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Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.


Random Bits and Political Quizzes  | e-mail post

The FDA last week reported that 2,500 Americans were treated in ERs for toothbrush-related injuries. The best line is from Scripps-Howard's Joan Lowy: "Another [toothbrush injury] scenario: Brushers who became 'involved in altercations' while tending to their teeth, [the FDA's] Hefflin said. In other words, if you’re going to get into a fistfight, take the toothbrush out of your mouth first."

San Francisco's Department of Public Health has rolled out eCards for those who may have infected their partners with an STD. It is my sincere hope that one won't be showing up in any readers' mailboxes. [SF Chronicle news item] For those too cowardly even to let the person know from whom they might have contracted an STD, there is an anonymous send option.

I stumbled across "The Political Compass" by way of Cafe HedonistiX' post on the assessment. I took their little quiz (pretty quick) and discovered that I am about as centrist as one can get (although not quite the dead-centrist that HedonistX is). I'm not sure that I agree with their question choices, but it is an interesting diversion. [My results -1.38 left-right; -1.33 libertarian-authoritarian] For additional amusement, you can look at the political compass readings for classical composers, no surprise that Wagner's hardest right/authoritarian of the bunch .

The Political Compass sent me on a quick Google search, from which I'd also like to direct you to the hilarious "Satirical Political Beliefs Assessment Test" from Donald Hagen (by way of SlantPoint). A couple of example questions:
32: What is the meanest most low-down thing a person can do during a kid's soccer game?
  • Conservative: Cheat.
  • Liberal: Keep score.
  • Libertarian: Play the game in a municipal park.
  • Communist: Hog all the glory by not being a team player.
66: The speed limit should be...
  • Conservative: 75 MPH on Interstate highways.
  • Liberal: reduced to 15 MPH to save lives, and resources.
  • Libertarian: abolished. This will result in an immediate 50 percent reduction in highway fatalities, because a motorist barreling along at 150 MPH only spends half the time exposed to the hazards of the road, as someone plodding along at 75 MPH.
  • Communist: irrelevant, because after the revolution everyone will commute in public transportation.
The libertarian group Advocates for Self-Government also has the "World's Smallest Political Quiz" although I might suggest it is the world most simple-minded political quiz.

Slate also has a little quiz to see if you are a "red-stater" (more Republican) or "blue-stater" (more Democrat). It's obviously tongue-in-cheek, but apparently their assumption is that those who live in red states listen to too much conservative talk radio when they aren't listening to country music or watching Nascar. I am so amused by the coastal liberal elite. I missed all of the country-music and Nascar questions, but squeaked but ended up "in the middle" because I at least have a basic grasp of U.S. geography.

If you want to be really scared about how informed the electorate is, you should see the results of this "issues" quiz at CNN. It's six questions, and judging from the survey results, we can safely conclude: most people are morons. You can take the test, but I found it scary that only Daily Show viewers batted over .500 on questions that are about as tough as "which candidate is currently President?" or "which candidate's name is a synonym for 'shrub'?" Results for different late-night comedy viewing preferences:
What I'd really like to know is how the people who hurt themselves with their toothbrushes did on the quiz.


e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Sunday, October 10, 2004
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