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 …

What Is the Deal with Our Foreign Policy?

[nuke][doug]I am not normally very critical of the US government, especially having traveled a little and seeing what life in other countries is like. However, the official reactions to the pardon of Dr. AQ Khan have me completely flabbergasted.

For the record, these faults existed long before the Bush administration—in fact, there have been few times in US history when a clear foreign policy was applied consistently. Let me make a few points to illustrate why we desperately need a consistent foreign policy:

  • We know that Saddam Hussein was completely evil. If he did not succeed in building weapons of mass destruction, he certainly wanted to. He is by many estimates responsible for the death of 3 million people in the past two decades. Getting rid of him was a good thing, even if some of our intelligence was bad, and the road ahead for Iraq is not going to be an easy one. But, if we apply the “threat to us, threat to others” rules to other countries, we have to overthrow the governments of North Korea (threatens Japan and South Korea; may have the capability to hit us with Nukes), Pakistan (threatens India; created a global black market for nuclear technology), and China (threatens Taiwan; helped distribute nuclear weapons technology; directly aided Communist Korea and Viet Naam in the past).
  • What about the “evil dictator” rule?If we follow this, we need to eliminate Fidel Castro in our own back yard, the Saudi royal family, several African leaders, the current rulers in Haiti after the coup, etc.

So, why are we making a deal with the devil (despite claims to the contrary) in Pakistan? I will have to get back to this later.