Best argument in favor of the showman was from Jonathan:
OK. Here’s a Blaine seminar. He delivers the entire lecture locked inside a trunk with 40 minutes of air. He doesn’t get paid (or live) unless he solves the Entscheidungsproblem for a particular program (selected by the seminar participants) running on a Turing machine clacking away in the corner. If he turns this offer down, invite Turing. He can lecture on whatever he wants to.
But I don’t think even Blaine can solve the Entscheidungsproblem, so we’ll have to go with Enigma-man.
Today’s match features the third-ranked magician—sure, Penn and Teller are two people, but since we’re looking for a speaker, they count as one—this does make me think we should’ve had a Mute Person category, including Teller, Helen Keller, Silent Bob, Harpo Marx, Calvin Coolidge, and Robin Williams With Laryngitis, but that’s another story—against an unranked GOAT, in this case the greatest soccer player of all time.
Penn and Teller have been on TV and do live shows a lot—indeed, I saw them perform, ummm, 30 years ago it was?—and this is practically an invitation for Phil to invoke the “I can see them whenever I want” rule—but then again you can find old World Cup highlights on Youtube and watch Pele whenever you want too. So you gotta come up with a better argument than that!
Again, the full bracket is here, and here are the rules:
We’re trying to pick the ultimate seminar speaker. I’m not asking for the most popular speaker, or the most relevant, or the best speaker, or the deepest, or even the coolest, but rather some combination of the above.
I’ll decide each day’s winner not based on a popular vote but based on the strength and amusingness of the arguments given by advocates on both sides. So give it your best!