Who Is Geekier? Mark Sohmer or Doug Wilcox

This started when Matt Camillieri described my friend Mark Sohmer as a “wicked smaaart super geek.” Frankly, I do not think Sohmer is quite deserving of that title. The debate rages on, and I am taking this public.

I started by pointing out a little secret to Matt:

Did you ever notice that just before Mark comes up with a brilliant answer to a Geekworthy problem he sneaks off somewhere to use his cell phone? Do you believe this is merely coincidental?

See this post


Mark responded with some foolishness about owning a BlackBerry, which he first capialitzed wrong, and then insisted was two words (which it isn’t).

I listed a few points in my favor:

I think, despite what Mark will try to claim, that the evidence speaks for

  1. I operate a Star Wars Web site that has received over 1/2-million hits.
  2. I have the highest score on the Geek Test of anyone I have ever met.
  3. I know the name of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe
    (Milliways), and the name of the leader of the “Disaster Area” band (Hotblack Desiato).
  4. My cube is furnished with a Lego Star Destroyer (as well as an X-Wing and Y-Wing). See http://stardestroyer.wilcoxfamily.net/.
  5. I own two binary timekeeping devices: A BCD (binary coded decimal) LED clock and a straight-binary digital watch.
  6. I hated Titanic (except for the few minutes where the ship sinks—that part was cool).
  7. I have built my own light saber.
  8. When house-shopping, a primary concern was having a good space to put my 1100+ volume library, about 1/3 of which is science fiction.
  9. When I heard on the news that Tom Clancy had bought the Vikings, I thought the reference was to the 1970s Martian spacecraft.
  10. I can only watch The Net as part of giving it the MST3K treatment.

I could go on …

—Doug Wilcox

Let the flames begin …

12 Replies to “Who Is Geekier? Mark Sohmer or Doug Wilcox”

  1. I actually just had an internal election, and Mark was voted my new best friend, based on his ability to help me in my current stat counter contest. I have to say, he is a smart guy, and has fixed quite a few computer problems for me. He even wowed me by opening some kind of terminal window on my iMac and typing all sorts of UNIX commands. I think, based on my bank balance, that he may have stolen my online banking password. If I anger him now, he'll clean me out.

  2. I don't have time to answer this right now. Us “way smaaart super geeks” are known to be very busy.
    Perhaps I'll answer this later when my schedule frees a bit.

  3. Doug- the contest goes till next week. Could we keep the secret for a few more days.??

  4. First thing's first. I suppose I should defend the ridiculous claim that Doug made in his tawdry post about my Blackberry™.
    Doug wrote:

    Mark responded with some foolishness about owning a BlackBerry, which he first capialitzed wrong, and then insisted was two words (which it isn?t).

    Here's the response that Doug was referring to. I said:

    Two words: Black Berry
    Only a way smaaart super geek would confuse how many words make up the way smaaart super geek device. Us way smaaart super geeks are known for our clumsiness with the English language.

    So I obviously was aware that I had capitalized it wrong, and that mistake was actually proof of my superior geekiness! “Us way smaaart super geeks are known for our clumsiness with the English language.”
    But I won't dignify Doug's “argument” any further.
    On to the authoritative proof. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I present to you the definitive PROOF that Mark is way geekier than Doug:

    1. I have a Blackberry™. 'Nough said.
    2. I'm the one who always tells Doug about when Star Wars or some other über-Geek trailer/review/news is available and where to download it.
    3. My BLOG runs on MySQL. Doug's runs on (laughter) Microsoft Access.
    4. My BLOG runs on Linux. His runs on (giggle) Windows server (crash! boom! Can you hear that hissing? It's the memory leaking.)
    5. You can put single quotes (') in my BLOG's subject line without having to memorize HEX (not that I have a problem with HEX, mind you.)
    6. I hold certifications from Sun™, Cisco™, Microsoft™, CompTIA™, and TIBCO™.
    7. I have a favorite UNIX shell and can defend /bin/bash over /bin/sh, or even (yikes) /bin/csh.
    8. I can use sed and awk without running a man command.
    9. I dream in binary.
    10. I have written perl scripts.
    11. I laughed when I heard the joke: “There's no place like”
    12. I have NEVER soldered Ethernet cables.
    13. Working in vi for me is like a hot bath with Calgon.
    14. I have configured both Bay Networks and Cisco routers with a hand-held PocketPC™ device.
    15. I have disobeyed the laws of gravity and won.
    16. I have been a Presidential advisor. See exhibit a.
    17. I was once a member of the Beatles. See exhibit b.
    18. I have genetically altered my kids to look just like me! See exhibit c.
    19. Matt Camillieri's dad regularly calls me a Geek.

    [There was a picture of Mark with the Clinton’s here, but I removed it. I?d sooner post a picture of baby seals being clubbed.]
    Exhibit A: Presidential Advisor

    Exhibit B: Original Beatle

    Exhibit C: Genetic Engineer

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case!
    The official way smaaart super geek!

  5. How many times does Mark call you because HE is unable to figure something out and needs your geek of a brain to get things accomplished?
    I thought you were the one to introduce Mark to the blog idea. Funny he mentions that on his first page of entries, but doesn't give you the credit due…. I find that very interesting. Can you actually count how often he's called you to ask how to do something geeky??????

  6. Getting your wife to defend you? Who wears the pants in your family!?! 🙂
    Seriously, Nichelle has a point. I have benefitted many times by Doug's extensive knowlege. This is true. The argument is not “Mark is a geek but Doug isn't.” That would be crazy. Doug is a geek! But until he begins genetic engineering, I remain the undisputed “way smaaart super geek!” 🙂

  7. So why would Mark claim to be a Presidential advisor to the Clinton administration.
    “Rabbi, is there a proper blessing for Bill Clinton?”
    “A blessing for Bill Clinton? Of course. May God bless and keep the Clintons … far away from us!”

  8. Nice reference to Fiddler on the Roof!
    I advised Clinton way back in 1992 to pick Al Gore as his running mate. Why? Because I had a greater plan in mind! I could foresee that 8-years out Gore would lose to President Bush Sr.'s son in 2000.
    Bask in my amazing foresight!

  9. I wasnÂ’t going to resort to this level of self-promotion, but feel now that I must.
    The year was 1983 (several years before Mark would study “alternative” poetry as an English major at UNH). I was a sophomore in high school, and I often dreamed about the Epson HX-20, while really coveting an Apple ][.
    For a paltry check mark, I was willing to spend hours devoted to designing and drafting this technological marvel. (So young, yet the seeds of true Geekdom had already sprouted.)

    This was long before the idea of wearable computers was in vogue (even at MIT). I find it interesting to look back and see what I thought was pushing the envelope of technology. (This is also available in as an Adobe Acrobat document.)
    I still think one of these would be sweet.

  10. You removed the photo of me with the Clinton's? Could it be that your sense of humor/irony is waning? Of course they're terrible people! (That's what makes the photo so funny!)
    Anyone who knows me at all knows I'm wicked-conservative! Come on Doug, put the photo back! 🙂

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