Monday, October 22, 2007

DorkFest '07 -- The Awards Ceremony

Well, I’d have to say that Dorkfest ’07 exceeded expectations. Congratulations to all of the dorks who participated. You did yourselves proud. You lurker dorks who didn’t participate – you guys were awesome, too.


Anyone who has looked at the entries knows that there’s no way I could simply “pick the dorkiest dork.” No way. The range of dork styles and genres on parade here defies simplistic selection. A sophisticated problem demands sophisticated tools. I would be remiss in not availing myself of quantitative methods.

We begin, as we must, with a simple subjective judgment of each entrant’s overall dorky impression, impact, essence, je ne sais quoi. Each submission was assigned a score of 3 to 8 on an implied scale of 1 to 10, wherein the extremes of the scale would represent truly neurotic or, worse, truly boring behavior. This score was the entrant’s Subjective Score, or Ss.

The Subjective Score then receives content-based adjustments according to the following criteria:
  • Online material submitted as evidence = +2
  • Making unnecessary correction to one’s own trivial grammatical errors = +2
  • Citation of scary computer code = +3
  • Cats = +2
  • Use of any of the following words or phrases = +1
“giggle with glee”
“They Might Be Giants”
“My fondness for keystroke commands”
“fan fiction”

  • Use of ostensibly dorky characteristics in successful pickup of member of opposite sex = -3 penalty
Thus modified, the Ss becomes the Gross Adjusted Score, or Sg.

An attitudinal index, A, is compiled by adding any of the following that apply:
  • Going on and on and on in one’s entry in a clearly compulsive fashion = 3 points
  • Returning after one’s original entry to produce supplemental evidence = 1 point/instance
  • Claiming not to be qualified, then showing up later with an entry = 1 point
  • Questioning or contesting the definition of “dork” or “dorky” = 3 points

A demonstrative index, D, compiles surrogate measures of eagerness/willingness to demonstrate dorky elements of ones personality; it is the sum of any of the following that apply:
  • Talking trash to/about other contestants, or the host = 2 points
  • Showing awe or admiration of other contestants = 1 point
  • Attempting to appropriate the dorkyness of one’s life partner = 1 point
  • Claiming, but electing not to elucidate, additional unspecified dorkyness = -2 points

A final Net Dorkyness Score, Sn, is derived by multiplying the Gross Adjusted Score, plus a constant, by the square root of the product of double the attitudinal index plus the demonstrative index plus one.The Dorky Winners!

First of all, a nod to Chance, who stumbled into this thing more or less accidentally, and escaped as the Least Dorky L&TM5K reader with a NDS of only 5.0.

#5 Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a tie for 5th. The first of them ululates, collects old bric-a-brac, and can usually be found with her nose in the latest copy of Professional Door Dealer: my own beloved Mrs.5000! The second grasps a pencil in one hand to fill out the Word Jumble, and a Q-Tip in the other hand for, whatever. Karin!

They share an NDS of 33.941, ahead of Heatherbee by less than .3 of a point.

#4 In the mysterious, shadowy world of X-files fandom, we may never really understand "The Truth" about who was the dorkiest fan. But MyDogIsChelsea, working with one hundred Derek Jeeters and David Duchovnys gazing beatifically down from her bedroom walls, made her case with panache. She scored an NDS of 36.000.

#3 I've known him for twenty years, thinking of him as a relatively sane and straightforward sort of guy. But today we've learned that Mark Witteman is skilled is some strange and mystical ways. Dorky ways. And frankly, I'm frightened. But impressed. His NDS is 37.041.

The Runner-Up

The second dorkiest L&TM5K reader in all of DorkFest '07 can check the her database of hours and tell you exactly when, on any day of her life, she was sorting her CDs by region, grooving with the editorial board of the New York Times, or brushing her cat's teeth. It's not the greatest distinction she's had this week -- more on that soon -- but I'm sure that, with her NDS of 37.417, fingerstothebone will be happy to be the Vice Dork of DorkFest '07!!!

And the Winner is.....

Ghost Blogger for Learned Claw and Erik the Red, connoisseur of Harry Potter fan fiction, seductress of the guidebook, the Dork of DorkFest '07 is a level 66 human mage from the city of New York, New York. Maybe she didn't get into Brown. So what. This is better. She is our winner, and will soon be the proud holder of the Mr. Shain Memorial Starbucks Card! Yes, with a whopping NDS of 39.799, the #1 Dork of the L&TM5K Readership is: g!
Get me your address, g. $15.60 in delicious coffee beverages are yours for the drinking.
{long, sustained applause}


Anonymous said...

w00t! #4 ain't bad, but clearly I should've returned a few more times with more supplemental evidence.

(self-assigned bonus points for using the word "w00t")

You know, my friend Rebecca actually holds regular Dorkfest meetings at which she and her 'other' friends (you know, the kind that you know but don't really know) give presentations to each other about topics of their choice. A recent topics was: the real difference between yams and sweet potatoes.

Anonymous said...

PS, it's Jeter.

Anonymous said...

Double PS, I used the word "know" four times in the third paragraph of my first comment. Is there a way to edit that out? It's kind of embarrassing.

G said...

Full disclosure: I just stood up, yelled "Yes!" and clapped my hands together in a very self-congratulatory way.

For all you WoW fans: w00t!

gl. said...

too bad i couldn't play this round, but i loved reading the entries. even so, i'm such a dork that i don't like to compete on anything.

shu-ju, sven also tracks his entire day in 15-minute intervals, but he does it in one of those year-at-a-glance books. :)

fingerstothebone said...

Yay! I almost won, I almost won!!!

gl, I'm not sure which is dorkier -- not using a database or using a database for this purpose.

Karin said...

Just to be clear: I use a PEN to do the Word Jumble.


Karin said...

M5k: You really ARE a Math head.

Heatherbee said...

Um, Michael? What was K in your formula? I think I missed something. More likely it's just one of those constants that mathy people take for granted. But for those of us who live in self-exile from the once belov'd land of Math, would you please elucidate?

Rex Parker said...

And again I say, anyone so competitive for the award does not deserve the award. She secretly believes she is totally cool, which is not dorky at all! Computer guy was robbed. Actually, mydog should've been way more competitive than #4. Let the conspiracy theories begin.


PS "K" is, of course, potassium.

Rebel said...

You realize though, your methodology trumps all the other entries. ;)

Dork on people!

G said...

@rex: a) stop letting your jealously cloud your judgment. I mean, did you read my entries? Come on: I've got the depth and breadth.
c) According to your theory of dorkdom, must one always be ashamed of one's dorkiness? Perhaps I'm just a very emotionally well-adjusted dork who has decided that, instead of allowing myself to feel persecuted and badly about myself for being dorky, I shall embrace my dorkdom and tell those punks what I could never muster the guts to tell them in middle school: "F*ck off. I'm fine just the way I am." So maybe I'm a brave dork.
d) I never said totally cool. I said "pretty cool" and "the me that I am is AWESOME." And I'm right. Being AWESOME and being dorky are not incompatible. Why must dorks only be objects of derision? Why must they only be depressed and embarrassed about themselves? That's not very nice. The whole "let your dork flag fly" was about CELEBRATING our dorkdom!

So meh. I challenge you to a duel in WoW, if simulated physical violence is the only way to silence your objections.

P.S. I like your blog about books. Very nice.

Rex Parker said...

An "Emotionally well-adjusted" dork. What, are we having an oxymoron contest now?

You are right, though. It *is* scientific. I don't have a comeback for that one. Numbers don't lie.

And I *am* probably jealous, it's true, in that I get stars in every damned quiz Michael throws down, but couldn't even place fifth in this contest. Only a dork could be sad about being found undorky.

When you say you are "pretty cool" and "not unpretty" (or whatever phrase you used), be honest - you meant "I am cool and hot, especially compared to you dorks." False modesty = Undorky.

There's "celebrating your dorkdom," and then there's "engaging in a bragfest so other dorks will think you are like a god." Modesty is not shame, and celebrating is compulsive competitiveness.

That said, bravery in the face of the anti-dorks is of course admirable. And your challenging me to a duel in something I don't understand pretty much proves you are a bigger dork than I.

And your cats write a great blog.


Rex Parker said...

NOT. NOT NOT NOT. "Celebrating is NOT compulsive competitiveness." Actually, I probably mean "not necessarily." Ugh. And I have the nerve to slam my students for their poor proofreading skills.


blythe said...

look grace! you finally won something! i knew it would happen someday!

Michael5000 said...

@Karin: It's a gift. Sorry about the "pencil" gaffe; I knew better.

@Heatherbee: As Rex says, "K" is potassium.

@Rex: MyDog was the one who set the bar high, and certainly has my respect and admiration for that. Computer Guy will respect my methods.

@Rebel: I'd say "honors" rather than "trumps."


1: For what it's worth, Mrs.5000 thinks you were robbed. We all know you're a big dork. Group hug.

2: Maybe she meant "I am cool and hot, as are you my fellow dorks." That's how I chose to take it. But then, I'm delusional.

3: Thanks for the shout-out in the crossword blog!

fingerstothebone said...

You mean I could've scored higher had I used some computer stuff in my entry too? I could've done that! In my sleep. Easy.

So now I'm reduced to trying find nudy photos of g in an effort to dethrone her...

blythe said...

also, can i just say how weird this is? g and shain are both my good friends (by friends, i of course mean people who hang out with me to make fun of me and feel better about themselves)from opposite ends of my life, 2000 miles apart, who are now sharing a starfucks GC via a random blog. WEIRD! but not dorky.

Michael5000 said...

@Blythe: It's like Chaos theory in action. I think what happened is that the [Cherry] Ride started commenting on my friend ChuckDaddy's blog, one thing led to another, some alcohol was probably involved, and that's the way we all became the Brady Bunch. I'm not clear on how [Cherry] found ChuckDaddy, or how he knows you/Mr. Shain, though.

G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

In gathering my last shreds of tied-for-fifth-place wifely dignity, I would just like to point out that I don't actually *read* Professional Door Dealer.

And, yes, Rex, I know his numbers seem unassailable, but some of the methodology behind the numbers just might crumble under rigorous dorkologist review. I do question the use of potassium, for instance, when harmonium was clearly the element called for.

Rebel said...

LOL - exactly what color is Harmonium anyway?

Karin said...

LOL! You kids. Gotta love ya.

Mr. Shain said...

you g, there was $20 on that card when this started...

Bridget said...

I am sitting here in a bumblebee costume surfing blogs at 11 pm (which I wore to attend a wedding reception for a craft store and a do-it-yourself workshop location) when I really need to be out at Kinko's making photocopies so that I can finish a jewelry project. I may not feel like dork, but I suspect that I am . . .

However, I do not have a cat.

That, combined with my supreme tardiness, probably puts me out of the running . . .