cult heroes

Wayne Gretzky or Babe Ruth then again maybe it was Albert Einstein

Maybe it was Albert EinsteinAs someone who writes a lot about great inventors and forgotten geeks I get endless questions asking to compare Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

Recently I have been asked to answer questions comparing Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein to Nikola Tesla.

There is an obsession with "who was smarter" questions, and comparing one successful person to another. The problem with these compare person x to person y questions is that they often ask to compare two totally different people. Do we really need to keep score?

This material in this blog post has been rolling around in my brain for a few weeks. With a few additional questions added to my list, the time has come to address fascination with comparing people.

There is a fascination with comparing people with Einstein. As I amused myself reading some recent questions, I wondered how silly can it get, will people start comparing Albert Einstein to Wayne Gretzky or Babe Ruth?

To those of you who only vaguely know their names, let us take a brief look at the careers of sports legends Wayne Gretzky and Babe Ruth.

Wayne Gretzky played in the National Hockey League from 1978 through 1999. During his career as a hockey player he dominated the sport, he was the NHL's season points leader 10 times and named the NHL most valuable player award nine times.

George Herman "Babe" Ruth was an professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons from 1914 through 1935. Ruth lead the league in home runs in twelve seasons. At the time of his retirement Babe Ruth held dozens of MLB records.

In sports there are various statistics kept to evaluate the performance of a player. Statistically Babe Ruth was the greatest Major League Baseball player of his generation. Statistically Wayne Gretzky was the greatest National Hockey League player of his generation.

In search of cult heroes and forgotten geeks the truth is out there

In search of cult heroes and forgotten geeksWhen studying famous geeks, it is interesting to see how some inventors and scientists rise to the level of cult heroes, while others are totally forgotten. There are times where it appears that the Internet has given birth to the World Wide Weird with all the myths and legends. 

I started frequenting Quora about a year ago to get ideas for my Geek History website. The question and answer website Quora allows users to ask questions that are answered by its community of users. I wanted to see what kind of questions were typically being asked. There is so much hype and misinformation there, especially on topics like inventor Nikola Tesla, who is worshiped there like a god.

The cult hero status of Tesla on Quora is amazing.  I recently asked someone who was not a regular on Quora to visit Quora specifically to look at all the questions on Tesla, and he was amazed with all the questions, as well as all the mis-information being presented.

The fascination with Nikola Tesla may appear to be a more recent event on the internet because of sites like Quora, but that is in the context of the internet itself being a relatively new vehicle to discuss mysteries and conspiracy theories.  Many of the myths and legends that many websites now present as new discoveries of lost information have been around awhile.

The history of strange science

I have been interested in science and science fiction since the 1970s. Different topics seem to rise and fall from time to time over the years. Topics such as UFOs and conspiracy theories that I remember from various popular books and magazines in the 1970s and 1980s, are now being created as websites on the internet.

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The Tao of Questy is about love and laughter and being human. It's about sharing ideas and being a little bit crazy in order to stay sane.

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