So, Off You Go And Create Your Own Nobel Prizes Then


We have a nice example of the standard left wing perniciousness here with this complaint that the Nobels have to be changed because reasons. The pernicity being that instead of doing the honourable thing – go off and create your own – the demand is that an extant part of society be coopted into the Borg and run as those who didn’t create it insist. We do rather see this all around society, don’t we? Google’s search functions must operate as the social justice warriors insist, Facebook and Twitter must not allow anyone not on message to ever say anything publicly, Nobels must be awarded for environmental sciences. And to women. And groups. And as we insist, dammit!

Why Nobel prizes fail 21st-century science

After all, something that’s been around a century and more, gained vast repute by being so, cannot be allowed to continue untamed, can it? That would just be so conservative! Leave this sort of thing alone and people might even think the nuclear family is a pretty good idea. Or clans, tribes, or something.

But many now question this deification of scientists and believe Nobel prizes are dangerously out of kilter with the processes of modern research. By stressing individual achievements, they say, Nobels encourage competition at the expense of cooperation. They want the system to be changed.

Because you didn’t build that, after all. Clearly, the entire society should be awarded prizes for contributing. Just as is true with any form of financial capital, so with human. We all contributed, all should gain the baubles. Filtered through the pure and just who are the nomenklatura, obviously.

Martin Rees, the astronomer royal, has argued that the Nobel prize skews the public’s idea about which sciences are important. “Only three sciences get Nobel awards: chemistry, physics and physiology,” said Lord Rees. “Mathematics is ignored, as are computing, robotics and artificial intelligence as well as environmental sciences.”

That one man selected to be just that one deserving to be Astronomer Royal, and a peer, complains about just the few being selected is fun. As to mathematicians, not sure if it’s true or just a line from Good Will Hunting but the absence of maths is because Mrs. Nobel ran off with a mathematician. Which is why the Fields Medal is even more prestigious.

The real interest here being the example of that march through the institutions. The correct response to “I don’t like how this prize is awarded” is to set up your own prize to be awarded as you wish. The child’s answer is to scweam and scweam until the rules are changed to be as you wish. Or until an ice cream appears, whichever.

So who are the adults here? Those who would take over everything of value others have created? Or those who go create that which they themselves value? Answers on a voting slip at the next ballot box….

Oh, and do note, we’ll not hear the same whines when the Literature prize is awarded to some drear who has whined about the iniquities of capitalism in Albanian these past 40 years.