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Great Wandering_Dan 2009-11-11 10:19

Merhaba, Bulent -

An interesting photo and even more interesting note - both on the historical and personal level. Now that you've piqued our curiosity, just how did Ataturk bring your parents together?

I will have to look into this PGS calculation. I'm not sure it's possible for such a scale to be totally objective, especially it results in Mao being as "great" a leader as FDR. Also the "lasting accomplishments" aspect seems to me to have time issues; at what point does it cut off? Consider, for example, Chenggis Khan; it is possible to argue that his impact is still being felt, in that some of his descendants were in power until early this century (Bukhara), some 700 years after he died, and that it was his assault on the Baghdad caliphate that fatally weakened Islam's political unity (though I would argue that there were other factors as well).

Best,
Dan

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Old 11-11-2009, 07:36 PM
batalay batalay is offline
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Hello Dan,

The gist of Ataturk serving as a catalyst for my parents' union can be seen in the tribute I wrote here.

The assessing and ranking covers leaders who times span 1900-2000, in short "a baker's century" of 101 years. As I explained in my talk last night, of the 21 individuals who scored highest on the list (that is 0.1% of the 2000 leaders), 9 of them are individuals I grew up regarding as enemies, several even as mortal enemies. This is social science and can never be as precise as physical science or mathematics. Nonetheless, the criteria that factor into the scale are useful for getting a handle on "political greatness." An interesting observation is that leadership has little to do with superior intelligence. It is powered by the alpha male gene. Arnold Ludwig cites experiments with chimps. When a group of four male chimps are placed in a cage, by the end of the week, a pecking order emerges. This is not the case among female chimps.

Regards, Dan.

Bulent
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:32 PM
Wandering_Dan Wandering_Dan is offline
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Hi, Bulent -

I have read the tribute you wrote - and it is well-written, compelling the reader into the story. One anecdote that particularly caught my eye was about how the soldiers would take a coffee break each day before they went back to killing each other - it really brings out the absurdity of war.

I feel a bit of frustration, too, in not knowing what actually happened after Ataturk whispered whatever he whispered into his aide's ear, so I can understand how you felt moved to fill in the blank, as it were. Clearly something did happen, and your parents did marry.

As for the alpha male gene, it's just one more argument that men are not competent to run the world. But then, women haven't done such a great job either, as Maggie Thatcher showed.

Best,
Dan
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