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History's most influential people, ranked by Wikipedia reach
November 27, 2012 1:50 PM   Subscribe

History's most influential people, ranked by Wikipedia reach (jpg version).
posted by stbalbach (120 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
The fact that Emperor Palpatine wasn't #1 gives me a tiny boost of hope for humanity.
posted by COBRA! at 1:56 PM on November 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Stalin but no Hitler? Odd.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:56 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


That 1400-year gap in the middle is amazing.
posted by etc. at 1:57 PM on November 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


No Muhammad either, which is even odder.
posted by elgilito at 1:57 PM on November 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


What's wikipedia reach?
posted by empath at 1:57 PM on November 27, 2012


No Muhammad? It's the world's second largest religion!
posted by axiom at 1:58 PM on November 27, 2012


What's up with da Gama? This is a curious list.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:58 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


And to echo a comment on the article, how about Darwin?
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:59 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's up with da Gama? This is a curious list.

Was wondering the same thing. da Gama? Odd choice.
And Michelangelo? Great artist and all, but...one of the 20 most influential people of all time?

No Muhammed?
No Darwin?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:00 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "What's up with da Gama?"

Must have mobilized the fans to inflate his rank.
posted by Egg Shen at 2:00 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reckon you could make a good case for Mansa Musa I; apparently when he made hajj he gave so much gold away it wrecked the Egyptian economy for a decade and sparked a knock-on rise in the Italian merchant states (selling their stuff to various new gold-rich eastern customers), arguably foundation for rise of European economy.
posted by Abiezer at 2:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Vasco da Gama must be a street pseudonym for some kind of recreational drug. "I was fucking Vasco'd..."
posted by tigrefacile at 2:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Must have mobilized the fans to inflate his rank.

No Colbert?
posted by The Bellman at 2:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nelson Mandella only affected the lives of a few million people in Africa, mostly the underlying attitudes he worked to overturn are still present, perhaps a little less stridently held, but still largely present. His inclusion seems odd. Unless the ranking are driven by school kids doing project on him. Which is exactly what this is.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you keep clicking on the first linked word on (most all) wikipedia pages, you will always end up in Philosophy
posted by growabrain at 2:02 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Nelson Mandela over Julius Caesar?
posted by Beardman at 2:02 PM on November 27, 2012


But bully for Confucius! And Newton a respectable third, easily outdistancing Marx. I guess Lenin DNF.
posted by Mister_A at 2:05 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and, that image viewer on the Wired site? Ugh. Tech for tech's sake.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:05 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


"moot, also da Gama"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:06 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


bully for Confucius!
Also a succinct description of a lot of traditional East Asian educational practise.
posted by Abiezer at 2:07 PM on November 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


Rankings are based on parameters such as the number of language editions in which that person has a page, and the number of people known to speak those languages (L/BN). "We use historical characters as proxies for culture," says Hidalgo. "It's easier to track knowledge about Shakespeare than about each of the characters he created in his writing."

I thought it might be how many inbound wikipedia links to that page, but apparently not? Very confusing.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:09 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Michelangelo? Great artist and all, but...one of the 20 most influential people of all time?

Certainly one of the most influential turtles of all time, though, I think you can agree.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:11 PM on November 27, 2012 [19 favorites]


What's wikipedia reach?

Wikipedia has articles in many languages. The article measures "wikipedia reach" with the number of languages a given article appears in, weighted by the number of speakers of that language.

What's up with da Gama? This is a curious list.

His voyages helped Europe realize they could project force Asia-ward by going around Africa. It's not too surprising he would be mentioned in a lot of languages.
posted by Jpfed at 2:11 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought it might be how many inbound wikipedia links to that page, but apparently not? Very confusing.

It's a good example of how infographics can belie the actual importance of what they're displaying. This is the analysis equivalent of a Wikipedia game.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:12 PM on November 27, 2012


Wikipedia has articles in many languages. The article measures "wikipedia reach" with the number of languages a given article appears in, weighted by the number of speakers of that language.

Oh, I didn't get that from the Wired article. This is more clear, and explains the strangeness of the infographic.
posted by codacorolla at 2:13 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also,

Rankings are based on parameters such as the number of language editions in which that person has a page, and the number of people known to speak those languages (L/BN). "We use historical characters as proxies for culture," says Hidalgo. "It's easier to track knowledge about Shakespeare than about each of the characters he created in his writing."

Using this quantitative approach, Hidalgo is now testing hypotheses such as whether cultural development is structured or random. "Can you have a Steve Jobs in a country that has not generated enough science or technology?" he wonders. "Ultimately we want to know how culture assembles itself."


Good luck!
posted by codacorolla at 2:14 PM on November 27, 2012


Certainly one of the most influential turtles of all time, though, I think you can agree.

Ironically it was in fact Leonardo who did machines
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:16 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


The fact that Emperor Palpatine wasn't #1 gives me a tiny boost of hope for humanity.


History's most influential people, ranked by Wookieepedia reach.
posted by kersplunk at 2:18 PM on November 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great would be #1 and #2 in any reasonable listing, I think.
posted by empath at 2:19 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's wikipedia reach?

Wikipedia has articles in many languages. The article measures "wikipedia reach" with the number of languages a given article appears in, weighted by the number of speakers of that language.
But can't anyone put up a wikipedia page? Wouldn't "wikipedia reach" more specifically be the number of unique users* who access a particular person's wikipedia page (i.e., the number of people reached by wikipedia)?

*And wouldn't that be more a measure of how often something about that person is assigned to high school students, rather than their actual influence?
posted by headnsouth at 2:21 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia has articles in many languages. The article measures "wikipedia reach" with the number of languages a given article appears in, weighted by the number of speakers of that language.

Then they should present it as the world's most Wikipedia-reachiest people, not the most influential.
"Influential" has a few different meanings, but this isn't one of them.
posted by rocket88 at 2:23 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


that's a lotta white folks
posted by radiosilents at 2:29 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


No Jimmy Wales?
posted by iotic at 2:29 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:32 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think it's hard to argue that Genghis Khan wasn't one of the most influential people of all time, it's just that much of his influence was killing something like 10% of the world population. Which obviously is going to reduce the potential page count in Wikipedia that could refer to him.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:32 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


that's a lotta white folks

Jesus was a Black man.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:33 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Julius Caesar - EMPEROR
Rome, Italy
100-044CE


Not only do I doubt they fully grasp what "influential" means, but I also find myself doubting their grasp of history in general.
posted by Avelwood at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


Rankings are based on parameters such as the number of language editions in which that person has a page, and the number of people known to speak those languages (L/BN). "We use historical characters as proxies for culture,
If I had to guess, I would posit that Brazilian history probably starts with the The Discoveries, which means there's an awful lot of portuguese speaking school children also trying to create school reports on da Gama. If you're a portuguese speaker, Vasco da Gama is way more important, culturally, than Christopher Columbus.

Plus, he did open up the sea route to Asia, thus introducing Europeans to the region. Not an insignificant achievement back in the very late 1400s.
posted by pmv at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


That, and a lot of high schoolers had to write a paper about him.
posted by starman at 2:36 PM on November 27, 2012


I thought The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

They were, but that's four different pages. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


No Joey Ramone?

Feh.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't get the nationalist interpretation in the article. Is this constucted just from US hits or something? (Might explain the lack of Muhammed)
posted by pompomtom at 2:38 PM on November 27, 2012


Jesus was a Black man.

Actually, he was a Palestinian terrorist.
posted by goethean at 2:41 PM on November 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mohammed, Jefferson, Darwin, Borlaug.
posted by stargell at 2:46 PM on November 27, 2012


BitterOldPunk, someone used the term "eponylogical" yesterday in reference to a comment by Mefite "spock" in a Star Trek conversation. Your comment I believe also qualifies for the term. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:50 PM on November 27, 2012


Wired calls this "infoporn."

Can we please retire the use of porn as a suffix? OK, "foodporn" was clever, at first, but this *porn usage is gratuitous and just plain stupid.
posted by kozad at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


tigrefacile: "Vasco da Gama must be a street pseudonym for some kind of recreational drug. "I was fucking Vasco'd...""

Nah - Tesco V'd.
posted by symbioid at 2:53 PM on November 27, 2012


No Joey Ramone?

Feh.


Technically, it's the list of most influential people born before 1950, or I'm sure he'd be on it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2012


BrotherCaine: "Yeah, I think it's hard to argue that Genghis Khan wasn't one of the most influential people of all time, it's just that much of his influence was killing something like 10% of the world population. Which obviously is going to reduce the potential page count in Wikipedia that could refer to him."

Yeah but then he replaced that 10% with like his own seed and then some!
posted by symbioid at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2012


John, Paul, George, Ringo
posted by relish at 2:54 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Total western bias apparent here on that graph and the idea of these being assigned to children in history class is probably the best explanation.

And another thing:

Can we please retire the use of porn as a suffix?

Yeah, it makes it a bummer to look at sites at work that have "pr0n" anywhere on them, clever or not.

In the 1984esque environment I work in, the last thing I need is a meeting with the IT dept. about what I surf at lunchtime. Those guys are relentless.
posted by Renoroc at 2:56 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


No Frank Zappa? Fail.
posted by Splunge at 3:07 PM on November 27, 2012


goethean: Actually, he was a Palestinian terrorist.

No, no, no, no, not at all. That was Bruce Wayne
posted by Kattullus at 3:09 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


How weird would it be to be Nelson Mandela and click on this.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:17 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


he'd be like "in your face, caesar"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:20 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


How weird would it be to be Nelson Mandela and click on this.

he'd be like "in your face, caesar"


If I know my history, I'm pretty sure that Nelson would just say, "Ha ha!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:22 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Newton and Einstein but not Heisenberg or Bohr? DaGama but not Magellan or Cortez? No sign of Muhammad or Laozi? Shakespeare but no major non-English writer? No sign of Attila or Augustus or the first Emperor of China, Qin Shih Huang or Napoleon Bonaparte or Lenin or Hitler?

The omissions are huge here.
posted by bearwife at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next up - Baseball's most talented players, ranked by baseball cards printed.

Music's most influential composers, ranked by MySpace hits.

The world's best lovers, ranked by things I overheard in a bar one time.
posted by kyrademon at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


At best this ranks people who have had the most influence on Wikipedia. It's a huge jump from there to assume that these are also the same people who have had the most influence on the world. (Unless Wikipedia determines who has influence on the world... which some Wikipedia editors do seem to believe.)
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:25 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stalin but no Hitler? Odd.

Stalin won.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:26 PM on November 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can I just say how much it bug me that this would List "Michelangelo" and "Da Vinci"?
posted by Navelgazer at 3:30 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


No Kardashians?

Crap research.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:33 PM on November 27, 2012


Previously, my knowledge of Vasco da Gama was pretty vague. Along the lines of "Portuguese guy, sailed around Africa to India in the mid to late 1400s or so". This ranking of him as the seventh most influential person ever led me to try to expand my knowledge about him at least a little bit, and so I went to Wikipedia and read the article on him.

I have concluded: Vasco da Gama was a real jerk.
posted by Flunkie at 3:37 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I did a quick comparison of the languages for Vasco da Gama and Muhammad. Muhammad had quite a few more languages than Vasco (30 or so eyeballing it), but most of them are languages like Faroese, Anglo Saxon, and Sicilian, that just don't have that many speakers and thus aren't going to add much to Muhammad's total by the metric they're using. Here are the languages that Vasco had that Muhammad didn't: Banyumasan (15 million speakers), Kalmyk (500,000 speakers), Kapampangan (1.9 million speakers), Luxembourgish (300,000 speakers), Ligurian (2 million speakers), Nahuatl (1.5 million speakers), Nepali (17 million speakers), Pali (no native speakers), Romansh (60,000 speakers), Sinhalese (16 million speakers), Volapük (20 speakers).

Obviously that's a lot of tiny languages as well, but it looks like Vasco gained a lot of points by having articles in languages like Nepali, Sinhalese, and Banyumasan.

Or, hell, maybe they just didn't want to run a picture of Muhammad in their infographic.
posted by Copronymus at 3:39 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's striking is that the two most influential people China contributes are on opposite sides of the chart. They are separated by over 2,200 years of history and couldn't be more polar opposites in their philosophies.
posted by FJT at 3:40 PM on November 27, 2012


Your favorite historically influential figure sucks!

Well, someone gad to say it.
posted by Max Power at 3:42 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am just relieved that Jenny McCarthy isn't on there.
posted by LarryC at 3:42 PM on November 27, 2012


Weird that there's no Muhammad article in the Banyumasan Wikipedia. Aren't most Banyumasan-speakers Muslim?
posted by mr_roboto at 3:47 PM on November 27, 2012


I am just relieved that Jenny McCarthy isn't on there.

No, she's on the History's most influenzal people list.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:55 PM on November 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


If you keep clicking on the first linked word on (most all) wikipedia pages, you will always end up in Philosophy.

I tried this, not counting disambiguation links (ie. "For the Led Zeppelin musician, see John Paul Jones (musician). For other uses, see John Paul Jones (disambiguation).")

Anything that leads to "Ancient Greek" (fairly common, as it will be a descriptor of the etymology of many enteies) will lead to an endless loop:

Ancient Greek -> Greek language -> Indo-European languages -> Language family -> Human -> Primate -> Mammal -> Class (biology) -> Biological classification -> Taxonomy -> Ancient Greek
posted by dhens at 4:00 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Alexander was a nobody.

Apparently, influential people didn't live in the 18th or 19th centuries, either.
posted by Chuffy at 4:09 PM on November 27, 2012


Somewhere, Oprah has a sad.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regarding the "philosophy" and "Ancient Greek" thing:

There was a game that I played for a little while, where some website would pick two Wikipedia articles, X and Y, and challenge people to try to get from X to Y as fast as possible. It was pretty neat, actually - you were playing in real time against real people. But it quickly became clear that the following was a great general strategy:posted by Flunkie at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's no article on Muhammad in Nepali?!

Okay, so...how do you write "Muhammad" in Nepali?
posted by goethean at 4:18 PM on November 27, 2012


spoiler alert: they're all dudes :/
posted by capricorn at 4:34 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


No Jerry Lewis?!?!?

Zut alors!
posted by briank at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


terrible image viewer - but that's the design genius of coders for you.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:53 PM on November 27, 2012


Once again, the subject as has the potential to be a lot more interesting than either the analysis or the article. While this doesn't say much at all about "influence" or national reach or whatever else the authors suggest, comparisons of wikipedia databases in multiple language could be fascinating.

Consider Copronymus' lovely example of Vasco da Gamma and Muhammad above. I suspect most of us have a reasonably good idea of what it means to have a wikipedia page about a person in English, or in Spanish. But, how ought we to think about wikipedia articles in languages with less reach?

To pick an example, what does it mean to have a wikipedia page in Nahuatl? The number of literate Nahuatl speakers with Internet access who don't also speak one of the big 10 languages may not be zero, but it's vanishingly close to zero. People who create wikipedia pages in Nahuatl are clearly doing something other than informing the monolingual Nahuatl-speaking public about Vasco da Gama. What are they up to, and what can we learn about them from their editorial choices?

Instead of measuring Vasco da Gama's influence among Nahuatl speakers, these data probably say something about the canon of world knowledge as it is understood by a very small group of tech-savvy language activists. A detailed analysis of that could be really exciting.

And don't get me started on that infographic. Why not label the y axis and more than double the information content for free? Why are the figures arranged spatially in such a completely wonky way, requiring a tangle of wires connecting them to the only quantitative thing on the plot? Is the arrangement meaningful, or just whimsy? Can we get a caption, please? In short, there's never enough info in these infographics.
posted by eotvos at 4:56 PM on November 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


Rankings are based on parameters such as the number of language editions in which that person has a page, and the number of people known to speak those languages (L/BN).

If those are the parameters, then all this would measure is the popularity of certain historical figures among wikipedia editors in languages that are not very well-developed in wikipedias, but which many people speak. There's nobody from either of the Americas because the four languages that constitute virtually the entirety of those two continents have extremely well-developed wikipedias.

So you're left with mostly Chinese and Indian languages that are not Mandarin or Hindi or Bengali. A great number of people speak those other languages, but their wikipedia language edition is not quite up to par. Indian influence would explain the bizarre inclusion of Da Gama, who discovered a trade route for Europeans over the exclusion of Columbus, who discovered (more or less) two continents for Europeans.

The inclusion of Da Vinci is odd, but it makes me wonder if they double-counted Europeans who speak their native language and a dialect or closely related language (like Catalan, or the dialects of Italian), as all those would probably have articles about Da Vinci.

Double-counting would of course make this exercise a little worse than useless, which it borders on anyway.

I feel dumb for seeing this and even dumber for trying to figure it out.
posted by Luminiferous Ether at 4:58 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ironically it was in fact Leonardo who did machines

You mean Donatello.
posted by xedrik at 5:15 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


This kind of thing highlights the importance of actual qualified historians.
posted by srboisvert at 5:21 PM on November 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I would put St Paul (Saul of Tarsus) right up there

Jesus was the thinker. He started a small cult and had a few hundred followers.
Clearly Jesus is an important historical figure.

But St Paul turned Jesus' ideas into a Church. Paul is the one who made it a world religion.
Christianity would not exist without St Paul. He did the leg work.
posted by Flood at 5:22 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have concluded: Vasco da Gama was a real jerk.

Also, es explorers go, his name is nowhere near as fun as Juan de Fuca.
posted by COBRA! at 5:25 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whoever invented caramel and the chewy nougat should have the #17 slot, right after that great ol' Buddha man. But if not, I'll take the guy who invented pie.
posted by uraniumwilly at 5:37 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


When Nelson Mandela dies they're totally gonna put him in Sid Meier's Civilization
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:45 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Apparently, influential people didn't live in the 18th or 19th centuries, either.

Yeah, no kidding -- Queen Victoria, anybody?
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:53 PM on November 27, 2012


Well, it could be worse. At least there's no Ayn Rand or L. Ron Hubbard.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 5:55 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wired fails at fullscreen. I can't even see the top. :P
posted by Foosnark at 5:57 PM on November 27, 2012


Not a lot of meat in that wired article, but Who's Bigger? A Quantitative Analysis of Historical Fame has an hourlong academic presentation for the famished.
posted by pwnguin at 6:00 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vasco da Gama also has one of the world's most popular football teams named after him, which puts him up there as one of three most important people of all time, along with Ajax from the Iliad and whoever the Alexandra that the people of Crewe loved so much was
posted by dng at 6:12 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Flunkie: "There was a game that I played for a little while, where some website would pick two Wikipedia articles, X and Y, and challenge people to try to get from X to Y as fast as possible"


There's a few versions of that, but the wiki game is the most polished I've seen.
posted by pwnguin at 6:14 PM on November 27, 2012


Jesus was a Black man.

Jesus was Jewish.
posted by crossoverman at 6:16 PM on November 27, 2012


Anything that leads to "Ancient Greek" (fairly common, as it will be a descriptor of the etymology of many enteies) will lead to an endless loop:

I think you are also supposed to exclude things in parentheses that clarify the term (from ancient Greek _______). "Ancient Greek" will also get you to philosophy if you exclude parentheses and just click on the first term in the entry.
posted by chela at 6:19 PM on November 27, 2012


that's a lotta white folks
Well, if 75% white looks bad, just wait til the penis count comes in...
posted by Jehan at 6:26 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stalin but no Hitler? Odd.

Not really.

I mean, Hitler didn't really have much of a lasting influence outside a fairly small part of the world, and even then, for just barely more than a decade. Sure, he affected a lot of people in that time, but mostly just by killing them. Aside from a tiny minority, basically everyone just said, "Whelp, that guy sucked," and left it at that.

Stalin, on the other hand, affected fully half of the planet in a huge way for thirty years of his life, and a solid forty years after that, plus a bonus twenty years in some places.

Jesus was a Black man.

Jesus was Jewish.


Jesus was Lenny Kravitz and/or Drake.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:33 PM on November 27, 2012


Towards an Alphabet of Standard Reactions to Infographics (ASRI):

1) The Academic - Give me full treatise or nothing! To vague!! Misleading!!!
2) The Boner - hm. It sucks because it doesn't prove my bone "X" (incert agenda/pet peve).
3) The Conscientious - tries to reverse engineer, unpack and/or explore details and footnotes not laid out in a one page article that others are demanding!!!! (see 1).
...
10) The Joker - a race for the most favorited one liner? Milk through my nose.
...
15) The Organizer - attempts to classify stuff (like comments) in order to feed a sick fascination for standard metric manifolds that can be use to create more infographs.
...
18) The Reactor - Feeds Trolls.

In my expeditions into the blue, I've seen and tried vast species of comments. So many! Capturing and classifying these with what pins I have in the hollow drawers of my mere mortal mind has filled many a fruitless (but never regretted) hour! The above are my humble first suggestions towards an ASRI taxonomy. This is a mere sub-category of the larger bolder endeavor we leave for future generations of O'er's to Classify All Standard Reactions to Anything (CASRA).

The Troll surely takes the 20th letter. Now my personal box of pins is empty.. what for for the remaining nineteen alphabetic positions in this simplified schema? Intrepid adventurers, can you help fill out this matrix?

Once we have a complete and comprehensive map of the 26 potential positions, we can then Demand!!! the data be made available (or just scrape it). We can then put it through a semantic categorization tool and make an infograph showing the distribution of blue posts by these categories! It will reveal the whole ecology of comments for all us O's and A's.

But that is only the first of many infographs. The C's will tell you we can also map correlations between these and the weather, unemployment, solar flares, indeed! So much to infograph and dam you if you think I'm being fecitous when I say I want to look at every last one of them! ASRI will be one more manifold for the emerging Infinite Garden of interlinked Infographs which will be a feast for my Mind (not my personal little m but big M in which we commonly dwell, weave, drink and share).

I have never seen a link to an infograph that I didn't want to click on. Give me more infographs. Be bold against the headwinds of the haters and don't bend to the tailwinds of this generation's propencity to tougue-in-cheek-cowardly-snark by debasing your own graph by referring to it as infoporn!

Be proud of your infographics! Graph On!
posted by astrobiophysican at 6:34 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Tesla always gets shafted. Pfft.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 6:36 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you keep clicking on the first linked word on (most all) wikipedia pages, you will always end up in Philosophy
posted by growabrain


But stop there, the first linked word on the Philosophy page is "problems".
posted by 445supermag at 6:44 PM on November 27, 2012


Guttenburg missing? Pointless list.
posted by cccorlew at 7:47 PM on November 27, 2012


Remarkably similar in content to The 100, a text used in one of my comparative religion courses in college in the 90s.
posted by Miko at 8:18 PM on November 27, 2012


Jesus was a Black man.

Jesus was Jewish.


Jesus was a myth. Do myths count as people?
posted by charlesminus at 9:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus was a myth

Most historians believe that Jesus was real, but his followers made up a bunch of stuff after his death. The four gospels are evidence for this - they cover different parts of Jesus' life, but when they discuss the same events they match up.

Also, Jesus did some decidedly un-messianic things, like screaming "My God, why have you forsaken me?" If I were inventing a diety I would not have him blaspheme at the climax of the story.
posted by foobaz at 9:26 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's up with da Gama? This is a curious list.

Hate da playa, not da Gama.
posted by kengraham at 9:55 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Newton and Einstein but not Heisenberg or Bohr? DaGama but not Magellan or Cortez? No sign of Muhammad or Laozi? Shakespeare but no major non-English writer? No sign of Attila or Augustus or the first Emperor of China, Qin Shih Huang or Napoleon Bonaparte or Lenin or Hitler?

The omissions are huge here.
Well, yeah, but it's the USA Today version of history, where only the most obvious figures are known. (though no Hitler is a surprise.) In Wikipedia terms, these are the low hanging fruits, the articles first translated from another Wiki into your own language.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:50 PM on November 27, 2012


FJT: "They are separated by over 2,200 years of history and couldn't be more polar opposites in their philosophies."

Actually, the argument's been made that Mao was more Confucian than Communist, and it's an argument I appreciate. (I have an MA in History of Asian Religions, specialization in Neo-Confucianism, if that matters.)
posted by jiawen at 11:18 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


jiawn... That is a very interesting evaluation of Mao, I have never heard of it before.
posted by quazichimp at 2:23 AM on November 28, 2012


So who just missed the cut at 21?
posted by TedW at 4:52 AM on November 28, 2012


Longcat.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:12 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been watching "Cheers" on Netflix lately, and now I picture Wikipedia's server being Cliff Claven at the end of the bar, responding to search queries like "Now hold on there, Sammy..."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:46 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Once again, Rush gets left out (the band, not Limbaugh).
posted by e1c at 7:47 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Jesus did some decidedly un-messianic things, like screaming "My God, why have you forsaken me?" If I were inventing a diety I would not have him blaspheme at the climax of the story.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

For the messiah story to work out he has to be fully human, doubts and all. A messiah without insecurity and doubt isn't a true sacrifice.

Not that I believe in the divinity of Jesus, but that doubt and transcendence is an essential part of the story for Christianity to have the power it has. Both as a refutation of the cruelty of the myths of the day (uncaring gods, unfair world), and as a kind of Jungian archetype capable of propagating.

In some ways the rise of Christianity seems to me like a regression into a childlike desire for the universe to be revealed to be a fair place, but I think in most way it's a moral progress over what we had before.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:33 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most historians believe that Jesus was real

Then most historians are relying on faith, because there is absolutely no historical proof.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:41 AM on November 28, 2012


Christianity wasn't childlike or a regression. It was very sophisticated attempt to build on the work of Philo and integrate Jewish monotheistic thought into then current Hellenistic philosophy, and particularly Platonism, which had been accreting an increasingly unwieldy metaphysics as the school attempted to make the pantheon of gods fit a logical system of beliefs. Christianity really blew the cobwebs out with a dramatically simpler and more logical belief system.
posted by empath at 12:44 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: Then most historians are relying on faith, because there is absolutely no historical proof.

There's more proof fpr Jesus' existence than many, many historical figures no one doubts existed, especially ones who didn't have the authority to have their faces stamped on coins. I'm not an expert, but as far as I can tell, Wikipedia has a pretty good overview of the evidence for the historicity of Jesus.
posted by Kattullus at 3:22 PM on November 28, 2012


I think the historical evidence for Jesus is about as good as it is for Socrates. I also think whether either one of them actually existed isn't that important. I don't think it's really worth arguing about whether every person mentioned in some ancient source actually existed.

I think what is worth arguing about is whether the specifics of the claims about them are plausible or if there is enough evidence for us to think they might be true.. Its one thing to say, sure there may have been a guy named jesus that got crucified. If Plato had said Socrates rose from the dead after three days or turned water into wine, I'd raise an eyebrow.
posted by empath at 3:39 PM on November 28, 2012


there is absolutely no historical proof
The Roman historian and senator Tacitus refers to Christ in The Annals There's also a fun discussion on this topic in the opening chapters of Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita
posted by relish at 5:25 PM on November 28, 2012


That's just a Tacit reference.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:33 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Roman historian and senator Tacitus refers to Christ in The Annals

Yes. Three Caesars after the 'fact,' by which time Christians were enough of a thing to be blamed for the burning of Rome.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:08 PM on November 28, 2012


quazichimp: "jiawen... That is a very interesting evaluation of Mao, I have never heard of it before."

Not a totally flawless theory, but like I said, it's a viewpoint I can appreciate. (Let me know if you'd like elaboration on the argument.)
posted by jiawen at 9:16 PM on November 29, 2012


The Hunt for Genghis Khan’s Tomb
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on December 4, 2012


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