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12,622 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
!!!From the perspective of his contemporaries!!!

So to be clear, the thread is not about retrospective idols. The likes of Tesla, Darwin, Van Gogh etc. while actually respected within their lifetimes by many academics, where not solid contenders for the most outstanding individuals alive in the public consciousness.

I would restrict the question to the Western World in the decades belonging to the 19th century to avoid confusion about the reputation of certain historical figures in different corners of the world. For example, there's a great chance that a hypothetical worldwide poll back in those days would been won by the Chinese Emperor, since the Qin dynasty housed more than a third of the world's population and they were relatively isolated from the West.

So just fill in this template with your choices and expand on (some of)them if you wish:
















If some historical figures are somewhat placed in a no-man's land because of being hard to place their peak reputation within a specific decade, you can just make an uninterrupted timeline of the peeps who would have held this distinction in your opinion (like a passing of the torch).

Let's prove the mods how civil and intellectual discussions are actually an EE trademark! :stuckup: (of course any member is welcomed to offer their insight *cough* @Morierinho *cough*)

1,314 Posts
Decade: 1940s.
Seminal year: 1945
Person: John von Nuemann (Hungary/USA)
Seminal Achievement: theoretical groundwork and applications for the modern computer.

54,616 Posts
name: Alfréd Brüll (HUN)
decades: 1910-1930s
achievements: industrial magnate, greatest patron/sponsor of sports generally in 20th century, MTK and other sport clubs chairman, olympic committee chairman, stadium builder, Shoah victim

9,668 Posts

Milton William Cooper

The Godfather of the modern "truther" movement. Shared an incredible amount of intellectual knowledge regarding secret societeies, ancient cults and government cover-ups to his radio show listeners throughout the years when he was alive. Author of the Book 'Behold a Pale Horse' which influenced a generation of hip-hop artists including Wu-Tang-Clan amongst others.


General Iordanescu
28,185 Posts
Paul Erdos (Erdős Pál): 70s to his death

" After 1971 he also took stimulants, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking them for a month.[25] Erdős won the bet, but complained that during his abstinence, mathematics had been set back by a month: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper."[citation needed] After he won the bet, he promptly resumed his use of Ritalin and Benzedrine."

"He himself doubted the existence of God, whom he called the "Supreme Fascist" (SF).[29][30] He accused SF of hiding his socks and Hungarian passports, and of keeping the most elegant mathematical proofs to Himself."

"Other idiosyncratic elements of Erdős's vocabulary include:[31]

Children were referred to as "epsilons" (because in mathematics, particularly calculus, an arbitrarily small positive quantity is commonly denoted by the Greek letter (ε))
Women were "bosses" who "captured" men as "slaves" by marrying them. Divorced men were "liberated."
People who stopped doing mathematics had "died," while people who died had "left."
Alcoholic drinks were "poison".
Music (except classical music) was "noise".
To be considered a hack was to be a "Newton".
To give a mathematical lecture was "to preach".
To give an oral exam to students was "to torture" them.
He gave nicknames to many countries, examples being: the U.S. was "samland" (after Uncle Sam),[31] the Soviet Union was "joedom" (after Joseph Stalin),[31] and Israel was "isreal"."

36,097 Posts
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