The 32nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
September 18, 2022 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Since nobody else has yet.... it's that time of the year to break out your paper airplanes and watch the Ig Nobel 2022 Ceremony. (cut to the video: The 32nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony - YouTube).

I now know why my youthful dating experience was fraught with problems, I had a pronounced sinus arrhythmia that made it almost impossible to sync heart rates.

Something for everybody in there somewhere.

It's much more fun when it's not pandemic zoomy.
posted by zengargoyle (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Honestly, the economics winner should be required reading for everyone. Here's an excerpt from the abstract:
The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western cultures is rooted on the belief that success is mainly due, if not exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intelligence, skills, smartness, efforts, willfulness, hard work or risk taking. Sometimes, we are willing to admit that a certain degree of luck could also play a role in achieving significant success. But, as a matter of fact, it is rather common to underestimate the importance of external forces in individual successful stories. […] In particular, our simple agent-based model shows that, if it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in life, almost never the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, being overtaken by averagely talented but sensibly luckier individuals.
posted by Kattullus at 1:13 PM on September 18 [19 favorites]


Some of the winners actually seem like good ideas. I dunno...It feels like these lack the usual profound nuttiness or ridiculousness.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:41 PM on September 18


I am honestly annoyed at the economics one. That result is legitimately useful and interesting. Seeing if tail loss and resulting constipation makes it hard for scorpions to walk on the hand…
posted by vorpal bunny at 3:15 PM on September 18


I watched the Ig Nobel ceremony last year, and I was painfully reminded that, if it was stripped of kind of dumb in-jokes, it would last about 30 minutes. Also, the number of international researchers so seemed unsure of whether they were being mocked made the whole thing distasteful.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:24 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


Also the point of theoretical models is not to make predictions but to simplify a world in order to understand it better
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:54 PM on September 18


Could be useful in the coming Scorpion Wars …

Since 2020-2022 has been such a large collection of improbable events … OK, it’s been a shitshow and that’s putting it mildly. I had to burn my 2022 Bingo Card because Reality got a peek, laughed, farted in my face and said “Just you wait!” then ran into the other room giggling madly. Honestly, I think 2023 is going to put everything on the table and an invasion of NFT-wielding Polio Scorpions is probably gonna be the happiest moment of next year.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 4:08 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


Also, the number of international researchers so seemed unsure of whether they were being mocked made the whole thing distasteful.

As I understand it, the igNobel people explain the whole thing to the potential recipients, and the recipients actually have the option to turn-down the award. Apparently, it’s a well-known “award” and not unwelcome.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:08 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]


I've never heard Ecclesiastes described as part of a vast literature suggestive of a counterintuitive result before:
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all...
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:25 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]


Honestly, the economics winner should be required reading for everyone.

And it's in fact the second Ig Nobel awarded to two of the study's authors (Alessandro Pluchino and Andrea Rapisarda) in which they peel apart the concept of meritocracy. In 2010 they were given the award for the field of Management, for computationally demonstrating that "the best ways for improving the efficiency of a given organization are either to promote each time an agent at random or to promote randomly the best and the worst members in terms of competence."
posted by hangashore at 5:41 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]


That was long.
posted by Czjewel at 7:15 PM on September 18


>...dumb in jokes ... international researchers so seemed unsure of whether they were being mocked made the whole thing distasteful.

For me some of the in jokes get old, but my solution is to just watch every other year :) Which means I didn't see last year, but generally in the years that I do watch, either in person or online, [and also attended the lectures put on by the winners, some of them international], it seemed like everyone got that the whole thing is in all in fun, not meant to mock anyone.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 7:25 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


I dunno. I get that the award is explained, but the expressions and body language of almost all the non-Anglophone recipients seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable to me. Maybe they just hated being on camera.

Excepting the delightful Susanne Schötz, from Sweden, who unabashedly loves cats and talks about her research into cat phonetics with glee.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:24 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


"the expressions and body language of almost all the non-Anglophone recipients seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable to me."

I can think of plenty of situations where I've been embarrassed and uncomfortable and enthusiastic all at once.

And projecting enthusiasm in public is not something that comes naturally to everyone. I can only imagine that goes double for an event in your second language.
posted by bfields at 7:33 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


Through coverage of this I recently heard about the paper on the physics of why ducklings swim in a row which I was very happy about.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:38 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


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