Other writers may claim we're living in a science fictional world, but only the Daily Show's professional know-it-all John Hodgman has the wherewithal to demonstrate it conclusively, with a rain of facts. Hodgman's new book, More Information Than You Require, is the only place you will discover unshakable certitudes about the Brain Shark, a superintelligent shark with a second brain on the outside of its body. Read on for more important facts we've learned from this book. Not content with guest-starring in an upcoming episode of Battlestar Galactica, Hodgman is also reinventing our fund of knowledge about the universe, including settling the crucial question: are mole men the new hoboes? He has a whole section of the book dealing with crypto-zoology, addressing all the weird creatures that you might or might not encounter out there. The "Hidden World" chapter also has a very handy guide to alien-spotting, including Hodgman's own personal experiences looking for flying saucers. After reading this book, I am seeing the world in a whole new, somewhat puce-colored, light. Apparently, if you went to Yale, you are supposed to exchange a whole greeting formula in which you reference the Ancient Supercomputer at the bottom of the world (the one which you operate with the golden punch-cards). And Yale grads who belong to a particular secret society watch over this time-lost Supercomputer until the end of time... which is coming. Also on the computer tip, Hodgman has some ideas about how to use his fantastic, unspeakable wealth to make computers no longer desire the destruction of the human race. (He also has some exciting new designs for the next generation of space station.)
Also, Hodgman explains how he assembled his fantastic wealth, and it apparently involved working with some of the best experts in every field and then surreptitiously collecting their DNA. "It's not legal to say 'genetic experimentation,' but let's just say within seven years, I had assembled a crack team of physically and mentally perfect assistants, NONE OF WHOM HAD ANY GENITALS." What other author will have the courage to tell you the truth about Napoleon's conquest of the Moon in the late 1790s? What other author will explain how to tell the difference between a good spleen and an evil spleen? Science has been letting us down, which is probably the reason it got so fictional in the first place. Thank goodness we have an actual expert to sort us out. John Hodgman image by Erik Charlton.