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Chris Rock (3) vs. Thomas Hobbes; Wood advances

In yesterday‘s contest, there’s no doubt in my mind that Levi-Strauss would give a better and more interesting talk than Wood, whose lecture would presumably feature non-sequiturs, solecisms, continuity violations, and the like.

But the funniest comment was from Jonathan:

Ed Wood on Forecasting:

“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

Ed Wood on Bayesian vs. Frequentist:

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

These quotes are great! I still don’t see Wood getting into the Final Four, but he earned this one, dammit.

And now we have a struggle of two worthy opponents.

Hobbes got past Larry David in round 1, he destroyed Leo Tolstoy in round 2, and now he’s up against another comedian. Does the Leviathan have it in him to advance to the next round, and, from there, likely to the Final Four? It’s up to you to provide the killer arguments, one way or another.

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

7 Comments

  1. Jonathan (another one) says:

    OK, now I’m leery of your using my arguments against me.

    This tournament has been partly interrupted by the “RSS droppers” who are apparently uninterested. Fine. But just to give another perspective, I have actually been learning an immense amount about people I already thought I knew pretty well. To take an example, I knew nothing of the Hobbes-Wallis “Squaring the Circle” War which ran from 1655-1674. These two guys spent 20 years yelling at one another in a grudge match that makes RA Fisher look like Mr. Rogers. And I’m now halfway through historian Douglas Jesseph’s book about it, which, as dry academic histories go, is still fascinating.

    Now Hobbes lost this debate badly. He lost for two reasons. First, he was a crap mathematician. Second, his view of mathematics, that it has to be grounded in physical reality to be meaningful is, to put it politely, a view which no one has held since about 1715. (Does that make it wrong?) But none of that really matters, does it? Chris Rock would definitely be more entertaining. But the chance to see a speaker who knew Galileo, basing his scientific worldview on him, and could actually find weak points in the proofs of the best mathematicians of the day (even if he couldn’t do any competent math himself) should not be squandered.

    Not to mention that Hobbes was known as the Monster of Malmesbury which makes him sound like either a great linebacker or a bad wrestler.

    I love Chris Rock, but you can see him on HBO. Let Hobbes have the last word against Wallis.

    • Xi'an says:

      Thanks for those pointers. To my everlasting shame, I had always taken Hobbes for a German philosopher…!

    • zbicyclist says:

      Agreed. In addition to this contest being a great source of much-not-needed procrastination, I’ve learned a bit about people who are worth learning quite a bit about.

      Have to go with Rock, though. Does Hobbes deserve the last word against Wallis?

      I also don’t understand the RSS droppers. This blog generates one of these pairings per day, out of 2 or 3 total postings. It’s not a firehose like the BBC or MSNBC RSS feeds, and the posts are clearly labelled.

    • Keith O'Rourke says:

      > a view which no one has held since about 1715. (Does that make it wrong?)
      That _should_ settle it on Hobbes being the winner.

      mathematics … has to be grounded in physical reality to be meaningful

      > could actually find weak points in the proofs of the best mathematicians of the day (even if he couldn’t do any competent math himself)
      But we will ask him not to do that to any of us!
      https://xianblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/post-grading-weekend/comment-page-1/#comment-94588

  2. Adam says:

    Please! With Hobbes, the seminar would be “nasty, brutish, and short.” And it would degenerate into a “war of all against all.” In other words, the perfect academic seminar.

  3. David Blankley says:

    Would a monarchist have much to say to the modern world?
    Who is Rock but a political philosopher with his message and medium tuned for the modern audience.

    I’ll go with Rock.

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