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In Last Man parlance, you “die” when you acquire The Knowledge, eliminating you from the game. Your “cause of death” is the manner in which you came to Know.

So, if your wife tells you who won the Super Bowl, that’s “death by wife.” If you accidentally glimpse the final score on a cell phone app notification, that’s “death by app notification.” If you hear the outcome on All Things Considered, that’s “death by NPR.” And so on.

The reason Last Man is such a challenge is because The Knowledge can strike anywhere, in any form, often when you least expect it. Thus, it’s no surprise that Knowledge Runners “die” in a wide variety of ways. Here are some “causes of death” that have been noted over the years.

Personal Interactions:

Broadcast Media:

Print/Online Media:

Social Media:

E-Mails, Texts and Technology:


In addition, Knowledge Runners who live-tweet their Last Man games often mention various  interesting and notable ways in which they almost accidentally learned The Knowledge, but just barely avoided it. Then there the tweets in which non-participating observers, or already-eliminated contestants, describe incidents and events that would havegiven them The Knowledge if they were (still) playing. Both of these categories can be described as “near-death experiences.” A list of some notable examples follows below.

Near-Death Experiences: