October 14, 2008

Choose wisely.

This is a thoroughly unscientific poll, and I’m not sure how I will interpret the results exactly, but I suspect it will speak volumes about who my readers are. There is no question, but there are eleven possible answers.

[People reading via RSS may need to visit the site to see the poll]

Update: It’s too late to add any more options without messing up the results, but I want to mention that all your suggestions have been great. I wish I had thought to include the following: 451 (for the literary crowd), 1.4 2 2.8 4 (for the photographers), 4/4 (for the musicians out there), and #000000 (for the graphic designers). I hope you were all able to find a choice that suits you anyway.


That was *easy*.

Of course it’s Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

I shouldn’t be writing this…Big brother is watching!

This is spooky - I just voted for 42 and when the results came up it shows that 42% of the votes so far have been for 42.

Coincidence? I think not!

I want to pick all of them though!

I went where imagination was, but what about “Maybe 0, maybe 1, depends”?

I see you omitted e. How irrational of you.

I see you alienated all the electrical engineers by choosing i over j. Now I’ll have to think of some other number that best defines me as a person. :D

I would never vote for pi at less than 10 decimal points.

of course the answer is always 42, it encompasses life, the universe, and everything.

woot! Givin’ a shoutout to the 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13. Second place so far! I feel like i’m in such a community.

I second the irrational lack of e.

You mean CLASSIC 90210, right? Not the lame CW show? I have to stand by Brenda, Kelly, Donna, et al. I’m just a child of the 90s, and I had to follow my heart.

It’s only fitting that the answer to this poll is 42 when the Ultimate Question is unknown.

This is spooky - I just voted for 1984 and when the results came up it shows that 11% of the votes so far have been for 1984.

Coincidence? I think not!



you have fibonacci but no primes?

Who am I?

I am Jean Valjean!

Picking 42 for everything is so lame and unoriginal.

Fibonacci FTW!

(George Frankly and Kate Monday were the best babysitters I ever wish I’d had.)

I voted i but everyone knows that engineers really call it j.

Can we assume that 1.618 is Fibonacci’s running mate?

pi is always yummy! although 42 is all encompassing .. tough choices indeed!

I was pleasantly surprised at the exclusion of 1337.

Not all engineers use j, but for pure beauty:

e^(i*pi) + 1 = 0

Huh, I really should have picked 42. I didn’t think about the fact that the poll had no question; I just think Fibonacci is more geeky than 42. Damn.

Silly, silly people. Everyone knows that if the question is imaginary, the answer is too. ^_^

Interestingly, PLZ 24601 is just outside Wankendorf, Germany.

8 5 4 9 1 7 6 3 2 0

i decry the lack of 1.618 and, especially, 1.414


Why isn’t 45100 an option? Or 3735928559? 0 and 1 are pretty important too. (I voted for the Fibonacci sequence.)

24601 that is the account number for research

I pointed my husband to this entry and while we were talking about it he voted. And now I can’t. Darn it. Darn IP trackers. I will vote from school tomorrow.

I hope you will explain them all some time. There are 2 I don’t know.

Yes, I would have picked e, had that been an option. I have an irrational fondness for it.

What, no 451?

What about everyone’s favourite number from ages 11-14? 5318008

I thought the exact same thing! I still voted for it, but reluctantly.

Who am I? 24601!

c = 3.0 x 10^8

Although there are many great choices here I have liked an option to vote for 1337.

I would have liked to have had the option of “other” with a text box to enter our own selection.

I voted for 1138. It’s the only one I don’t know.

When I voted it said this “Total votes: 1337.”

And I felt a little silly for being happy about that.

i would always’ve voted 42, but i just seen 300 and, this is spartaaaaa.

I can’t believe you omitted 23. It must been a conspiracy…


You forgot 6655321.

I’ve got fond memories of pi from high school. A bunch of my friends had a running contest during 9th grade on who could memorize the most digits.

The correct answer is 4 8 15 16 23 42.


how about


I feel really stupid for only knowing the first, third and fifth answer (I voted 42 of course). I wish I was more of a geek than I turn out to be!

Suggestions for arbitrary poll part 2:

00111010 00101001

Suggestions for arbitrary poll part 2:

00111010 00101001

Bah - disappointed at the extremely poor showing for 1138. Fanboi FAIL.

I wanted to vote, but “wisely” wasn’t one of the choices, so I abstained.

I voted 4 8 15 16 23 42 and when the results came up not a single one of those numbers appeared in the percentages. I feel kind of like I lost.

This was hard… I went with i… cause it’s awesome. But it was really hard to pass up 42 and the Fibonacci sequence…

1138? I’m guessing that that’s a direct reference to George Lucas.

As in “THX1138” his first film. I believe the number has been spotted in most other films of his too. See this link for more info:


What happened to “37”?

I would have voted for π had it actually been on the poll. 3.14 indeed. I went for i.

I’m disappointed at the lack of a 1701 answer :)

I’d have voted for e if it were there or π if there were more digits, so it came down to Fibonacci vs. i. Lately I’ve been on a fractal kick again, so i won out.

Another missed # —> 137

I ended up having to go with Fibonacci. But hey, I recognizing all of the numbers!

No 1.618?

Where the hell is 47?

“Publish failed: Renaming tempfile ‘/home/25821/domains/ironicsans.com/html/polls/david/2008/10/index.php.new’ failed: Renaming ‘/home/25821/domains/ironicsans.com/html/polls/david/2008/10/index.php.new’ to ‘/home/25821/domains/ironicsans.com/html/polls/david/2008/10/index.php’ failed: No such file or directory”

And all I wanted was to vote for the Fibonacci sequence…


Engineers use j because i was already taken. Far be it from them to change THEIR convention and foist off a name change on some other field. The cads.

where’s the 23? ;)

I know all of them except 24601… what’s the significance of that one?

Where are your powers of 2? I would have voted for that in a heartbeat if it had been listed. Oh well, 1984 it is…………..

What, no 2112? For shame!

Here I sit, serving your tax dollars, feeling like THX 1138….

I’m with the others - 1138 should RULE.

I’m with the others - 1138 should RULE.

Mitternach had the right idea. If you’d just offered “0” and “1” as possibilities, we could have just left the waveform uncollapsed. Everybody wins!

What about 2813308004?
Kidding, I always go with 1138, but because of the Star Wars reference. I’m all about prisoner transfers.

What about 2813308004?
Kidding, I always go with 1138, but because of the Star Wars reference. I’m all about prisoner transfers.

What about 2813308004?
I always go with 1138, but because of the Star Wars reference. I’m all about prisoner transfers.

It’s all about 5318008. Nothing more, nothing less.

Since the question is unknown, the ONLY logical answer could be 42.

I’m disappointed not to see 1 4 9 in there.

Scott: In the movie it was 655321 and most people have seen the movie and not read the book, so it would sort of be unfair.

nickf: Why 11-14 only? I’m 35 and it’s still one of my favorite numbers.

For the record, I went with 42 since we don’t know the question, and it is the ultimate answer.

I’m completely shocked that Fibonacci is doing so well, but I couldn’t vote for anything else. i is irrational, and Pi to two decimal places isn’t really Pi.

I don’t know what 4 8 15 16 23 42 is, though… maybe if I knew I’d have chosen differently.

I’m completely shocked that Fibonacci is doing so well, but I couldn’t vote for anything else. Imaginary numbers cause oscillation, and Pi to two decimal places isn’t really Pi.

I don’t know what 4 8 15 16 23 42 is, though… maybe if I knew I’d have chosen differently.

8675309 - I was pretty surprised to see a HoMM 2 cheat code in the list, I had to click it ;)

Ummm, I chose “i” because it asked you to select “one.” Well, all the other choices had more than 1 character in the answer, soooo… “i”.

Attention all planets of the solar federation, we have assumed control! Where’s my 2112, eh?

No 299,792,458 m/s? That’s my favorite.

24601 is an “interesting” zipcode. totally blank on google maps. Hrmmmmm

The world will know that free dorks stood against nerds, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even nerds can bleed*.

*a very small number of votes from a poll.

I was going to pick 3.14, being the closest number on your list to the value of pi, but it was just not close enough for me to pick - maybe if it went on for more than 10 digits…. Thought about i, but I don’t like imaginary numbers. So I went with the classic HHGttG number of 42. If you had “pi” there, I would have picked that.

I also wanted either e to the pi i or 8675309.

538 would have had considerable topical value for the politics Junkies out there.

One way to make a question tougher on a test is to allow for more than one answer to be correct. I think many of us would have been much happier to vote for *all* answers that invoked pleasure. The resultant spread would have been interesting: which answers don’t spur enough loyalty when there isn’t a penalty for picking all that apply?

I wanted to vote for e (2.718281828459045…).

To the person who asked: 24601 is a reference to the novel Les Miserables.

I’d suggest 6.02x10^23, but I fear I’d be the only chemist out there voting for it.

I would’ve voted 32768

1138. Cause it inspired 138. Which we are.

I… I didn’t see the 24601. I went with 3.14 because I was eating pie from my pi plate at the time. There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.

I love being one percent of the populace.

“Come back with your shield, or on it.”

Man, Where’s 29.97? I had to go with 1138.

69, dudes!

I’m a big fan of phi myself, but I had to go with i, my favorite imaginary number.

It’s only fitting that the answer to this poll is 42 when the Ultimate Question is unknown.

Anyone who has read the series would know the question to the answer is 8x6 (read Restaurant at the End of the Universe.) Obviously you haven’t read the series.

376.73313 would have gotten my vote.

ncc-1701 ?

I would have picked “i”, but since I am an EE we call it “j”, and I didn’t recognize it at first. So I had to resort to Fibonacci.

I agree with some above posters. “e” really should have been there, and pi needs a few more digits, at least, to be recognizable as pi.

Salutations, gentlefolk,

Wondering how many of those who chose 42 did so in honor of the person who wore it ?

Yours, John

Also a push for 1.618.

I would like to have seen more ones and zeros….

Hey, I think you should make another poll, and include lots more numbers.

Next time you’ve got to include 634-5789.

2 - 3, 2

Zac brings up a good point, by including j you could have fleshed out the engineers from the mathematicians/physicists

It looks like there aren’t too many “Lost” fans here…4 8 15 16 23 42 are the “cursed” numbers that add up to 108 (the central number on the show). Being a die hard Lost fan, I nearly cried when I saw that sequence as part of the list.

42 = jackie…

Biggest CHANGE 4 HOPE ever

Where was tits? How could you leave out tits as an answer? Not fair..not fair at all!

Crap, there’s always an essay component

Crap, there’s always an essay component

Now; tell me what a VP actually does?

Go 24601!!

But while here, let’s examine something. I’m sure you’re all aware of this recent craze over numerology and dates (ie - June 6, 2006 was supposed to be the end of the world, bad day to get married/have a baby, etc while July 7 2007 was a lucky day). Well, October 10, 2010 written in numeric form is 101010. 101010 is the binary number for 42. In short, 101010 will be the day that mice take over the Earth and we finally get the question!

Well, I picked the Fibonacci sequence since there wasn’t a 2 10 11 for eyes, fingers, toes. Yeah, I’m and Addams fan…

I think an important number in our culture would be, ‘16’.

it’s the perfect square…4 times 4

two squares, squared…the perfect geek.

Odd — I picked 42 for no apparent reason, other than it looked nice. I was surprised to find it was the most popular answer, and now I guess I finally have to read Hitchiker’s Guide….

I’m surprised there isn’t more shoutout to 47…

I’d just like to point out that I voted for 1984 in relation to the Van Halen album and not the novel by Geore Orwell.

Thank you.

42 all the way man.


but I was tempted by others too (1984/the fibonacci series/i)

Where’s 867-5309?

7/4 for Prog heads.

23 for the memory of RAW

90125 for the Yes fans

11:11 for Rufus Wainwright’s listeners

dead beef…

I get it :)


8675309 I loved that song…child of the 80s here!

634-5789 would be a good option too.

I always used to pester my math teacher with useless hypotheticals involving imaginary numbers. Got to go with ‘i’ ^.=.^