Who Are the Most Influential People In History
1. The first humans to discover fire
When we endeavor to answer this question, we think in near-time. But the effects of deeper history likely had significantly more repercussions due to the time x ripple effect of an event.
Arguably, this had significantly more influence than we could have imagined.
2. The first humans to discover alcohol
One brief reading of the A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization and you'll see that civilization likely sprung from the influences of drugs, sex, and alcohol.
3. Mesopotamians that invented currency
The Mesopotamians who had the idea for a currency system as opposed to a bartering system advanced the possibility of global trade expansion at that exact moment.
4. Inventor of the Wheel on an Axis
Again with the Mesopotamians and their advances for civilization. The wheel on an axis, although low-tech, leveled civilization up again and we've rocked that tech for several thousands of years.
5. Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn
Inventors of the internet allowed for exponential increases in information sharing. The full scope of the influence this had on us will never be known in our lifetime, as we are merely scratching the surface.
Logic has not changed since ~ 400 BC, thanks to the work of Aristotle. The influence this has had on thought, philosophy, and the sciences definitely warrants a spot for top 10 most influential people in History.
7. Alexander Fleming
He discovered penicillin. An estimated 200 million lives were saved. This does not count the lives that were not saved, but drastically improved.
8. Inventors of Writing
Again, Mesopotamia. The invention of writing was the beginning of recording history and sharing information for anyone who could read.
9. Cristoforo Colombo and Hernán Cortés
This is not a question of whether their actions were right or wrong, or if they were the first to discover lands with people already on them, but about the influence of these two in the Age of Exploration and how that impacted the entire human race as we know it.
10. The east Asians and Western Eurasian peoples that crossed into the Americas
The greatest ecological changes in modern history occurred within generations of humans crossing into the Americas. Consider, if you will, that the fauna and flora of these continents did not evolve with humans. Humans were a non-native species that wreaked havoc as the populations gained an edge.
The Americas had an animal mass equivalent to that of the African savannahs. But our species decimated predator species, paving the way to ecological destabilization and overpopulation of prey species that overgrazed and caused desertification processes faster than before seen on the planet.
While the world over focuses on current environmental events and current destructive forces, while scapegoating oil giants, we've missed ecological history here, and thus, cannot think our way through current situations in a more linear fashion, examining more meaningful causal relationships.