The ASI's Best of 2016

Sam Bowman, Executive Director

Song: A tie between Floridada by Animal Collective and Monopoly by EasyFun and Noonie Bao.

Album: Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande, unless Emotion: Side B by Carly Rae Jepsen counts as an album (but overall it was a very poor year for music).

Musician: Grimes (her Art Angels album came out in 2015 but I really got into her this year).

Movie: 10 Cloverfield Lane. Creepy!

TV Show: Stranger Things (it’s on Netflix).

Book: Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism by Larry Siedentop. I thought this was an original, well-sourced and highly informative history of the Church that made its case very persuasively.

Restaurant: Silk Road, Xinjiangese food in the heart of Camberwell.

Article I wrote: I'm a neoliberal. Maybe you are too.

Article others wrote: Scott Alexander’s review/digest of Albion’s Seed. I don’t think I’ve ever learned as much fun or interesting information as in this post.

Political moment: The stock market surging after Donald Trump’s election victory, and Trump’s nomination of Wall Street megabankers to his cabinet. Neoliberalism always wins!

Person: Peter Thiel, for leading the fight against revenge porn online.


Ben Southwood, Head of Research

Song: Super Natural - Danny L Harle and Carly Rae Jepson

Album: Tuluum Shimmering - Flower Dance Song (my full best of year list here

Movie: Fences (Starring and Directed by Denzel Washington)

Book: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller

Restaurant: Temper or Kiln, both in Soho 

Article I wrote: Sajid Javid will make British cities great again

Article other wrote: Neoliberalism, Social justice and Barbie’s New Hair by Rory Ellwood

Political moment: Madsen's correct prediction of the presidential election—yet another in a seemingly unending streak

Twitter Account: @densifyingHOU


Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications

Song: Nothing new, it’s all been underwhelming. Barry and Freda - Victoria Wood. 

Musician: Bruce Springsteen, for playing a 4 hour show and managing not to die this year.

Book: The Shepard’s Life, James Rebanks – like acupuncture for your brain, slow starter but watch out for graphic description of lambing season toward the end. 

Restaurant: I spent my lunch money on the theatre – go see Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour if it ever reruns, (and watch out for Dawn Sievewright) best thing the National’s done in years. 

Article: ‘We’re the only plane in the sky’, on being aboard Air Force 1 during 9/11, it reads more like a book and is about the same length. 

App: Pocket - Kind to aging eyes and very convenient.

Political Moment: It could only be this.

YouTubeYes Rhythmic Gymnastics is a sport.


Sam Dumitriu, Head of Projects

: Landslide by Britta Phillips

Album: Luck or Magic by Britta Phillips

Movie: Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford

Book: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Restaurant: Chick 'N' Sours

Article I wrote: London Mayor is Punishing the Wrong Kind of Taxi

Article others wrote:  Crony Beliefs by Kevin Simler

Political Moment: Ken Livingstone hides in a toilet

Person: Alan Auerbach. He's single-mindedly pursued Corporate Tax reform for 20+ years and he seems to have got his way with the House tax cut plan. Someone willing to speak to both the left and the right - and able to find common ground.


Amelia Stewart, Gap Year Intern

Song: Place to Be Home (Nick Drake)

Album: 22, A Million (Bon Iver)

Musician: Selena Gomez because, having read her Wikipedia page, I’ve decided she’s a great person

Movie: The new Jason Bourne movie could have been awful but I would have loved it anyway

Book: Written On The Body (Jeanette Winterson) and my favourite poem was No Art (Ben Lerner)

Restaurant: I had some really nice chocolate and banana waffles from Benugo but for some reason I’m drawing a blank on restaurants today

Article: The Absurd Courage of Choosing To Live (Jennifer Michael Hecht)

Political moment: George Galloway retweeting the ASI account (yay!) and how proud my parents were after when I told them…

Person: The Dalai Lama - for his book on happiness and maybe being a CIA agent

TV Show: The Killing on Netflix


Oliver Riley, Gap Year Intern

Song: Beautiful by A.G Cook (credits go to Sam and Ben for introducing to PC music)

Album: Joytime by Marshmello

Book: Progress by Johan Norberg, showed me that it’s not all doom and gloom

Film: 21 Cloverfield Lane (so much thrill)

Restaurant: CAU – I had my first expensive steak here and I will never be able to look at a cow in the same way again

Article: Boris Johnson’s poem to the Spectator about President Erdogan

Political moment: Boris Johnson then becoming Foreign Secretary

Person: Chris Froome