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Larry David (4) vs. Thomas Hobbes

Yesterday‘s winner is Chris Rock. “There‚Äôs math. And then everything else is debatable.”

And now, for today, we have a misanthropists’ version of yesterday’s contest: the grumpy comedian battling it out with the consummate realist political philosopher.

Nasty, brutish, and short, indeed. It’s a bit scary how appropriate this matchup is, considering they were all coming in at random.

Recently I’ve been irritated at Larry David because he’s been saturating the local print media with irritatingly-smug ads for his new Broadway show. But that shouldn’t really affect our decision. I think Hobbes would have a lot to say about various recent events in Ukraine and the Middle East. On the other side, one could argue that David’s insights into human nature are universal.

P.S. Please, no Calvin and Hobbes jokes. Thomas Hobbes is a great man on his own, and there is no point in comparing him to a cartoon animal who happens to be named after him.

P.P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules.


  1. Anonymous says:

    One’s a humorless old coot who thought the worst about man, and the other wrote Leviathan.

    I’d go with Hobbes because he hung out with Mersenne for years while in exile. On the other hand Hobbes’s screwy mathematics seriously pissed of John Wallis (one of the originators of calculus). But that’s pretty much always the outcome when philosophers think they can run with the big dogs.

  2. Jonathan (another one) says:

    If there were ever someone who would try to bullshit his way through a seminar, it’s Larry David. Unprepared (with some excuse of course) and a waste of time. The whole point of Larry David is to be irritating to those he comes in contact with. Wasn’t screwing up a seminar he was invited to give already an episode?

    I clearly didn’t look ahead, because I argued for Hobbes yesterday. Hobbes again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hobbes also represents that bygone era when bad political science didn’t require data.

  4. Tom says:

    According to wikipedia Hobbes was ‘born prematurely when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada’. This must surely rate a special mention on the birthdays time series analysis – ‘Armada day’. How many less notable people were born for the same reason?

  5. Shecky R says:

    Have to admit I didn’t even know Hobbes had worked in math and physics! Still, the only thing so many of us want to learn about is when “Seinfeld” will return to primetime, so Larry David it is.

  6. zbicyclist says:


    A seminar that promises to be nasty, brutish — and short!

  7. Billy Buchanan says:

    Co-creator of one of the most popular television shows and a comedian. It’s a shame that Joan Rivers didn’t make it, and what’s life without some humor?

  8. Matt Beaven says:

    I can’t vote, they both will be incredibly boring. I just hope whoever wins this round loses in the next round.

  9. Kyle says:

    Apparently, when Larry David used to do stand up, he would sometimes walk out on stage, feel out the audience, say “This just isn’t going to work,” and walk right off. This cut-your-losses approach is too rare among seminar speakers and seems better than rigidly insisting on giving a seminar to a hostile audience just because of a lifelong obsession with social contracts (looking at you Hobbes).

  10. Fred says:

    solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short

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