GEEK MADNESS: Geek 16, Part 1

Now it really starts to get cruel.

After eight grueling weeks, sixteen remain to tussle it out for the title of Secretary of Geek Affairs. All results to-date are on the main Geek Madness page.

Yes, we’re well aware that many of you will find it impossible to decide. But you must. Be brave! Review all the matchups and go vote, after the break.

Geek 16 Part I
click for larger image


Simon Pegg Simon Pegg vs. Randall Munroe Randall Munroe

Comedy or comics?

Simon Pegg: Actor/writer; co-creator/star, “Spaced“, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz.
Portraying “Scotty” in upcoming Star Trek reboot; staunch opponent of Star Wars prequel trilogy; no danger of influence from powerful zombie special interest groups. Defeated Peter Parker in Round 1 and Linus Torvalds in Round 2.

Randall Munroe: Creator of webcomic xkcd.
Has graduate degree in physics; captures the nuances of geek life by investing his rudimentary stick figures with keen and often poignant observations; occasional stick figure sex. Defeated Kevin Smith in Round 1 and Patton Oswalt in Round 2.

[poll id=73]


Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye vs. Steve Jobs Steve Jobs

Scrappy, adorable mechanical genius or tenacious, temperamental captain of industry?

Kaylee Frye: Character, Joss Whedon’s TV series “Firefly” and film Serenity; ship’s mechanic.
Notes: Prototypical geek girl who has a great love of and intuitive talent with technology; feminine without being entirely “girly;” only partially aware of how stupefyingly attractive she is. Defeated The Professor and was top vote-getter of Do’Urden Round 1 and Tricia “Trillian” McMillan in Round 2.

Steve Jobs: Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Computer; former CEO, Pixar Animation Studios.
Notes: Fearless competitor, constantly leading market in technology and design innovation; don’t know what he was thinking with the whole NeXT thing; allegedly kind of a dick in person. Defeated Cast of Revenge of the Nerds in Round 1 and RMS in Round 2.

[poll id=74]


John Hodgman John Hodgman vs. They Might Be Giants They Might Be Giants

John or Johns?

John Hodgman: Author (The Areas of My Expertise; More Information Than You Require); actor/TV personality (“PC” in long-running Apple Computer Mac ads; “The Daily Show“).
Bookish, likable manner and quirky, tweedy humor have made him a major breakout minor celebrity, crossing over beyond geek circles; near-ubiquity in 2007 and 2008 could lead to “Dude, you’re getting a Dell”-style backlash. Defeated Ben Stein in Round 1 and Spock in Round 2.

They Might Be Giants: Grammy Award-winning alt-pop duo John Flansburgh and John Linnell.
Notes: Extremely popular in geek circles for their catchy, melodic, humorous and intelligent music; frequent collaborators on TV, movie, literature and other projects (geek and non-geek); probably most widely known for “The Boss of Me”, theme song to Fox Television’s “Malcolm in the Middle“. Recent Dunkin’ Donuts commercial work may provoke cries from hardcore fans of “selling out.” Defeated Ponder Stibbons in Round 1 and Tom Lehrer in Round 2.

[poll id=75]


Gabe & Tycho (Penny Arcade) Gabe & Tycho vs. Douglas Adams Douglas Adams

Heroes of today or legend of all time?

Gabe & Tycho: Webcomic alter egos of Penny Arcade writers/creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
Notes: Multiple weekly strips are a touchstone of gaming and gamer culture. Characters also help promote the PAX gaming festival and Child’s Play charitable effort. Defeated Sarah Vowell in Round 1 and Alton Brown in Round 2.

Douglas Adams: Author best known for his The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.
Notes: Tremendous champion of technology; wrote several “Doctor Who” episodes; appeared briefly in two episodes of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus“; 42. Defeated Bill Gates in Round 1 and “Weird Al” Yankovic in Round 2.

[poll id=76]


  1. mtgordon
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    #1 Randall Munroe. I’m just much more familiar with his work.
    #2 Steve Jobs. I’m biased against fictional characters.
    #3 Ooh, this is incredibly tough! I’m going to go with the deranged millionaire, John Hodgman.
    #4 Gabe & Tycho. I’m biased in favor of the living.

  2. Molly
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink


    Don’t you remember WHY he’s the deranged millionaire?!


  3. Molly
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Also, you voted against Douglas Adams, and are therefore dead to me.


  4. Zoe
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Oh god. Hodgman vs. tmbg. Oh god.

    I picked tmbg ’cause they have been doing it longer. I’m sorry Hodgman.

  5. MitchO
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    If Gabe & Tycho beat Douglas Adams, every one of you should hang your head in shame. SHAME, I tell you.

  6. John Henry
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Permalink


  7. Jack F.
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Losing on most of my picks is starting to get me angry. (You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.)

  8. mtgordon
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Molly, of course I remember why he’s the deranged millionaire! That was a really, really tough one for me. I spend at least an hour each day dancing to TMBG with my son on my shoulders. And if Douglas Adams were still alive, I’d vote for him over Gabe & Tycho, but if a dead person could be an effective Secretary of Geek Affairs, we’d all be voting for Jeremy Bentham, right?

  9. Posted February 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m totally not happy with my votes. I don’t know how to do this!!

    1) Randall… based purely on amount of geekiness

    2) Kaylee… I like her more than Steve.

    3) This one was impossible. I went with Hodgman based on looks more than anything else. I think their geekiness level is equal.

    4) Gabe & Tycho Going based solely on amount of geekiness again. Though, DA could be more geeky… OH NO I DON’T KNOW! DAMN YOU PAUL AND STORM FOR PUTTING ME THROUGH THIS TORMENT! JK you’re awesome. But this does suck. I’m torn.

  10. Posted February 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    1) Randall – XKCD
    2) Kayee – Digital Freedom Minion hates Apple. Moving on.
    3) TMBG – I hate Apple, I like potential giantness.
    4) Douglas – real > fake.

    I would post more.. but… tired. Need… sleep….

  11. Reid
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I really screwed up this round.

    1) Randall Munroe. Okay, I didn’t screw up there.

    2) I voted for Steve Jobs “ironically,” and then I realized what a dick move that is, and also realized that I JUST VOTED TO GIVE STEVE JOBS GOVERNMENT POWER. Just consider that vote repealed.

    3) Another screw up. Voted for John because of The Daily Show, but then it sunk in that he was one of Steve Jobs’s lackeys, and they are at least as dangerous as he is, if not more so.

    4) This one was tough. A match between two equally awesome opponents, and neither of them were qualified. One’s not one person, and the other’s dead. I hastily decided to vote for Gabe & Tycho, but then I realized their picture had tricked me, and one of the contestants was not only two people, but two fake people. That vote should have gone to Douglas Adams.

    I’ll have to be more discerning in the next round.

  12. Molly
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I know that Douglas Adams can’t serve as Secretary of Geek affairs, I’ll give you that, but on principle, he wins all.
    But I still don’t see how Hodgman beats out TMBG. It makes literally no sense to me.

    TMBG has 20+ years of nerd experience on Hodgman. Flood came out when Hodgman was a freshman in college. And there’s two Johns versus the one, so between them that’s 40+ years of nerd experience over Hodgman. That’s longer than Hodgman has even been alive, much less sentient, much less quirky and intellectual.

    And think of all the nerd bands that have claimed TMBG as a major influence. Think of all the quirky geeky bands that simply wouldn’t be if TMBG had not come around. When Hodgman spearheads a whole genre of books of fake trivia, then we can talk.

  13. Jade
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh rough. I initially wanted Hodgman to take the whole thing home, but putting him up against TMBG just lost him my vote. I just love those guys *insert unnecessary fan-girl freak-out*

  14. mtgordon
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    This from someone with The Areas of My Expertise on her Twitter profile image? Do you really lose that much respect for someone after you rub elbows with them? 😉

    Nothing against the two Johns! Really! And I congratulate them on their Grammy win for what my son calls “Rin Tin Freeze.”

  15. Molly
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    If I had a jacket that matched something TMBG, my Twitter icon would be the first to know about it. But alas, it is not to be.


  16. Posted February 9, 2009 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    This round was really easy, since in all match-ups except #3 I was only really familiar with one of them. Munroe, Jobs, Hodgman, Adams.

  17. Daniel
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    TMBG vs. Hodgman. What a nightmarish decision. I’m glad that it’s not a matter of life or death or something.

    I ended up voting for Hodgman, even though TMBG have more geek experience.

  18. mtgordon
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Upon further consideration, I have come to recognize that Hodgman’s propensity for falsehood is better suited to a Republican administration.

    I was wrong. I’m sorry, Molly.

  19. Monk
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    1) Gotta go with Simon. One, he’s going to be the underdog in this one; Two, I first saw him in Dr Who; and Three… Scotty.

    2)Kaylee. Fictional, yes, but much much cuter.

    3) The Hodg-Man.

    4) Gabe, Tycho, I’m sorry, but I’ve known Douglas much much longer.

  20. Posted February 9, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Not that anyone cares what I say:

    1) A funny, creative, geeky writer/actor against a weird, unfunny web comic writer? No contest.

    2) Kaylee!!!!!!!

    3) Their paths have been so intertwined, why just this weekend, a movie was released in which Hodgman and Linnell’s voices both came from the same clay face. Why can’t we have three Johns in office? That said, I voted for the one that gave me a free hotdog, even if it did have an annoying salad on top. Stupid Chicagoians. Good thing their city isn’t real.

    4) Douglas is the proto-geek. This whole contest would be insanely different if it weren’t for H2G2.

  21. Posted February 9, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Sorry to disagree with you RomanV, but Gabe and Tycho are real even though their comic’s characters are not. In other words, I’m voting for the guys behind the characters. Besides that is what we are voting for, hence the picture of the creators.

    Much like Steve Jobs health, his reign of terror to my bracket ends now. Hopefully, when Paul and Storm hold this tornament next year, more rivals are pitted against each other in the first round. I was so looking forward to Linus Torvalds squaring off against Richard M. Stallman two weeks from now, but it never happened. (Of course, Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates, and Cory Doctrow vs. Ron Paul never happened either. Maybe next year, Eric Corley (2600: The Hacker Quarterly’s Emmanuel Goldstein) and Wendy Northcutt (The Darwin Awards) will get slots on the overall chart.)

    Enough diatribe!

    Gabe and Tycho.

    At least do something right next week. VOTE FOR STEVE WOZNIAK!

  22. Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    1. Simon, you denied us the Torvalds/RMS match we all* wanted to see. No vote for you.
    2. Steve, you denied us the Torvalds/RMS match we all* wanted to see. No vote for you.
    3. This one hurt. I’m a fan of both of them, definitely, and I’ve got a hard time seeing either of them lose. But, from all I’ve read about TMBG, they’d never be truly happy with the position. They’d just want to get back in the studio and/or out on the road playing music. Hodgman, though, I can imagine him loving the job, complete with his ability to issue that creepily evil smile of his. Hodg for the vote.
    4. I still stand by my statement of the last round with Gabe and Tycho in it, they may know the geek scene better than most, but they’re far too bipolar in their opinions, collectively, which is a drastic negative for the position. And it’s Douglas Adams they’re up against. Adams takes my vote.

    *: By “we all”, this most likely sort of just means me.

  23. Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    @MrHacks Fair enough.

    @Molly Oh so we’re voting on experience now? I see. I don’t like to make political statements…….. (the election is over now anyway)

  24. Mari
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    @MrHacks – Can we really vote for Steve Wozniak after finding out that he is going to be on Dancing With The Stars? Though being on the show along with folks like Steve-O from Jackass and Denise Richards is kinda funny 😛

  25. Posted February 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    @Molly: Did you just name Flood to be nice to the Hodg? I mean, you could’ve gone with the pink album (the self-titled one) or Lincoln and REALLY laid the experience issue to rest. :-)

  26. Sam
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    1. Definitely Simon Pegg. His movies are usually hilarious while xkcd is usually not. Hate to break it to everyone, but it’s just not that funny.

    2. Kaylee, anything that has to do with Firefly gets my vote. Though I think River or Wash would have been a better candidate.

    3. Toughy, but TMBG wins. I actually don’t think they’re all that nerdy, but I have endless amounts of affection for them.

    4. Douglas Adams, though I’m not personally a fan and I do like Penny Arcade, Adams has had a much greater impact on everything geek.

  27. Emmy
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Kaylee! Aw, I love her so much…

    She’s winning though, so I’m happy. But it’s BRUTAL to pit John Hodgeman and TMBG against each other. REALLY!

    And anyone who voted against Douglas Adams is now on THE LIST. DO YOU HEAR ME??? THE LIST!!!!!!!!

  28. Molly
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    @Roman V.
    It’s also an unintentional election stab to say that Hodgman is a little too chic for the position.
    He’s a famous minor television personality.

  29. Posted February 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Somehow, I managed to vote for all the current vote-leaders. I’m either a trend-setter or a sycophant.

  30. Posted February 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    1. Simon Pegg
    2. Steve Jobs
    3. They Might Be Giants BOY
    4. Douglas Adams


  31. LucyML
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    ahhh!!! i had to choose between TMBG and John Hodgeman!!! o.O how difficult. i went with TMBG in the end, ’cause I’ve listened to them for sooo long and i owe it to them as an avid fan. 😀

  32. Posted February 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Also, since Randall Munroe beat Kevin James, I realize just how wrong all of you are.

  33. sacre_blues
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Munroe all the way! I mean, I wouldn’t want him to win, but Pegg creeped me out so much on Dr. Who that there is no way I could vote for him. Plus, XKCD is really funny.
    KAYLEE!!! She’s Joss Whedon created. He is my god. Ergo, I vote for Kaylee.
    Man, I’ve been listening to TMBG ALL MY LIFE. Not kidding. I have a video of myself at age 5 singing “Particle Man.” So they most def get my vote. Plus, Hodg isn’t that funny, really.
    And I just have to go with Douglas Adams. Just as TMBG were my first real favorite band, Hitchhiker’s Guide was my first favorite book. I read it so much that it literally fell apart.

  34. Jack F.
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    @Dingo – Finally! Someone whose picks make sense! (That is, they’re the same as my picks.)

  35. Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Sam’s votes. My reasons are different, but my votes are there nonetheless.

  36. levi
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    PA fo’ lyfe


  37. the choom gang
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    XKCD is quantifiably terrible. I would use a mathematic proof to support my claims, but my girlfriend left me so now I must play in my ball pit.


  38. fightinfilipino
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    while i respect Mr. Adams’ significant contribution to the science fiction world and to all Geek kind, he’s *dead*. i’m certainly not voting for a corpse and risking that Zombie Douglas Adams will wise fwom his gwave.

    Gabe & Tycho are just so much more *alive*. i don’t have to pack a shotgun with them around. plus they’re funny in the NOW.

  39. Suzi
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    1- Difficult, but went with Randall because xkcd is fantastically geeky and also fantastic… although I felt guilty not voting for Simon.
    2-Kaylee is just awesome and geeky and beautiful.
    3- John Hodgman– don’t really know why, but it felt right,
    4- Douglas Adams forever. An original geek, even if he is dead.

  40. Isambard
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    What the fuck is this? TMBG are losing to John Hodgeman?

    More than two decades of geekiness is outdone by less than one?

    Woe be unto you philistines.

  41. Isambard
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Also, I love Penny Arcade, but Douglas Adams’ impact on geekiness leaves Gabe and Tycho in shadow. In fact, it’s my impression that Tycho would himself vote for Douglas Adams.

  42. Thanatos
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Douglas Adams wrote a pile of crap. Terry Pratchett is what Douglas Adams would be if he lived up to his hype.

    Gabe & Tycho, no question.

  43. Centipede Damascus
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Anyone who voted against Simon Pegg is a Communist.

  44. Dan
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    It deserves to be mentioned that Kaylee isn’t a geek, she’s a grease monkey, and those things don’t really overlap at all.

    That being said, if you want someone cute and sexy to be minister of geek affairs, vote for her! You’re not going to find anything better on the geek ticket.

  45. Jeff
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    OK, So this round was quite difficult, but nothing compared to JoCo vs. Joss Whedon. Seriously . . . . my brain may explode.

  46. Posted February 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why Kaylee Frye is in the brackets and not Joss Whedon. Except that it raises the estrogen levels of a very male dominated competition.

    I don’t see how Steve Jobs could be losing to the fictional Frye. I also don’t see why Steve Wozniak was overlooked. Although to be fair, the Wizard of Woz didn’t have the “Dancing With the Stars” credit in his resume when this competition began.

    I agree with Molly, TMBG should beat out Hodgeman, but I doubt that they will. Not unless someone makes some amazingly persuasive Tweets to the TMBG fans. I think that whoever wins the Hodgeman/TMBG contest has the best chance of taking down this WHOLE thing! I just don’t think there’s anybody else on the board with their combination of Geek Street Cred and rabid fan base.

  47. Posted February 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry. Woz and Whedon are in other brackets! My bad.

  48. SemiEvolvedSimian
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Mark, you FAIL. FAIL FAIL FAIL.

    1. The toughest choice of this round. RM wins by a hair only because he gives us geekery three times a week.

    2. Kaylee because I’m not a Mac fanboi and I prefer “cute” over “marketing shill” any day.

    3. TMBG by a mile. Hodgman is a bit… manufactured, while TMBG earned their stripes over 20 years. And in another 20 years, it’s TMBG’s music I’ll be listening to… not Hodgman’s commercials (harsh, yes, but it’s important to consider the long view in this competition).

    4. Adams by a parsec. I dig Gabe and Tycho, but they have not and probably will never open the eyes and minds of young adults the way Adams’ books did for so many of my generation. Hats do go off to all three gentlemen for their extensive charity work.

  49. The Wanderer
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    1. Randall Munroe. Simon Pegg’s movies may be funny, but xkcd is brilliant – not necessarily funny, but clever, intelligent, and geeky as all hell – and sense of humor alone is not nearly enough to qualify someone to serve. (Not that Pegg necessarily doesn’t have more, but he cannot outmatch Munroe.)

    2. Steve Jobs. I’m not very fond of him – if nothing else, he’s a businessman, not a geek – but Kaylee is fictional, and so can’t serve unless someone’s finally achieved transfictional travel, and so isn’t qualified to be a candidate in the first place. (Not to mention that she’d be so far out of tune with our time and culture that her qualifications would be in question in any case.)

    3. TMBG. This one wasn’t an easy decision, not because either side is all that great (though both are quite good), but because neither is obviously better than the other. I just happen not to have seen much of Hodgman aside from the Mac/PC commercials, whereas I like TMBG quite a bit, and haven’t heard nearly as many bad things about them as about him.

    4. Gabe and Tycho. They might be fictional and so disqualified the same way as Kaylee, but they also might not (we really need a ruling on that), and Adams is dead and so couldn’t serve unless someone’s managed to reach beyond the grave and so isn’t qualified to be a candidate in the first place. He’s a great and glorious figure, and definitely geeky enough and legendary enough to qualify, and I’d vote for him here in a heartbeat if he were still alive – but he isn’t, so he’s not an option.

  50. Posted February 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    (Geek Madness is fun and all, but I’m jonesing for a new podcast ep.)

  51. Robin
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Sweet Tinkerbell Jeebus, that was hard! I love them all. How could you make me choose? (You magnificent bastards.)

  52. Jeffy
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Randall Munroe is the incarnation of all that is right with the world. I do not see why he is not the unanimous choice.
    Steve Jobs is awesome in my eyes, so he had my vote, but unlike Randall, I can see reasons why people might dislike him, so I’m less frustrated that he is losing.
    Hodgman of course. No contest at all. That list of hobo names was long, but worthwhile.
    The first three were easy choices. The last was incredibly tough. I’ve known Gabe and Tycho longer (though I own the exact same number of books from both options, five)and I check Penny Arcade whenever it is up, so they win my vote.

  53. Tzeentch
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    everyone who voted against Douglas Adams is RETARDED
    penny arcade is stupid, Douglas Adams is a genus

  54. Andrew
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    xkcd is awful, what is wrong with you people

  55. Dr.Funk
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Stop saying dumb things Tzeentch

  56. Slammu
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Everyone who voted for the XKCD guy is a bad person and should feel bad

  57. SirToasty
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    If you voted for Randall, go to Youtube and look up 50,000 Zombies with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and then hang your head in shame for the terrible thing you have done.

  58. Posted February 12, 2009 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    Douglas Adams is a genus?

    Man, I wish I were a Douglasadams sapiens. Yes, Man, I’m talking to you.

    (Now trying to figure out what the tune is that I’m singing ‘Oh, I wish I were a Douglasadams sapiens’ to in my head. Argh, I think it’s the Oscar Mayer wiener song. And I’ve never even heard that except from imitations in movies.)

  59. Matt Pritchard
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    WT fuck is going on this week?!?
    Simon Pegg is awesome and funny but there is no way in this or any other universe that he should beat Randall to the title of Secretary of Geek Affairs!!

    Kaylee is the right choice for the second one, although I suspect a lot of people are voting with their penis (how very dexterous).

    Match 3 I don’t really think matters because either should lose in the next round.

    and Finally Douglas Adams… Again I love Gabe and Tycho but I think even they would have to admit that even in non-corporeal form Douglas would be a shoo-in. If you voted against him you probably don’t even realise how much of geek-culture just wouldn’t exist without him. As for the guy who said he is a Genus, that may have been a typo, but it’s probably still true. He was a breed all his own and sorely missed.

  60. three08
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    i weep for a world that puts penny arcade ahead of the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.

  61. The Wanderer
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Oh, I do have an idea of just how much of “geek culture” (as you put it) wouldn’t exist without Adams. I just don’t think that that factor is nearly enough to outweigh the fact that he would be unable to serve in the position.

    No fictional or dead people should ever have been included in the list of candidates in the first place, unless there is some way to arrange for them to be able to serve if chosen; the fact that any were included means that no one is even pretending to take this seriously. I think it’s interesting enough to take part in anyway, but at least one of my brothers (who happens to be arguably significantly geekier than I am) is refusing to even look at the site because of that flaw.

    (For the record, I much prefer Hitchhiker’s to Penny Arcade – I don’t even read the latter, and haven’t been greatly impressed by what I’ve seen over other people’s shoulders. It’s just that living, potentially-real people get an automatic pass when up against dead or definitely-fictional people – that also being a major part of the reason I voted for Jobs.)

  62. Posted February 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh, are we supposed to be pretending to take this seriously?

    I’d really have to know more about what the position entailed and how much time it would take away from the activities we like them for. I guess Tom Lehrer would be a good choice since he hasn’t performed much recently anyway, and claims to have voted for Obama. But I don’t think it’d be nice of us to make him work in politics.

    There’s nobody in this round that I think would be suitable in a pretending-to-take-this-seriously way. Either I’ve never heard of them, I don’t think they’re geeky, or I’d prefer them to continue what they’re doing. Well, maybe Hodgman would do, since I haven’t actually read his books, and he doesn’t do Coultonised booksignings anywhere near me, so I probably wouldn’t miss him that much during his term. I wouldn’t miss TMBG either, but I don’t really think they’re geeky. Though electing two people to the position might be an advantage, but that seems unusual for politics. In fact, The Wanderer, why don’t you refuse to vote for candidates which consist of more than one person? I doubt a duo could serve in any single cabinet position, or whatever these positions are called in the US.

  63. Jeffy
    Posted February 15, 2009 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Randall is a better geek (Simon Pegg has never worked for NASA) and is actually funny. I laugh at xkcd all the time (or at least enjoy the ones not meant to be funny) whereas this Simon Pegg character isn’t geeky enough, and doesn’t have the funny thing down, so therefore,

    Randall Munroe > Simon Pegg


  64. Zoe
    Posted February 15, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    TMBG can’t lose. This isn’t right.

  65. PonderousMan
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    On reflection, I sort of like the idea that we live people can vote for dead candidates – rather than the Chicago way, where the dead get to vote for live candidates. (Unless you consider the robot/clone factor -Richie Daley, anyone?)

    However, if that’s true,then the original brackets were likely missing some true founders of geekdom – Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, and Benjamin Franklin, just for starters.

    (If anyone doubts Franklin was a geek, compare his life to Jobs or one of the Googleboys… he was just too early for actually *using* electricity to do things, but he helped get it all started.)

    Which brings up an interesting idea – if reincarnation is true, then who would be the reincarnation of Verne, Franklin, or, lesse…. Orson Welles, maybe?

  66. PonderousMan
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    @Mark, Molly – I take it that Mark’s apology was accepted? *grin*

    @Zoe- this is always the challenge for democracy – it’s not always who is eligible to vote that matters, but who actually casts the vote. I expect that this contest has created more than a few “GOTV” efforts by readers looking to swing things one way or another…

  67. Posted February 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    That John Hodgman is beating TMBG, Simon Pegg is beating Randall Munroe and ANYBODY is beating Douglas Adams has me worried about the future of humankind.

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