Friday, October 12, 2007

It Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

As if we needed even more proof, but now there can be no doubt that the Nobel Peace Prize means nothing. Or at least it doesn't mean what you think it means. It is more rightly called the Nobel Political Prize, because rarely (if ever?) is it bestowed on anyone who has actually helped to confer peace in the world (scan the list of laureates): rather it is awarded to people who often provide the opposite -- endless rabble-rousing and dissent that never overthrows anything to bring a lasting peace. Even in the case of Mother Theresa (God rest her soul), I am not convinced that her efforts had anything to do with peace. Love and compassion, certainly, but world peace? No. But perhaps what is most perplexing is that the the award is always given for "effort" not for accomplishment.

Therein lies the difference between the Peace Prize and the Physics Prize.

I have met two Nobel laureates in physics, this one and this one. Both can boast enormous achievements that advanced human understanding of nature tremendously. Unlike the Peace Prize, the Physics Prize is awarded for achievement, not effort. This is why several years -- often decades -- pass between the initial scientific discovery and the awarding of the prize. When I asked Mather why it took so long to be chosen for the award he explained that, in addition to there being many, many deserving people in line for the prize, the committee needed that long to verify the results of his experiments and see if they amounted to anything.

Why doesn't the Peace Prize committee wait decades to see if Al Gore's efforts acheive any peace? Because it doesn't stand for peace. It stands mostly for leftist political activism. If the Peace Prize really lived up to its name, it would be conferred on military/political leaders and heroes who helped overthrow world threats like Hitler and the USSR -- you know, people who actually achieved peace.

11 Comments:

Blogger Gringo_Malo said...

Actually, the Nobel Peace Prize should have gone to the U.S. senators who voted against ratification of Algore's Kyoto Protocol. If the U.S. had signed onto Kyoto, we'd be paying third world dictators a whole lot of money for carbon emission rights, which is to say, for nothing. The third world dictators, in turn, would use the money to acquire weapons and wage war on their tribal enemies. Actually, Algore worked against world peace.

10/12/2007 9:40 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

It's a bizarre, ironical world we live in, Gringo.

10/13/2007 2:00 PM  
Anonymous bi said...

"it would be conferred on military/political leaders and heroes who helped overthrow world threats like Hitler and the USSR"

You know, in 1990 the Nobel Committee _did_ award the Prize to the person who started bringing freedom and democracy to the USSR and precipitated the fall of the old order:

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.

But I guess he doesn't count, since he's not a US Republican? Duh.

10/15/2007 12:36 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

They awarded the prize to a person who started to bring a hint of freedom and democracy to the USSR which, unfortunately, didn't last into what is now the extremely corrupt Russian Federation. This is what I meant by my comment about achievement vs. effort.

The prize should have gone to Ronald Reagan. Not because he's a U.S. Republican, but because, as many people are now coming to understand, his vision and efforts did bring a lasting peace to many parts of the world including the U.S., Europe, and especially the Soviet satellites and other Soviet-influenced nations that regained their sovereignty as a result of the Cold War. In this case the effort did achieve something lasting. Reagan should have been recognized for this.

10/15/2007 7:16 AM  
Anonymous bi said...

Excuse me? Gorbachev implemented _actual_ measures (glasnost, perestroika). Reagan just stood there and talked a lot.

You have to be really loopy to think of such a convoluted excuse to make Your Homeboy come up on top.

10/15/2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Argh, can't we all just get along. Honestly, I think they should have awarded the prize jointly to Reagan and Gorbachev.

Gorbachev certainly deserved it, if an old hard-line leader had been in his shoes, the Cold War would have been perpetuated, Reagan or no.

Reagan did stand up and publicly tell Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." I'd like to have seen Alphie-Mushpie Carter do that.

10/15/2007 11:00 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

bi,

Gorbachev was swell, I guess, I'm not arguing against that. But you seem to have a simplistic view of things, and some kind of grudge against Reagan. Please read this to see why I think Reagan deserved the prize. Or, as carnaby said, the two of them might have shared it. But the reason they didn't is because the Nobel Peace Prize amounts to a group of lefties rewarding a lefty for being a lefty.

carnaby,

I award you the C. Fudge Internet Anti-Snark Peace Prize for your efforts towards establishing harmoniousness in blog comments sections. Congratulations!

10/15/2007 8:12 PM  
Blogger carnaby said...

But did I really accomplish anything?

And just so it sounds more credible, let's make it the C.Fudge MEMORIAL Internet Anti-Snark Peace Prize. Mmmkay?

10/15/2007 9:27 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Well, it does appear you accomplished something. We have peace in the comments section. Or silence anyway.

However, I'm seriously thinking of revoking your C. Fudge MEMORIAL Internet Anti-Snark Peace Prize, because you said "Mmmkay" which I detest beyond all reason.

10/17/2007 7:51 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

Sibling fight!

My money's on Stickwick. Girls fight dirty.

"...[B]ecause the Nobel Peace Prize amounts to a group of lefties rewarding a lefty for being a lefty."

So true. Why is that? The rest of the Nobel Prizes tend to require proof and hard science back up, but the Peace Prize seems to be an international lefty-post award program. I mean, Afraft? Carter? And now Gore? Puh-lease.

11/01/2007 1:25 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

I can't figure it out, myself. There is a bizarre dichotomy of thought that takes place in academia. There are brilliant scientists in most university science departments, but when it comes to politics and religion, many of them are inexplicably irrational.

(And, yes, girls fight way meaner than boys!)

11/02/2007 8:33 AM  

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