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Part 38: 100 Most Influential


Part 38: 100 Most Influential  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following are among the most 100 influential people of all time? (See post for descriptions)

    • Wilhelm II
    • William Addis
    • William Blake
    • William C Roentgen
    • William Harvey
    • William Shakespeare
    • William TG Morton
    • William the Conqueror
    • William Wordsworth
    • Willis Carrier
    • None of the above have been among one of the 100 most influential people.

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  • Poll closed on 06/30/2022 at 05:12 PM

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Here's the next part of the 100 most influential rankings. 


- Please keep discussion on topic. 

- No trolling. 

- No complaining, although constructive criticism is okay. 

- No personal attacks.

- No commenting without voting.

Wilhelm II For his "blank check" to Austria, which ultimately forced nations into World War I.
William Addis Invented the first mass produced toothbrush
William Blake Influential poet, painter, printmaker whose visionary works inspired many later artists.
William C Roentgen Discoverer and first producer of X-Rays
William Harvey first to discover and detail the circulation of the blood.
William Shakespeare The most successful figure in world literature, and the primary figure in the development of the English language into a world language. He also wrote plays that have been translated, spread, and staged across the world, even to the present day. Probably the most well-known figure in literature, even after 400 years. Profound influence on all major writers since his death.
William TG Morton "Father of Anesthesia" for the first public demonstration of its use in surgery; He arguably invented it as well, but others challenged him on that claim.
William the Conqueror Led the Norman invasion that fundamentally altered the language, customs, culture, identity, government, nobility, etc. Set the stage for the long-lasting wars and rivalry between England and France.
William Wordsworth Innovated poet who triggered a change in poetry to make it subjective (about the inner life of the author) rather than objective (about kings, Gods, events, etc).
Willis Carrier Invented the first practical air-conditioner
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6 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

Ya'll need to vote for Carrier.  Without AC, the geographic distribution of humans would be much, much different, and all the butterflies that entails.

My main reason for not voting for him is that much of the world hasn't AC. 

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2 minutes ago, Patine said:

Human population had lived in tropical and desert areas in large numbers and great civilized centres, and a massive spread since well before recorded history. In fact, it was cooler (and certainly colder) reaches that proved to be more daunting to early migration.

The Seminole, Ancestral Pueblans, Navajo, and Apache seemed to do just fine for quite a long time without air-conditioning. So, did the Spanish, who initially conquered both.

Well yes, it's not like everybody's going to die without Florida or Arizona 😛 But the "for want of a nail" is quite strong. I'm going to let you connect your own dots, but without air condition, there's no Bush v Gore. And that's just one of many, many changes. It's not like you remove two US states and everybody dies, but the world would be unrecognizable.

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The criteria is "influence" not "good" or "bad" as I've stated before.  It's a really basic concept, but things would be different if they were different.  None of what you're saying is false, but you're actually proving my point, because things would be different.  The more different things are, the more influence there was.

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

My disagreement is just in the declaration that Florida and Arizona wouldn't exist in such a timeline. That's the sensationalist and even a bit ridiculous part I'm arguing against, not anything lost by a supposed loss of the two states as political entities.

That's not what I was saying. I was saying they would have drastically smaller influence which would result in numerous timeline changes.

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Just now, Patine said:

I disagree with that too, as I also explained above. Desert and tropical regions are often, historically, known for very HIGH comparative populations (depending), long, long before AC. AC is a luxury technology, not one of survival or that would DRASTICALLY likely affect population trends.

I mean, there's a clear demographic shift Southward in the United States since the advent of the air conditioner that's catalogued in scholarly literature.  This isn't my opinion, but mainstream thought.

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Just now, Patine said:

It also happened at about the time the, "poor South," started catching up with the, "rich North," - economically and in general living standards (the Old South of the Jim Crow Era was pretty backwater in ways other than Societal Politics). That was a big feature, too. And winterless living, without moving to another country of dubious economic, political, or social standards and standards) started attracting Northern retirees and young, "new money," at that time, too, and was promoted by businesses who made such things possible. AC did not seem to be a REQUIRED factor.

You can debate needs vs wants, but wants can be as important as needs, and indeed, in the developed word, wants sometimes drive people more than needs. It's impossible to say without a few simulated Earths to play it out on, but I'd say it's a large factor.  We've focused on Florida, but what about Arizona, that's why I originally included it.  Arizona wasn't weighed down with post-Civil War devastation and could have been built from the ground up, but didn't take off until the air conditioned either.  Las Vegas probably wouldn't be a thing without it either.  Hell, take it international, Dubai wouldn't be popular without AC either.  I think you'll find a lot more areas of the world have AC than you might realize.

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Just now, Patine said:

Dubai and Las Vegas are not popular BECAUSE of AC. Nevada was the U.S. State to throw open fully legalized gambling (back them considered unsavoury and sinful, socially), probably because of a corrupt bargain between Reinhard Saddler, the only Nevada Governor, from the Silver Party, and a huge rancher and silver mine owner (his portrayal in Scarface was classic), and Mafia interests, long ago (way before AC was invented). Dubai was a centre of Middle-Eastern oil interests, and a (deliberately) friendlier city to outsiders, much moreso, than any others in the Arabian Peninsula Monarchies. And Westerners have been visiting, and even living in, at times, desert climate cities in the Middle East since before the Crusades.

Yeah but before AC, you went to Reno, where the climate is much nicer.

But let me as you a question. Are you arguing that there's no difference between a city of say, 100,000 and a city of 2 million?

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

Not at all. In fact, that's even really relevant to my argument. My basic point is, if there had been no AC, people would have carried on with ways of staying cool that had been fully functional, and served the purpose, for immense amounts of time, and would have never had a reason to become dependent on a luxury, instead. That's my argument.

So things would be different? 🤨

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Just now, Patine said:

Perhaps, but not likely in terms of vast population changes and depopulation of desert and tropical regions and other nonsense. Just, perhaps a bit of a less area for griping, whining, and weakness, which the absence of many pure luxury, comfort technologies would likely produce.

I think we've done a good job reaching as close to an agreement as we're going to get, heh. Our arguments aren't inherently incompatible. I think we just have different priorities.

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Just now, Patine said:

Personally, I'm an amateur (unpublished, thus far) author of science-fiction, fantasy, and related genres, and use such creative ideas in strategy game scenarios (including a series of 270soft scenarios tied to a series of Civilization 2 scenarios about a view of near future earth with creative liberties). But I quickly came to detest alternate history, as a genre, because of unresolvable conflicts like this, and will not write it. 😉 

Ha, I started in alternate history, but like most anything, 90% of it is crap.  I mean, I'm really big into sci-fi, I guess fantasy too, but like, 90% of it is crap too.  I was attracted to alt-hist for the maps, though, and making maps of Earth and slightly different history is a lot easier than making making maps of other planets or star systems, especially when you're as terrible at art as I am haha.

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25 minutes ago, Patine said:

Have you considered speculative near future, which is the project I mentioned, and the 270soft part of it has development threads on this site (probably buried a bit, but DakotaHale and vcczar have not not declared the sin of necormancy to be heretical 😛 ).

I consider near future to be kind of alternate history too, because as soon as you start, time inevitably disproves whatever you came up with (unless you're omnipotent), but yes, that is fun as well, and easy to map for!

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11 hours ago, Edouard said:

I will defend my "none should qualify"

William the Conqueror's influence over Britain died around 5 centuries after his conquest.

WW1 was inevitable.

Shakespeare hasn't changed the world much, he's just known because he was talentous.

I agree with your 2nd point, but I can find valid arguments for the other Williamses. 

When Edward the Confessor died childless he had offered the crown to various monarchs over the course of his reign, leading to a major succession war, which in turn led to a major cultural and linguistic change in England, which now affects the entire English-speaking world, which, because of the internet, is basically the entire world.

There were three major challengers--Harold Godwinson (Anglo-Saxon), King Harald of Norway (Speaking Old Norse), and William of Normandy (Speaking Norman French). Harold beat Harald, and then William beat the exhausted Harold.

With William's victory came French root words and Church Latin root words, which form two of the three bases of the English language (Roman Latin didn't stick). From Middle English on, the English language has been trilingual -- Fire/Flame/Conflagration, Rise/Mount/Ascend, King/Royal/Regal, House/Mansion/Domicile, etc. (German/French/Latin). This helped make English one of the most versatile languages, which Shakespeare and his contemporaries enhanced. 

On top of this, William brought over Old French culture and legal institutions, which replaced the Anglo-Saxon systems. This is the foundation for English law and English culture. You don't get knights, castles, and etc. without William. These become part of the popular imagination of England in story, drama, TV, film, song, dance, etc., all of which achieved some popularity worldwide. 

I could go on. 

Shakespeare is clearly the most important person in at least Western literature and has a huge impact on the major writers of Eastern literature since whenever he was translated into Eastern languages. His plays are staged in probably every country. His popularity shows no sign of going away. This popularity that has lasted 400 years is due to tremendous influence. If any figure from literature deserves to be in the top 100, it's Shakespeare (w/ Homer as his only rival). So many phrases that we take as basic phrases or forms of conversation come from Shakespeare. Most authors and dramatists are influenced by Shakespeare, even if they don't recognize it. He's basically the literary version of Isaac Newton. He invented 1,700 words, many which are common today. His character creation is another topic worth discussing, which exceeds his already great ability at making plot. Most writers create cartoons. That is characters who don't think like humans and don't realistically change/evolve over the course of their story based on their experiences. The great authors prior to Shakespeare--if they could do it at all--had maybe one character. Wife of Bath in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is an example. Cervantes's Don Quixote and Sancha Panza might be the only examples of someone other than Shakespeare having more than one in the pre-Romantic era. Shakespeare had several in each play. That's why he's still staged (or filmed) 400 years later on a regular basis worldwide. Unlike many people from the past, he isn't just a famous statue. He's still living. He still influences after 400 years and will continue to do so, especially as English fluency and such continues to spread worldwide thanks to the internet and UK, US, Canadian, Australian, South American, etc., influence. 

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