02 May 2008

Are You Among the 100 Least Influenced?

Time announced the 100 most influential people. Topping the list is Shigeru Miyamoto. Second is Rain. If, like me, you've never heard these names, you may be among the world's 100 least influenced people. (Miyamoto is Nintendo’s game designer - creator of titles like Mario Brothers. Rain is a Korean pop singer whose influence might stem from the possibility that he may some day literally provoke the collapse of karaoke-loving Kim Jong Il, who I can imagine trying to imitate Rain's snappy dance moves.)

The list seems to support the contention that the hive mind found on the web is, in fact, programmed to spew out random results. A couple of years ago, a researcher in the UK wanted to find the world's funniest joke. Dave Barry heard about this and had his readers send in a variety of random joke set ups that all ended with the same punch line: "there is a weasel chomping on his privates." The research into the world's best joke was forever skewed by the overwhelmingly favorable response given to these jokes. I suspect that something similar might have happened in this poll. (And you are free to conclude that I’m denial about the degree to which I’m clueless about the outside world.)

What is weirder than Mike Huckabee finishing 9th? George W. Bush was ranked 158th - narrowly beating out China's president. Huckabee 9th? Heads of the world's richest and most populous nations are 158 and 159? And why couldn't they finish in the top 10? Well, Heidi Klum (4) and Tyra Banks (5) obviously wield more influence.

John McCain (56) might be pleased to have beaten out Tina Fey (57), but can't feel good knowing that the cast of High School Musical (55) wields more influence. (But at least he can commiserate with the Pope (59) and the Dalai Lama (207)). Yet even McCain has to feel better than poor Hillary Clinton (183), who finished behind Ho Ching (a person, not a verb), and Barack Obama (63), who ranked just above Madonna.

But if you are wondering who might finally win this Democratic primary, you should know this. None of the remaining candidates came close to Al Gore's 8th place finish among the most influential. Could this list of the most influential be predicting a last-minute upset? Or has traditional media like Time just completely given up on the pretence of relevance?

Maybe the first George Bush had it wrong. Perhaps it is not so much a new world order as a new world disorder. Because if this list makes sense, the new world does not.


Jennifer H said...

I'm among the 100 Least Influenced, too, I suppose.

I find it impossible to trust a group of voters who say David Beckham is more influential than, say, Warren Buffett.

Because, I doubt even Beck's teammates would say that.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I didn't make the top 100. There must be a flaw in their methodology.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Relatives. We are forever trying to put them into context.

HRH said...

I am laughing at thomaslb. This is a crazy list. If Bush were really 158th then why would people be wasting their time counting down his exit?

cce said...

By the time I hopped over to the list, Stephen Colbert was #1. Now I'm left wondering if he and Jon Stewart are still on speaking terms after this public trouncing. Stewart is like #40-something to Colbert's #1.
And while Clooney is marvelously handsome I'm not sure how he's earned his top ranking save for a darn good head of hair and a quick, easy smile.

Anonymous said...

free bet

hehe nice spin, i AM one of the least influenced by the 100 most influenced

Suzanne said...

I am so uninfluenced I had no idea who Miyamoto was....I'd hoped that he was a Japanese author. oh well.

On the other hand, I am fascinated and disturbed by the Democratic primaries. I'm afraid the best candidate will not win.