The top 150 intellectuals, selected competitively

We held the Fantasy Intellectual Teams draft on Saturday. 10 owners competed. The owners came from the readership of this blog, and they themselves are not public figures in any way. The intellectuals they chose are shown below in the order they were selected. Because one owner arrived well after the draft had begun, the order in which teams picked was a bit mixed up.

Scoring for this season, which starts April 1 and ends June 30, is based on three categories:

(M) memes. These are phrases that are associated with a certain intellectual. For example, Black Swan is associated with Taleb (pick 31). If during the season the term Black Swan is used in at least three prominent places (well-known podcast or blog, newspaper, new book), that scores one M for Taleb. No more than one M per season for each catch-phrase. Richard Dawkins, who coined the term “meme,” was not chosen, although picking him would have guaranteed his owner at least one meme point.

(B) bets. An intellectual scores a B by expressing a belief in quantitative probabilistic terms. Oddly enough, Annie Duke, who would be credited with a meme if the phrase “Thinking in Bets” were to appear three times during the season, was not selected, either.

(S) steel-manning. The intellectual presents a point of view with which he or she disagrees in a way that someone who holds that point of view would consider to be representative. It is the opposite of straw-manning. I believe that Peter Thiel (pick 70) coined the term, or at least popularized it, and his owner is all but certain to pick up an M point. S’s are most likely to be earned by bloggers and podcasters and least likely to be earned by tweets or political speeches. They are more likely to be earned by centrists than by hard-core Red or Blue team members.

Tyler Cowen (pick 2) is a solid three-category player. He sometimes states beliefs in terms of probabilities, he tries to steel-man (although at times he can be too terse to earn a point), and he has meme candidates, such as Great Stagnation or “mood affiliation.”

Scott Alexander (pick 4) is likely to be a monster in the S and B categories.

I think that for next season I would add a category (R), for summarizing the research on two (or more) sides of a controversial issue. I would score one R for every 2 examples. I don’t want to give away an R to someone who just looks at research on a single topic during the season. Adding the (R) category would make Tyler and Scott even stronger candidates.

I will note that I thought that about a third of the picks reflected mood affiliation, and I would not have chosen them. I don’t want to pick on any owner in particular, but I’ll just say that I don’t think politicians will score points, and I will not be rooting for whoever took Oren Cass. By the end of this season, all of the picks will have track records, and those should inform owners who compete in a follow-up season.

I would caution the reader not to pay too much attention to relative ranking within this list. If there had been ten drafts, with ten different sets of owners, the average order would represent a consensus rank. But with only one iteration, the results reflect individual idiosyncrasies. In your comments, I am not interested in what picks you don’t like or what picks you think should have gone higher. I am interested in suggestions for intellectuals who seem likely to earn at least 3 points but who were not chosen.

Much as I poor-mouth my connections, I can brag by saying that in recent years I have had lunch and/or exchanged text messages with pick numbers 2, 5, 13, 32, 37, 38, 42, 95, 97, 132, and 147. I have met several others in person, but not recently. I believe that a social graph of the picks would show Tyler Cowen (2) and Marc Andreessen (97) as having the most dense connections with other picks.

1 Joe Rogan
2 Tyler Cowen
3 Joel Kotkin
4 Scott Alexander*
5 Russ Roberts
6 Steve Sailer
7 John Cochrane
8 Coleman Hughes
9 Matt Yglesias
10 Sam Harris
11 Noah Smith
12 Glenn Greenwald
13 Martin Gurri
14 Jordan Peterson
15 Brett Weinstein
16 Matt Stoller
17 John McWhorter
18 Matt Ridley
19 Lex Fridman
20 Heather Heying
21 Roger Kimball
22 Glenn Loury
23 Jonathan Haidt
24 Eric Weinstein
25 Wilfred Reilly
26 Cass Sunstein
27 Donald Trump
28 Elon Musk
29 Julia Galef
30 Kmele Foster
31 Nassim Taleb
32 Bryan Caplan
33 Robin Hanson
34 Judith Curry
35 Andrew Sullivan
36 Ezra Klein
37 Yuval Levin
38 Megan McArdle
39 Bjorn Lomborg
40 Lee Smith
41 Scott Sumner
42 Alex Tabarrok
43 Deirdre McCloskey
44 Ross Douthat
45 Tim Ferris
46 Lyman Stone
47 Emily Oster
48 Stephanie Kelton
49 Ann Althouse
50 Razib Khan
51 Bari Weiss
52 Oren Cass
53 Douglas Murray
54 Timothy Taylor
55 Nate Silver
56 Miles Kimball
57 Eugene Volokh
58 James Lindsay
59 Tim Harford
60 Ben Thompson
61 Dan Senor
62 Matt Taibbi
63 Rand Paul
64 Jeffrey Tucker
65 David Brooks
66 David Shor
67 Balaji Srinivasan
68 David Sacks
69 Joe Lonsdale
70 Peter Thiel
71 Thomas Sowell
72 Naval Ravikant
73 Amy Chua
74 Chamath Palihapitiya
75 Ayan Hirsi Ali
76 Paul Graham
77 Ben Shapiro
78 Richard Epstein
79 Mike Solana
80 Nick Gillespie
81 Vitalik Buterin
82 Joseph Henrich
83 Josh Blackman
84 Angelo Codevilla
85 Daniel Kahneman
86 Eliezer Yudkowski
87 Heather MacDonald
88 Lee Jussim
89 Robert Wiblin
90 Charles Murray
91 Ron DeSantis
92 Jesse Singal
93 Jim Meigs
94 Peter Zeihan
95 Patrick Collison
96 Bruno Macaes
97 Marc Andreessen
98 Stephen Bainbridge
99 Anne Applebaum
100 Eric Kaufmann
101 Paul Krugman
102 Larry Summers
103 David Henderson
104 Rod Dreher
105 Agnes Callard
106 Zvi Mowshowitz
107 Victor Davis Hanson
108 Velina Tchakarova
109 Zeynep Tufekci
110 Steven Pinker
111 Peggy Noonan
112 Luigi Zingales
113 Sari Arho Havren
114 Megyn Kelly
115 Jocko Willink
116 Arthur Brooks
117 Alister McGrath
118 Tanner Greer
119 Peter Attia
120 Josh Barro
121 Anna Khachiyan
122 Alexei Guzey
123 Tony Heller
124 Marvin Olasky
125 Mike Levine
126 Mike Nayna
127 Larry Elder
128 Michael Schellenberger
129 Phillipe Lemoin
130 Matthew Crawford
131 Jonah Goldberg
132 James Manzi
133 Christopher Balding
134 Peter Boghossian
135 Niall Ferguson
136 Conor Friedersdorf
137 The New Neo*
138 F. H. Buckley
139 Applied Divinity Studies*
140 Venkatesh Rao
141 Gwern Banyam
142 Nintil*
143 Todd Zywicki
144 Robert Barnes
145 Chloe Valdary
146 Christina Hoff Summers
147 Erik Torenberg
148 Inez Stepman
149 Curtis Yarvin
150 Condoleezza Rice

* means pseudonym