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Philip K. Dick (2) vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes advances

For yesterday’s semifinal, I was all ready to go with this argument by Zbicyclist in favor of Cervantes:

For someone who wasn’t writing in English, he’s credited with a fair number of English catchphrases.

Let’s bring the old guy back to life and see what else he’s got.

When thou art at Rome, do as they do at Rome.

A closed mouth catches no flies.

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.

No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly.

The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application.

Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.

Jonathan provides some good Hobbes quotes, but do we really want to end up with a lecture on publication bias at the end of this? Can we do no better?

But then Adam came in with this late entry:

I vote for Hobbes because he understood irony:

I often observe the absurdity of [my] dreams, but never dream of the absurdities of my waking thoughts.

With Cervantes, we’d just have more tilting at windmills. Isn’t that what usually happens in an academic seminar?

Good point.

And, for today, we have a battle of two people who really really don’t trust the government. Either one would be great, but I have to admit I’d be more psyched if it were Jane Austen vs. John Waters. . .

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


    • Andrew says:

      Sorry, I know you’re disappointed that Jerry Lewis isn’t in the running!

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  1. Dalton says:

    From the exegesis of PKD:

    “I think I understand the common ingredient in those whom my writing helps: they cannot or will not blunt their own intimations about the irrational, mysterious nature of reality, and, for them, my corpus of writing is one long ratiocination regarding this inexplicable reality, an investigation and presentation, analysis and response and personal history. My audience will always be limited to those people.” Sounds like a more fun group than bunch of Carlin groupies.

    And then there’s this little gem: “Each of us assumes everyone else knows what HE is doing. They all assume we know what WE are doing. We don’t … Nothing is going on and nobody knows what it is. Nobody is concealing anything except the fact that he does not understand anything anymore and wishes he could go home.” Sounds to me like he diagnosed the source of the probelm for the crisis of replication in science.

    And one last little pearl of wisdom (this time from VALIS), a cautionary note for Andrew in his quest to improve statistical understanding and practice through this blog: “Certainly it constitutes bad news if the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit.” I’m with you, Dr. Gelman.

  2. Nadia says:

    I say Philip Dick because of the questions about where humans and human intuition come into play with numbers…

  3. vr says:

    I’d say PKD because of quality of the retrospective counterfactual analysis he presented in “The man in the high castle”.

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