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Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances

For yesterday, I was strongly rooting for Popper. I read several of his books about thirty years ago and they had a huge effect on me (and on a lot of social scientists, I think). But the best comment was about Austen. Here’s Dalton with the comment:

“A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” – Austen in Northanger Abbey

Sounds to me like somebody would NOT be presenting data.

Jane for the win. The topic: selection bias.

And now on to today’s March Madness battle. It’s funny how the random assignments sometimes create some apt pairings, as with this matchup between two angry 19th-century Germans.

If only we had George Orwell to judge this one.

Hey, this suggests another category for the next contest: My Heroes. It could include George Orwell, Stanislaw Ulam, A. J. Liebling, Imre Lakatos, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Orson Welles, Ed Wegman, ummmm, I guess you could throw in Abraham Lincoln, but that seem a bit silly, since he’s everybody’s hero . . . in any case, this isn’t so good, my heroes are all white men! I guess that tells you something about me, huh?

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


  1. zbicyclist says:

    Do we want an audience full of would-be Ubermensches, or an audience of the proletariat?

    Considering Columbia is an Ivy League school, I guess we have to go with the Ubermensches.

  2. pk says:

    You mean only Goldman Sachs employees :).

  3. Anonymous says:

    We could ask Nietzsche if the few who survived Karl’s ideas were stronger as a result.

  4. Jonathan (another one) says:

    No matter who triumphs in this round, the terrorists win.

  5. Mark says:

    “Offside”? Seriously, that’s the best argument he had? Marx has nothing. Nietzsche at least put up a spirited argument with Confucius. Nietzsche.

  6. Dalton says:

    I’m for the guy whose seminar will result in fewer deaths when it is inevitably misinterpreted.

  7. ebak says:

    I vote for Nietzsche. Both were misinterpreted, but Marx can only blame himself for that. Nietzsche deserves a chance to clear the bad air created by his sister Elisabeth.

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