Friday, December 14, 2012

LOKI Awards 2012

Foreign Policy is at it like everyone else, writing up their end-of-year lists now the news has dried up and everyone is frankly sick of politics for the year, let alone the first dirty dozen years of the 21st century.

Their list of Top 100 Thinkers for 2012 bears a squizz, although there's more than a couple of choke points. Paul Ryan at Number Eight, for example. Even old man Biden could beat the tar out of that pseudo-intellectual. But there's some heft in there too. F'rinstance, I've got some respect for ex-Mossad shit-stirrer Meir Dagan.

On the International Circuit, my six of the best thinkers of 2012 are (in no particular order):

danah boyd. On FP's list, and well deserved. Translates the Zeitgeist into consequences and implications for digital natives, adopters and ignorami alike. Big ups to Russell Brown and the Great Blend for getting her to Wellington for a yak all those years ago.

Tyler Cowen. Reliable sources have told me that the Chicago School of Economics is a bunch of mad bastards, and always has been. If the Chicago School of Big Data is anything to go by, those mad bastards might be onto something.

Nassim Taleb - Long may his black swans Mandelbrot.

Nouriel Roubini - The realists' pessimist. My kinda guy.

George Soros - I'd rather have this bastard behind or next to me in the trenches than a Koch or even a Buffett.

Elizabeth Warren - The n00b senator promises to be sand in the vaseline of the Old Boys' Club in Washington.

But what does this insular land care of offshore wonks? Here's my League Of Kiwi Intellectuals for 2012 (again, in no particular order):

The Smartest Guy in Government Award goes to Peter Gluckman. Nice Spock, shame about the Kirk.

The Guerrillas in Our Ship Award goes to the Fabians, Scoop and Public Address for getting Bernard Hickey, Rod Oram, Selwyn Pellett and Rick Boven into Poneke harbour for a gig. I'd upload the vids, but the data cap would screw me.

Top Feminist (Or Whatever Her Preferred Taxonomy Is, I'm Not Going to Split Infinities) Award goes to Emma Hart; for shit-stirring above and beyond the strict borders of feminism and into the cultural landmines of bisexuality.

The Unintentionally Weaponised Greenie Truthsayer Award goes to Mike Joy, for upsetting the Hobbit with a months-old interview for the International Herald Tribune released on a delayed fuse.

The Best Current Affairs Show goes to Campbell Live for advocacy journalism at its finest, beating 7 Days by one length (the third placegetter, Close Up, died on the track. Good riddance).

The Top Political Guru Award goes to Colin James. Rolls dice on a megawar as much as I do. Respect. And fear.

The Cleaning Up After Keystone Cops Award goes to Judge Helen Winkelmann, the last best chance for a fair go. Because you won't get one from the range of government tools shown to be sub-standard in the last year.

Politician of the Year - Kim Dotcom.

Interviewer of the Year - Rachel Smalley on The Nation.