Who would you pick as person of the century?

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I'm not sure what my own answer would be -- I think most major changes are accomplished by groups, not individuals.

If you can't think of a person, what would you pick as the event of the century? Locally, I'd pick the civil rights movement. Globally, I'd probably say the development of the automobile.

-- Anonymous, December 30, 1999


I dunno if the automobile has made as much difference as nuclear weaponry. (Besides, the car could be said to be a 19th century thing.) Hard choice.

Person: I was kind of leaning towards Gandhi, but I'll accept Einstein. Actually, I think the person who made the most news and possibly the most difference was Hitler. Shudder.

-- Anonymous, December 30, 1999

This is individuals. Einstein made a difference, but Time's vote for Einstein struck me as a vote for the Manhattan project and the arms race, and Einstein really can't take individual credit for all of that.

Overall impact on the globe by an individual? I have to vote for Josef Stalin: inventor of the concept of slave labor from your own population; first live demonstration of Marxist class warfare; successful genocide (know any Tatars?); nuclear arms race.

-- Anonymous, December 30, 1999

From what I've read about Einstein, the last thing he would have * wanted* to take "individual credit" for would have been the development of nuclear weapons and then the arms race. He didn't invent The Bomb. Politically, he was much more a "ban the bomb" kinda guy, as far as I know.

As for who I'd pick as *the* person or *the* event or *the* invention, I woudln't pick one. There are too many to choose from, and it's a web of people, events, and inventions, not a hierarchy, from my POV.

-- Anonymous, December 30, 1999

I've seen three answers that include Einstein in them. Here's a new twist. My father is an avid historian and physicist. It is his opinion that it was Einstein's wife who actually came up with the theory of relativity. In college she was the better student, but at that time a woman would not be taken seriously. Her overall intellegence seems to be better. Once he had achieved the Nobell, they got a divorce. In the divorce, Einstein gave his wife the Nobell with no strings attached. After the divorce, Einstein never again came up with anything extraordinary. The only thing he did was write "secret coded notes", that noone can decypher. By the way, the only code that has remained unbroken to this date is the Navaho code talkers. Their language was never written down. It was a totally oral language. So unless Einstein was on an intelligence level that could surpass hundreds of years of learning and knowledge, HE AIN'T THE BRAIN!!! Just a thought from my father...

-- Anonymous, December 30, 1999

Though not necessarily a believer or "squadder" per se--I think God should get full marks for popularity survival and ad campaign---he gets blamed for everything that can possibly go wrong, gets credit for little that goes well, has to put up with complete horses asses demanding favors around the clock, has no say in the wars waged in his name--and still the followers flock to the ice cream wagon--he's either a the most completely successful figment ever known or a supremely rational patient guy!!

-- Anonymous, December 31, 1999

I can't remember the guy's name, but some people on the Well were suggesting the fellow that did time motion studies and came up with things like assembly lines and modern manufacturing systems. Henry Ford used this guy's ideas to set up his first plant and the rest is history.

-- Anonymous, January 03, 2000

Up through the 40's and early 50's, entire families would sit around the radio and listen to music, and everyone from kids through great-grandparents listened to the same music, and everyone enjoyed it, whether it was classical, jazz, or big band. This gave the family a reason to come together in the evening and enjoy entertainment together.

In the early 50's, a singer came along who was loved by millions... of young people. Older people just did not get his music, and some of them hated it. This caused a schism in the family-music-listening experience, and may well have caused huge changes in family structure, respect for parental authority (deserved or not), and tradition and continuity within the family structure, all things which some people say are critically wrong in our culture today.

This singer: Elvis Presley.

(puts on his fireproof suit)

-- Anonymous, January 04, 2000

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