Tech
PHOTO: Wikipedia  PHOTO: Wikipedia   

Algorithm ranks Jesus history’s most significant figure

Photo of Jamie Weinstein
Jamie Weinstein
Senior Editor
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Because everyone loves top 10 lists, a new book uses an algorithm to determine history’s most significant figures.

Computer science professor Steven Skiena and Google engineer Charles B. Ward created the formula for their book, “Who’s Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank.”

“This is a book about measuring the ‘significance’ of historical figures,” the book’s opening chapter reads. “We do not answer these questions as historians might, through a principled assessment of their individual achievements. Instead, we evaluate each person by aggregating the traces of millions of opinions in a rigorous and principled manner. We rank historical figures just as Google ranks web pages, by integrating a diverse set of measurements about their reputation into a single consensus value.”

Their algorithm allows people to compare the significance of former President Chester A. Arthur to Justin Bieber, because, well, why not?

“Significance is related to fame but measures something different,” the opening chapter of the book reads. “Forgotten U.S. President Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) [499] is more historically significant than young pop singer Justin Bieber (1994-) [8633], even though he may have a less devoted following and lower contemporary name recognition.”

So who ranks in the top 10?

10.) Thomas Jefferson 

10.) Thomas Jefferson (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

9.) Alexander the Great

9.) Alexander the Great (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

8.) Aristotle 

8.) Aristotle (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

7.) Adolf Hitler 

7.) Adolf Hitler (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

6.) George Washington 

6.) George Washington (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

5.) Abraham Lincoln 

5.) Abraham Lincoln (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

4.) William Shakespeare 

4.) William Shakespeare (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

3.) Mohammed 

3.) Mohammad (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

2.) Napoleon Bonaparte 

2.) Napoleon Bonaparte (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

1.) Jesus 

1.) Jesus (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

Follow Jamie on Twitter