View Full Version : If you could have been another person in history

Uncle Fred
12th Jan 2013, 02:22
We all know the quirkiness of the Microsoft and Google interview questions. Pretty soon these types of questions became all the rage.

I was having a chat with a friend that did some of these types of interviews and I asked him what his favorite question was. He said, without pause, that asking someone if they could be another person, living or past, who would they be?

I immediately peppered him with questions as to just what that would reveal--after all, if it were someone accomplished or famous you already knew their life story. I asked him how he could possibly mine any true insight into the candidate's psychological makeup.

He started to laugh and said "I asked them that just because I was tired of all the other questions and this was by far the most interesting." "Just think. You could open up any line of conversation known to man through this question and I had no idea about the psychology."

Good point I had to concede. PPruners? Not so easy of question once you start to think about it...

12th Jan 2013, 02:30
Hef! :ok:


12th Jan 2013, 03:12
Easy choice. Neil Armstrong. What a thrill that must have been.

One giant leap for Manny Klein.

12th Jan 2013, 03:42
Since Neil is taken, I would then have to say, Chuck Yeager, for all the flight records he set. Fearless and seemingly instinctual, he flew aircraft as if it were an extention of himself, living through experiences that would have killed most aviators.

Rising from the enlisted ranks as private, to aircraft mechanic, to flight officer, to test pilot and retired as brigadier general, but achieved a further promotion to major general.

Both sets of accomplsihments above are not likely to ever be seen again in one man. Well done, sir! :ok: :D:D

12th Jan 2013, 06:51
Jimmy Buffet!! :ok:

Successful author, musician, pilot, restaurant owner, and connoisseur of cheeseburgers in paradise and rum based boat drinks. :ok:

Second choice would be Slasher. :E

12th Jan 2013, 06:54
Isaac Newton

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, (with respect to Slasher)
but not the madness of people.


Nervous SLF
12th Jan 2013, 06:55
Tom Clancy, I would love to be able to write like he did before he started co-operating with other authors. That never seems to quite work for me somehow.

Slasher is welcome to be Hef - imagine all that pmt :eek:

12th Jan 2013, 06:58
Since Neil is taken, I would then have to say, Chuck Yeager, for all the flight records he set.I'd rather choose a pilot who was every bit Yeager's equal than willingly choose to live life as such a deeply unpopular and disliked person.

Having seen him fly many times since the 60s I believe Jackonicko on airliners.net says it best about the pilot I'd choose - Hoover!

Read Yeager's book and you'd think (as he does) that he was the greatest of all time.

But he bad-mouthed countless good men and b*ll**itted wildly - after he'd flown the X-4 and found it wanting he insisted that they 'junked it then and there' - which must be news to the other X-4 pilots, who flew many missions after him, and who suggested only that the aircraft did require a pilot with 'finesse'.

It's a pity, because if you can put aside the boasting and tall tales, Yeager was a giant, whose achievements were legion and considerable. Just not in the same class as some of those he bad-mouthed - most notably Frank 'Pete' Everest.

And yes, he was a shining light within the 357th FG, just not as bright a light as Carson, England, Anderson, Peterson, Foy or Bochkay.......

Having watched his Mustang and Commander displays, I'd say that Hoover could fly rings around Yeager. Jimmy Doolittle agrees describing Hoover as "... the greatest stick-and-rudder man who ever lived." (He's wrong, of course - that honour should go to Jan Zurakowski, Neil Williams, or perhaps even Ray Hanna).
A following poster further reinforces my opinion of Yeager
There are some people I know who refer to Chuck Yeager as "Anything for a Buck Chuck". He earned this name by charging the firefighters a dollar for an autograph. And this was after he kicked all of the firefighters out of their dayroom during an airshow. But I don't mean to sell him short because he did acomplish a great many things.
That said, I've never spent a waking second wishing I was someone else.

12th Jan 2013, 08:45
Walter Kennedy, then I could shut the @#!# up about little green men and naughty radio equipment, and not annoy hundreds of people.

12th Jan 2013, 10:33
Inventor of the WWW..............

Then I could say instead of going further with it I could go out and meet friends for a coffee so in 20 years time people would still do that rather than be sitting at some bloody screen writing inane comments to people they have never met.........

Failing that Slashefner

12th Jan 2013, 10:41
Antoine de saint Exupery.

12th Jan 2013, 10:58
Napoleon .... But I would have invaded England and made friends with Russia.
Result lots of todays problems would not exist, most of the World would speak French, and cooking would be excellent. ;)

12th Jan 2013, 11:03
most of the World would speak French, and cooking would be excellent.

and bureaucracy would be universally bad. :E

tony draper
12th Jan 2013, 11:10
You would have had to invent a word for 'friends' for the French language.:E

12th Jan 2013, 11:18
Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The little man with a tall hat, who by a combination of sheer engineering ability and dogged persistence, created a superb array of spectacular bridges, harbours, tunnels, railways and steamships, and much, much else besides. He did all this with becoming modesty, not being a braggart about his talents, and many of his structures are still in regular use today over 150 years after his death.

I followed his profession with enthusiasm, although lacking his genius, as one of the many who benefitted from "standing on the shoulders of giants" as the famous aphorism has it. He was an early member of the world's first professional engineering body, the Institution of Civil Engineers, which I am proud to maintain my own membership of. I have been fortunate to examine his diaries, notebooks, drawings and calculations in the Brunel archives of Bristol University, and even to hold his set of drawing instruments engraved with the hallowed initials "IKB". That was a humbling experience, never to be forgotten.

"What a man!" :D

12th Jan 2013, 11:20
My wife. I can't imagine a better bloke to live with. OK, I'll get me coat . . .

12th Jan 2013, 11:21
I'd like to have been me again circa 1962 with the knowledge that I have now.

12th Jan 2013, 12:05
This fine figure of a twentieth century Renaissance prince.

იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე სტალინი

Cyber Bob
12th Jan 2013, 13:56
Elvis Presley :ok:

12th Jan 2013, 15:08
Jesus Christ

get out of jail free card and a free turn past Go

12th Jan 2013, 15:42
I'm surprised nobody has claimed Casanova. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova#Relationships)

Personally I'll bags Leonardo da Vinci (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci) :ok:

wings folded
12th Jan 2013, 15:49
A modestly successfull grocer in Hebden Bridge.

Rather be Gardening
12th Jan 2013, 15:58
Hans Holbein - imagine meeting all those Tudor peeps. Bet he could have told a story or two .... people will chatter to their hairdresser, bet they did the same to the bloke doing their portrait. Brilliant artist, too.

12th Jan 2013, 16:27
Henry Blogg (http://rnli.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Henry%20Blogg%20factsheet.pdf), of Cromer.

"... only 119 Gold Medals for Gallantry have been awarded since the RNLIís foundation in 1824." Henry Blogg earned three of them.

12th Jan 2013, 17:09
Me, with the historical knowledge I have today.

12th Jan 2013, 17:31
Jesus Christ

get out of jail free card and a free turn past Go

There's people that'll crucify you for saying things like that:)

12th Jan 2013, 17:33
Henry Blogg (http://rnli.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Henry%20Blogg%20factsheet.pdf), of Cromer.

"... only 119 Gold Medals for Gallantry have been awarded since the RNLIís foundation in 1824." Henry Blogg earned three of them.

I always like to quote that when some fool tells me about a goal scoring "hero".

Temp Spike
13th Jan 2013, 04:38
Kaiser Franz Joseph I.

Thus knowing what I know now, I would not have declared war on Serbia, meaning no WWI, no Russian communist revolution, no Nazis and no WWII, no Chinese communist revolution, no Korean war and no Vietnam war. Itís amazing that you can point all of this mayhem to one arrogant, self serving monarch.

13th Jan 2013, 05:41
Captain Eric Brown RN

Nobody has had a more interesting flying career and I think he still holds the record for the most types flown.

13th Jan 2013, 05:53
Turner (he or she, the painter or the best).
Or Cleopatra.
Or Evelyn Waugh or maybe Somerset Maugham.
Or Mowgli, if it could be fictional?

Uncle Fred
15th Jan 2013, 03:39
Great responses. Perfect blend--some whimsical, some serious. I can see what my old school chum meant by the interesting points that the question brings out.

I had always thought it would have been nice to have lived the life (although perhaps to a great deal fictional) of that chap in Chariots of Fire who practices the hurdles by having his valet/ butler pour champagne in the glasses perched atop the row of them.

Lots of other choices from Churchill to Dr. Johnson but I think I would really have to settle, without a doubt, on having been Jimmy Page....

...flying is good work but I think jamming in front of the audience at the O2 Arena could be a bit better.

15th Jan 2013, 04:09
Has anybody pondered the possibility that we may all of us already have been at least one other person in history? In a different dimension, that is.

Actually, I find this a very puzzling question because in all my life I have never desired to be anyone other than myself. That is all I know how to be, and all that I can be is simply me.

15th Jan 2013, 04:37
Mila Kunis.
I'd spend all day playing with myself.
Seriously though - Kelly Johnson.

15th Jan 2013, 06:03
My great grandfather.

He had a market stall in Leeds in the late 1800's and (so family history has it) was invited by one Michael Marks to go into business with him. But didn't.

15th Jan 2013, 09:34
The experiences of (without wishing to change gender) Hanna Reitsch. Thrills, guts and luck.

15th Jan 2013, 10:19
we may all of us already have been at least one other person in history?

In fact your body almost certainly already incorporates atoms from "famous persons in history". For example, I have a single atom from Mozart in my left big toe. It twinges when I hear the overture to "The Magic Flute".

I read an article about this business of recyling atoms once but I'm so bored with life and uncaring* to go searching through Giggle to find it again.....

* Having read Goudie's last limerick

Ancient Observer
15th Jan 2013, 11:30
It is difficult to decide.
Either Clapton or Charlie George.

wings folded
15th Jan 2013, 11:36
Don't know who Charlie George is, but I am not sure that Clapton is "history" yet.

15th Jan 2013, 11:40
or Charlie George not George Best (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/4312792.stm)? :p

15th Jan 2013, 12:21
Eleanor of Aquitaine (but without the locked up in the castle for yonks bit!)

Temp Spike
15th Jan 2013, 12:29
Captain Ahab!

"...to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee ye damn whale!"

15th Jan 2013, 12:35

What a thrill to kick your enemies asses perched atop an elephant.


15th Jan 2013, 13:41
I'm so very sorry Earthlings. It would appear that you might have received various "promises" (on the part of some of my previous and overly-zealous press representatives over the past 2,000 years or so), but I'm currently very far away in another galaxy (NGC 6872 or thereabouts (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20981994)), so hope you'll understand.

It'll be sometime (a few light years) before I come back your way again. Remember to to do your best vis-a-vis your neighbours - don't **** their wives, love one another, and don't kill / decapitate / put anyone up on a cross etc., unless the locals feel it's absolutely necessary.

In the meantime, I leave you with a "soupe aux choux recipe" for the next few millenia...

la soupe aux choux louis de funes , jean carmet - YouTube

15th Jan 2013, 13:42
Everyone already was someone else in history...and will probably come back to earth again, at least once.


Ancient Mariner
15th Jan 2013, 13:49
I would love to have been Leiv Eiriksson, trust me USA would be very different now. :E

Temp Spike
15th Jan 2013, 13:55
Gee, How so AM?