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Claude Levi-Strauss (4) vs. Ed Wood (3); Cervantes wins

For yesterday we have a tough call, having to decide between two much-loved philosophical writers, as Jonathan put it in comments:

Camus on ramdomness; how make a model when there is no signal — only noise.
Cervantes on making the world fit the model through self-delusion.

Two fascinating statistics lectures with the same underlying theme — modelmaking as a chimera: “a horrible or unreal creature of the imagination.”

And, as Zbicyclist writes:

Both are oddly relevant at a time when Ebola threatens and when wind power is making a comeback.

Z almost won it with this comment:

Cervantes would be chivalrous and prompt. Camus would need to take a cigarette break every 5 minutes, that or he’d set off the sprinkler system.

But we’ve already used the cigarette thing, also it’s not so clear that chivalry is a good attribute in a seminar talk.

I’ll go with this quote supplied by Matt:

“The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part.” -Miguel De Cervantes

And today we have a battle of the dark horses: the versatile sociologist vs. the moviemaker who we laugh at, not with. I don’t see either of them making it past Chris Rock or Thomas Hobbes, but we gotta declare a winner.

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


  1. Xi'an says:

    Camus lost! It is soooo absurd…

  2. Jonathan (another one) says:

    C L-S on:
    “There is no denying the originality and particularity of these patterns, but, as they all represent the exclusive choice of a single group, it is difficult to see how one civilization can hope to benefit from the way of life of another, unless it is prepared to renounce its own individuality.” Race, History and Culture. 1996.

    Hierarchical Modeling
    “Science has only two ways of proceeding: it is either reductionist or structuralist. It is reductionist when it is possible to find out that very complex phenomena on one level can be reduced to simpler phenomena on other levels.” Myth and Meaning. 1978.

    Statistical proof
    “To say that a way of thinking is disinterested and that it is an intellectual way of thinking does not mean at all that it is equal to scientific thinking.” Myth and Meaning. 1978.

    EW on:
    “We are all interested in the future for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” Plan 9 From Outer Space: The Original Uncensored And Uncut Screenplay

    Bayesian vs. Frequentist
    “One is always considered *mad* if one discovers something that others cannot grasp!” Bride of the monster

    I’m stretching on the Ed Wood stuff — Let’s go with Claude

  3. zbicyclist says:

    Wood pulled the big upset last time: “First off, I just want to say I made a mistake yesterday dropping Alan Turing in favor of Ed Wood.” (Andrew)

    It’s time to send Cinderella home.

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