Nikola Tesla trounced Linus Torvalds for the Geek Madness Championship.
Nikola Tesla trounced Linus Torvalds for the Geek Madness Championship.
The Champ.

Follow-upWhy Nikola Tesla is the greatest geek ever


Alternating current. X-rays. Robotics. Wireless communication. Particle beam weapons. The radio. The remote control. The electric motor.

Must we go on?

These were all birthed from the great mind of Nikola Tesla, and today, GeekWire readers have handed the legend one more feather to his cap: Geek Madness Champion.

Tesla led from start-to-finish in the championship match over 14-seed Linus Torvalds, as Mr. Cinderella fell one upset short of what would have been one of the most epic underdog stories in geek history.

But it was Tesla garnering 1,764 of the votes to edge Torvalds, who still managed to do his Linux faithful proud with 1,293 votes to his name.

The line of opponents Tesla defeated is nothing short of impressive: Alexander Graham Bell, Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and finally, Torvalds.

Marc Seifer, a respected editor, professor and author of Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Geniuswas ecstatic with Tesla’s victory.

“Tesla’s accomplishments and vision simply takes one’s breath away, and so on some level, as a person who has devoted the last 37 years to studying his life and accomplishments, I am humbled and very happy that he has won this enormous honor,” Seifer said.

Seifer was gracious enough to give us some awesome insights into Tesla’s amazing life and accomplishments.

We were surprised that Einstein nor Gates made it to the championship.
We were surprised that Einstein nor Gates made it to the championship.

What a ride these last three weeks have been. This was our first-ever Geek Madness and we loved watching you all debate about your favorite geeks, whether it was the controversial first-round match between Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak on the technology side, or the close battle between Tesla and da Vinci in the Elite Eight of the math/science bracket.

We also watched — and appreciated — when readers asked why certain geeks were left out of the 32-player bracket. Dennis Ritchie was a common favorite, and so was the left-out Richard Stallman.

The definition of “geek” was also questioned. Did having more inventions mean you made the list? How about overall “impact” on the world? It was extremely difficult for us to narrow the list down to 32 and we knew we left out some big names.

Though we were satisfied with the final group, perhaps we could have done more polling of our audience to really get a better sense of what was meant by “geek” and to really nail down that list.

And that brings it back to you, the readers. The Madness is certainly coming back to GeekWire soon — we may even venture off into different topics other than geeks — so we want to hear from you in the comments what we could do to make this better for all of you.

Did you enjoy this? Was it a waste of time? What was good about it? What could have been better? The answers to these questions will make the next Madness that much more epic.

So if you’re feeling extra nostalgic today, or just simply want to relive the tournament, here’s a rundown of all our Geek Madness posts from the last few weeks:

Day 9 of Geek Madness

Day 8 of Geek Madness

Day 7 of Geek Madness

Day 6 of Geek Madness

Day 5 of Geek Madness

Day 4 of Geek Madness

Day 3 of Geek Madness

Day 2 of Geek Madness

Thanks for all your participation. It’s what drove the tournament. Till’ the next Madness…

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  • voleheart

    the #unashamedteslafanboy is very very happy

  • LD

    Torvalds beat Turing?
    Has the world gone mad?

  • F U Zuckerberg

    What could have been better? Not requiring a F***book account to take part…

  • Nano Pavan

    Why Claude E. Shannon is not considered?

  • jaakko

    Gates over Lovelace? WTF?!

  • Rv

    This is great!!!

  • John J. Coveyou

    Haha, I found this pretty entertaining :-)

  • Andre Nel

    “…we cannot help wondering how profoundly wise and scientific and how immensely practical the Christian religion is, and in what a marked contrast it stands in this respect to other religions. It is unmistakably the result of practical experiment and scientific observation which have extended through the ages, while other religions seem to be the outcome of merely abstract reasoning…”
    “Thus we are inspired both by Christianity and Science to do our utmost toward increasing the performance of mankind.”

    “Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment and merging of races, and we are still far from this blissful realization, because few indeed, will admit the reality that “God made man in His image” in which case all earth men are alike. There is in fact but one race, of many colors. Christ is but one person, yet he is of all people, so why do some people think themselves better than some other people?”

    The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. My Mother had taught me to seek all truth in the Bible.
    There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science…

    Tesla, hailed here the greatest scientist & one of the greatest minds, believed Jesus Christ is God. If he believed, then aren’t athiests foolish for doubting…

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