Who Is The Greatest? Dennis Ritchie, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs?

December 11, 2015
Aaron Polmeer

By Amar Shekhar


Short Bytes: When it comes to who is the greatest – Dennis Ritchie, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs – it’s just not about what they invented, but it’s more about how we have always perceived them. Taking a cue from psychology and history, explore the fact yourself.

Eulogies were raging over the sky when Steve jobs died. Internet was mourning the death of Steve jobs. The world also saw the death of Dennis Ritchie, who was termed as an unsung hero by many of us. Before I write something more, I would like to speculate more over how a “Personality upon death” and “Popularity upon death” are connected.

Psychologists visualize a personality based upon five elements:

  • Conscientiousness: How strong is your drive to follow the rules and finish what you start?
  • Agreeableness: How far will you go to help others or make them happy?
  • Neuroticism: Is life a series of hazards to avoid or a feast of opportunities to pursue?
  • Openness to experience: Do you hunger for mental stimulation and yearn for novelty?
  • Extraversion: Are you more energized by interacting with people or by time alone?

I am not going to explain each of these elements one by one. Rather, I will try to find a nexus between these elements which define a personality and hence, popularity.

Let me ask you something. What is your source of knowledge about the primitive world, medieval world and even until the second world war? Since we are a part of 21st century, I would just jump back into the 20th century. Surely, primeval and medieval world are too far to ponder upon at this moment for us. So once again, how do you know about second world war? Let’s think about the probable sources of knowledge about the second world war:

  • Classified documents
  • Unclassified documents which were revealed later
  • Mouth picked stories
  • History books (Surely got twisted a lot with time)
  • Newspaper pieces

And what else? You can count on to the documents you think you can get information from.

Now, let me name some of the personalities from the second world war. Just try to evaluate yourself, how many of them you know:

  • Hitler
  • Winston Churchill
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Benito Mussolini
  • Chiang Kai-shek
  • Hirohito

Well, Most of us would know the first four and last three might not be known to many of us. Now why the top four personalities are famous, while last three personalities are not so much when compared to the first four, though all held the same position in their country and were equally responsible for the war? Has it something to do with the personality? OR, it has something to do with the popularity? Surely. Popularity.

Propaganda, mass media, charismatic authority, heroic idealization and other methods surely gave the first four personalities a boost while last three were not the faces of mass media. If you put together all the methods of gaining popularity, it’s called “Cult of Personality”.

Now let’s come back to Steve jobs, Dennis Ritchie, and Bill Gates.

If I ask you to rate these modern century technology pioneers based on their “Cult of personality”, in what order you are going to rate them? Irrespective of the order, I think Steve jobs would top the chart. I am really not sure who will hit the bottom line. Let’s take another plunge into the history and let’s see what happened after the deaths of Dennis Ritchie and Steve jobs?

Dennis Ritchie: A-70-years old man in long beards died a no man’s death. Someone who lived a solitary life and whose time and cause of death is still not known. Someone who was not socially active over the internet and remained secluded in his own binary world. The irony is that he died after Steve jobs. I would say to get the proper recognition and to let the people realize what his achievements truly meant, he died a tail-end death.

Steve Jobs: Termed as an entrepreneur, visionary, and inventor, Steve Jobs died an announced death. He died with billions of dollars after him. An email was created for people who wanted to send remembrances messages. Invitation only memorial and private memorials were also held for him.

In a nutshell, Dennis Ritchie died a death inside the core and Steve job died a death on Crust.

Now who was greater, Dennis Ritchie or Steve Jobs?

As their death style suggest, Dennis Ritchie’s works were always the core works. C language – the core of almost everything on computer world today. Unix operating system, the core of most of the advanced and reliable operating systems today. Many knew the names because they had read the name. Whereas people had heard the name of Steve jobs, which makes a great difference. What significant can you count of when someone reminds you of Steve jobs, besides great Apple products? Anything as technical as C-compiler or Unix systems? Think….

Next question comes, who was greater among these three? Bill Gates, Dennis Ritchie, or Steve Jobs? Well, the answer depends on how would people remember Bill Gates in future?

On the surface level, it’s surely Windows which enabled almost everyone to use computers. Second most popular thing people might remember Bill Gates is for his philanthropy. We might accuse Windows OS for many things but at the end of the day, we all are grateful to it.

Thus, when it comes to the comparison of people like Bill Gates, Dennis Ritchie, and Steve Jobs, these comparisons are heavily influenced by the what so called “cult of personality”. Something what you made and something that you forced people to believe. Yes, it’s all about impression over our minds. Yes, it’s something about our niche. Ultimately, it’s all about when and how you die.

What do you think? Who is the greatest among these three? Tell us in the comments below.

For more technology updates and interesting stories, follow fossBytes.

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

The post Who Is The Greatest? Dennis Ritchie, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs? appeared first on fossBytes.

No comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.
To ensure attendees get the full benefit of an intimate technology expo,
we are only offering a limited number of passes.
Get My Pass Now!