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Oprah Winfrey (1) vs. Alan Turing (4); Nora Ephron advances

Yesterday Diana gave an eloquent argument in favor of Voltaire, but then I came across this comment from Dzhaughn:

I am concened, as Dalton was earlier, about the risk of uniting the Ephron-Streep-Child triumvirate. This could lead to bad things. Julie vs. Julia, courtroom drama. Jules or Julia, cashing in on the franchise. Meatless in Me-attle (self-absorbed vegetarian Puget Sound Instagram romance) and “You’ve Got Kale!” “Milk would…?” monster horror where expiration dates are forged and the power company tampers with the fridge door light switch.

Actually, these sound better than average these days.

Indeed, we could do worse than “Meatless in Me-attle” and “You’ve Got Kale.” I’d like to avoid “Julie & Julia” at all costs, but I think Mel Brooks would put a stop to that in any case.

And today we have a major battle, with the top-ranked TV personality facing a mathematician who, while only seeded #4, is a legendary figure in many dimensions (including, let me remind you, the invention of round-the-house chess, a game whose rules I’m still not clear on). Which of these worthies should advance to round 3?

Again, here’s the bracket and here are the rules.


  1. plusplus says:

    Oprah would have Alan Turing on her show any day. Case closed.

  2. zbicyclist says:

    Oprah would be uplifting, but we’d be unlikely to find out much new unless she had a guest. As plusplus notes, Turing would be a good guest, and we’d almost certainly find out something new and interesting — even if it was only how to play round-the-house chess.

    We don’t have the option to MC for Turing, so we’ll have to pick Turing and depend on Andrew’s skills as an MC.

  3. Manuel says:

    Turing did not know how to train a machine to pass the Turing test. I’m sure Oprah knows how train a person to pass the Oprah test.

  4. Tom says:

    I’d like to go all ‘Bill and Ted’ on Turing – find out what he thinks of modern computing, and whether celebrity twitter comments would pass his test or not.

    • Jonathan (another one) says:

      I’ve long said that the Turing test is outmoded — very slightly because computers have gotten better at feigning humanity, but mostly because humans have gotten much worse at seeming human. Turing’s take on the rise of technology would make a fascinating seminar. The best Oprah could do is give all the attendees their own distributed computing clusters.

  5. Dalton says:

    You get a conditional autoregressive! Turing gets a conditional autoregressive! Everyone gets a conditional autoregressive!

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