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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


So, Foreign Policy published a list of the 100 top intellectuals in the world today. People were allowed to vote on this, here are the results now. Funny thing is that I know one of the top 10 (Orhan Parmuk, two I remembered once I had read the descriptions) a few more in the top 20 and only have read something by one (Orhan Parmuk) in the top 20. Embarassing for me to some extent (should have read some Chomsky or Umberto Ecco). The list is also apparently a typical case of regio-centrism, a massive influx of Middle Eastern and Turkish voters assured that 9 of the top 10 are Muslims. Kind of funny how a western publication, usually one to twist lists such as these extremely towards the US and Europe gets played at its own game here.

Lesson to be drawn? Be less Western-centric, read more and more wide-spread.

One point of criticism I should add, a popular vote such as this leads to famous people perceived as intelligent to be featured disproportionately on this list. Al Gore for example, or the highest write-in candidate Stephen Colbert, should not be on there or not as high in any case.

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