Saturday, January 3, 2004

Knowledge is funny

Over at By The Way, Scalzi has a link to one of those amazingly difficult trivia quizzes (Scalzi's entry is http://journals.aol.com/johnmscalzi/bytheway/entries/801 -- imagine like that's a link).

What's interesting to me about the quiz is not that I got seven of the 180 questions right (which would have been slightly more impressive had I not looked up the prior year's quiz and done rather worse on it). What's interesting is which seven.

I mean, here I was reading this quiz, mentally checking off each question with a quick "dunno" (or even "huh?"), and then I hit the first question I would call "a gimme." I mean, it wasn't just that I knew the answer -- it was that I knew the answer without even thinking about it. And I sorta thought, "what's a nice question like you doing in a quiz like this?"

And I know other people ran through this quiz, and got their own handful of questions right -- but they were completely different questions. It isn't as though six or seven questions on this thing were OBJECTIVELY easy -- it's just that everyone's own personal smattering of knowledge is so different, given 180 questions, one or two are just BOUND to be up your particular alley.

So, I wonder if ... given a large enough population ... we could come up with all the answers to this thing -- not using research, just by using the bizarre random tidbits of knowledge each of us possesses.

.... except that ONE question everyone's going to get right -- that one's a gimme.

1 comment:

grodygeek said...

Ever play trivia pursuit with a large group? At family get togethers we have played it for 10 year or more. The dynamics are interesting in that certain people become known. Like if "Lori" says the movie answer is Burt Reynolds, well no one argues. We tend to play women against men and it is very even. Some games are blowouts, but it is luck more than skill. Gordy