Friday, May 4, 2012

Spock vs. Data


It’s time for me to re-establish my geek cred.  I’ve done it before, but you have to re-establish every few years.  If you don’t, people start think you’re not a geek any more, that you’re a jock or some other loser.

Today, I confront the eternal question: Who would win at chess, Spock or Data?


This is a question that has been debated in the Halls of Knowledge for decades.
There are a lot of geeks in the Halls of Knowledge.
For those of you who don’t know much about Star Trek, first of all, welcome to the internet.  That thing in front of you is called a computer (KOM-pew-ter); it’s used to get porn.  Second, in the Original Series, Spock used to play chess.  In the sequel series, The Next Generation, Data is also shown playing chess.  Even though the characters met, they never played chess against each other, leading to very contentious discussions in the geekish community.

So, who would win?  The answer is obvious: Deanna Troi would beat Captain Kirk.
I know what you're thinking: "Troi does something other than stare blankly and whine about emotions?"
In the Original Series, Spock was only beaten by Captain James Kirk.  Why?  Because chess isn’t about an agile mind and devious strategy, it’s about using your emotions and empathy.

Well, no, it isn’t really.  If it was, right now Kasparov would be world champion and Deep Blue would be working an office job as a pencil sharpener.  We’re not debating reality, though; this is Star Trek, where chess is 3D and difficult, complicated problems can be solved by shooting torpedoes at it.

In Star Trek: the Next Generation, Data is an expert at strategy games, but he plays Star Trek 3D Chess against Deanna Troi, the counselor, and loses.  Why?  Because he’s too busy looking at her boobies.
I know I would be.
Actually, he loses for the same reason Spock loses to Kirk: emotion is important.

So, who would win at chess, Data or Spock?  In the television shows, Data has no emotions and Spock suppresses his.  Therefore, Spock would win.  In the movies, Data gets the emotion chip installed and has more emotions than Spock, so he would win.  Although, Spock becomes more open about his human side, and becomes more emotional, so he would win.  Later, Data jumps through space and, for reasons that never made any sense, blows himself up, but is reincarnated in an idiot.  Spock would win.  Of course, Spock goes back in time and meets himself, and they’d probably play chess, and Old Spock would totally smoke New Spock because Heroes was a terrible show and the guy who plays New Spock was in that show and…

I’m getting away from the point here.  The real point is that it doesn’t matter who would win in the Spock vs. Data match.  It matters what would happen when those who beat them played.  Troi beat Data.  Kirk beat Spock.  Who would win in a Troi/Kirk match?  Deanna Troi, because she has empathy powers.

Also, Kirk would spend the whole match staring at her boobies.
Spock is moving the pieces when Kirk is looking away.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was just as good as 10 Reasons Comic Book Scientists Are Better.

In Sam Elliot idiom, that's "Shit, son, you can write funny."

Matthew Kagle said...

Again with the boobies. I sense a theme.