Friday, October 13, 2006

You got this wrong?

I now officially despair for the U.S. education system.

We just finished watching the new NBC show One vs. 100. It's a fairly simple trivia quiz show. Questions are asked. If the one person gets it right, they go on. For every member of the "mob" (the 100 people) they bump off (because they got the question wrong), they get a dollar amount. The longer they go, the more each person is worth when you bump them off. Of course, the longer people last, the smarter they tend to be and harder to get rid of.

At any point, the One can bail and take whatever money they've gotten. If they get a question wrong, the money in the pot is split among the surviving mob members. And the mob is rigged. Ken Jennings from Jeopardy was there. There were PhDs and others as well.

Fair enough. It has some potential and at least it moves along faster than the interminable Deal or No Deal.

The problem is, the question are really, really dumb. I mean, I got one question wrong and it some pop trivia thing involving Jessica Simpson. Everything else was really simple.

But fair enough, not everything has to be Jeopardy level trivia. Jennings quite entertaining book proved that. There are all kinds of trivia games and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. But here's the question that broke me. The one that had me wanting to throw something at the TV set.

"On the show Deal or No Deal, of the 26 cases used, how many of them feature numbers divisible by three?"

So you understand that anyone who has passed Grade 4 math should know this, right? The One in the show got it right, barely. She almost got it wrong.

However, 18 people in the mob got it wrong. Eighteen people got elementary school math wrong and didn't know the answer was eight.

I despair sometimes, I really do.


vickyth said...

Although, when you think of it, there are actually two answers, depending on the intent of the question. In situations like that, I can never tell if the wording is what was intended; the designers of the quiz might be as out of it as the contestants.

towniebastard said...

I will bet good money that the folks coming up with the questions designed it that was on purpose. I really do recommend "Brainiac" by Ken Jennings. It gives a nice behind the scenes look at quiz shows, the different wasy trivia can be presented and the history of trivia.

This is a really simple question...the people who came up with it tried to make the wording a little convoluted to throw people off how simple it was. Still, people really, really should have been able to answer that.

vickyth said...

Right, well then the right answer is 26. Every number from 1-26 is divisible by three, not all are evenly divisible. Now, if they'd said "evenly divisible", the answer would be eight. I can't believe I'm spending this much time thinking about this..... must be an avoidance tactic of some sort.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Never posted here before but visited many times. Guess I missed all the recent "flaming", but I'm always willing to put in my 1.34 cents. As a writer, a blogger and horrible speller, I will use the default answer that I always gave my profs "If I waste my time leraning how to spell there will worlwide implications, computer programmers (designing spell and grammer checkers) will join the unwashed masses, as well, think of all those editors who would now have to go back to school and become lawyers, the global ramifications will not lie on my consciuos (sp.). Second, many people of lower IQ's are able to build strong ego's based around thier spelling ablitily, think of that devastatingly dumb red headed girl in your grade 6 class, the fact she could spell pulled her through her whole school career and still gives her a secret pride as she tells her children, even now.
As for plagarism, I've never written anything that wasn't plagarized to some degree, there are NO new idea's, just vareities (sp) of old one's. Shakespear plagerized Chaucer, we simply apply our minds to all the items we've been exposed to in our past years, and re-iterate in our own personal way.
I believe the utimate answer is, by responding to our negative audience we fufill thier secret desire to be contriversial without having a original thought. I read many bloggs and your anon plagarized those comments from alot of other critism's I've seen and recieved, Hell I had that same spech from a publisher. Regardless, let the little people have their little joys, and enjoy your larger life.
Take Care

towniebastard said...

Thank you, CG. Very well put.

And Vicky, I'm sure you're right. I wrote out the question from memory and I'm sure I missed a word or two in the transcription.

Corey said...

"think of all those editors who would now have to go back to school and become lawyers"


regards, cat` (one of those editor-types who headed off to law school)