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Old 04-21-2014, 11:26 PM   #76
Mason Malmuth
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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I don't think one has to be a fan of somebody to acknowledge their influence. I'm no fan of Joe Stalin or Addie Hitler, but I agree they were very influential 20th century leaders. So I readily agree that Friedman was one of the most influential economists ever. However, I find the assertion that Friedman was great because he brought freedom to millions to be absurd,
Hi Math:

Didn't the Soviet Union collapse? and didn't Friedman have a role in those policies that helped bring this about? and weren't his ideas influential in a number of countries that were formerly under control of the USSR?

For a unique perspective on this, start listening on the following video at 3:55 and at 6:20:

https://bfi.uchicago.edu/video/milto...ie-rose-part-4

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:46 PM   #77
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Saying that Friedman had any kind of significant role in the collapse of the USSR is a gross exaggeration I'd say. The Soviet Union collapsed from weak and stagnant economic structure, a bloated military apparatus, a severe drop in economic power due to a drop in 80s oil prices, and inability of political insiders (ie Gorbachev's opponents) to embrace needed reform. Friedman had nothing to do with any of that.

Certainly it is the case that several of Friedman's recommendations were followed in former Soviet bloc countries (not to mention Pinochet's Chile), but I'm not sure you would find a ringing endorsement of those policies among some of the residents of those nations. To the extent that Friedman had a lasting influence on institutions like the IMF, I'm not convinced that his contributions were particularly positive, as Friedman tended to be a little more optimistic on the human condition and the efficiency of markets than is justified.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:45 PM   #78
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

i think we all agree that Friedman has been tremendously influential. His economic philosophy was the foundation of Margaret Thatcher's economic policies and of Reagan and all subsequent Republican administrations. I would add my voice to those who maintain that his influence has, on the whole, been a malign one.

I'm pleased that no one has yet suggested Ayn Rand be added to the list btw. I read philosophy in England where she was (correctly) not even a footnote in the list of important 20th century thinkers. I also read the execrable Atlas Shrugged, which I would recommend to head a list of the worst books ever published.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:54 AM   #79
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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There needs to be proof that Jesus existed for him to be on the list. As far as I can tell he might have existed and might be a mythological figure. From what I have read, the 1st references to him in writing are from about 100c. Which would be about 100 years after his death (if he existed).

To me, this makes him a mythological figure and should keep him off this list. It's like putting God on the list.
Constantine. He got the whole Christianity machine running. Without him it likely would have remained a 2nd tier cult.

If you could pull anyone out of history, I believe picking Constantine would result in the most changed world.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #80
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Themistocles - I beat Xerxes out of Greece. Europe would have been Persian had this not happened. Therefore, no Scipio Africanus, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Constantine, Napoleon Bonaparte, Gutenberg, Hitler and Einstein.

Genghis Khan - 16,000,000 men (and tens of millions of women) today have my genes. I was more genetically productive than 800,000 men. I also conquered the world at some point. My empire was bigger than the Roman Empire and Alexander's empire put together.

As for more specific fields...

Joseph Schumpeter for economics.

Muhammad Ali for sports.

Einstein for science.

Picasso for art.

Andrew Carnegie for business.

Bruce Lee for martial arts.

Mozart for music.

Most influential American: John Adams

Last edited by themistocles khan; 06-06-2014 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:42 AM   #81
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Perma-banned.

Anyway, It's what he wanted as confirmation/proof of his persecution/conspiracy complex.

He'll be back in another form. Or others of similar ilk. Hope I'm wrong - but I doubt it.
I don't know the guy's history, but I don't see how his first two posts ITT warranted a perma-ban. Calling someone influential isn't the same as agreeing or identifying with their ideology.

If he has a past history of racism, I get it. But banning him simply for calling Hitler influential and then defending his choice is pretty intolerant and ridiculous - imo.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:55 AM   #82
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Don't know why the guy was banned but I can't say it's any surprise. He was a holocaust denier with some very dodgy views.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:36 PM   #83
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Hammurabi
Rockefeller
Darwin
Hippocrates

Just some I think haven't been mentioned itt and should be (may have missed it if they have).
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:39 PM   #84
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Apostle Paul>Jesus. Christianity as such probably wouldn't exist without Paul. The man wrote most of the new testament. I dont think its a stretch to say that without Paul "Christianity" would have been one of the many Jewish sects that existed in that day.
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:15 PM   #85
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Qin Shi Huang, first unifier and emperor of China.

Or Sun Yat Sen, whom both the Nationalists in Taiwan and Communists in mainland China both consider to be the father of modern China.

Confucius and Laozi, whose Taoist and Confucian philosophies and system of government continue to shape Asian culture and government. Think Socrates+Plato for China.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:06 AM   #86
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Moses (if you think he wrote the law and not God) for laying out the GTO governmental model which consisted of dividing the land into farm lots, returning the family to their land every 50 years if a foolish ancestor had sold it, and forgiveness of debt every 7 years. All these laws protected the individuals lot (his inheritance) so that he could grow his own food and not be an employee from a horrible negotiating position.

(edit - he should have been influential, but I guess mostly ignored)
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:04 AM   #87
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Jesus
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:42 AM   #88
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Thomas Jefferson. He really was the key to individualist government even though it is being eroded. Napoleon may have won a war but in the end France just went back to the way it was. UK, Germany, Japan, France, Spain all went to this type of government.

Lenin would also have to be another has he has influence on China, Russia, Vietnam, North Korea, hitler Germany, and all modern dictatorships and communist governments. These ideas came from Marxism.

Right now it is unknown whether a Jefferson or Marxist government will win out. Seems China type government may end up winning out.

Gutenberg only made an invention it would have been invented at a later date and before there were books, however it seems the quality of books is dropping as they are become easier to publish. idiocracy of the book industry.

Friedman/Ayn Rand/Ron Paul really have no test case yet except maybe Texas.

Einstein really broke the door open in modern science where math and observation go hand in hand

Columbus, Marco Polo are really the key to worldwide travel and commerce.

Jesus seems like a good one. .
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:01 PM   #89
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Friedman/Ayn Rand/Ron Paul really have no test case yet except maybe Texas.
LOL at thinking Texas is in any way libertarian or objectivist
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:12 PM   #90
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Thomas Jefferson. He really was the key to individualist government even though it is being eroded.
The US owes far more to Hamilton than Jefferson for its economy and system of government. Jefferson provided only the ideology, which was rooted in a deeply hypocritical vision of individual liberty--liberty for me, but not for thee. For all his talk of individual liberty, what Jefferson and his followers stood for was the entrenchment of a planter aristocracy and the immiseration of millions of African-Americans.

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Napoleon may have won a war but in the end France just went back to the way it was. UK, Germany, Japan, France, Spain all went to this type of government.
Way it was how? The ancien regime was smashed to pieces, and the Bourbon monarchy was crippled for the last few years it retrenched itself in France. This is a gross oversimplification of Napoleon's sweeping reforms in law, commerce, the military, and political organization. Nothing was ever the same in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. The Congress of Vienna was a stopgap in reform at best.

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Lenin would also have to be another has he has influence on China, Russia, Vietnam, North Korea, hitler Germany, and all modern dictatorships and communist governments. These ideas came from Marxism.
Influenced Hitler insofar as the specter of Leninism was key to Nazi fear-mongering? Beyond that, Hitler and his followers were virulently anti-Marxist and anti-Bolshevik. But certainly Lenin's leadership of the Russian Revolution set the 20th century on a course it might not have otherwise followed, so his influence has to be enormous. And no, not all dictatorships took their cues from Lenin. A large number of dictatorships maintained their power through anti-communist stances.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:23 PM   #91
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Probably not among the top ten most influential of all history, but I think they deserve to be mentioned:

King Hammurabi of Babylon
King Louis XIV of France
Scientist Monsignor Georges Lemaître of Belgium
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk of Turkey
Mahatma Gandhi of India
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:27 PM   #92
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Another influential person was Czar Peter the Great of Russia.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:00 AM   #93
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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The US owes far more to Hamilton than Jefferson for its economy and system of government. Jefferson provided only the ideology, which was rooted in a deeply hypocritical vision of individual liberty--liberty for me, but not for thee. For all his talk of individual liberty, what Jefferson and his followers stood for was the entrenchment of a planter aristocracy and the immiseration of millions of African-Americans.
Doing a little research at Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and Hamilton, they were friends of France. In fact they may have helped lead to the revolution, modelling the USA. Hamilton started first bank of USA so I doubt he was really for individual freedom. Lafayette's Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was aided by Jefferson. Based on Jefferson quotes. Jefferson claimed Hamilton was an anglophile, an admirer of England.

Newton not only invented Calculus he also invented the Telescope Hale and Hubble used to break open the universe. There were also Maxwell and Tesla and many more. Even Franklin studied fundamental electricity. Henry, Wheatstone, and Morse invented the telegraph which basically is a computer, internet, and precursor to all future electronics.

Seems there are two paths, one innovation and the other politcal.

Martin Luther King could also be the key point to ending all government and racism. Basically ending sexual discrimination, South African apartheid, and all forms of people click based laws. Separation of government and race/sex.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:17 AM   #94
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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6. Tsai Lun (inventor of paper)
9. Columbus
these people are not in my top 100

somebody was going to discover paper, therefore it's unimportant who actually did. It is telling that you had to tell us who he was.

Columbus is famous partially for doing something he didn't do, that has to bump you down a good bit imo.

The imo worst guess in this thread was Bin Laden, followed by hitler.

No one will know hitlers name in 200+ years except history majors, the winners of the wars are famous for over 200 years sometimes, but that is not usually the case for the losers(yes it sometimes happens too). Think of all the genocides that will happen in the future(or better yet don't), the name of their leader will replace hitlers name in the "worst person in the world" category.

Bin laden isn't even in the top 100,000 of all time.

Not picking someone in the last 60 years is almost required in top 10 lists like this, there is just no way to see how much those people changed the future.

Last edited by the orange crush; 02-09-2015 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:28 AM   #95
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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No one will know hitlers name in 200+ years except history majors
I would bet a lot against that (if I thought I'd still be alive by that point). About 200 years ago some other dude was quite successful at conquering large parts of Europe, before eventually losing and I doubt we will forget about Napoleon in 70 years.

Obviously, whether or not WW3 will take place is gonna influence how famous Hitler will remain, but he's gonna stay well know either way.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:40 AM   #96
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I agree with darkside. There is no way the name of Hitler will be forgotten in that timescale. A war that covered much of the globe and involved such massive casualties will not fade into history.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #97
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I'd replace Newton - towering genius though he was - with Francis Bacon - if you're talking about a person that was key in the history of science.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:35 PM   #98
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Surely you have to include Faraday?
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:55 AM   #99
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Marcion of Sinopes probably invented Jesus, and possibly wrote all of Paul's letters.
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:46 AM   #100
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

1. Adam
2. Eve
3. Ghengis Khan

Its all about sperm and eggs for me, Though my list is possibly sexist.
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