I always believed that we should appreciate not our role-models, but the principles they stand for. We are all imperfect and worshiping another person, in their entirety, is, by principle, wrong – as that would imply glorifying and defending their imperfections. On the other hand, we find value in recognizing and pursuing we realize in other, some more successful.
My solution, thus, is to separate the quality or the principle for which a person deserves praise from their identity and their lives. For this purpose, I have decide to share what I call my Pantheon, a hall of gods, one which puts on a pedestal not any person in particular, but the principle that person, at least at some point, stood for.
You should note that none of the lists presented below should be considered fixed or complete.
Turing – pursuing principle rather than convention
Kalman – blending engineering intuition with mathematical elegance;
Erdos – thinking about thinking without outside, often reductionist and unrealistic, constraints;
Gauss – child-like inspiration and intuition from an early age;
Newton – formal modeling of experimentation; bringing mathematical order to empirical evidence;
Riemann – inter-disciplinary and unifying perspective on several fields, thought unrelated at the time.
Fermat – daring to ask useless questions opens doors to unimaginable brightness;
Godel – we have reached the depth of thinking and insight to measure the limitation of our own depth of thinking and insight;
Wagner – putting human perseverance and tragedy into music
[list in progress]
Art / Painting
Munch – painting the glimpse of human hope in a sea of desperation
Bacon (Francis) – the power of visual reinterpretation to rewrite how we see history;
[list in progress]
Kafka (Franz)- how to build a life-raft of meaning in an ocean of life’s absurdity
Sartre (Jean Paul) – idem
Vian (Boris) – protection means oppression; absurdity often grows at the shade of complacency;
Camus (Albert) – [under investigation]
Sociology, Psychology (Humans and their Behavior)
Ariely – humans are imperfect computing machines and should be treated, studied and understood as such;
Penrose – determinism is overrated; change and dice play as much of a role in creating consciousness in our univese as does logic and order; #writeTo
Nietzsche – one’s responsibility to seek new purpose outside of the given objectives and to redefine new goals, outside of the familiar;
Hegel – [under investigation]
Zizek – the importance of a shared sense of humor for the integrity of culture and community; the inherent limitations of ideology;
Bezos & Jobs – how to materialize a vision with little regard for those who help you build it
Rockefeller – if you’re going to do business, do it at scale; the commercial blueprint needs to be three steps ahead of the execution and five steps ahead of the competition;
Ford – design of efficiency (industriousness); the time on our clocks is a scale-model of impending death;
Gates – incremental value partnerships; the power of partner networks;