Thursday, January 20, 2011

TV, and Real Life Collide

No, this isn't a "Reality TV" article, which would be very short if I wrote it.  I can't stand "reality tv" with the exceptions of "Ghost Hunters" (Which I will be writing another article sometime explaining that most of the Ghost Hunters show is faked.)  Hollywood Treasure, which can't really be classified as "reality tv" and Storage Wars.  I have no excuse for the third one, it is just fun to watch sometimes.

No, today's article, I want to discuss Deadliest Warrior.  I am not a huge fan of the show, but it is often time entertaining simply for it's over the top style and setup.  A whole hour of "experts" dedicated to talking smack about the other team, giving an "edge" to one competitor or the other, and then compiling the data, and running the "simulation program" 1000 times, to factor out the lucky hit.  So, after all is said and done, you have a "Deadliest Warrior". 
Let's weigh the good of the show vs the bad. Or, as they say on Deadliest Warrior, "We will pit the positive aspects of the show vs the negative quirks, who will come out on top? The positive aspects, or the Negative quirks?  Find out who is the Deadliest Program!"

Ok so first off the announcer is reading an Over the top script.  Most would put this in the category of negative, but I find it entertaining, simply because it is so cheesy.  On the other hand, the hype that it builds is necessary.  Entertainment is why we even watch TV, edge - Over the Top announcer Guy.

Secondly, there is the fake blood on the dummies they test their weapons on.  The gore factor.  Let's face it, I like gornography.  Like "300".  But, is it necessary, no, the doctor could simply state as he does what has happened to the "body".  And as far as using pig carcasses.  Well, anytime a dead pig is hung up, cut, run through, shot, and basically mutilated in a myriad of ways, it is a good time.  Gore necessary no, fun, sometimes.  I am giving the edge to the gore just because of the sheer entertainment value.

Next up, we have the Scientific aspect of the show.  Very little.  That is how I find the "science" content on the show.  Yes, they do use "shock patches" just to show how much force is directed to the dummy, and the doctor gives a brief explanation of the trauma that is caused (and nearly every time there is a head injury or a chest injury, he says basically the same thing.) but they could do so much more science content like "Mythbusters"  So, the edge goes to Mythbuster's Style Science content.

Historical Content.  Although, sometimes it is accurate in some small part, it is not at all completely accurate.  Like the Spartans, the show did mention they were a military society but did not mention that most of the time the Spartans would fight nude or why they would fight nude. They give a brief historical synopsis.  That is so they can allow more time for the "Experts" to trash talk. I want to know more about the warrior, without having to look it up online.  Edge - More history talk, less trash talk.

Now for the simulation program.  It is basically an data tracking software.  (like Access, or Excel)  And the reasoning the software does is known as the Monte Carlos method of randomization.  As stated on another blog that I read...

Theoretically, the Monte Carlo method might compensate for the programmers’ inability to identify the single most important factor in these warriors’ battle. (If we knew the answer to that question, there would be no need for a simulation.) Instead, they attempted to identify twenty different factors that could affect the outcome, and all the paths through which these factors can interact. In other words, they attempted to reduce mastery of the martial arts to a straightforward mathematical equation, and draw “scientific” conclusions from the use of that equation.  Whether or not these assertions are prima facie reasonable is irrelevant; dojo novices quickly learn that “reasonable” is not a working martial art. (Incidentally, this may explain why no computer scientists have yet won a UFC title.)
Let's take a look at making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  If you told the computer all the steps, would it be able to make a perfect sandwich?  Probably not, because, there is more data to put in, than we realize, from the crumb (the middle part) of the bread, to the peanut butter (crunchy, or creamy?, roasted?etc...)  and not to mention the different jellies or even bread types.  So, there is simply too much information for us to think about, and that is why we would put it into a computer and allow it to track data for us.  OK, assuming we got all the data put in, there is still the human factor to consider.  "Love" caring, whatever you want to call it, a computer can replicate a sandwich, but it is the human factor that makes it taste good.  And that is simply a sandwich, not a battle!  So, the edge goes to the entertaining re-enactment.  

Now, compiling my data, I see the show as entertaining, nothing more.  It is fun to watch despite its many scientific and historic flaws.  It is a good show to watch if nothing else is on.  

Now if we take the "Deadliest Warrior" formula to the battlefield of the 41st millennium...

Space Marine vs Ork

Armor - The marine has a better armor save, edge Space Marine
Shooting - The marine has been better trained, edge Space Marine
Close Combat - The ork is simply a brute in close combat, and the charge...edge Ork
Compiling the data, the Space Marine is the Deadliest Warrior, but Orks put off a ton of sporlings when they die, creating more orks, so Orks win!

Eldar Vs Ork
Armor - Eldar armor is lightweight, and will protect them in a pinch, the orks have no armor, edge Eldar
Shooting - The Eldar advanced weaponry is very effective at shooting, whereas the orks shoot to make noise.  Edge - Eldar
Close Combat - Again, the ork is built for combat, so edge Ork
Looking at the raw data, the Ork would be way more deadly than a basic Eldar Warrior.  Orks win!

Guard vs Ork
Orks Win!  

Necrons vs Ork
Orks Win!  

So, there you have it, even when they lose, it don't count as losin' cause orks always win.


  1. But agaist tyranids its a little more up in the air since the eat bio-matter (A.K.A. spores)