I don't 'idolize' anyone, but there are some people who are my intellectual heroes.
1. Professor Richard Dawkins- I love the man's audacity and wit. I am a big fan of his straightforward storytelling and his argumentative and logical vigour.
2. Sam Harris- Basically, this man taught me the essence of being calm. I have never seen him outraged and outrightly in anger even though he debates a lot of controversial issues from social justice wars to anti-theistic views of the world.
3. Lex Fridman- This MIT AI researcher and podcaster is one person I would love to learn from. Even though he is a technical researcher, his love for philosophy, poetry and romanticism is simply captivating. On top of that, he plays real nice guitar solos.
4. Arundhati Roy- She is probably the first continental Novelist that I fell in love with. Though I have not read all of her books, I like how she speaks upfront in the less-talked-about issues of the rights of minorities and the socio-economically oppressed. I like her fiction, but I love her for being the vocal piece for the justice of the poor and the broken.
5. Professor Richard Feynman - I know, the guy is long dead, still. I look up to this man's biographical stories for his eccentricity, his craziness and his natural passion for the science and enquiry. His humility and humour, his readiness for doing seemingly stupid stuff, his persistence on the face of loss, all are some real virtues to vie for. Surely, you were NOT joking, Mr Feynman.
6. Dr Sanduk Ruit- This philanthropist-opthalmologist is the textbook epitome of human goodness. He is a real hero, the eyesight god for thousands of cataract-ridden aged people worldwide. Dr Ruit invented a very cheap and accessible surgical procedure to cure cataract and has personally travelled all over the world, serving people with his medical expertise for free. He is the best altruist I have ever seen in my life. I look up to him for someday I seek to gather technical expertise and give back to my community as he did.
Learn about Dr Ruit and his mission here: