My Congressman Can Beat Up Your Supercomputer

This got posted late-night, so I’m retitling with an Update and pulling it up top again for anybody who missed it.

Update: We’re getting a little detail now on Holt v. Watson. Holt reminds us math & science education is key, and research & development is important: “While it was fun to out-do Watson for one night in trivia; it is vital that, as a nation, we out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world for generations to come.” Holt lead in categories Presidential Rhyme Time and Also a Laundry Detergent proving his knowledge both historical and practical. And he knew what Hippophobia is the fear of. It’s not hippos. – – Rosi

To cries of Go humanity! Rush Holt beat the Watson supercomputer that stumped all-time Jeopardy winner Ken Jennings tonight. So maybe Scott Sipprelle, Michael Halfacre & Bill Spadea and any of the other Republicans who tried to take Holt’s congressional seat can feel better about their lives now. They never had a chance.
My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist

This was an exhibition game hosted by IBM. Watson took on 5 congressmen in the Watson vs. Members tournament: Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Nan Hayworth (R-NY), Jim Himes (D-CT) and Holt.

more below

Rush Holt is a 5-time Jeopardy winner. But Himes was a Rhodes Scholar. Himes had the crowd in his corner when he bet everything on a question about a chicken recipe.

But at the end of his round, Rush Holt had Holt scored 8,600 points to Watson’s 6,200, the only lawmaker to beat Watson. Watson is fresh off scoring a major victory over Ken Jennings, who won more than $3 million phrasing it in the form of a question in Jeopardy’s longest-running streak.

Of course, this being Rush My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist Holt, you can imagine that even as he was playing he had a corner of his brain working the issues of research and congressional funding for supercomputers like so many Rubik’s cubes. And, I’m pretty sure Holt kicked Watson’s tires after, looked in the back, punched up a few buttons, whatever people do with supercomputers.

Getting ready for his man vs. machine moment today, @RushHolt tweeted:

Although Watson was just a little Atari when I was on the show 3 decades ago, he’s grown up & I’m slower than I was then. I watch in awe.

I’m a little in awe, myself. My old boss is a rocket scientist.  

Comments (5)

  1. deciminyan

    Congressman Holt is a “buy” in David Corn’s “Trading in Washington” post today.

    Unlike Rush, my congressman could not beat a pet rock in an independent thinking contest.

  2. Alex

    I’m actually registered as an independent so I don’t think I’m being partisan if I wonder aloud that, if it had been a Republican had done this, the GOP would be gloating loudly about how smart they are. But instead, it was the guy the GOP worked hard to bring down this past election who won an is rather modest about it. Rush Holt continues to do his constituents proud in how he votes, what he sponsors, how he speaks out on issues, and now how he uses this as an opportunity to remind us of the need for continued innovation.

  3. Bertin Lefkovic

    …if there is any justice in the next redistricting effort, he will be.

    As much as I love the way that Rush Holt votes, I do not love the deal that he made with Mike Ferguson 10 years ago that made both of their districts far too safe from a small-d democratic perspective.

    Yes, he did have a close call in 2010 as did Ferguson in 2006, but both elections were momentum elections that both incumbents survived due to the demographics of their districts.  Both would have lost if they were running for re-election in the districts that they represented after the 2000 elections.

    As much as I would like to see Rush Holt remain in the Congress for the foreseeable future, I am more interested in small-d democracy and competitive elections.  Thus, it is my hope that the 7th and 12th districts are restored when the congressional map is redrawn with Holt and Leonard Lance running against one another in a winner-take-all general election campaign in 2012.

    If this happened, I wonder if Lance would survive a Tea Party-backed primary challenge from Scott Sipprelle or Mike “Twinkle Twinkle Kenneth Starr” Pappas.


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