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Shouldn't Evan Soltas be one of those top thinkers?

Ashok Rao too, probably.

I'd love a list of most overrated people that Tyler links to.

Shouldn't there be more STEM people on that list? Not one person from physics, astronomy, chemistry, math, engineering, computers etc...Terrible list.

The article said specifically it was only for social sciences.

This list was focused on social and behavioral "sciences." Who wants to read about a bunch of Terrence Taos doing boring, nerdy esoteric stuff, anyway, when you can read about a demographically diverse group talking about Making a Difference or Changes in America's Education System?

As Ian said, only for social science, but I'd think all the top STEM people are bound by NDAs for the things they are building, or are too busy hustling venture capital.

Ha! I had the same thought until I saw the qualifier. My initial reaction is the list should be title "To 30 Pests Who Will Be With Us For Decades" but I'm trying to be nicer about this stuff.

Noooo! But this list isn't even good for that. These won't even stand out as memorable pests.

David C,

You refer to doers.

I looked up one of those economists. I think he's a college freshmen who is apparently on the list because he won a scholarship. What a pointless list.

Truly a terrible list. Half of the people were on the list because of some variation of "I want to change the world". Every eight year old in the world could be on the list.

#4: That's the first time in my life I've encountered the phrase, "greatest living juggler." For calling it art, the writer should be keelhauled. .

Gatto was certainly the greatest living juggler for a long time. But you are right, if juggling was an art, you could not talk about Gatto being the greatest because it would be subjective. But when people like Jason Garfield called it a sport (a lot closer to the truth) Gatto would get all mad. But at the same time, he never rejected the claim of being the best even though that had everything to do with the great control he had over a large number of objects in the air and nothing to with anything aesthetic.

Never thought I would see a link to a story about Gatto on Marginal Revolution. About the only thing the article gets right is that Gatto was the best juggler in the world. It is probable that he still is, though we have no way of knowing. But that article is wrong to say that the new generation of jugglers is one trick wonders who get things right once on camera and can't do it again. Vova, Dietz, and many other names known only in the juggling world perform in front of other jugglers. That is a lot tougher then impressing a crowd who think that juggling three dull knifes shined up with a grinder to look sharp is impressive but get bored watching someone juggle five clubs thrown in flats.

And this has always been the problem Gatto has. He has never wanted to be a juggler. He has always wanted to be a performer and earn the praise of crowd. If you read between the lines in the article, you can see that. He has always tried to conflate the two and make it seem like only good performers are good jugglers. If this was true, the Passing Zone would not be making far more money than Gatto will ever see in his life.

The best way for a non-juggler to understand Gatto's story is to imagine someone who is almost a supernaturally good classical piano player who has struggled for a long time to be a rock star. All the while he was struggling to become a rock star he poured scorn on other classical piano players who were not trying to become rock stars. And now that he has failed to become a rock star, he has given up playing because he never wanted to play for its own sake, he just wanted to be famous.

I don't fault him for wanting to be famous. I don't fault him for giving up juggling to get a real job. I don't fault him for not really liking juggling for its own sake. But I will never be able to understand why he poured out so much scorn on the only people who could appreciate (and did appreciate) his skill. The closest I can come to an answer is think that he did not want to admit to himself that he was "just" the best technical juggler and not a good performer. And to hide that fact from himself he had to pour scorn on those he he inspired to peruse technical juggling as a sport and physical mental exercise for its own sake.

Stupid list of thinkers. I knew it after the first one on the list: a congressman who wants to help people eat better. Wow. How innovative.

You can't juggle a full time job and...juggling?


"This is unlikely to be the last word on the subject," said Brenda Larison, at UCLA.

"We really need to know what happens with live zebras in the field before we can be sure," she said.

Pfft- these people lack the bold, confident vision of macroeconomists and climate scientists.


Also see ... some Stanford guy with a similar diffidence problem.

They'll never save zebras from fly infestations with such timidity.

Waiting, with bated breath and bitten nails, for "Top Thinkers under the Age of 15"

Would like to nominate my nephew, he said yesterday "if no one votes who becomes president?". I believe he should get a Nobel Prize, it's only a matter of time after all before he dazzles everyone with his Burning Intellect, insatiable lust for Knowledge, and Deep Commitment to the Pursuit of Truth.

He also has a black and white head shot, smiling with a humility hard to reconcile with the genius that almost overflows from the picture.

The running explanation for zebra stripes is that lions are colour blind and so it is difficult for them to focus on any one target, because the whole moving herd looks like a big piles of moving white and black.

However, there is no consensus on the matter. This would be interesting indeed, if the study turns out to offer the right answer. If anything, it will make it just a wee bit more difficult to get perfect marks on a first year biology exam :)

I nominate myself for greatest thinker who just turned thirty.

Happy birthday.

Thank you. Three decades of survival isn't bad. I assume this technicality explains my absence from this definitive list.

A 15-year-old who thinks the only problem with the intelligence community is their public relations effort barely qualifies as a thinker, yet?

I nominate my 5-year-old neighbor who believes in ponies that ride rainbows.

Where's Ashok Rao?

Interesting to note that the guys on the top 30 list seem to believe their thoughts will make enormous changes—“end dementia”, “refit the social machine”, “answer philosophy’s deep questions”, etc. This makes them ambitious and maybe narcissistic but does it mean they’re “Top Thinkers”? Of course they’re bright but are they smarter than the guy who wants to, say, design a spring that will keep a GM ignition lock from slipping into the off position? An important part of smart is knowing what problems can be solved and which of these solvable problems will really matter.

2. The constant arguments between Creationists and Evolutionists is not aided by frequent misstatements about evolutionary processes.

Zebras do not have stripes to confuse flies.

Zebras have stripes, and these stripes may confer a survival advantage relative to non-striped animals by confusing flies.

Or more succinctly, "A zebra's stripes might have the benefit of confusing flies."

The small but damaging word in the original sentence is "to."

4. He got tired of all the things he put up coming back down.

“One of the things I hope to accomplish is to demonstrate how thinking about networks can be a powerful paradigm for reasoning about social phenomena.”

Maybe you master simple English first?

I can't open the last link. I wonder if it's blocked in Britain.

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