The 100 Discussion

Now Michael Hart in 1992 published a second edition of what he thought were the most influential people in world history. If you have any suggestions of reordering, adding, or subtracting to the list post here.

I had that book! Here’s a list. The list doesn’t have the rankings, but it starts from #1 and works it’s way down.

I thought he over-estimated Muhammed (#1) and his arguing that William Shakespeare didn’t exist was especially :rolleyes: - worthy. It also seems heavily weighed towards religion, especially the top-10 (5 out of 10), but the full 100 had 10 religious figures, so maybe not.

Well a major religion has far more followers then a country has citizens so I don’t think he’s really overestimating. But I do think Steve Jobs and/or Bill Gates should be somewhere on the list.

Possibly, even though by 1992 it would have been difficult to justify BG or SJ on the list. If you’re going to want somebody on the list for computers, better the team (Shockley, Bardeen, and one other guy) that invented the transistor, or Douglas Englebart.

And while you’re right that most major religions has more followers than most countries have citizens, the application of religious “truth” is nowhere near as universal as the application of scientific or mathematical truth.

Here’s who I would’ve added (or would enjoy making the case for):

Edwin Hubble
Transistor Team
John Rockefeller

To make room, I would remove:

JFK (?)
Queen Isabella I
Hernando Cortes

Leonardo Da Vinci should be a top contender and not a runner up. I am not especially religious but there is no way in hell that Mohamed should be ranked above Jesus in terms of influence from any angle especially in the shear numbers of followers. That is just a plain fuck-up. I don’t know if the writer is Muslim or not but that logic is completely wrong.

He’s Jewish. I agree with you on that one and Abraham should be there instead of Moses.

His argument is that the spread of Christianity is equally attributed to Jesus (via his beliefs) and Paul (via his Epistles and outreach), so Mohammed trumps them since he both made it up and wrote the book, while Jesus and Paul divided the credit.

Similarly, his reason for JFK being so high is for one singular reason: he made it a political priority (not just a flight of fancy or scientific hypothetical) to put a man on the moon. He set a date and initiated the wheels be set in motion to make it happen, and since that represents one of the most important events in human history, he shoulders the credit for having the vision and will to make it a reality.

Similiarly, he gives Moses the lion’s share of the credit because the first set of Jewish histories was written in the Pentateuch under his watch. Abraham may be the father of the Jewish religion, but Moses’ influence and leadership (the exodus) and his contribution of turning an oral tradition into a written one is what weighs to his advantage.