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Arkham House Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 06:14 PM
Original message
Who is the wisest person in the world?
It's a remarkable fact, that when this topic came up recently as a gathering I was at...we all hemmed and hawed. No one's name came immediately to mind. That would hardly be the case, once upon a time...think of the names: Einstein, Schweitzer, Bertrand Russell, Churchill, either Roosevelt, Gandhi, Camus, Orwell...the list could go on. Who on earth--literally--could you come up with today? The only thing approaching a "consensus" choice we could come up with was the Dali Lama, who seemed singularly unsatisfying...and on reflection, I haven't been able to think of anyone better. Does anyone have any good ideas?
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Me.
Wait, "wisest" or "smart-assiest"? :rofl:

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anarch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. does there need to be a competition?
It's interesting, because I can't think of anyone either. I tried. Then I was going to say some smart-ass thing, but it is weird that I can think of a number of relatively well-known dead people that I considered wise, when they were alive, and I've met one or two wise people in my own life whom nobody has ever heard of...but I can't think of any living person that I would call simply, truly wise--let alone "the wisest in the world."

I'm satisfied in knowing that I have met wise people in my life, and feel that I know wisdom when I hear it thanks to their influence.

I don't know if I could have honestly answered this with even the dead wise people I could name...I mean, "wisest in the world", how do you judge that one? The truly wise people all seem to end up agreeing with one another anyway....
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. Whoever offers the advice we most need to hear at the time.
There's no objective way to decide who is wisest when so many of humanity's pressing problems have no obvious right answer. All we can look at is who leads us in the right direction and even that's a bit squishy.
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mark414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. Mark Twain
bar none
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
5. The wisest person in the world today...
cannot speak to us, for s/he is locked up in a mental institution because they are "clearly crazy" since they would think that peace and justice and equality are all good things and our society does not.
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. They have to be alive, right?
Gore Vidal. Robert Anton Wilson.


The problem with a question like this is history. It requires a body of work, a lifetime of work and an historical perspective of their contribution in order to evaluate it. So it takes time after a person's life to truly see if they were wise or misguided.


Khash.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yeah Robert Anton Wilson is a damn good answer.
n/t
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Arkham House Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. RAW is a helluva choice...
...admitting that this is a parlor game, it still seems to me that once upon a time, we had world-straddling figures of moral stature. But good old Bob Wilson--I should have thought of him. Nelson Mandela would be another good choice--someone who was the victim of injustice, but didn't let it destroy him...
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. he/she who may not sanction an advertisement as such, grasshopper...
:rofl:
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Pooh.
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. Bob Novak
:hide:
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. No, it's Jenna Bush, Silly!
hahahahaha
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
28. Oh silly me...
everyone and their mother knows it's Stuart Baker, Director for Lessons Learned, at the White House.

:spank:
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Indy_Dem_Defender Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. Jimmy carter
bump
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u4ic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
12. George W Bush
Why, he's King of the World!



:hide:
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elvisbear Donating Member (545 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
13. Mr. Owl (tootsie roll)
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Wink Martindale
It's really a very fun name to say
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otherlander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-11-06 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
14. This white guy in New York with dreadlocks
Who sits on the ground in a park/ city square with a stand set up in front of him, and makes some money beading hair. Some people don't respect him because he doesn't have a 'real' job, doesn't have much money, but for him, that isn't a necessity. He does not fit into the conventions of our society, and yet he is still able to live his life. He has no need no join the ranks of the wealthy weaklings filling their prescribed roles of servitude to the powers that be. And there is something that can be said of him that can be said of very few of us: he is free.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
16. Nelson Mandela. No one thought he could defuse South African tensions
He forgave the people who locked him up for 30 years and now has a country with hope for solutions to its problems as his legacy.
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Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
17. Me
;)

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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
20. doris lessing?
Edited on Wed Jul-12-06 12:16 AM by pitohui
to me being "wise" implies a knowledge of human nature, and not just the pretty or optimistic side, if you are "wise" to something, you know what's going on

so i tend to think of the wisest of the wise not as politicians and certainly not as naifs like einstein or the dalai lama but the wise, experienced, seen-it-all-older women such as writer doris lessing

can a man be wise in the way that an old woman is wise? i honestly don't think so, since men do not usually have time to gain fame and yet also time to get very deeply into the whole child and formation of a human being thing
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otherlander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. I guess she could be...
I read a few of her books, collections of short stories, and just started reading today Briefing for a Descent Into Hell. She's not preachy, or anything, but by reading her stories, you can tell how much she understands about people.
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SmileyBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
21. Stephen Hawking is widely believed to be the smartest human alive...
But I don't know about wisest.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. smart is not wise
he seems v. smart but he doesn't seem to have any streetwise-ness as it were

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LaraMN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
22. Jeeves of "Ask Jeeves."
Actually, I've found him to be an ineffectual dunce, so strike that thought.
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
23. Heidi
No question :)
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Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. Good point.
;)

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Bombtrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #23
34. you aren't smart when you let Seal spawn you troll babies
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. What?
Two points: Heidi Klum's and Seal's baby is as attractive as any other baby; and there's a difference between "smart" and "wise."
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newcriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
26. I thought it was California Peggy, at least on here it is.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
27. Cookie Mueller, but she's dead.


Maybe Amy Sedaris is her successor.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
29. Aaron Sorkin? Garry Trudeau?
It's embarrassing but at this point pretty much everything I learned about life, I learned from the West Wing and Doonesbury.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
31. My Nana...
She died Sept.7th 2001.... that's why I was flying on Sept 11.

She died at 92 w a FULL deck of cards and 92 years of experience. A brilliant librarian who challenged us to give her quotes - she pegged the book 99% of the time.

She loved 'Cheers'once she was 'in her cups'.

I wish I had access to her knowledge at this point.... We all would be improved w/her knowledge.

She always said that the Jews and the Islamists were fighting their war on American soil... she died 4 days before that 'happened'.



My Nana was the wisest person in the world.

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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
32. Al Gore, because despite the crazies calling him
crazy, he continues to push for a change in our environmental standards to eliminate global warming. We need that, because we may be in trouble of Earth dies. I think a planet is required if we want to have a place to live. Sure, that's it. It's definitely Al Gore. Or Jimmy Carter. Dr. King was very wise. Can we pick people who aren't currently alive?
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Bombtrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:01 AM
Response to Original message
33. Hugh Hefner
that motherfucker did it right.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:15 AM
Response to Original message
35. Immaculee Ilibagiza
Incredible woman, and wise beyond belief.
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