Friday, October 07, 2005

Dynamite Nobel Peace Prize this year

It's Nobel season again. Typically this is boring. I read about the science prizes and respond "finally" or "who are they what did they do ? Oh I see, yes that's worth a Nobel prize" and read about the economics prize and think that they really should have waited until economists achieved something before establishing a prize.

I am ecstatic that the Nobel Peace prize went to The International Atomic Energy Agency and its Egyptian chief Mohamed ElBaradei for doing everything humanly possible to explain to Bush that the smoking gun was not going to be a mushroom cloud. The struggle for peace has not yet been very successful and prizes should be given to those who do everything that can be done to prevent a war even if the war happens anyway.

Only rarely am I positively delighted by a Nobel committee decision. I was delighted when Dario Fo won the prize. I thought the literature committee was making a very valid and interesting point about what great literature is and isn't (believe me the guy is funny).

There even have been a few economics prizes which I enjoyed.
I was delighted when Akerlof won a long overdue prize (even though they gave it for the paper which was relatively a lemon). I was also pleased when Kahneman won the prize for the claim exactly opposite that for which Lucas won the prize. Come to think of it, I was pleased when the ex Mrs Lucas got half of the prize money, because he got the prize in the last year for which their divorce settlement said it was to be split (I still think that the Nobel committee knew about the agreement and said "Lets Plaay a liteel trick on Professor Looocas" I even suspect that the ex Lucases made the agreement to speed up the committees indefensible but inevitable decision).
I was even amused when Amartya Sen won the prize. My regular reader will note that I read the New Republic after the two week transatlantic second class mail delay. Generally cover to cover, but I haven't read Sen's article on the Mahabharata which is not quite as long as said Mahabharata. I just liked the prize as a snub at the economics profession.

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