Stephen Fry

I confess that I have strong likes and dislikes in almost everything — concrete or abstract. That goes for people as well. Of course, I have my economist heroes — Hayek, Buchanan, Friedman, et al — and anti-heroes (who shall remain unnamed.) Among politicians, my greatest hero was Lee Kuan Yew and the greatest villain Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

I began to think about this today because a friend told me that Nassim  Nicolas Taleb considers Edward Snowden to be a fraud. I liked NNT’s book Antifragile. He’s obviously very intelligent and highly opinionated (which is a good thing, in my opinion), has enough “f u money”, and is widely celebrated as an intellectual. But he’s often needlessly mean and vicious to people.

Caution: amateur psychoanalysis ahead. I think he’s most mean to people who he thinks are smarter than he is but he is unwilling to admit to himself. For example, he dismisses Steven Pinker as a journalist. I think that NNT’s disapproval of Snowden may have an explanation that is rooted in self-doubt.

NNT is good at what he does but I don’t admire him as a human being. Which brings me Stephen Fry. He’s someone whom I admire enormously. He would be in “My short list of 10 contemporary people I’d like to have a beer with.” The late Christoper Hitchens was on that list. I had the pleasure of having a smoke with him once in Berkeley. Another Brit on that list is Douglas Murray. Hitchens and Fry were friends, and Hitchens was a mentor to Murray. Small world.

Stephen Fry is extraordinary. I think his favorite word is “extraordinary.” Come to think of it, even Murray overuses that word. Anyway, here’s a video of the extraordinarily gifted and entertaining Mr Fry.

The image at the top of this post is from Rowan Atkinson’s Blackadder TV series in which Stephen Fry plays a character named Captain Cook.

That reminds me, Rowan Atkinson does make it to my list of people I’d love to have a beer with. Well, that means too many Brits make that list.

Who are some of your favorite people?


Author: Atanu Dey


2 thoughts on “Stephen Fry”

  1. The image at the top of this post is from Rowan Atkinson’s Blackadder TV series in which Stephen Fry plays a character named Captain Cook.

    Correction – Captain Cook is the name of the first episode of season 4. Fry’s character is Brigadier Cecil Hogmanay Melchett.


Comments sometimes end up in the spam folder. If you don't see your comment posted, please send me an email (atanudey at instead re-submitting the comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: