Friday, March 18, 2016

If You Thought that the World of Ideas Was Complicated Before

INFOGRAPHIC: The Most Influential Thinkers In History And How Their Ideas Are Connected


James R said...

Pretty impressive, but does it blend? I mean, does it add any meaning? At first glance I can see, like any listing, the compilation provides plenty of fuel for debate. Thank goodness Heidegger's circle is larger than Ayn Rand's, but not by much. I like the size of Martin Gardner's circle, though curiously he influenced as many as Socrates—no where near the influence of Aristotle and Plato, who are on par with Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft. I'm surprised, though not disappointed in Chesterton's influence. Perhaps you need to have a lot of friends. The strangest entry, however, which aligns with the friends observation, is Jesus, who hardly influenced anyone, perhaps 6 people on the chart.

Big Myk said...

I'm not sure that it has any meaning. It's so much information, and who knows what "influence" means. Obviously, a lot is impressionistic. But I posted it because, to quote Samuel Johnson, as Dad did frequently, "like a dog's walking on his hind legs, it is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

James R said...

Well, that is precisely my problem. I'm not convinced there is "so much information." Though certainly more sexy, a simple list of philosophers, comedians, and novelists, etc. with their dates, location and a few words as to the nature of their thought would have, I suspect, much more information—though still not much. What information does one get from a fairly small green dot of Richard Dawkins surrounded by Roy Lichtenstein, a blue dot of Vinayaka Krishna Gokak, and Antisthenes, or a small green Christiaan Huygens closest to Norman Rockwell? It's impressive—like the 'winning' game card I received in the mail that ultimately led to me to discover I still had a 3 out of 34,750 chance of winning anything more and a $5 Giant Eagle gift certificate. Not quite a dog on two legs, but maybe a colorful drawing of one.