.

    The womanish tendency is of course toward Safety over Exploration. As Nietzsche put it, the Geologists wife will wake up ahead of him to remove from his path any stones he should stumble upon.

    The Jewish tendency is of course to be as far ahead of the white man in terms of his ability to be both vivacious and civilized at the same time as the white man is ahead of the negro. (I plead Alcohol+Mencken Reading in my defense.)

    I assume that I have some follow-ups to these premises but despite the liquor’s inform’ation that I’d be just as happy indoors, I try not to let a day of blessed quarantine catch me indoors all day when there is so much intersteding nature to investigate within areas hitherto infected by humans.The summation was probably that females and pharisees are to thank for so much of the goodness that we enjoy by nagging humanity in a particular direction. It’s done so persistently however that it can generally be observed within a particular generation. I think I got there through how Christianity, as an offshoot of femnism+judaism got Bertrand Russell in trouble. Wonderous are the ways of the Lord!*

    [tartei mashma, aramaic for ‘clever double meaning intentional’]

  55. @prosa123
    @Steve Sailer

    Henry Kissinger may turn out to be a Great Connector. He's a work in progress, so to speak, as not only is he still alive but he's still somewhat active even though he's turning 97 within a month. Kissinger became highly prominent in government over 50 years ago and was a major figure in the foreign policy establishment and at Harvard for 15 years prior to that.

    Replies: @Cowboy Shaw, @PiltdownMan

    Has Barron Trump met Kissinger I wonder. That could be a long connection.

  56. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:

    You know I just thought that Faithfull (who at that point was semi-repulsive physically), Harry ( who then was still quite the stunner) and McCorkle are/were all within a year of each other age wise.
    And yes, had circumstances been different I would have went for it with McCorkle. Age didn’t even occur to me at the time. She’d have been what, 54? I hadn’t turned forty. Hell, if I’d not been 30 I would have. She was presentable, clean, and had a nice curvy figure and a nice feminine yet respectable air about her.

    Interesting.

  57. @Dmitry
    @Steve Sailer


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)... due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

     

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web - and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    -

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted - and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    https://i.imgur.com/64ZCqwv.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/QHRLRlk.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/WeVuGgr.jpg

    Replies: @Anon, @moshe, @J.Ross, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Steve Sailer

    Cool! How did you upload pics?

  58. Tangentially of interest, this site

    http://www.thepeerage.com/info.htm

    “My initial objective in creating this database of the European nobility was to fully explore the capabilities of the genealogy package(s) I have been using. The European nobility is fascinating for a number of reasons: long periods of records available with information going back more than 1000 years, a high level of inter-marriage, making the resulting family tress very complex and inter-woven, and extremely interesting families with every possible event occurring (murders, battles, coronations, overthrows, attainders, multiple titles, etc).

    In particular, I am fascinated with the tight intermarriage which has existed within the royal families of Europe, with the result an individual may have the same person shown up in their family tree many different times. As an example, each person should have a total of 1,024,000 different direct ancestors within the previous 20 generations. So far, my database lists 222 million ancestors for Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales (over the previous 60 generations), but out of this total only 3910 are unique individuals (i.e. he has a 99.99% overlap of ancestors). Ultimately, I would like to be able to illustrate using my database the blood relationship between every married couple in the European royalty.”

    Has a Consanguinity Index (Cumulative Inbreeding Coefficient), which shows how inbred the subject is.

    Last Tsarevitch – Consanguinity Index=4.57%
    Prince Charles – Consanguinity Index=2.14%

    But it’s not been derived for every entry, which is annoying.

    • Replies: @res
    @YetAnotherAnon


    my database lists 222 million ancestors for Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales (over the previous 60 generations), but out of this total only 3910 are unique individuals (i.e. he has a 99.99% overlap of ancestors).
     
    I found that stunning at first, but on reflection I think there is a massive sampling problem. Over 60 generations (assuming 25 year generations that would be 1500 years, BTW) one would have 2^60 or a billion billion ancestors. This means that the database only includes 1 in 1.15e18 / 222e6 = 5.2 billion potential ancestors over that period.

    It hardly seems surprising that 3910 prominent individuals would be massively over-represented in the ranks of known ancestors.

    I wonder what the overlap would look like if it were possible to know Charles Windsor's full family tree. An even more interesting question is what percentage of those fathers would be misattributed.

    P.S. Interesting site. Thanks for linking it.
  59. @Steve Sailer
    @PiltdownMan

    Good challenge.

    Newton was sociable in old age, and had many famous visitors come to see him. Having dinner with Newton was a goal of many bright young Europeans making a Grand Tour. I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn't get to England until about the time of Newton's death, so I doubt if they met. But probably somebody born around 1700 met Newton and lived into the late 18th Century. If as a nonagenarian that person was introduced to a 5 year old John Russell, well then here we are with Paul McCartney.

    How about Galileo? John Milton (1608-1674) visited him in 1638. But Milton, a roundhead, maintained a low profile after the Restoration in 1660. So I haven't found any evidence that Milton met Newton. It's not impossible that somebody else Newton knew had met Galileo.

    Replies: @ziel, @James Speaks, @syonredux

    I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn’t get to England until about the time of Newton’s death, so I doubt if they met.

    Yeah, but Franklin met Voltaire, and Voltaire knew Newton’s niece, Catherine Barton. That puts BF at three degrees of separation from Newton. That also means that a good chunk of the Founders (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, John Adams, etc) were at four degrees of separation from Newton. And, since JQ Adams knew BF, that puts Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr at five degrees of separation and JFK at six. My father shook hands with JFK back in 1960, which puts him at seven degrees. The upshot of all of this is that I am at eight degrees of separation from Isaac Newton.

    • Thanks: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    @syonredux

    8 from Issac Newton. Impressive.

    The big question is:

    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Kratoklastes
    @syonredux

    Franklin was also a frequent visitor to d'Holbach.

    Initially I was certain that if people's lifespans and schedules aligned, d'Holbach's circle would enable Franklin to leap-frog Voltaire and the niece, and go straight to someone who shook Newton's hand.

    That's because d'Holbach knew Matthew Stewart (who was Demoivre's student), and Demoivre was a contemporary of Newton. Sadly, Stewart wasn't: he was only about 10 when Newton died. Also, Demoivre died 20 years before Franklin came to France.

    In any case, it's best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    Franklin → Stewart → Demoivre → Newton is more likely to include handshakes; it only requires that Franklin and Stewart were in Paris at the same time.

    Speaking of good old PHT (d'H)... I doubt there was a greater 'super-spreader' of handshakes in the world between 1750 and 1780.

    d'Holbach was the premier salon-intellectual in mid-to-late 17th century France (and therefore, the world at the time) - before salon-intellectual became a term of derision.

    His circle included Diderot; Rousseau; Helvétius; le Rond d'Alembert; Boulanger; Edward Gibbon; David Hume; Adam Smith; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; Joseph Priestley and a bunch of others. And, of course Mirabeau, Jefferson and Paine (very briefly, and near the end of d'Holbach's life).

    Also, d'Holbach did a 'super-move' that marked him as a true alpha: when his wife died, he married her hotter, younger sister.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @syonredux, @syonredux

  60. @Reg Cæsar
    @Paleo Liberal

    My grandfather was born after the deaths of his father's parents, though some of his siblings' and cousins' lives had overlapped with theirs. Their grandmother's granduncle had delivered messages for General Washington as a boy. There's probably a handshake chain there somewhere, or at least a head-pat equivalent.

    By the way, I had dismissed the Washington story as sheer fantasy for many years, until stumbling upon a passage in the county history that the General had indeed come to town for a couple months during the war and hired the local boys as "foot pages". Imagine learning, by accident, that the goofiest tale in your family history turns out to have been true.

    Replies: @Paleo Liberal

    I love that story.

    The widest story my maternal grandmother told me turned out not to be true. Her maiden name was from a rich Scottish family, and our first ancestor with that name came to the colonies during the Revolution. My grandmother insisted he had been a notorious rake who was banned to the colonies by his own father because of an accidental manslaughter. Turns out the fellow was a British officer who deserted. He was a quartermaster who embezzled from the Royal Army. When he was discovered, he was able to escape and hide, never to return to Scotland.

  61. Bill Moyers (85) might be a good living candidate, having worked for LBJ (Sam Rayburn, elected to Congress 1913) and for JFK (socializing with British society in the 1930s).

    • Agree: prosa123
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    @Bud Light

    Having worked in journalism, Moyers has shaken hands with lots of people who have shaken lots of hands. For example, he worked with Dan Rather at CBS. Whatever one thinks of Rather, it's undeniable that he's interviewed a lot of famous (and not-so-famous) people.

    Moyers also worked with Howard Stringer, who started out in journalism, worked his way up the executive ranks at CBS, and then eventually became CEO of Sony.

  62. @Reg Cæsar
    @AnotherDad



    Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You’ve got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather.
     
    We pushed it to 124-- and I refuse to accept we're done yet.

    Frank Loesser's daughter was born 113 years after his father. She married at a respectable 25, and has four children. The youngest, twins, were born 154 years after their great-grandfather.

    Late fatherhood is a crap shoot. Frank's father was 58 when Frank was born, and lived a number of years into his son's life. Frank had barely turned 59 when he died; Emily was only three.

    Emily with her family ca. 1992; mom passed away at 91 last year:


    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JGOcXLBVL._SX466_.jpg

    Replies: @prosa123, @I, Libertine, @PiltdownMan

    Jo Sullivan was his second wife. His first wife, Lynn Garland, is said to have been so despised by their friends that she was known as the Evil Of Two Loessers.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @I, Libertine


    His first wife, Lynn Garland, is said to have been so despised by their friends that she was known as the Evil Of Two Loessers.
     
    She was the one who refused to release "Baby, It's Cold Outside" to the public for years, right? Frank wrote it for them to sing at New Year's parties, and she was the jealous sort. Calmer heads prevailed, and it eventually premiered in an Esther Williams movie.
  63. An interesting American case might be Walt Whitman. Lived kind of long, 72, but seems to have known an immense number of people, including meeting Oscar Wilde, which would link him to a vast number of contemporary Brits.

    During the Civil War he must have met hundreds if not thousands of soldiers during his work in the field hospitals. And as both a journalist and a man-about-town he likely knew huge numbers of people.

  64. @Dmitry
    @Steve Sailer


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)... due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

     

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web - and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    -

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted - and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    https://i.imgur.com/64ZCqwv.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/QHRLRlk.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/WeVuGgr.jpg

    Replies: @Anon, @moshe, @J.Ross, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Steve Sailer

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries.

    • LOL: kaganovitch
  65. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn’t get to England until about the time of Newton’s death, so I doubt if they met.
     
    Yeah, but Franklin met Voltaire, and Voltaire knew Newton's niece, Catherine Barton. That puts BF at three degrees of separation from Newton. That also means that a good chunk of the Founders (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, John Adams, etc) were at four degrees of separation from Newton. And, since JQ Adams knew BF, that puts Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr at five degrees of separation and JFK at six. My father shook hands with JFK back in 1960, which puts him at seven degrees. The upshot of all of this is that I am at eight degrees of separation from Isaac Newton.

    Replies: @Paleo Liberal, @Kratoklastes

    8 from Issac Newton. Impressive.

    The big question is:

    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Paleo Liberal


    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?
     
    Oh, come on. Surely you mean Roger or Francis! Isaac-to-Wayne would be another one to research.

    (Wayne, an aboriginal Virginian, is a Pocahontas buff but not, I think, a descendant like Edith Wilson or Nancy Reagan.)

    Bill Kauffman thinks American mobility is killing off classic childhood nicknames like that of his hometown buddy Eggs Bacon.
  66. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    Not really supposed to be shaking hands so…yeah.

    *Flagged for inappropriate content

    • LOL: Coemgen
  67. @Paleo Liberal
    @PiltdownMan

    My grandfather was born in 1874, but died before I was born. My grandfather knew many prominent people. He sat next to FDR at a dinner party once, he may have delivered an ultimatum to Stalin, and he did some big favors for the Einstein family, and visited Albert Einstein in Princeton. I am not sure if my grandmother went with him to Princeton. If so, then I shook the hand of someone who shook the hand of Einstein.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Old Palo Altan

    That’s impressive. Was FDR president at the time?

  68. How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Bacon probably knows someone who met JFK, so eight degrees seems most likely.

    Interestingly, Kevin’s father Edmund Bacon might himself have been a Great Connector (and quite possibly the link between JFK and Kevin). He was a very well-known architect and urban planner, who among other things was in charge of Philadelphia’s urban planning for over 20 years, and lived to 95.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @prosa123


    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Bacon probably knows someone who met JFK, so eight degrees seems most likely.

    Interestingly, Kevin’s father Edmund Bacon might himself have been a Great Connector (and quite possibly the link between JFK and Kevin). He was a very well-known architect and urban planner, who among other things was in charge of Philadelphia’s urban planning for over 20 years, and lived to 95.
     
    Bacon's wife, Kyra Sedgwick, is a member of a rather distinguished family:



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedgwick_family



    She's a direct descendant of Robert Sedgwick (c. 1611 – 1656), who knew Oliver Cromwell:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sedgwick


    And Cromwell knew Milton, which means that Kevin Bacon can be linked to the author of Paradise Lost
  69. I was born in May 1945, thus 75 this year. My grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. Of course they were shanty Irish with no chance to meet anyone famous.

    • Replies: @Coemgen
    @John Cunningham


    I was born in May 1945, thus 75 this year. My grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. Of course they were shanty Irish with no chance to meet anyone famous.
     
    I'm from a similar background but from the other end of the baby boom. Our family's closest relationship with Napoleon is being Bónapárt Ó Cúnasa incarnate. My bog Irish paternal line great-grandfather poured drinks for prominent Bostonians but apparently did not discuss work with the family. I guess that tight lips (limited ambition, and a sharp mind) were a prerequisite for that job.

    Replies: @Inverness

  70. @Cowboy Shaw
    @morris norris

    Craig Brown, the Private Eye satirist, wrote a very clever and amusing book linking people up over time called 'One on One: 101 True Encounters'.

    One of the best links in there is between John Scott-Ellis, 9th Baron Howard de Walden and Adolf Hitler, who Scott-Ellis ran over in Munich in 1931.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Scott-Ellis,_9th_Baron_Howard_de_Walden

    The Howard de Walden estate is a trust that owns most of Marylebone in central London. Scott-Ellis was the head of the family until his death in 1999.

    In 1998/99 I rented a flat in Marylebone from the Howard de Walden estate. So my landlord was a bloke who ran over Hitler.

    Replies: @prosa123

    One of the best links in there is between John Scott-Ellis, 9th Baron Howard de Walden and Adolf Hitler, who Scott-Ellis ran over in Munich in 1931.

    20 mph faster would have changed the course of world history.

  71. S says:

    This sort of thing is fascinating. While not exactly the same, you can have a similar experience of connecting with people of the past with old photos and voice recordings.

    Below is Captain George Fishley (1760-1850) at age 90, a veteran of the Continental Army who had fought in the revolution from 1777 – 1780. One of the battles he was involved in led by Washington was at Monmouth, NJ, the very same that Molly Pitcher would be famous for.

    From his 1850 obituary it was commented upon that he refused to take part in an 1826 procession of revolutionary war veterans honoring the recently deceased Jefferson and Adams as there would be a ‘Hessian’ marching in it as well. Presumably the ‘Hessian’ had fought in the Revolution as one of King George’s German mercenaries, and had since become a US citizen.


    Captain George Fishley

    It is told of Fishley that when Adams and Jefferson were buried in 1826, and a procession was contemplated in Portsmouth, of which the Revolutionary heroes were to form a part, the committee came to Fishley requesting him to appear. He asked who were to be there. All were named until —– was mentioned. ‘What’, cried the old man. ‘He a patriot!’ ‘Why he was a d— Hessian, and came over here to fight us for six pence a day. No s-i-r, I don’t ride with such patriots as he!’ And ride he did not on the solemn occasion.’

    http://www.patriotfiles.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=13634

  72. An emperor, even deposed, does not shake hands.

  73. @Anonymous
    @Paleo Liberal

    I met Allen Ginsberg at least a couple of times and William Burroughs and one or two other Beats on several occasions in and around Lawrence, Kansas. There were a few duffers still alive then whose parents remembered Quantrill’s raid.

    I knew the Beats were deviant but did not realize how much so at the time.

    I also met Marianne Faithfull and Debbie Harry for the first time in Lawrence. Faithfull, who I later found out was then an active junkie needing a fix, was nasty. Harry I’ve talked to and even at a little length in three or four cities- no, nothing romantic there, she isn’t quite my type and I’m not in her league financially or career wise, besides she is almost sixteen years older-but I’ve found her to be quite intelligent. Sailer would do well to read her book.

    Another interesting chance meeting I had in Lawrence was George Fullerton, one of Leo Fender’s key people at Fender and the G in G&L. I was doing avionics plant setup at the time and he was a manufacturing person. That was at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on Mass St. downtown, one of the last Woolworth stores still open. Woolworth, there is some history there. I feel old now.

    Replies: @prosa123

    Your encounter with Marianne Faithfull gives you a connection to her ancestor Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

  74. I’ve shaken hands with historian David Irving, who presumably shook hands with architect Albert Speer (they did a long interview), who must’ve hands with You Know Who.

  75. @Bud Light
    Bill Moyers (85) might be a good living candidate, having worked for LBJ (Sam Rayburn, elected to Congress 1913) and for JFK (socializing with British society in the 1930s).

    Replies: @Stan Adams

    Having worked in journalism, Moyers has shaken hands with lots of people who have shaken lots of hands. For example, he worked with Dan Rather at CBS. Whatever one thinks of Rather, it’s undeniable that he’s interviewed a lot of famous (and not-so-famous) people.

    Moyers also worked with Howard Stringer, who started out in journalism, worked his way up the executive ranks at CBS, and then eventually became CEO of Sony.

  76. This famous man handshake game makes the current episode of social distancing seem even more like a bathetic ending to a bad Monty Python skit. A thousand years after Chartres and the Crusades, the Faustian soul decides to spend six trillion dollars and sit around at home, avoiding everyone while committing suicide by sloth.

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I don't know about you, Intel D., but I have written a few hundred lines of eternal poetry in the last few months. Not sure if I am going to burn the manuscript or not.

    YMMV, dude.

  77. @prosa123
    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Bacon probably knows someone who met JFK, so eight degrees seems most likely.

    Interestingly, Kevin's father Edmund Bacon might himself have been a Great Connector (and quite possibly the link between JFK and Kevin). He was a very well-known architect and urban planner, who among other things was in charge of Philadelphia's urban planning for over 20 years, and lived to 95.

    Replies: @syonredux

    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Bacon probably knows someone who met JFK, so eight degrees seems most likely.

    Interestingly, Kevin’s father Edmund Bacon might himself have been a Great Connector (and quite possibly the link between JFK and Kevin). He was a very well-known architect and urban planner, who among other things was in charge of Philadelphia’s urban planning for over 20 years, and lived to 95.

    Bacon’s wife, Kyra Sedgwick, is a member of a rather distinguished family:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedgwick_family

    She’s a direct descendant of Robert Sedgwick (c. 1611 – 1656), who knew Oliver Cromwell:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sedgwick

    And Cromwell knew Milton, which means that Kevin Bacon can be linked to the author of Paradise Lost

  78. @I, Libertine
    @Reg Cæsar

    Jo Sullivan was his second wife. His first wife, Lynn Garland, is said to have been so despised by their friends that she was known as the Evil Of Two Loessers.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    His first wife, Lynn Garland, is said to have been so despised by their friends that she was known as the Evil Of Two Loessers.

    She was the one who refused to release “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to the public for years, right? Frank wrote it for them to sing at New Year’s parties, and she was the jealous sort. Calmer heads prevailed, and it eventually premiered in an Esther Williams movie.

  79. @Paleo Liberal
    @syonredux

    8 from Issac Newton. Impressive.

    The big question is:

    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    How many degrees was Issac Newton from Kevin Bacon?

    Oh, come on. Surely you mean Roger or Francis! Isaac-to-Wayne would be another one to research.

    (Wayne, an aboriginal Virginian, is a Pocahontas buff but not, I think, a descendant like Edith Wilson or Nancy Reagan.)

    Bill Kauffman thinks American mobility is killing off classic childhood nicknames like that of his hometown buddy Eggs Bacon.

  80. @YetAnotherAnon
    Tangentially of interest, this site

    http://www.thepeerage.com/info.htm

    "My initial objective in creating this database of the European nobility was to fully explore the capabilities of the genealogy package(s) I have been using. The European nobility is fascinating for a number of reasons: long periods of records available with information going back more than 1000 years, a high level of inter-marriage, making the resulting family tress very complex and inter-woven, and extremely interesting families with every possible event occurring (murders, battles, coronations, overthrows, attainders, multiple titles, etc).



    In particular, I am fascinated with the tight intermarriage which has existed within the royal families of Europe, with the result an individual may have the same person shown up in their family tree many different times. As an example, each person should have a total of 1,024,000 different direct ancestors within the previous 20 generations. So far, my database lists 222 million ancestors for Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales (over the previous 60 generations), but out of this total only 3910 are unique individuals (i.e. he has a 99.99% overlap of ancestors). Ultimately, I would like to be able to illustrate using my database the blood relationship between every married couple in the European royalty."
     
    Has a Consanguinity Index (Cumulative Inbreeding Coefficient), which shows how inbred the subject is.

    Last Tsarevitch - Consanguinity Index=4.57%
    Prince Charles - Consanguinity Index=2.14%

    But it's not been derived for every entry, which is annoying.

    Replies: @res

    my database lists 222 million ancestors for Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales (over the previous 60 generations), but out of this total only 3910 are unique individuals (i.e. he has a 99.99% overlap of ancestors).

    I found that stunning at first, but on reflection I think there is a massive sampling problem. Over 60 generations (assuming 25 year generations that would be 1500 years, BTW) one would have 2^60 or a billion billion ancestors. This means that the database only includes 1 in 1.15e18 / 222e6 = 5.2 billion potential ancestors over that period.

    It hardly seems surprising that 3910 prominent individuals would be massively over-represented in the ranks of known ancestors.

    I wonder what the overlap would look like if it were possible to know Charles Windsor’s full family tree. An even more interesting question is what percentage of those fathers would be misattributed.

    P.S. Interesting site. Thanks for linking it.

  81. @James Speaks
    @Steve Sailer


    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?
     
    A prostitute?

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?

    A prostitute?

    In a given evening, you can shake a lot more hands.

    • Replies: @B36
    @AnotherDad

    and more than hands...

  82. @AnotherDad
    @James Speaks



    I wonder who are the Great Connectors?
     
    A prostitute?
     
    In a given evening, you can shake a lot more hands.

    Replies: @B36

    and more than hands…

  83. anon[169] • Disclaimer says:

    I once read an article, which I can no longer find, that at the time of Napoleon’s death the attending doctor cut off his penis to preserve and keep as a souvenir.
    The penis was sold at auction in the early 20th century.
    It has not been heard from since – perhaps lost in WWII.
    If anyone can confirm this story I would like to know the source.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    @anon

    Not to be a dick, but your Google searching skills are pathetically inadequate. It only took me two seconds to find the article in question. Evidently looking up information online is one of your shortcomings:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/napoleon-s-penis-size-confirmed-channel-4-documentary-calls-the-artifact-very-small-9235101.html

    But, hey, we’re all members of the iSteve fraternity, aren’t we? We’re all glad to give each other a hand every now and then.

    Yes, everyone sees what I did there.

    , @Alden
    @anon

    There are many many stories about Napoleons penis, none have proved true or false.

  84. I once shook hands with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
    It was at the Chicago Amphitheatre sometime in the mid 60s.

    • LOL: William Badwhite
  85. Joseph (Brother of Napoleon and former king of Spain and Naples) lived primarily in the United States (where he sold the jewels he had taken from Spain) in the period 1817–1832.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Bonaparte#United_States

    More people might have connection to Napoleon III, emperor 1848-1873.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_III

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @George


    Jérôme Napoléon "Bo" Bonaparte (5 July 1805 – 17 June 1870) was a French-American farmer, chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Society, first president of the Maryland Club,[1] and the son of Elizabeth Patterson and Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon I.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Napol%C3%A9on_Bonaparte

    Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte II (November 5, 1830 – September 3, 1893)[1] was a French-American military officer who served in the United States Army and later in the French Army. He was a member of the American branch of the Bonaparte family.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Napoleon_Bonaparte_II

    Charles Joseph Bonaparte (/ˈboʊnəpɑːrt/; June 9, 1851 – June 28, 1921) was an American lawyer and political activist for progressive and liberal causes. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he served in the cabinet of the 26th U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt.
     

    Bonaparte was the U.S. Secretary of the Navy and later the U.S. Attorney General.[1] During his tenure as the attorney general, he created the Bureau of Investigation which later grew and expanded by the 1920s under the director J. Edgar Hoover, (1895–1972), as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It was so renamed in 1935. He was a great-nephew of French Emperor Napoleon I.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Joseph_Bonaparte
  86. @AKAHorace
    Another good linker although he only died in his seventies, Freddie Ayer.

    From 1959 to his retirement in 1978, Sir Alfred held the Wykeham Chair, Professor of Logic at Oxford. He was knighted in 1970. After his retirement, Ayer taught or lectured several times in the United States, including serving as a visiting professor at Bard College in the fall of 1987. At a party that same year held by fashion designer Fernando Sanchez, Ayer, then 77, confronted Mike Tyson who was forcing himself upon the (then) little-known model Naomi Campbell. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer reportedly asked, “Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world,” to which Ayer replied, “And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men”. Ayer and Tyson then began to talk, allowing Campbell to slip out.

     

    Replies: @syonredux

    • Replies: @anon
    @syonredux

    He's a good actor.

  87. @George
    Joseph (Brother of Napoleon and former king of Spain and Naples) lived primarily in the United States (where he sold the jewels he had taken from Spain) in the period 1817–1832.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Bonaparte#United_States

    More people might have connection to Napoleon III, emperor 1848-1873.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_III

    Replies: @syonredux

    Jérôme Napoléon “Bo” Bonaparte (5 July 1805 – 17 June 1870) was a French-American farmer, chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Society, first president of the Maryland Club,[1] and the son of Elizabeth Patterson and Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon I.[2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Napol%C3%A9on_Bonaparte

    Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte II (November 5, 1830 – September 3, 1893)[1] was a French-American military officer who served in the United States Army and later in the French Army. He was a member of the American branch of the Bonaparte family.[2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Napoleon_Bonaparte_II

    Charles Joseph Bonaparte (/ˈboʊnəpɑːrt/; June 9, 1851 – June 28, 1921) was an American lawyer and political activist for progressive and liberal causes. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he served in the cabinet of the 26th U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt.

    Bonaparte was the U.S. Secretary of the Navy and later the U.S. Attorney General.[1] During his tenure as the attorney general, he created the Bureau of Investigation which later grew and expanded by the 1920s under the director J. Edgar Hoover, (1895–1972), as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It was so renamed in 1935. He was a great-nephew of French Emperor Napoleon I.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Joseph_Bonaparte

  88. @TelfoedJohn
    OT: Tucker Carlson seems to have moved on from his Latino Littering critique to a slightly more extreme environmentalist stance:
    https://youtu.be/HlfuZ93jzmk

    Replies: @Anonymous

    That channel is hilarious. I appreciated the Zizek and Rand “Barbie Girl” duet.

  89. @stillCARealist
    @slumber_j

    My son was born in 2009. His great grandfather was born in 1885.

    129 years? Something like that.

    Replies: @slumber_j

    That’s a long time.

  90. @YetAnotherAnon
    @PiltdownMan

    A list of Samuel Johnson's attendees at the Turk's Head, or at meetings of the Royal Society, might give some interesting links.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Club_(dining_club)

    But what do you do with kings? I don't think they shook hands in those days, yet they would have met everyone who was anyone.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    Samuel Johnson had a meeting with George III, but as you say, we don’t know if they shook hands. I think it’s the personal meeting that counts, not the hand shake.

  91. @wiseguy
    This handshake chain concept is like a secular version of the union among the faithful through Holy Communion.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    No, handshake chain is a parody of Apostolic succession.

  92. The mother of one of the

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_of_Britain

    winners taught me in primary school. Her son, the Brain, went on to be a humourless arsehole and make the life of one of my friends a misery for a mercifully short while in a work environment.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Cortes

    Meant to be a reply to Fr O’Hara @ 84

  93. @AnotherDad
    @slumber_j


    Longish generations will do that. Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You've got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather. He was born a decade after Russell and didn't live nearly as long so died a few years earlier. Though he did solidly outlive his big name contemporaries Hitler and Stalin.

    There have always been long generational spans for the later children, when the woman is a healthy child bearer.

    But now we are seeing reasonably long spans become routine for UMC whites, where marriages doesn't take place until the bride is 30ish and getting antsy. So the kids don't come until the couple is in their 30s, the last child usually late 30s. 37+37+37 and you're at your 111. (Simply delayed fertility is another population suppressor. Smart whites will be a lower fraction o the population even if every groups fertility was at replacement.)

    And then you've got 2nd marriage families. Baron Trump is 137 from Fredrick Trump (1869). Heck Baron is 101 after his grandfather Fred Trump. Baron could knock up his HS girlfriend tonight and that kid would be 116 after his great-grandfather.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @slumber_j

    I think my father was born when my grandfather was 37. My parents were both I think 32 when I was born? I made up the difference: I secondly married a widow and was 42 when our son was born, so yeah: the math works out.

  94. @Dmitry
    @Steve Sailer


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)... due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

     

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web - and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    -

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted - and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    https://i.imgur.com/64ZCqwv.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/QHRLRlk.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/WeVuGgr.jpg

    Replies: @Anon, @moshe, @J.Ross, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Steve Sailer

    Wow, those are some lovely photos of some rather splendid future mosques and madrasas.

    • Agree: Inverness
    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    You have no idea how wrong you are. I almost fell sorry for you.

  95. @anon
    I once read an article, which I can no longer find, that at the time of Napoleon's death the attending doctor cut off his penis to preserve and keep as a souvenir.
    The penis was sold at auction in the early 20th century.
    It has not been heard from since - perhaps lost in WWII.
    If anyone can confirm this story I would like to know the source.

    Replies: @Stan Adams, @Alden

    Not to be a dick, but your Google searching skills are pathetically inadequate. It only took me two seconds to find the article in question. Evidently looking up information online is one of your shortcomings:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/napoleon-s-penis-size-confirmed-channel-4-documentary-calls-the-artifact-very-small-9235101.html

    But, hey, we’re all members of the iSteve fraternity, aren’t we? We’re all glad to give each other a hand every now and then.

    Yes, everyone sees what I did there.

  96. @Reg Cæsar
    @AnotherDad



    Continuing the paternal line down to the present, my son was born in 2007, 111 years after his great-grandfather.
     
    You’ve got me beat. My youngest is 110 after her great-grandfather.
     
    We pushed it to 124-- and I refuse to accept we're done yet.

    Frank Loesser's daughter was born 113 years after his father. She married at a respectable 25, and has four children. The youngest, twins, were born 154 years after their great-grandfather.

    Late fatherhood is a crap shoot. Frank's father was 58 when Frank was born, and lived a number of years into his son's life. Frank had barely turned 59 when he died; Emily was only three.

    Emily with her family ca. 1992; mom passed away at 91 last year:


    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JGOcXLBVL._SX466_.jpg

    Replies: @prosa123, @I, Libertine, @PiltdownMan

    My paternal grandfather was born in 1867. My youngest was born in 2004.

    So that’s 137 years.

    President John Tyler’s family, mentioned above and elsewhere, has us all beat.

    His father, John Tyler Sr. Was born in 1747. Tyler Sr.’s great-grandson, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, was born in 1928.

    That’s 181 years between three generations.

  97. https://mashable.com/article/coronavirus-test-not-scary.amp

    FYI, that’s complete bullshit. The test is 20 seconds of horror. It’s like the alien facehugger. Every fiber of your being will be telling you to strangle your tormentor. They need a new method ASAP. If they want another out of me I’m demanding happy pills first.

  98. I have no clue what the number of hand shakes is between Napoleon and present day. But I’d set the over under at 3. That seems about right.

    • Replies: @Peter Polson
    @Kyle

    I didn't shake his hand, but I did correspond with Bertrand Russell. My name is on this list:
    http://bracers.mcmaster.ca/php/correspondents.php
    You are correct about 3.

  99. @John Cunningham
    I was born in May 1945, thus 75 this year. My grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. Of course they were shanty Irish with no chance to meet anyone famous.

    Replies: @Coemgen

    I was born in May 1945, thus 75 this year. My grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. Of course they were shanty Irish with no chance to meet anyone famous.

    I’m from a similar background but from the other end of the baby boom. Our family’s closest relationship with Napoleon is being Bónapárt Ó Cúnasa incarnate. My bog Irish paternal line great-grandfather poured drinks for prominent Bostonians but apparently did not discuss work with the family. I guess that tight lips (limited ambition, and a sharp mind) were a prerequisite for that job.

    • Replies: @Inverness
    @Coemgen

    People born in mid to late-1940s America must be some of the luckiest people in history. Excepting those who were sent to Vietnam of course.

  100. Bertrand Russell must be one of the few men who met both Lenin and McCartney.

    • LOL: Cortes, PiltdownMan
  101. To return to the metatopic– or metatheme, to keep it Greek– of pandemics, and switch from linear chains to a circle of sorts:

    A bright young Carioca named Oswaldo Cruz, concerned about the frequent “plagues” in his country, went to study at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, thanks to a generous father-in-law.

    A few years later, Rio is hit with with another epidemic. The mayor contacts the Institute in desperation, asking them to send someone. “He is already there– your own Oswaldo Cruz.”

    Cruz does great work over the decades in improving sanitation and fighting disease in his hometown. When he dies at 44, they honor him by renaming a major train station.

    In a chain of increasing honorifics, the station gives its name to the surrounding neighborhood, which in turn is given to the local samba school– “school” being the Carioca equivalent of the krewes of New Orleans or the mystic societies of Mobile. Basically, to party Mardi.

    Musician Noel Rosa scores a hit with “Palpite Infeliz” which rattles off the names of a number of these schools– Salve Estácio, Salgueiro, Mangueira, Oswaldo Cruz e Matriz… Thanks to Rosa, Cruz is the rare scientist to be immortalized in a samba, or indeed a pop standard of any genre.

    Not long after that, Rosa dies from tuberculosis at age 26.

    He apparently suffered from Pierre Robin Syndrome (see portrait below). I’d imagine that’s the kind of “underlying condition” that would dispatch you rather quickly with TB or Covid-19.

  102. @Cortes
    The mother of one of the

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_of_Britain

    winners taught me in primary school. Her son, the Brain, went on to be a humourless arsehole and make the life of one of my friends a misery for a mercifully short while in a work environment.

    Replies: @Cortes

    Meant to be a reply to Fr O’Hara @ 84

  103. @prosa123
    @Steve Sailer

    Henry Kissinger may turn out to be a Great Connector. He's a work in progress, so to speak, as not only is he still alive but he's still somewhat active even though he's turning 97 within a month. Kissinger became highly prominent in government over 50 years ago and was a major figure in the foreign policy establishment and at Harvard for 15 years prior to that.

    Replies: @Cowboy Shaw, @PiltdownMan

    George Shultz, age 99, was on Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers 15 years before Kissinger became prominent in Washington circles. So he might also be a good connector.

    Olivia de Havilland is 103 and became a Hollywood star by the late 1930s. And pretty major movie stars tend to get introduced to a lot of famous and well-connected people at parties. So, she might be one, too.

    • Agree: prosa123
  104. @RichardTaylor
    Why in blazes did most of the HBD commentariat go ape over this coronavirus? From the start, they were using the metaphor of WWII to tell us we needed to shut down the country and spend trillions. It was all hard sell.

    They also had weird faith in data coming from "experts" in China and the WHO.

    What in their mentality led to this epic mistake? Was it their technocratic tendencies? Think a few smart "really high IQ people who know math" couldn't possibly flub something like this?

    Replies: @Manfred Arcane, @Manfred Arcane

    Yes.

  105. @morris norris
    I've shaken hands with David Irving. He has shaken hands with more people who shook hands with Adolf Hitler than anyone alive.

    Replies: @Cowboy Shaw, @Inquiring Mind

    Oh yeah? I shook hands with a man who worked as Michael Manley’s “advance man”, who made a point of informing me that I just shook hands with someone who shook hands with Qaddafi.

  106. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    @Dmitry

    Wow, those are some lovely photos of some rather splendid future mosques and madrasas.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

    You have no idea how wrong you are. I almost fell sorry for you.

  107. @Intelligent Dasein
    This famous man handshake game makes the current episode of social distancing seem even more like a bathetic ending to a bad Monty Python skit. A thousand years after Chartres and the Crusades, the Faustian soul decides to spend six trillion dollars and sit around at home, avoiding everyone while committing suicide by sloth.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

    I don’t know about you, Intel D., but I have written a few hundred lines of eternal poetry in the last few months. Not sure if I am going to burn the manuscript or not.

    YMMV, dude.

  108. Adolf Hitler and Ludwig Wittgenstein attended school together in Linz, Austria around 1903. Must be some interesting connections from there but beyond me.

  109. Ok, I will play too. I shook hands, many times with Wilson “Bill” Greatbatch , a neighbor and inventor of the implantable Pacemaker. He was a close personal friend of president George H.W. Bush, having served together in WWII. So, I have a connection to everyone President Bush shook hands with, including at one time all of the living past presidents, heads of state and Popes.

  110. @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    One truly bizarre juxtaposition involved the late English philosopher Freddie Ayre apparently 'saving' the model Naomi Campbell from a rape attempt by Mike Tyson.

    Apparently, Ayre, posh English accent and all, managed to reason with Tyson and use verbal persuasion and logic to talk Tyson out of it.

    This incident is said to have happened at a 'New York City Party' - the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of 'party' could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @Steve Sailer, @PiltdownMan, @AKAHorace

    A. J. Ayer.

  111. Olivia de Havilland is 103 and became a Hollywood star by the late 1930s.

    Miss de Havilland’s grandfather was born in 1823, 197 years ago.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_de_Havilland

    She and her father were born when their fathers were in their late forties. (Derbyshire-family-style.) Beverly Cleary of Ramona fame is slightly older, but according to Find-a-Grave, her grandparents were all born in the early 1850s, a more normal family timeline. Kirk Douglas’s paternal grandfather was born in 1861:

    https://www.myheritage.com/names/herschel_danielovitch

    So the grandfathers of three individuals who were born in 1916 and lived (at least) until 2020 were born in 1823, 1851, and 1861. Generations are an elastic concept even in families, where the definition of the term is exact.

  112. @advancedatheist
    For a long time Bertrand Russell had about the only readily available book on atheism in print that you could pick up and handle in regular bookstores like Waldenbooks and B. Dalton, even in Tulsa: Why I Am Not a Christian, and Other Essays. I wonder what Russell would have made of the mainstreaming of irreligion, considering that every Barnes & Noble bookstore I've ever stepped into in recent years has a full shelf of recently published books on atheism in the philosophy section.

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @PiltdownMan

    It was on my Christmas wish-list when I was in my teens. I had to buy it for myself.

  113. @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    One truly bizarre juxtaposition involved the late English philosopher Freddie Ayre apparently 'saving' the model Naomi Campbell from a rape attempt by Mike Tyson.

    Apparently, Ayre, posh English accent and all, managed to reason with Tyson and use verbal persuasion and logic to talk Tyson out of it.

    This incident is said to have happened at a 'New York City Party' - the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of 'party' could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @Steve Sailer, @PiltdownMan, @AKAHorace

    Ayer is the model for the successful positivist philosopher department head who appears to be sleeping with the wife of the sad sack moral philosopher hero in Stoppard’s comedy “Jumpers.”

    • Replies: @dried peanuts
    @Steve Sailer

    Isn't there an anecdote in Kingsley Amis' memoirs about Ayer pulling a well known feminist by simply agreeing with everything she says on a TV show?

  114. Does physical contact matter? I can understand the tidy visual of a handshake, but for instance the Japanese bow to one another and it’s still a personal face to face encounter.

    So for example if someone on this site had a personal connection to an American officer who was aboard the USS Missouri for the Japanese surrender, that person may may have been bowed to by a Japanese officer from an old samurai family. From there the chain would easily go back to the Meiji Restoration at least, and very likely to the first Tokugawa shogun, circa 1600. (The emperors themselves are mostly nonentities.). Maybe even further.

    On a more comical note, back when I was in college, Allen Ginsberg tried to pick me up one time (though I don’t think he actually touched me). Years later I told this story to my gruff working-class father, thinking it would shock him. He laughed and said, “Big deal, Allen Ginsberg tried to pick up EVERYBODY.”

  115. @advancedatheist
    For a long time Bertrand Russell had about the only readily available book on atheism in print that you could pick up and handle in regular bookstores like Waldenbooks and B. Dalton, even in Tulsa: Why I Am Not a Christian, and Other Essays. I wonder what Russell would have made of the mainstreaming of irreligion, considering that every Barnes & Noble bookstore I've ever stepped into in recent years has a full shelf of recently published books on atheism in the philosophy section.

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @PiltdownMan

    As an advanced atheist this is probably old hat to you, but I thought this link was pretty good. I recommend it to people who’ve stumbled upon a book by Dawkins, Harris or Hitchens, only recently.

    http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=7992

  116. @Kyle
    I have no clue what the number of hand shakes is between Napoleon and present day. But I’d set the over under at 3. That seems about right.

    Replies: @Peter Polson

    I didn’t shake his hand, but I did correspond with Bertrand Russell. My name is on this list:
    http://bracers.mcmaster.ca/php/correspondents.php
    You are correct about 3.

  117. @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    One truly bizarre juxtaposition involved the late English philosopher Freddie Ayre apparently 'saving' the model Naomi Campbell from a rape attempt by Mike Tyson.

    Apparently, Ayre, posh English accent and all, managed to reason with Tyson and use verbal persuasion and logic to talk Tyson out of it.

    This incident is said to have happened at a 'New York City Party' - the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of 'party' could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @Steve Sailer, @PiltdownMan, @AKAHorace

    This incident is said to have happened at a ‘New York City Party’ – the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of ‘party’ could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    A society party cleverly put together by a creative and well-connected host who likes doing that sort of thing—throwing together prominent or up-and-coming personalities from disparate worlds. That sort of cosmopolitan gathering has been a thing for centuries, in places like New York or London.

    • Replies: @James N. Kennett
    @PiltdownMan


    A society party cleverly put together by a creative and well-connected host who likes doing that sort of thing—throwing together prominent or up-and-coming personalities from disparate worlds. That sort of cosmopolitan gathering has been a thing for centuries, in places like New York or London.
     
    e.g. the party held by Leonard Bernstein, described by Tom Wolfe in Radical Chic.
  118. I pissed with Miles Davis. At a jazz club north of Boston in the late 60s. During half time I went to the men’s room and Miles walked in after me.

  119. @Dmitry
    @Steve Sailer


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)... due to his aristocratic birth, his family’s accomplishments

     

    It is said that when you read history books about such caste societies like England, there will always be the same small group of names in different generations, so that you imagine it is the same people somehow living across centuries. I think probably Russell will be one of these small set of names recycled across generations in the centre of the English spider web? It would be one of the mafia families controlling England of the time, and they would know socially all the other people in the centre of the spider web - and with uncountable connections between each other, and therefore to the decision making people of the epoch.

    -

    A nice thing of a lockdown in North-Western Europe, is the atmosphere where such people had lived, now empty of tourists and students. This feeling of trespassing into an empty elves’ city.

    Before coronavirus, such places were veiled by the noises of cars, tourists and students. Nowadays, it is so deserted - and more beautiful than it has been probably for many decades.

    https://i.imgur.com/64ZCqwv.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/QHRLRlk.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/WeVuGgr.jpg

    Replies: @Anon, @moshe, @J.Ross, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Steve Sailer

    Cecil, Spencer, Churchill, Spencer-Churchill, etc.

  120. @syonredux
    @AKAHorace

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igSo3IBKb4s

    Replies: @anon

    He’s a good actor.

  121. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    I was surprised to find that Voltaire (1694-1778) did not have dinner with Newton (but he went to his funeral). Ben Franklin didn’t get to England until about the time of Newton’s death, so I doubt if they met.
     
    Yeah, but Franklin met Voltaire, and Voltaire knew Newton's niece, Catherine Barton. That puts BF at three degrees of separation from Newton. That also means that a good chunk of the Founders (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, John Adams, etc) were at four degrees of separation from Newton. And, since JQ Adams knew BF, that puts Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr at five degrees of separation and JFK at six. My father shook hands with JFK back in 1960, which puts him at seven degrees. The upshot of all of this is that I am at eight degrees of separation from Isaac Newton.

    Replies: @Paleo Liberal, @Kratoklastes

    Franklin was also a frequent visitor to d’Holbach.

    Initially I was certain that if people’s lifespans and schedules aligned, d’Holbach’s circle would enable Franklin to leap-frog Voltaire and the niece, and go straight to someone who shook Newton’s hand.

    That’s because d’Holbach knew Matthew Stewart (who was Demoivre’s student), and Demoivre was a contemporary of Newton. Sadly, Stewart wasn’t: he was only about 10 when Newton died. Also, Demoivre died 20 years before Franklin came to France.

    In any case, it’s best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    Franklin → Stewart → Demoivre → Newton is more likely to include handshakes; it only requires that Franklin and Stewart were in Paris at the same time.

    Speaking of good old PHT (d’H)… I doubt there was a greater ‘super-spreader’ of handshakes in the world between 1750 and 1780.

    d’Holbach was the premier salon-intellectual in mid-to-late 17th century France (and therefore, the world at the time) – before salon-intellectual became a term of derision.

    His circle included Diderot; Rousseau; Helvétius; le Rond d’Alembert; Boulanger; Edward Gibbon; David Hume; Adam Smith; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; Joseph Priestley and a bunch of others. And, of course Mirabeau, Jefferson and Paine (very briefly, and near the end of d’Holbach’s life).

    Also, d’Holbach did a ‘super-move’ that marked him as a true alpha: when his wife died, he married her hotter, younger sister.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Kratoklastes

    Did Franklin want to marry d'Holbach's widow or was that Helvetius's widow?

    Replies: @syonredux

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Kratoklastes

    The sculptor Houdon (1741-1828) got around. Mostly, famous people like Jefferson and Franklin came to him in Paris, but he also visited the United States in 1785 and sculpted Washington.

    , @syonredux
    @Kratoklastes


    In any case, it’s best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.
     
    I'm certain that he held her hand once or twice. Besides, are we being literal about this handshake business? If we are, that pretty much kills George Washington as a Connector, seeing as how he was notorious for his aversion to shaking hands....

    As for other links to Newton, Franklin spent most of the years 1757 to 1775 in London and was a member of the Royal Society. Hence, I think that there's a very high probability that he had encounters with several men who shook Newton's hand.

    , @syonredux
    @Kratoklastes

    RE: Connecting Franklin to Newton,

    From Franklin's Autobiography, we have this section dealing with his stay in London during the 1720s:


    At Palmer's I was employed in composing for the second edition of Wollaston's "Religion of Nature." Some of his reasonings not appearing to me well founded, I wrote a little metaphysical piece in which I made remarks on item. It was entitled "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain." I inscribed it to my friend Ralph; I printed a small number. It occasioned my being more considered by Mr. Palmer as a young man of some ingenuity, tho' he seriously expostulated with me upon the principles of my pamphlet, which to him appeared abominable. My printing this pamphlet was another erratum. While I lodged in Little Britain, I made an acquaintance with one Wilcox, a bookseller, whose shop was at the next door. He had an immense collection of second-hand books. Circulating libraries were not then in use; but we agreed that, on certain reasonable terms, which I have now forgotten, I might take, read, and return any of his books. This I esteemed a great advantage, and I made as much use of it as I could.
     

    My pamphlet by some means falling into the hands of one Lyons, a surgeon, author of a book entitled "The Infallibility of Human judgment," it occasioned an acquaintance between us. He took great notice of me, called on me often to converse on those subjects, carried me to the Horns, a pale-ale house in - Lane, Cheapside, and introduced me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the "Fable of the Bees," who had a club there, of which he was the soul, being a most facetious, entertaining companion. Lyons, too, introduced me to Dr. Pemberton, at Batson's Coffee-house, who promised to give me an opportunity some time or other of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, of which I was extremely desirous; but this never happened.

     

    Henry Pemberton (1694 – 9 March 1771) was quite close to the elderly Newton:

    On his settling in London, Pemberton did not practise much, because of delicate health. He was, however, a writer on medical and general subjects. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and contributed papers to its Philosophical Transactions (vols. xxxii.–lxii.). One of these, a demonstration of the inefficiency in an attempted proof by Giovanni Poleni, of Leibniz's assertion that the force of descending bodies is proportional to the square of their velocity, was transmitted to Isaac Newton by Richard Mead, and gained for Pemberton Newton's friendship. Newton brought him a refutation by himself based on other principles. This was afterwards printed as a postscript to Pemberton's paper. Pemberton saw much of Newton in his old age.

     


    Pemberton was employed by Newton to superintend the third edition of the ‘Principia.’ The new edition, which appeared in 1726, had a preface by Newton, in which Pemberton is characterised as ‘vir harum rerum peritissimus.’

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Pemberton


    This puts BF at two removes from Newton (BF to Pemberton, Pemberton to Newton). This means that a large chunk of the Founders were at three removes from Newton. JQ Adams knew BF, putting him at three removes. Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr shook hands with JQ Adams, putting him at four removes. Holmes shook JFK's hand, putting Kennedy at five. My father shook JFK's hand in 1960, putting him at six and yours truly at seven.
  122. @Kratoklastes
    @syonredux

    Franklin was also a frequent visitor to d'Holbach.

    Initially I was certain that if people's lifespans and schedules aligned, d'Holbach's circle would enable Franklin to leap-frog Voltaire and the niece, and go straight to someone who shook Newton's hand.

    That's because d'Holbach knew Matthew Stewart (who was Demoivre's student), and Demoivre was a contemporary of Newton. Sadly, Stewart wasn't: he was only about 10 when Newton died. Also, Demoivre died 20 years before Franklin came to France.

    In any case, it's best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    Franklin → Stewart → Demoivre → Newton is more likely to include handshakes; it only requires that Franklin and Stewart were in Paris at the same time.

    Speaking of good old PHT (d'H)... I doubt there was a greater 'super-spreader' of handshakes in the world between 1750 and 1780.

    d'Holbach was the premier salon-intellectual in mid-to-late 17th century France (and therefore, the world at the time) - before salon-intellectual became a term of derision.

    His circle included Diderot; Rousseau; Helvétius; le Rond d'Alembert; Boulanger; Edward Gibbon; David Hume; Adam Smith; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; Joseph Priestley and a bunch of others. And, of course Mirabeau, Jefferson and Paine (very briefly, and near the end of d'Holbach's life).

    Also, d'Holbach did a 'super-move' that marked him as a true alpha: when his wife died, he married her hotter, younger sister.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @syonredux, @syonredux

    Did Franklin want to marry d’Holbach’s widow or was that Helvetius’s widow?

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer

    Madame Helvétius:

    https://sites.suffolk.edu/franklin/2016/02/11/letter-to-madame-helvetius-elysian-fields/

    There's a funny scene involving Franklin and Madame Helvétius in the John Adams mini-series:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JouE7mOVdI4

  123. @Kratoklastes
    @syonredux

    Franklin was also a frequent visitor to d'Holbach.

    Initially I was certain that if people's lifespans and schedules aligned, d'Holbach's circle would enable Franklin to leap-frog Voltaire and the niece, and go straight to someone who shook Newton's hand.

    That's because d'Holbach knew Matthew Stewart (who was Demoivre's student), and Demoivre was a contemporary of Newton. Sadly, Stewart wasn't: he was only about 10 when Newton died. Also, Demoivre died 20 years before Franklin came to France.

    In any case, it's best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    Franklin → Stewart → Demoivre → Newton is more likely to include handshakes; it only requires that Franklin and Stewart were in Paris at the same time.

    Speaking of good old PHT (d'H)... I doubt there was a greater 'super-spreader' of handshakes in the world between 1750 and 1780.

    d'Holbach was the premier salon-intellectual in mid-to-late 17th century France (and therefore, the world at the time) - before salon-intellectual became a term of derision.

    His circle included Diderot; Rousseau; Helvétius; le Rond d'Alembert; Boulanger; Edward Gibbon; David Hume; Adam Smith; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; Joseph Priestley and a bunch of others. And, of course Mirabeau, Jefferson and Paine (very briefly, and near the end of d'Holbach's life).

    Also, d'Holbach did a 'super-move' that marked him as a true alpha: when his wife died, he married her hotter, younger sister.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @syonredux, @syonredux

    The sculptor Houdon (1741-1828) got around. Mostly, famous people like Jefferson and Franklin came to him in Paris, but he also visited the United States in 1785 and sculpted Washington.

  124. John Lennon meet Groucho Marx at a party in Hollywood in 1964. Did Armand Hammer ever meet Groucho? He lived in California for many years. Thus creating the Lenin-Hammer-Marx-Lennon coonection.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Mark Grainger

    My mother's best friend's husband worked for Armand Hammer for one year. All he'd say about his experience was, "He's not like he seems on TV."

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

  125. And many other possible connections to Armand Hammer at the gathering including LA mayor Sam Yorty. And HeAs a Hopper.

    http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2013/01/beatles_party_in_1964_now.php

  126. @Mark Grainger
    John Lennon meet Groucho Marx at a party in Hollywood in 1964. Did Armand Hammer ever meet Groucho? He lived in California for many years. Thus creating the Lenin-Hammer-Marx-Lennon coonection.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    My mother’s best friend’s husband worked for Armand Hammer for one year. All he’d say about his experience was, “He’s not like he seems on TV.”

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    @Steve Sailer

    I know people who were present when he was received in audience by Pope John Paul II. They said that everyone involved was appalled by his arrogance and indifference to the honour he was being given. He acted, they said, as though he was the one doing a favour by giving the Pope a few moments of his invaluable time.

  127. I’ve shaken hands with the unemployed and before that I used to shake hands with the wife’s best friend .
    Does that count ?

  128. Did anybody meet both Karl and Groucho Marx?

    If there was, it may have been somebody in Chicago. The Marx Brothers lived for a time in an area of Chicago’s South Side, that today is known as Bronzeville, but back at the turn of the 20th Century, was home to wealthier Jews who mainly came over from Germany. The Jewish people who lived in the area looked generally down upon the poorer immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe who settled in Chicago’s West Side, but a few, including the Marx Brothers, may have consorted with the more radical elements of the Eastern European Jews. Or maybe there were Communists among the wealthier German Jews? Some of the radicals may in turn have met Karl Marx. It is a stretch, but plausible.

  129. @RichardTaylor
    Why in blazes did most of the HBD commentariat go ape over this coronavirus? From the start, they were using the metaphor of WWII to tell us we needed to shut down the country and spend trillions. It was all hard sell.

    They also had weird faith in data coming from "experts" in China and the WHO.

    What in their mentality led to this epic mistake? Was it their technocratic tendencies? Think a few smart "really high IQ people who know math" couldn't possibly flub something like this?

    Replies: @Manfred Arcane, @Manfred Arcane

    Pretty much. In particular, the China-worship so disturbingly prevalent in the HBD sphere made them convinced that our High IQ Future Overlords couldn’t POSSIBLY overreact and that if they were freaking out it must be extinction-event time.

  130. @Kratoklastes
    @syonredux

    Franklin was also a frequent visitor to d'Holbach.

    Initially I was certain that if people's lifespans and schedules aligned, d'Holbach's circle would enable Franklin to leap-frog Voltaire and the niece, and go straight to someone who shook Newton's hand.

    That's because d'Holbach knew Matthew Stewart (who was Demoivre's student), and Demoivre was a contemporary of Newton. Sadly, Stewart wasn't: he was only about 10 when Newton died. Also, Demoivre died 20 years before Franklin came to France.

    In any case, it's best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    Franklin → Stewart → Demoivre → Newton is more likely to include handshakes; it only requires that Franklin and Stewart were in Paris at the same time.

    Speaking of good old PHT (d'H)... I doubt there was a greater 'super-spreader' of handshakes in the world between 1750 and 1780.

    d'Holbach was the premier salon-intellectual in mid-to-late 17th century France (and therefore, the world at the time) - before salon-intellectual became a term of derision.

    His circle included Diderot; Rousseau; Helvétius; le Rond d'Alembert; Boulanger; Edward Gibbon; David Hume; Adam Smith; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; Joseph Priestley and a bunch of others. And, of course Mirabeau, Jefferson and Paine (very briefly, and near the end of d'Holbach's life).

    Also, d'Holbach did a 'super-move' that marked him as a true alpha: when his wife died, he married her hotter, younger sister.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @syonredux, @syonredux

    In any case, it’s best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    I’m certain that he held her hand once or twice. Besides, are we being literal about this handshake business? If we are, that pretty much kills George Washington as a Connector, seeing as how he was notorious for his aversion to shaking hands….

    As for other links to Newton, Franklin spent most of the years 1757 to 1775 in London and was a member of the Royal Society. Hence, I think that there’s a very high probability that he had encounters with several men who shook Newton’s hand.

  131. @Steve Sailer
    @Kratoklastes

    Did Franklin want to marry d'Holbach's widow or was that Helvetius's widow?

    Replies: @syonredux

    Madame Helvétius:

    https://sites.suffolk.edu/franklin/2016/02/11/letter-to-madame-helvetius-elysian-fields/

    There’s a funny scene involving Franklin and Madame Helvétius in the John Adams mini-series:

  132. @Kratoklastes
    @syonredux

    Franklin was also a frequent visitor to d'Holbach.

    Initially I was certain that if people's lifespans and schedules aligned, d'Holbach's circle would enable Franklin to leap-frog Voltaire and the niece, and go straight to someone who shook Newton's hand.

    That's because d'Holbach knew Matthew Stewart (who was Demoivre's student), and Demoivre was a contemporary of Newton. Sadly, Stewart wasn't: he was only about 10 when Newton died. Also, Demoivre died 20 years before Franklin came to France.

    In any case, it's best to find an adult-male path by which Franklin gets to Newton, since it strikes me as unlikely that Newton would have shaken hands with a niece.

    Franklin → Stewart → Demoivre → Newton is more likely to include handshakes; it only requires that Franklin and Stewart were in Paris at the same time.

    Speaking of good old PHT (d'H)... I doubt there was a greater 'super-spreader' of handshakes in the world between 1750 and 1780.

    d'Holbach was the premier salon-intellectual in mid-to-late 17th century France (and therefore, the world at the time) - before salon-intellectual became a term of derision.

    His circle included Diderot; Rousseau; Helvétius; le Rond d'Alembert; Boulanger; Edward Gibbon; David Hume; Adam Smith; Laurence Sterne; David Garrick; Horace Walpole; Joseph Priestley and a bunch of others. And, of course Mirabeau, Jefferson and Paine (very briefly, and near the end of d'Holbach's life).

    Also, d'Holbach did a 'super-move' that marked him as a true alpha: when his wife died, he married her hotter, younger sister.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @syonredux, @syonredux

    RE: Connecting Franklin to Newton,

    From Franklin’s Autobiography, we have this section dealing with his stay in London during the 1720s:

    At Palmer’s I was employed in composing for the second edition of Wollaston’s “Religion of Nature.” Some of his reasonings not appearing to me well founded, I wrote a little metaphysical piece in which I made remarks on item. It was entitled “A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain.” I inscribed it to my friend Ralph; I printed a small number. It occasioned my being more considered by Mr. Palmer as a young man of some ingenuity, tho’ he seriously expostulated with me upon the principles of my pamphlet, which to him appeared abominable. My printing this pamphlet was another erratum. While I lodged in Little Britain, I made an acquaintance with one Wilcox, a bookseller, whose shop was at the next door. He had an immense collection of second-hand books. Circulating libraries were not then in use; but we agreed that, on certain reasonable terms, which I have now forgotten, I might take, read, and return any of his books. This I esteemed a great advantage, and I made as much use of it as I could.

    My pamphlet by some means falling into the hands of one Lyons, a surgeon, author of a book entitled “The Infallibility of Human judgment,” it occasioned an acquaintance between us. He took great notice of me, called on me often to converse on those subjects, carried me to the Horns, a pale-ale house in – Lane, Cheapside, and introduced me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the “Fable of the Bees,” who had a club there, of which he was the soul, being a most facetious, entertaining companion. Lyons, too, introduced me to Dr. Pemberton, at Batson’s Coffee-house, who promised to give me an opportunity some time or other of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, of which I was extremely desirous; but this never happened.

    Henry Pemberton (1694 – 9 March 1771) was quite close to the elderly Newton:

    On his settling in London, Pemberton did not practise much, because of delicate health. He was, however, a writer on medical and general subjects. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and contributed papers to its Philosophical Transactions (vols. xxxii.–lxii.). One of these, a demonstration of the inefficiency in an attempted proof by Giovanni Poleni, of Leibniz’s assertion that the force of descending bodies is proportional to the square of their velocity, was transmitted to Isaac Newton by Richard Mead, and gained for Pemberton Newton’s friendship. Newton brought him a refutation by himself based on other principles. This was afterwards printed as a postscript to Pemberton’s paper. Pemberton saw much of Newton in his old age.

    Pemberton was employed by Newton to superintend the third edition of the ‘Principia.’ The new edition, which appeared in 1726, had a preface by Newton, in which Pemberton is characterised as ‘vir harum rerum peritissimus.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Pemberton

    This puts BF at two removes from Newton (BF to Pemberton, Pemberton to Newton). This means that a large chunk of the Founders were at three removes from Newton. JQ Adams knew BF, putting him at three removes. Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr shook hands with JQ Adams, putting him at four removes. Holmes shook JFK’s hand, putting Kennedy at five. My father shook JFK’s hand in 1960, putting him at six and yours truly at seven.

  133. @Steve Sailer
    @Mark Grainger

    My mother's best friend's husband worked for Armand Hammer for one year. All he'd say about his experience was, "He's not like he seems on TV."

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    I know people who were present when he was received in audience by Pope John Paul II. They said that everyone involved was appalled by his arrogance and indifference to the honour he was being given. He acted, they said, as though he was the one doing a favour by giving the Pope a few moments of his invaluable time.

  134. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Ayer is the model for the successful positivist philosopher department head who appears to be sleeping with the wife of the sad sack moral philosopher hero in Stoppard's comedy "Jumpers."

    Replies: @dried peanuts

    Isn’t there an anecdote in Kingsley Amis’ memoirs about Ayer pulling a well known feminist by simply agreeing with everything she says on a TV show?

  135. @anon
    I once read an article, which I can no longer find, that at the time of Napoleon's death the attending doctor cut off his penis to preserve and keep as a souvenir.
    The penis was sold at auction in the early 20th century.
    It has not been heard from since - perhaps lost in WWII.
    If anyone can confirm this story I would like to know the source.

    Replies: @Stan Adams, @Alden

    There are many many stories about Napoleons penis, none have proved true or false.

  136. @Coemgen
    @John Cunningham


    I was born in May 1945, thus 75 this year. My grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. Of course they were shanty Irish with no chance to meet anyone famous.
     
    I'm from a similar background but from the other end of the baby boom. Our family's closest relationship with Napoleon is being Bónapárt Ó Cúnasa incarnate. My bog Irish paternal line great-grandfather poured drinks for prominent Bostonians but apparently did not discuss work with the family. I guess that tight lips (limited ambition, and a sharp mind) were a prerequisite for that job.

    Replies: @Inverness

    People born in mid to late-1940s America must be some of the luckiest people in history. Excepting those who were sent to Vietnam of course.

  137. @PiltdownMan
    @Anonymous


    This incident is said to have happened at a ‘New York City Party’ – the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of ‘party’ could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?
     
    A society party cleverly put together by a creative and well-connected host who likes doing that sort of thing—throwing together prominent or up-and-coming personalities from disparate worlds. That sort of cosmopolitan gathering has been a thing for centuries, in places like New York or London.

    Replies: @James N. Kennett

    A society party cleverly put together by a creative and well-connected host who likes doing that sort of thing—throwing together prominent or up-and-coming personalities from disparate worlds. That sort of cosmopolitan gathering has been a thing for centuries, in places like New York or London.

    e.g. the party held by Leonard Bernstein, described by Tom Wolfe in Radical Chic.

  138. @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    One truly bizarre juxtaposition involved the late English philosopher Freddie Ayre apparently 'saving' the model Naomi Campbell from a rape attempt by Mike Tyson.

    Apparently, Ayre, posh English accent and all, managed to reason with Tyson and use verbal persuasion and logic to talk Tyson out of it.

    This incident is said to have happened at a 'New York City Party' - the mind boggles. Just *what* sort of 'party' could ever bring these extreme polar opposites in the same room?

    Replies: @MBlanc46, @Steve Sailer, @PiltdownMan, @AKAHorace

    Sorry 243,

    I should have checked the previous posts before bringing up the topic of Ayer.

  139. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Cortes
    Longevity must be a significant factor in making a claim to be a great connector.Vast wealth, enormous personal vitality and a range of interests contribute also. French-Jewish industrialist, aviator, patron of the arts, philanthropist and centenarian bon viveur....

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul-Louis_Weiller

    Truth be told, even he pales into the background when we think of General Sir Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Truth be told, even he pales into the background when we think of General Sir Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE.

    Who could ever forget Sir Harry? Particularly his encounter with thousands of aspiring rappers at Rorke’s Drift.

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