**catamorphism**has recently linked to a discussion on Wikipedia about whether or not categories should be kept of people by Erdős number. This is well worth reading as a prime example of all that is hilarious about Wikipedia even if your eyes will glaze over and your synapses will shut dow well before you even get through 10% of it, but it is not the point of this post.

It set me thinking about my own Erdős number. Now, clearly, since I have never co-authored an academic paper in my life, by any reasonable measure my Erdős number is either infinite or undefined. Equally clearly, though, I'm not going to let minor problems like facts get in the way here. After all, I've never appeared in a Hollywood movie either, but that doesn't stop me from claiming a Bacon number of 4.

(I appeared in several school plays with Ralf Little, who has a Bacon number of 3. Therefore, I clearly have a Bacon number of 4, right?)

So all I need now is a fake Erdős number to go with my fake Bacon number. I thought about this quandary for a while in bed last night, and came to the conclusion that I have a fake Erdős number of 2, by virtue of the entity that started this train of thought in the first pace, Wikipedia.

Sure, Wikipedia is only published on the web, but that's still a form of publishing, right? And sure, it has had thousands if not millions of contributors, but the number of collaborators involved is irrelevant in calculating Erdős number. As such, since I have collaborated on Wikipedia with at least 3 people of Erdős number 1, I have fake Erdős number of 2, and therefore a fake Erdős–Bacon number of 6.

How about you lot?

lonelysundayI worked for NSMT with Joe Repczynski

Joe did special effects for

The Matrix Reloaded, in which Laurence Fishburne actedLaurence Fishburne was in

Mystic Riverwith Kevin BaconThe Erdős number, on the other hand, is a little more convoluted. You and I once "collaborated" on a Guild Wars Wiki page, which strives to be like Wikipedia (and by your own criteria Wikipedia can be substituted for real academic publishing), so I think that gives me an Erdős number of 3.

Hence my Erdős-Bacon number is 6 as well.

jai_ditpneAfter all, simply counting "contributing to Wikipedia" seems, to me, like claiming an Erdős number of 1 simply from having one of your papers published in a journal to which Erdős ever contributed, at any point -- not necessarily even in the same issue of the journal.

metawidgetI have no idea what my Bacon number is. When

rottenfruitmentioned it, I thought Francis Bacon first.slovakiaAs I recall, one of the staff of the computing labs at Oxford (I think it might have been Bill Roscoe) had an Erdős number of 2, and by extension a significant chunk of the department were ranked 3. I'm struggling to think of any document I worked on there that could remotely be called a collaboration, though. I don't suppose marking counts does it?

catamorphismjenmcd