Skip to content

Pele vs. Meryl Streep; Riad Sattouf advances

Yesterday Dzhaughn gave a complicated argument but ultimately I couldn’t figure out if it was pro- or anti-Geng, so I had to go with Dalton’s straight shot:

Geng has been accused of being “subtle to the point of unintelligibility.” So apparently ole V puts the “b” in subtle. So here’s to our man, Riad who clearly puts the “f” in fun.

And now, our last quarterfinal match, featuring an unseeded GOAT vs. an unseeded person from New Jersey. Which of these award-winners should advance?

Again, we’re trying to pick the best seminar speaker. Here are the rules and here’s the bracket:


  1. Jonathan’s post-hoc argument for Geng was so good that I now have to vote for Pele, given that his name can be transformed into Geng’s through a simple row matrix operation (a gesture that just might move Geng to forsake the incendiary wine):

    [P E L E] + [-9 0 2 2] = [G E N G]

    You can’t do the same with Streep.

    • Max says:

      What about this?
      [1 0 0 0 0 0]*[S] + [-12 -15 -4 2] = [G E N G]
      [0 1 0 0 0 0] [T]
      [0 0 1 0 0 0] [R]
      [0 0 0 1 0 0] [E]

      • Max says:

        Some of the whitespaces were stripped…

        [1 0 0 0 0 0]*[S T R E E P]^T + [-12 -15 -4 2] = [G E N G]
        [0 1 0 0 0 0]
        [0 0 1 0 0 0]
        [0 0 0 1 0 0]

        • Well done, but I still like the elegant simplicity of the row matrix operation. As Orwell said, “Never use a long matrix operation where a short one will do.”

          Also, the first matrix in your equation falls two rows short of being an identity matrix. This “quasi-identity” business, while appropriate for an actress like Streep, makes me a little nervous; at a seminar it’s good to know who we are and who the leader is.

  2. Noah Motion says:

    Streep has been in a lot of movies, she has been nominated for (and won) a lot of awards, and she has talked with a lot of funny accents, but Pelé was in Victory, so he wins.

    Also, Streep played Julia Child, who was already eliminated from this tournament.

  3. Andrew (not Gelman) says:

    Mel Brooks should take this one. Pele’s favorite movie was Young Frankenstein. And I here Streep is fond of Spaceballs.

  4. Jonathan (another one) says:

    With Geng out I no longer care. While I admit that a second resurrection would be de trop (as Sattouf might say) it’s my only hope. Though really, the only appropriate thing is to simply have her win the final even though she’s not in it. So I’ll just wait for that.

    But if I had to go with one here, I had lunch with Meryl Streep once. She didn’t have a lot to say. I’ll go for Streep anyway, on the condition that she sticks to a script written by Geng.

  5. Manoel Galdino says:

    I das saving my argument to the final, but since Pelé is facing Meryl Streep, it’s better to use it now.
    You probably don’t know this, but Pelé speaks about himself in the third person. As he was someone else. Does Meryl Streep speak like this? I don’t think so.
    He is the only speaker in this seminar to talk in third person about himself. There is no “I” in his speech.

Leave a Reply