I've always loved history, mostly because I love learning about fascinating people from during periods. I recently had the pleasure of reading The Romanovs and was struck not just by the strength of that familial dynasty, but by the fact that we're still discussing these people 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 years in the future. It's wild, isn't it?
But who today has that kind of staying power? That's what people tried to answer after Redditor Flip-and-sk8- asked the online community,
"Who is someone alive today who will be remembered in 500 years?"
"Buzz Aldrin is still alive, so I'm going with Buzz! If only for hitting that moon landing denier in the face."
That should do it. If Neil can be remembered, then certainly Buzz, no?
"Surely because now we do..."
"500 years ago we didn't have film. Surely because now we do, many more famous people will be remembered or revered for much longer than people of the past. Cult classics will have to live on, even if it's just to study them. It'll actually be amazing for people to study us and they'll know so much more about how we lived through TV and movies. Life will be so different in 2,500 that it will be fascinating for people to watch back."
This is an excellent point. What a magnificent archive future archives would have! They'd never be able to get through it all.
"Probably the first person to set their foot on Mars. This is a milestone from every perspective, and I am pretty sure this person is alive currently."
A fair assumption. They likely are. And the day they take that first step will be the stuff of legend.
"I think it'd be..."
"I think it'd be Gates. He'll be associated with computers just like Gutenberg's press.
Did he invent computers? No. But I think he'll be remembered for it."
"Even though her impact..."
"Possibly the Queen of England. Longest living/reigning monarch to date. Even though her impact on the world is somewhat minimal, most of the monarchs are remembered."
Queen Elizabeth will no doubt be remembered for turning Charles into a horcrux so she can pass the throne on to William.
"And before you ask..."
"Mikhail Gorbachev, for being the last leader of one of the world's strongest empires.
And before you ask, Mikhail Gorbachev is still alive. He is currently 90."
Andrew Wiles for proving Fermat's Last Theorem.
"Think of who we still know..."
"Think of who we still know of from 500 years ago... Putin is a big geopolitical player currently, but has he really done anything that will be worth remembering centuries from now?"
Hmmm... we might have to give him a poetic (and possibly unflattering) nickname. Best get thinking.
"He's one of the best..."
"John Williams I hope. He's one of the best composers currently alive, and I wish his work will be still celebrated in a few centuries."
"An ascendant China..."
"Xi Jinping. An ascendant China is going to scramble the world order for centuries. As its leader during the hegemonic shift he'll be remembered."
Who did people 200 or 300 years ago think would be remembered in the future? And how wrong were they? If only we had the ability to look back on ourselves. We could be totally wrong!
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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