Who are the Five Most Famous People in the World?

On a Global scale who are the five people alive today who could be recognized by the most people? Not being famous in only China, Brasil, or Canada, but encompassing the whole Earth. We'll call it earthfame just to keep it snappy and memorable.

Official portrait of Barack Obama. He is wearing a suit jacket and stripped tie, and an American flag lapel pin. There is an United States Flag is in the background.This Huffington post article asks: "Is Obama the most famous person in the world?" I expect that because of Obama's broad appeal, the stiff presidential race he ran, and the historic election he won, Obama has mega earthfame. I think heads-of-state in general get a significance boost on the earthfame scale.

U. S. movies, television and the music industry churn out all sorts of celebrities such as George Clooney, Ophra Winfrey, and Michael Jackson. Being an ego-centric resident of the United States of America, I'll have to consider the billions of people that don't speak English as their first language and haven't been affected by North American media. Furthermore, is there a media personality that appeals so widely across cultures as to achieve earthfame?

Having recently watched the summer Olympics hosted by China, Michael Phelps is an easy name for an American to suggest. His achievement of winning more medals to date than any other olympic athlete in a single set of games promoted him instantly to the stratosphere of fame in the USA. Seeing as he was an athlete from the USA, and I live in the USA, my judgment of how high his earthfame is suspect. Based on this I am inclined to defer to Billynho and suggest his top three athletes for consideration: (1) Tiger Woods. (2) David Beckham. (3) Ronaldinho. The question remains, are athletes, media personalities or political leaders more deserving of being on the list?

I say toss one to the list of famous athletes. On my trip to China in 2002 David Beckham was a common ground between my new Chinese friends and me. Though I must admit the only reason I knew who he was because of the movie "Bend it Like Beckham."

I recently surfed across a forum thread discussing this issue. Shining Arcanine suggested this list:

1) Pope Benedict XVI
2) George W. Bush
3) Osama Bin Laden
4) Saddam Hussein
5) Bill Gates

Shining Arcanine suggested that list in 2006, and perhaps would update it if given the chance. Nevertheless, I think this list is worth considering. As the head of the Catholic church, I'll agree the Pope as a position is well known. What is less certain for me is whether Pope Benedict XVI is as famous as his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

Osama Bin Laden made this list because he claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks, for which his name received a lot of airtime in the United States, and because of the world-wide fame of those attacks probably elsewhere too.

Bill Gates is a debatable choice for me. He is called the richest man in the world. With that title it is possible that he has a lot of earthfame. However, I think that in many parts of the world his name has little need to be mentioned, and very possibly is an unknown.

Who do you think are the five most famous people in the world?

How Now Brown Cow?

One thing that has always bothered me is the scientific process, and the hypothesis. I was told to come up with a hypothesis before starting research. A hypothesis was an answer to a question. How can you come up with a question, when you don't know crap about the topic? Questions have to come from somewhere. So how in the world did I come up with a question, without doing any research?

America’s Future

I found this article from the BBC an interesting read:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7657473.stm

Blub from the website: "Barack Obama's emergence as a presidential candidate in the US represents a profound change in the American psyche, distinguished historian Simon Schama argues in his new series for the BBC, The American Future."

Have you read it or seen the series?

Focus Group Politics

"The point about focus group politics is that there isn't one, because people are contradictory and irrational. and so you have a problem in terms of deciding what you are going to do if all you do is listen to a massive individual opinion-they are forever fluctuating and don't really have any coherence, and crucially are not set in context.

"And so that is why people can say - you know- I want lower taxes, and better public services. Of course they do. - you know - You say "do you want to PAY more taxes to get better public services, people are less sure. And then do they believe that if they pay more taxes that they will be spent on better public services?

"So you end up in this quagmire where -- and the truth is a politician has to say, 'the truth is, this is what I believe. I believe you should pay slightly more taxes to make better public services, and I pledge that I am competent enough to actually use that money wisely. Do you want to now vote for me yes or no?'"

Derek Draper
Assistant to Peter Mandelson 1992 - 1995

From part four of the BBC production "The Century of Self" as found on Google Video (54 min. 34 seconds into it)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1122532358497501036

It has proved very interesting watching "The Century of Self" for class. I can't help thinking of the current political campaigns for U.S. president. I want to be an "inner directed" as the jargon from the film would say. I want to be a person that makes decisions based on values and principles I hold. However, I'm afraid I'm just as manipulated by political propaganda as I am by Apple's advertisement campaigns. (i.e. I believe that Apple's products are hip, cool, fashionable, and are a great accessory to everyday life.)

Does it count for anything that I don't own an iPod?

The not so lost tribe

Recently the photographer came clean that the supposedly unknown "lost" tribe in the amazon was a hoax. Read more about it at this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-grann/the-truth-about-the-lost_b_172910.html and this link: http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/91536 .

It is interesting that we all thought it was true.  -- and how little coverage there was of the dangers of logging. I would guess that is why they came clean, so that their true purpose could be known. Mike Krumboltz said that they changed the facts about this real tribe (but a tribe that had been known about since 1910) trying to bring more attention to them, so that their ulterior motive of proclaiming the dangers of logging would be more widespread.

I recently visited a home with Brazilian hardwood floors. It was beautiful. But now I have to wonder where the wood came from, and what the implications were of logging it.

blog Action Day

I wish I could have found this earlier, so I could have prepared.

I'm rather split when it comes to the environment. I think being a  non-polluting, recycling, energy-saving person is a good idea. When I go to put it into practice I'm not very consistent. I live so close to work I could easily ride my bicycle for most of the year, it just takes ten minutes longer. But lately I've been lacking energy/gumption to do so. I do try to turn the lights off, close windows, turn off the water completely when I leave rooms.

Recycling is something I paid my garbage company extra for, until just a few months ago. That was a hard concept, coming from NYC where it was included in the taxes and a reasonable sized container was provided (not some dinky little container that filled up in a day or two.) I stopped paying for recycling when I realized the local garbage company recycled everything anyway, because they made money doing so. Why should I pay them to do something they were doing already?

We buy a lot of things that have packing materials that just get thrown away. The thumb drives (aka flash drives, jump drives, memory sticks, USB thingies) that come with lots of extra plastic packaging intended to make them harder to shoplift and easier to spot in the shopping aisle.

What does that mean? Should I sell my gas-guzzling truck and invest in a solar car (not practical yet I don't think).

I do have a lot of energy saving tendencies. I've been fascinated for a long time about energy saving technologies that can be built into homes. The solar water heater is one that I have often wanted to implement. I drew lots of house plans when I was a teenager of homes built into the side of a hill (to provide insulation) with a wall of windows to take advantage of the solar heating, and a windmill on top of the hill to generate energy. I ought to dig one up and post it for ya'll's enjoyment.

What is your relationship with environmental issues?

Mounds or Almond Joy?

Sometimes I feel like taking the elevator. Its usually when I'm lethargic and my brain is weary from a full days work. The elevator is a welcomed pause between work and deciding what to eat for supper.

Other days I feel energetic and the elevator seems like a slow way to get to the parking lot. I have the option of taking the stairs from my basement office up and out the front of the building, but the elevator leads to a door that lets out directly into the parking lot. Thus going around from the front of the building to the parking lot seems counter-productive.

The door to the stairs right next to the elevator seem so inviting, except that there is a large sign that reads: WARNING, fire alarm will sound if this door is opened. The embarrassment of setting off the fire alarm simply because I was too impatient to wait for the elevator door to open just isn't my style.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence isn't it?

Paying for a Haircut

Before I left for Ecuador in July I decided to have my hair cut.

The picture above is of me before my haircut. It was taken a day before I had it cut.


This picture above is me after my hair cut. It is from our first day in Ecuador. About two or three days after I had my hair cut.

When people have commented on my hair cut I have replied that I think the hair dresser cut it too short, but that is okay because my hair will grow.

Yesterday I received a reply I was not expecting. She told me that when she goes to get her hair cut, she tells the hair dresser that if they cut it too short she will not pay them.

I responded that I was probably too easy going to try that. I shy away from being aggressive even when I am paying someone to do something for me. It is one of my biggest fears when dealing with doctors, that I'll be too shy to ask the right questions or offer the right information.

In the case of the haircut, I must admit though, that I was unsure of what length my hair should be cut to. I did give the hair dresser an approximate distance ("somewhere between my chin and my shoulders"). I didn't expect her to cut it right at my chin, I thought she would try for the middle ground between the two points.

I would feel better about refusing pay for the hair cut, if I had said, cut only one inch off, and she had cut off six, but even then I doubt I would have had the nerve to say, "I won't pay you because you cut too much off".

What would you do?

 

Conformity

I've been thinking a lot lately about conformity. Quotes on conformity give some people's opinions on the subject. In classes I have learned that the American culture is individualistic and many Asian cultures collectivistic. Or in other words, Americans look out for number one (me) and collectivistic cultures look out for the good of the group (us).

I've been told ever since I can remember that I am very independent. I had a strong will and wanted things my own way. Sometimes being independent was a good thing, like learning to dress yourself, or cook for yourself. Other times it seemed more negative; "the world does not revolve around you!" I was told. When I learned that Americans were all this way it seemed to validate me. I was normal. It was okay to be independent because this was the characteristic of Americans that fueled the age of innovation and invention.

But I struggled. Christianity was all about putting others before yourself wasn't it? Turn the other cheek. Walk the extra mile. Part of the body of Christ. Being independent seemed wrong again.

Then I learned about how Adventists were called to be a peculiar people. To be separate from the world. In the world but not of the world. The text John 15:1 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."Did this mean that I could take pride in being unique? Did that mean going to church on Saturday and all the things that made me different than the other kids in my neighborhood was something to regard highly?

But then what about the verse in 1 Corinthians 3:3 "You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?" Wasn't this verse saying what made Christians different than the world was brotherly love among them? I was back full circle. The other was greater than the self. Independence seemed rubbish next to interdependence.

But maybe its like healthy fats. Maybe there is a healthy independence.

Healthy independence might take the form of searching the scriptures for yourselves to know what they say. (Don't just ingest the church's doctrine). Or perhaps healthy independence is being a whistle-blower, to be true to your convictions.

When you think a certain thing, and feel a certain way, is it always necessary to inform others about it?

I leave you with a quote:

"As for conforming outwardly, and living your own
life inwardly, I do not think much of that. Let not your right hand
know what your left hand does in that line of business. It will prove a
failure.... It is a greater strain than any soul can long endure. When
you get God to pulling one way, and the devil the other, each having
his feet well braced,—to say nothing of the conscience sawing
transversely,—almost any timber will give way."

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.
Letter, August 9, 1850, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry
David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 188, Houghton Mifflin (1906).