Saturday, May 23, 2015

Einstein and Hitler, the hero and the villain reports:
What do Einstein, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Newton, Jesus, Mandela, Edison, Lincoln and the Buddha all have in common? They all make up the top 10 heroes in world history. As regards the villains, the first 10 positions are occupied by Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Genghis Khan, Saladin, the emperor Qin and Napoleon.

This classification into heroes and villains is the result of a study carried out jointly across the world by various universities, including the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country. 6,902 university students voluntarily participated in this international research; their average age was 23 and they were drawn from 37 countries, such as Argentina, Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, USA, India, Tunisia, Italy, Japan. The work was based on the evaluation that these young adults have made of 40 figures and significant events in world history.
Here is the full paper.

You may wonder why I badmouth Einstein so much, when he made some legitimate scientific contributions. This is why. He is wildly overrated, and people have learned the wrong lessons from him.

Some of those other characters are overrated also. If Saddam Hussein were really such a great villain, then G.W. Bush would be a great hero for destroying him. And I am surprised that so many people outside the USA have even heard of Martin Luther King.


  1. It's a completely worthless study. Sampling a few thousand university students does not give anything like a representative picture of how famous figures are perceived by the world as a whole, or even in a single country. Combining results from multiple countries to create a single list means ignoring cultural, social and political differences, the legacy of history, and the effects of different media environments and/or state propaganda. Even without those flaws it would still only be an opinion poll, which tells us nothing about whether any of the alleged "heroes" and "villains" actually deserve that status. It's total junk.

  2. But according to Roger, John Nash isn't wildly overrated.

    William Schockley invented the transistor and the graphite moderated nuclear reactor. And he's right up there with Hitler. Does Roger know the name of the guy who invented hydraulic fracturing?

    See, the useless bums from universities are good at bankrupting you and nothing else.