Pharyngula

Best pointless poll ever!

I must thank io9 for taking the spirit of the pointless poll to the next level. They have an article on the term “nerd” and are asking whether it’s a useful label or not. Here are the results so far.

Should we retire the term “nerd”?

You’re dead wrong man, keep the faith! Cool stuff is still happening! Nerd4Life! 10% (169 votes)

You’re way late guy; it was all over by The Phantom Menace, or maybe that Hackers film with Angelina Jolie. 19% (327 votes)

Let’s keep it alive anyway for what’s still valuable. Future generations of misfits will thank us. 26% (449 votes)

Answer 4 19% (323 votes)

Answer 5 27% (476 votes)

“Answer 4″? “Answer 5″? What’s this? The poll software insisted on 5 possible answers, but the pollsters only had 3 choices in mind, so these empty placeholders made it into the listing…and they’re doing quite well.

Personally, I had to vote for Answer 5. After all, 5 is a term in the Fibonacci sequence, while 4 is not.

Comments

  1. #1 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 31, 2009

    But I vote for Answer 6.

  2. #2 epsilon
    March 31, 2009

    Answer 5 it is. You can’t argue with math.

  3. #3 Lorkas
    March 31, 2009

    I vote for answer 4. I prefer perfect squares to Fibonacci numbers.

  4. #4 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    Five is also the sacred Discodian number as revealed in 5323 BCE.

  5. #5 DGKnipfer
    March 31, 2009

    I vote 5. You can’t argue wiht math.

  6. #6 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    Ugh, I mean Discordian. Eris screwed with my typing again.

  7. #7 Ian
    March 31, 2009

    4 is a very significant number, as it is mentioned in nearly every book ever written. My answer is 4.

  8. #8 Dutchdoc
    March 31, 2009

    the great 4 vs. 5 debate …

    LOVE a poll like this!

    EDITOR’S NOTE: There were only supposed to be 3 choices in this poll, but a glitch in our polling software created the spurious “answer 4″ and “answer 5.” I was going to fix it, but now that the great 4 vs. 5 debate has begun I feel that I must allow the glitch to remain.

  9. #9 DGKnipfer
    March 31, 2009

    Damn my typing sucks. Worse, somebody beat me to the punch.

  10. #10 PZ Myers
    March 31, 2009

    Of course, you all know that now, however we vote, we are providing a meta-answer to the continuing validity of the term “nerd”.

  11. #11 Lorax
    March 31, 2009

    5 is correct PZ but not for the reason you noted. Its simply because primes >>> squares.

  12. #12 The Science Pundit
    March 31, 2009

    5 is a prime number and 4 is not. And while both 4 and 5 are parts of the most famous Pythagorean Triple, 5 is the hypotenuse. I’m voting for 5.

  13. #13 cervantes
    March 31, 2009

    I thought it was spelled nurd.

  14. #14 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    1. Let a and b be equal non-zero quantities,
    a = b,
    2. Multiply through by a,
    a^2 = ab,
    3. Subtract b^2,
    a^2 – b^2 = ab – b^2,
    4. Factor both sides,
    (a – b)(a + b) = b(a – b),
    5. Divide out (a – b),
    a + b = b,
    6. Observing that a = b,
    b + b = b,
    7. Combine like terms on the left,
    2b = b,
    8. Add 3b to each side,
    2b + 3b = b + 3b,
    9. Divide each term the non-zero b
    5 = 4,
    Q.E.D.

    So when you vote for answer 4, you’re really just voting for answer 5.

  15. #15 CrypticLife
    March 31, 2009

    4 is also an unlucky number in Japanese culture, and the reason that some Japanese hotels and buildings eliminate the fourth floor. Given that in anime, the hideous tentacled beast is therefore mostly likely to be on a fourth floor only accessible through the astral plane, I have to go with four.

  16. #16 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    5 is winning.

    (Cool kids vote for 5.)

  17. #17 Cuttlefish, OM
    March 31, 2009

    In all the most useful designs,
    There is beauty. Where one person pines
    For us all to vote “4”
    I will push for one more–
    Cos Limericks all have five lines*

    *There once was a man named Magoo
    Whose limericks stopped at line two.

    There once was a man from Verdunn

  18. #18 Free Lunch
    March 31, 2009

    I thought it was spelled nurd.

    Are you sure you aren’t thinking of knurd?

  19. #19 arekksu
    March 31, 2009

    Wikipedia has this to say on 4 (number):

    4 (four) is a number (duh!)

  20. #20 SteveM
    March 31, 2009

    “There is no rule #3.” I would have to have seen them do something similar; say for choice #3: “There is no choice #3″.

    Anyway, 4 being unlucky in Japan; that’s because the Japanese word for 4 is also the word “death” (shi).

    And who the heck designed that poll widget that hardcodes 5 choices? And why are they using it? … nerds.

  21. #21 Feynman
    March 31, 2009

    Brock,

    1. Let a and b be equal non-zero quantities,
    a = b

    5. Divide out (a – b),

    Can anyone point out the error here?

  22. #22 syferdet
    March 31, 2009

    I vote for answer infinty + 1.

  23. #23 Voldemort13
    March 31, 2009

    I voted 4 because I wanted to disagree with PZ.

  24. #24 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    Feynman: I was being nerdy. You’re being nerdy *and* pedantic. ;P

  25. #25 stogoe
    March 31, 2009

    Alas, I am late, but 4 v. 5 is a perfect encapsulation of what Nerd-ism is all about – pointless bickering about obscure entertainment. Like whether a Star Destroyer could obliterate the Enterprise (D). Myself, I refuse to engage in fandom wars. Except for 4 v. 5 – it’s obvious that 4 is the correct answer and the 5-lovers are just jealous.

  26. #26 SC, OM
    March 31, 2009

    Had to go with #3. I’m sentimental. And I never much cared for 4 or 5.

    This poll gives me a pretext to mention my favorite protest metachants:

    “Three word chant! Three word chant”

    and

    “Call!” “Response!” “Call!” “Response!”

  27. #27 Sarcastro
    March 31, 2009

    The Law of Fives states simply that: All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5.

    The Law of Fives is never wrong.

    ?Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00016

  28. #28 NotaPerson
    March 31, 2009

    I voted 4 because its a power of 2.

  29. #29 MrP
    March 31, 2009

    I voted for 5

    and 4 just in case (a kind of Pascal’s Wager)

  30. #30 Ritchie Annand
    March 31, 2009

    ….but four is square, man.

    …and square is the corollary of nerd.

    QED

  31. #31 Chiaroscuro
    March 31, 2009

    The present discussion could be summarized in one word:
    NEEEEEERRDS!!!!

  32. #32 Bostonian
    March 31, 2009

    @PZ #10

    Of course, you all know that now, however we vote, we are providing a meta-answer to the continuing validity of the term “nerd”.

    OK, that supplied my good hard laugh for the day. It’s also good to see that the admins at IO9 are taking the 4/5 voting with good humor. (Imagine how different that would be if we did it on a fundie or conservative website.)

  33. #33 Doo Shabag
    March 31, 2009

    Have to go with 4, because it is a square and square is a nice old-timey word for nerd.

    @Feynman
    #DIV/0!

  34. #34 Quidam
    March 31, 2009

    1. Let a and b be equal non-zero quantities,
    a = b,
    2. Multiply through by a,
    a^2 = ab,
    3. Subtract b^2,
    a^2 – b^2 = ab – b^2,
    4. Factor both sides,
    (a – b)(a + b) = b(a – b),
    5. Divide out (a – b),
    a + b = b,
    6. Observing that a = b,
    b + b = b,
    7. Combine like terms on the left,
    2b = b,
    8. Add 3b to each side,
    2b + 3b = b + 3b,
    9. Divide each term the non-zero b
    5 = 4,
    Q.E.D.

    So when you vote for answer 4, you’re really just voting for answer 5

    The key to the paradox is step 5, so 5 wins

  35. #35 Chappy
    March 31, 2009

    This is all getting a bit paradoxical. Future generations of misfits may thank us for the great 4 vs 5 debate, which is making answer 3 look correct.

  36. #36 Paul Burnett
    March 31, 2009

    arekksu wrote (#19): “Wikipedia has this to say on 4 (number): 4 (four) is a number (duh!)”

    I once wrote a very short Wikipedia article on “219483469 (number),” noting that it was of utterly no use whatsoever other than being a prime number. It was “speedily deleted.” (I guess that makes me a nerd.)

  37. #37 JackC
    March 31, 2009

    Feynman@21 – yeah – I think most of us can. But that’s what makes it fun!

    I use that formula when talking to those deluded souls that believe they are both religious and scientific, and can’t really see anything wrong with teaching alternatives to evolution in grade school.

    I mean – it’s MATH and all, right??

    JC

  38. #38 DV
    March 31, 2009

    1, 2, 3, and 5 are all part of the Fibonacci sequence. 4 is the only unique choice here; it is the only perfect square, the only non-prime (apart from 1, but that doesn’t really count imo), and the only number not part of the Fibonacci sequence.

    4 forever!
    4 for the win!
    Far, får får får? Nej, får får inte får, får får lamm.

  39. #39 kelebek
    March 31, 2009

    thanks

  40. #40 Feynmaniac
    March 31, 2009

    #21 was me. Apologies, not trying to morph.

    I was being nerdy. You’re being nerdy *and* pedantic. ;P

    Yes, now all I got to do is be geeky to win the Socially Awkward Triple Crown.
    _ _ _

    5 is better than 4. Not only is it a prime, but it’s a Mersenne prime AND a Fermat prime. Also, symmetry groups of order 5 or higher are not solvable. Therefore there is no general solution in terms of radicals to polynomials of degree 5 or higher.

    Clearly 5 is better.

  41. #41 D'oh!
    March 31, 2009

    See…whenever a troll drops in and claims we are sheeple who mindlessly agree with PZ on everything, we voters for 4 can proudly puff out our chests and say “But I voted for 4.”

  42. #42 Rob C.
    March 31, 2009

    Surprisingly enough, there might really be a case for “4”. No joke! V. I. Arnold (the “A” in KAM theory) argues quite persuasively that “4” is somehow “the right answer” for a bunch of important geometric problems that have deep, serious implications for physics and the nature of reality. The only one I can remember (vaguely) was something about the number of cusps in caustics, which isn’t very convincing, I am afraid. However, his book “Huyghens and Barrow, Newton and Hooke” is well worth reading for people interested in the history of mathematics and science, and so perhaps as a nerdy “Easter Egg” you should all go read it. One quote from memory: “It is Leibniz who brought analysis to the state in which we know it today: that is, fit to be taught by those who do not understand it, to those who will never understand it.”

  43. #43 Cat of Many Faces
    March 31, 2009

    Well, seeing as i actually AM a Discordian…

    I voted with my foot

  44. #44 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    Why does everybody keep forgetting that 1 is a perfect square (and cube, and its own nth root, etc)? 4 seems kinda weak in comparison.

    But choice 1 in the poll is painfully lame (far more dorky than nerdy), so you may as well vote for the first good prime, which is 5.

  45. #45 Doo Shabag
    March 31, 2009

    @Feynmaniac #40

    5 is not a Mersenne prime. Your argument falls apart, 4 is superior.

  46. #46 Feynmaniac
    March 31, 2009

    Correction: “symmetry groups of order 5 or higher are not solvable” in #40 should read “symmetric groups Sn where n if 5 or greater are not solvable”. Apologies for the great distress this may have caused.

  47. #47 Michelle
    March 31, 2009

    Six.

    I mean, third base.

    I mean…

  48. #48 Fedaykin
    March 31, 2009

    Exception in thread “main” java.lang.ArithmeticException: / by zero
    at DivideByZeroNoExceptionHandling.quotient(
    DivideByZeroNoExceptionHandling.java:10)
    at DivideByZeroNoExceptionHandling.main(
    DivideByZeroNoExceptionHandling.java:22)
    at PharyngulaCommentFourteen(PharyngulaComment.java:9)

  49. #49 Feynmaniac
    March 31, 2009

    5 is not a Mersenne prime. Your argument falls apart, 4 is superior.

    Arg, I meant it’s a Mersenne prime exponent ( 25 – 1= 31 -> prime).

    That’s it, no more posting until I get my coffee.

  50. #50 Zombie
    March 31, 2009

    io9 is terrible.

  51. #51 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    @Feynmaniac: I doubt I’m alone now in thinking the Socially Awkward Triple Crown should be a real award…

  52. #52 Ranson
    March 31, 2009

    I think I’ll vote for however many lights there are. Can someone tell me how many lights there are?

  53. #53 B. Scott Andersen
    March 31, 2009

    My amateur radio (ham) call sign is “NE1RD”. I think I voted in this poll a long time ago!

    — Scott

  54. #54 Phoenix Woman
    March 31, 2009

    O/T, but important, especially for Texans: Per a TFN e-mail alert, Texas is determined to outdo the Wahabists of the Taliban and Saudi Arabia in contempt for science:

    The Texas Senate will vote as early as tomorrow on a measure that could prohibit all embryonic stem cell research in state and private laboratories. In fact, the language of the ban is written so broadly it likely prohibits embryonic stem cell research in state buildings or by state employees even if a grant for the work came from some other entity. The language could even potentially eliminate in-vitro fertilization research in the state!

    This is the most dangerous attack on stem cell research we have seen in Texas to date. And it will be voted on in the Senate this week.

    If we don’t convince senators to strip this ban out of the state budget, Texas could quickly become a backwater for scientific research.

    1. PLEASE contact your state senator and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (512-463-0001) immediately! Tell them to remove the stem cell funding ban from the budget.
    2. Then forward this e-mail to your friends and family. Tell them this issue is important to you and ask for their help.

  55. #55 conelrad
    March 31, 2009

    But…but…4 is the square of the
    only even prime!

  56. #56 aratina
    March 31, 2009

    I voted 4 because without it we wouldn’t be able to write the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything and because 4 is the number of legs on a grasshopper :> and because octopi have no middle finger.

  57. #57 lordshipmayhem
    March 31, 2009

    The answer is OBVIOUS: it just has to be 42!!!

  58. #58 JackC
    March 31, 2009

    Scott@53 – hey! It’s better than your last one!!

    de n4ffd

    JC

  59. #59 Lorkas
    March 31, 2009

    RE: #37

    1 is also a perfect square, but 4>1.

  60. #60 Fourtune 500
    March 31, 2009

    4>5!!!!

  61. #61 Strangebrew
    March 31, 2009

    47*

    Six.
    I mean, third base.
    I mean…

    Wot?…who got to third base?…(what is third base actually?)

  62. #62 Blake Stacey
    March 31, 2009

    The argument here over whether to answer 4 or 5 is far more interesting than the back-and-forth at io9 about the original question.

  63. #63 xebecs
    March 31, 2009

    I voted 4 5.

    Also, Cuttlefish: well done.

  64. #64 aratina
    March 31, 2009
  65. #65 ???
    March 31, 2009

    I voted for answer 6.

  66. #66 co
    March 31, 2009
    Fibonacci’s original sequence doesn’t contain 4, ’tis true, but the generalizations (all called ‘Fibonacci sequences’) can easily include 4: 0, 2, 2, 4, 6, 10, … is one example.
  67. #67 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    5 is the best because it’s the biggest.

  68. #68 Blake Stacey
    March 31, 2009
  69. #69 co
    March 31, 2009

    Response to myself in #66:
    Actually, the generalization is more formally called a “Lucas sequence”, which includes the Fibonacci sequence as a special case.

  70. #70 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    Also, 4 is lame because it’s all pointy.

  71. #71 Ranson
    March 31, 2009

    Many thanks, aratina :)

    Frankly, with this crowd, I was shocked it didn’t come up sooner.

  72. #72 davem
    March 31, 2009

    Four:

    The only number whose square root can be added to itself to make the square again.

    Its square root can be raised to the power of its square root to make itself.

    It’s the number of fundamental forces of nature.

    It’s the first digit of 42, and is followed by its square root in the number 42. Obviously, it’s the number behind the answer to everything.

    ..and the ultimate answer for this blog: it’s the number of arms on each side of a squid. ’nuff said.

    I’m really surprised anyone is taking 5 seriously as a contender.

  73. #73 Blake Stacey
    March 31, 2009

    Cuttlefish, OM (#17):

    That’s not to mention the scandalous limerick about the Emperor Nero.

  74. #74 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 31, 2009

    Voted for 5, simply because that’s exactly how many Intelligently Designed fingers we all have (great for holding bananas). Except for the ones who have gotten too close to dangerous machinery of course.. BUT THAT’S HOW MANY THEY STARTED WITH.

  75. #75 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    Five is the number of the pentagram, which is useful for scaring away Christians.

  76. #76 Qwerty
    March 31, 2009

    Brock @ 14: Is that the new math?

    Cuttlefish, OM @ 17: I am sure I could sense your next line which would be:

    There once was a handsome hero.

    p.s. – Every good and bad poker hand has five cards; so, I voted for five. Nerds rule.

  77. #77 aratina
    March 31, 2009

    Also, 4 is lame because it’s all pointy.

    Depends on what font you use. In some fonts, 4 is square.

  78. #78 Mystyk
    March 31, 2009

    @ Strangebrew (#61):

    Wot?…who got to third base?…(what is third base actually?)

    Please see this handy reference.

  79. #79 blf
    March 31, 2009

    The poll fails to contain the correct answer, 42. Therefore, it is a Vogon plot. The winner will be treated to a live reading of Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning. This is a very rare experience, enjoyed only by those those have been nailed to the floor.

    Everyone who votes for the wrong answer?which, of course, is all of them?will be removed to make way for a vitally important hyperspacial sewer pipe. Along with the planet.

  80. #80 Brock
    March 31, 2009

    @Qwerty (#76): Yeah, New Math is great. Learning is much easier when you don’t have to obey the ground rules, like that kid who complained that his bio paper shouldn’t have to conform to standards of evidence and therefore he could freely invoke the metaphysical ;)

    @Flori-DUH Rob (#74): I dunno about you, but I started with 10 fingers :p They’re just conveniently grouped in fives.

    @AdamK (#75): Five is also the sides on the Pentagon, which controls our thought patterns in cooperation with the Bavarian Illuminati. You only *think* you want to scare away sheepy christians because that’s what *they* want you to think, ya get me?

  81. #81 Kirian
    March 31, 2009

    Any number larger than 4 seems to show up on my calculator here as simply “A Suffusion of Yellow.”

    I can’t see any good reason to vote for a suffusion of yellow, so I have to go with 4.

  82. #82 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    There are so many important points and persuasive arguments on this thread, I may have to start from the beginning, mull it all over, and possibly rethink my vote altogether!

  83. #83 charley
    March 31, 2009

    I voted with my 4-chambered heart, not my 5-holed head.

  84. #84 Woody
    March 31, 2009

    I would have voted for any prime number. (5) seemed the prim-est…

    Are Fibonacci numbers also ‘prime?’

  85. #85 ddd
    March 31, 2009

    What, so now you’re going to bash every inane Internet poll out there? Wow. Whatever you do, stay away from Facebook.

  86. #86 Feynmaniac
    March 31, 2009

    Are Fibonacci numbers also ‘prime?

    Not necessarily. The first few Fibonacci numbers are 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21…..The first two numbers are 0 and 1. After that each number is the sum of the previous two.

    A Fibonacci prime, as the name suggest, is a Fibonacci number which is also prime. It is currently unknown if there are an infinite number of them.

  87. #87 uksceptic
    March 31, 2009

    Not to be swayed by PZ’s clearly arbitrary choice of the number 5 I have gone for 4 which is clearly a far superior number.

    If you need the reasons why then you are obviously not a nerd.

  88. #88 'Tis Himself
    March 31, 2009

    Being a geek rather than a nerd, I had to vote for the non-nerdy answer, i.e. 4.

  89. #89 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    I hear the Catholic Church is currently screening their seminary applicants in order to weed out any who have the appearance of being likely to vote 4.

  90. #90 Eric Paulsen
    March 31, 2009

    What happened to 42?

  91. #91 svihura
    March 31, 2009

    I prefer 100 as opposed to 101.

  92. #92 William
    March 31, 2009

    They should have included Plan 9, since that would have incorporated both Answer 4 & 5.

  93. #93 Bluegrass
    March 31, 2009

    FOUR MORE FOR 4!

  94. #94 TerilynnS
    March 31, 2009

    I voted for four. Someone up there said that only cool people voted for five. I’m a nerd(AND a geek). So I had to vote for four.

  95. #95 AdamK
    March 31, 2009

    Answer 5 is currently at 50%, with the four incorrect answers splitting up the remainder. (Answer 4, at 17%, is in second place.)

  96. #96 Charles Tye
    March 31, 2009

    4 or 5? Let’s check out A000045 in the OEIS.

    PZ was right, this is a Fibonacci question after all.

  97. #97 Mobius
    March 31, 2009

    4. Answer 4 is clearly superior. After all, 4 is the square of a prime number, and the only such square that is even.

  98. #98 Jon
    March 31, 2009

    Ah, but 4 is both a perfect square and the square of a prime number. More square = more nerd = vote 4.

  99. #99 RichVR
    March 31, 2009

    Answer 5 it is. Gotta trust an Italian.

  100. #100 Elwood Herring
    March 31, 2009

    If it was my poll I would have had these choices:

    Answer 4: Answer 5 is correct
    Answer 5: Answer 4 is correct

    And even possibly:

    Answer 6: I refuse to vote on this silly poll!

  101. #101 Alan C
    March 31, 2009

    nerds are nonconformists, so if you voted for 5, the most popular answer, you are not a nerd.

  102. #102 cap
    March 31, 2009

    i got to the link, clicked it, and voted for “Answer 5.”
    then looked and found out half of everyone else voted “Answer 5.” then read the rest of the post to see that pz voted “Answer 5″.

    i have a debate today in political science class. hopefully when i get asked a difficult question i’ll be able to just say “Answer 5″ and have half of the class agree with me.

    -cap

  103. #103 www.10ch.org
    March 31, 2009

    4 = 2+2 = 2*2 = 2^2

  104. #104 Hairhead
    March 31, 2009

    Nerd is a term of pride, a compliment. It stands for:

    Nearly

    Everything

    Radical

    Dude

    or (from the Simpsons)

    Not

    Even

    Remotely

    Dorky

    not to mention:

    Nonpareil

    Excellent

    Revolutionary

    Defenestrators (for the macho ones)

    Any other suggestions?

  105. #105 Susannah
    March 31, 2009

    #41:

    See…whenever a troll drops in and claims we are sheeple who mindlessly agree with PZ on everything, we voters for 4 can proudly puff out our chests and say “But I voted for 4.”

    Me, too!

  106. #106 anthonzi
    March 31, 2009

    Wow, they’re talking about nerds and they don’t even know how to script their polls properly?

  107. #107 Dahan
    March 31, 2009

    I just don’t agree with you on this PZ.

    Four’s the number to go with in this case. I think you need to revisit this after a long and prayerful look at the things the number four has to offer. God bless you in this struggle.

    I suppose I’ll have to add: ;)

  108. #108 Ryan
    April 1, 2009

    I wanted to vote for a winner so I voted for # 5. I saw over 50% did as well.

  109. #109 MissPrism
    April 1, 2009

    SC #26, your “three word chant!” chant reminded me of a chap I knew who started the following chant at a protest:

    What do we want? A radical change to EU transport policy!
    When do we want it? At the next intergovernmental conference!

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was a physicist.

  110. #110 croor singh
    April 1, 2009

    Personally, I had to vote for Answer 5. After all, 5 is a term in the Fibonacci sequence, while 4 is not.

    technically, a fibonacci sequence is defined only by the addition rule. you can start with any two numbers as initial conditions. take -1 and 2, for example, and you’ll find that 4 is a member of the sequence, not 5.

  111. #111 Don Smith
    April 1, 2009

    But “Five is right out” so I voted for 4.

    Before the sequence there was the Fibonacci cycle: start with 0 and 0 and after 4? terms you end up back at the beginning.

  112. #112 Lotharloo
    April 1, 2009

    Five wins!!!!
    It is the first number that invalidates Fermat’s conjecture!
    2^2^0 + 1 = 3
    2^2^1 + 1 = 5

    2^2^4 + 1 = 65537 (prime)
    2^2^5 + 1 = 4294967297 (not prime!)

    So, 5 beats Fermat so 5 wins!

  113. #113 Michelle
    April 1, 2009

    what is third base actually?

    I don’t know.

  114. #114 Hairhead
    April 1, 2009

    Oh come off it, even I TOTAL nerd, know the bases:

    First base: kissing

    Second base: hand on breast

    Third base: hand on genitals

    Home run (score): intercourse

    Brought to you by the Home Run Nerd(tm)

  115. #115 Last Hussar
    April 1, 2009

    Now it could be argued the fact that people will not only argue for 4 or 5 proves the premise of the question is wrong, and the fact that 4 and 5 are leading proves the point.

    HOWEVER

    As every good nerd and geek knows

    thou count to three, no more, no less.

    Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.
    Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.
    Five is right out

    Ergo THREE is the correct answer- we need to preserve nerds so there is someone to quote Monty Python in the future.

  116. #116 Marvol
    April 2, 2009

    I voted 4. It is a nice round number in binary.

  117. #117 Neff
    April 18, 2009

    4 is superior.

    Without 4, 5 does not exist. Without 4, 5 is 4. 5 is dependent on there being a 4. A thing compared to that which it is dependent upon is always inferior of the two subjects.

  118. #118 kingfurniture
    January 17, 2010

    This poll gives me a pretext to mention my favorite protest metachants.

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