Just took the latest Pew news quiz. Scored a perfect 13/13 — which may simply be a statement that I have too much free time. (Hah!–ed.)
My guess is that the Balloon Juice crowd might be able to bring the national numbers up to at least marginally respectable levels; have at it.
Oh — and while I could propose that in Virginia, every condom sale be accompanied by what my physician delightfully termed a prostate “massage,” let’s leave this a wide open thread.
Image: Bernhard Strigel, Sleeping Grave Watcher with Mace and Sword, before 1528
That picture is just so wrong on many fronts.
Wrong painting title, Tom.
That’s “GOP Voter Contemplates the Presidential Field.”
I am the 8%, too.
And the fact that only 1 in 12 or so could answer all those questions correctly is pathetic.
That’s an easy enough quiz it’s disheartening that only 8% of people got 13/13, and downright astonishing that people who are capable of taking an online quiz are ignorant enough to get fewer than half of the questions right.
Very sad that only 8% got all 13 of those questions. It would be cool if Pew would release aggregate stats xref’d on the referer.
The quiz didn’t seem that hard. I often bomb on BBC’s (or is it The Guardian’s?) weekly current events quiz but this Pew quiz was more general. I mean, c’mon, Brazil?
Since I’m not in school anymore, these little quizzes for fun are fun.
Or maybe it should be called “Sheriff Babeau Gets Caught”.
I’m in the 8% too!
Question about the picture: Why would they need a grave watcher? Does this have something to do with bells etc. to detect signs of life?
Surprising that males did so much better than females on that quiz
Were afraid that Leonardo or Michaelangleo was out prowling around with a spade, most likely.
Yeah, I got 13 too but, jeez,look at the demos on the people getting questions right. This is pathetic. About half of people didn’t know the Repubs control the House. I was amazed at the number of people who recognized Brazil on the map but they didn’t recognize Bernanke or Sotomayor. Just sad. Wow. And, yes, not having a college education does seem to make a significant difference.
I blew one but WTF? That wasn’t even about news.
The test is a joke right!…We are the 8%.
And when did Princess Leia get a beard?
Hurray for me! I know where Brazil is! Means I is one of the top Intellectuals in Murika.
(Just f—ing kill me now.)
Lucas is putting out a new release: Star Wars: The Transgendered Edition.
13/13 But I do think it would be interesting if Richard Branson was the Prime Minister :) I’d like to see what the breakdown was on incorrect answers–if folks don’t know Rs are the majority in the house then what do they think? Also too, they should slice and dice by time it takes to complete as well.
Well, I got 12/13 (which puts me in the 9%, I guess) – but it was a glitch, not an error (I mean, of course I recognized Steve Jobs)…
Because you need to have all your pieces parts for the Resurrection. Right. Gotcha.
I guessed that Steve Jobs was connected with Apple but I wasn’t sure.
12/13, I twitched and picked Myrtle the Turtle as Speaker because I was going too fast, and I can’t fucking stand that guy. Grrr.
Lesson O’ The Day: don’t let my hatred obscure the truth of what is before me, look with my eyes and not my heart.
OK, I admit it – I misidentified Kagan/Sotomayor.They look alike to me – all Supreme/Bigshot Court judges look alike to me.Call me a legalist if you must.
Still did a lot better than most Americans.
A Mere SAfrican
Do most grave watchers not wear pants?
Kittehs to the rescue
Top 8%: http://imgur.com/IsqeF #woohoo And I’m not even American. ;-)
@Linda Featheringill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_coffin
@Jay C: Wouldn’t you rather be in the top 17%. Sounds better I think and you are still ten points away from the dreaded number.
The public did get upset about the anatomists’ practice of grave robbery.
Guess they figured that if you go wandering around the afterlife without a skin you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.
I just don’t have a running total of dead in my head, I’m like those strange tribes, 1, 2, too damn many. Jobs was easy, Sotomayor was a bit of a hesitation.
Here’s an odd one, more folks know that Orange Julius is Speaker of the House than are aware Rs are the House majority across all education levels. How does that work? Do some think he is a D? Is it within the standard deviation that comes from guessing?
I thought some of the questions were oriented toward people who get their news from TV – recognizing headshots is probably easier for those who see the person talking on TV rather than just from some photo in a newspaper like presentation.
The only one I missed was the number of war dead. I thought it was around 5-6000. So I guessed wrong.
I know a lot of people who wouldn’t get any of them right. What does that say about me?
(That wasn’t too hard. The last time I took a quiz like this they threw in a bunch of pop culture questions about people I know nothing about.)
Kinda undercuts the “mean”, no?
Another 8%-er, though I have to admit I wasn’t 100% certain it was Israel just from that tiny segment of the map. Lucked into being right.
But, yeah, it’s always shocking to realize just following the news puts you ahead of such a great portion of the population.
Marcellus Shale, Public Dick
i spent a little too much time on the bernake question, because i don’t really get my news off of the tv, so sometimes faces blend.i was reading a lot more difficulty than need be into the first couple of questions, until i realized it was a “stupid” quiz. then i just went with my first impression.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So I missed the first one!
I’m Canaijan, eh!
13/13. I expected something bit more challenging. It’s hard to believe that most people wouldn’t score high if not actually living in a cave but what do I know, besides the answers to 13 questions. I am now making some of my more opinionated friends take it and we shall see.
P.S. I did get the rest correctly.
Hmmm. I’m with you in the 8%. I am a bit surprised that it is that low of a percentage for those questions.
13 for me too…..and still at 8%…..we’re the 8 percenters! Everyone else is stupid, apparently.
my 13/13 doesn’t seem to have helped…
13 for 13 — 8% woot! However: survey states quite clearly that “your results will not affect the national survey results”. So no bringing up the national average, Tom, sorry.
I am going to say that missing a few might not be too surprising. Not everyone is watching the news, and they did bring in David Cameron. More interesting is that average seems to be about 7 1/2. Huh. OK, so NO ONE is watching news.
In the demographics I noticed the 50+ age bracket did better or about as well than the two younger brackets on all the questions other than the crescent&star one where the breakdown was 43/47/36. Maybe they grew up when Islam was less in the news or they were less enthusiastic about following the Arab spring?
Seriously, there is no legitimate excuse for not getting a perfect score on this test. Anyone who fails to do so should not be allowed to vote.
@Cambridge Chuck: It’s not that I can’t read, you understand; just that I won’t.
Or, shorter, oops.
How did locating Brazil count as news? I guess knowing Jobs’ face counts as news, but it seems like a rather meaningless statement of news.
And the only reason I know Sotameyer (spelling is wrong I know) was that she was on Sesame Street a week ago.
Another 8%-er here. The Guardian quiz is harder (for me, at least), but that’s because it’s so Brit-specific (and even London-specific).
Surprised to be part if the 8% as well – Bernanke was arrived at by process of elimination. I knew that guy pictured wasn’t any of the other three choices!! Does this mean the whole BJ crowd has too much time on our hands? Or can we agree on the less stigmatic “we are enthusiastic practitioners of our avocation of politics”?
So the BJ crowd is the creme de la creme of the American populace. Well, that tells us … something.
Jeebus, that was actually pretty easy. Another 13/13 8-percenter.
Ooh, those were tough. Only reason I got a couple was because I get the BBC world service news feed. I don’t read the Guardian either.
The Pew quiz was remarkably easy, IMO. Then again, if there was a TMZ quiz, I would probably flunk that one pretty easily.
Another 8-percenter, although I didn’t expect that. I skim the paper most of the time, except for the arts section. I can’t stand the Times political reporters. But I do know the Republicans have the House, wish I could forget.
For those who are waiting to see all of our perfect scores change the percentiles…not gonna happen. If you read the text after you get your results you will see that the test results that are being used for comparison are not from taking this on-line quiz. They also note that your results will not affect “those” results.
Not sure where that puts some folks here for comprehension :)
I’m not so sure about those “whose picture is this?” questions, though. I figure it’s more important to know a person’s name (and what they did/do) than their face.
13 out of 13. Too easy.
I need to get a life.
@Mark S.: “Do most grave watchers not wear pants?”
It’s a pretty crappy job, there has to be some perks or nobody would take the job
To me, the only question I hesitated on was the number of Americans killed in Afghanistan. The large numbers were wayy tooo large; 180 aint plausible.
What I am saying is that I don’t remember seeing the number of American deaths published much. For a “WAR”, it is a very small number of Americans, and maybe that is why I don’t remember seeing this number before;
Yeah, I saw that. What I don’t get is this:
How do they show the photos to people over the telephone, hmm?
I am appalled to say that I got only 12 out of 13. On the other hand, the one I missed was the last, properly identifying the GOP elephant.
I can only plead severe psychological trauma inflicted by that image as an excuse.
Ok, 12/13, but in my defense that little bit of map did nothing to help me locate anything, so I guessed – I thought yeah, it’s probably Israel, but second-guessed myself and lost. Still that was a quiz? I get most of my news here and from Wait Wait and I’m still in the 9% (you 8-percenters are just plain overachievers). WTF.
@barkleyg: The confusion with the larger number is that the media have often conflated the Iraq and Afghan war deaths, so that number is around 5,000 or so.
That picture is creeping me out.
I got them all correct too, making me the 8%. I’d say most people over here are probably in the 8%.
Why is the results distribution non-normal?
13 of 13 here.
I got them all right.
13/13. I am so smart.
12 out of 13. The one I got wrong was the symbol associated with Islam. Knew about the crescent, but was attracted to that nice little calligraphy at the end.
Got all but the number of war dead. found most unsettling how many people didn’t know that spikey-looking bit on the map was Israel. So many people in the US seem to support Israel, but don’t know where it is – like it’s floating up in the sky in Bible-land.
The GOP unity ticket: Let Detroit go bankrupt, and then repurpose all of the auto industry infrastructure to mass-produce trans-vaginal probes!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I got thirteen out of thirteen, but the GOP, alas only got 10/12
Not one, but two, two whole Democrats on the Sunday Shows. The liberal bias is suffocating. Howard Schultz, if that name sends you to the google as it did me, is the Americans Elect-ish CEO of Starbucks who has formed the latest non-partisan group to call for
enacting Paul Ryan’s budget and not talking about all this silly religious crapsensible centrist solutions.
13/13. Now where’s mah cookie?
Is that dudes ass showing? Or is that some flesh colored tights action?
I’m going to say I scored a 13 too.
Villago Delenda Est
I missed Sotomayor. Obviously, I don’t watch enough television.
I still say there are no 9 percents..The nine percent folks are still better than 83 percent so they are part of the seventeen percent but thank the lord not the twenty-seven percent. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Another 13/13, although I suspect that those of us who missed two or more are probably hanging their heads in shame. :)
Missing a few wouldn’t surprise me, since I had to guess about Sotomayor and almost got distracted by the calligraphy too. But an average score of 8/13?
@Joel: To get a Gaussian (aka normal) distribution, you have to have a large number of independent random variables gathered together to form the final value. In this case, you have a fairly small number of questions and some fairly big correlations between the questions: if you follow politics, you’ll get a bunch of these right, and if not, blow a huge fraction of them.
The Balloon Juice commentariat: math nerdiness at no extra charge!
Great double feature about to start on TCM. The Train followed by Day of the Jackal. I’m out.
12/13. Le sigh.
@JPL: I’m a 9%er. Always was a B student. But I make up for it with personality, lol.
13/13. I thought the hardest ones were the photos. I was really guessing on Bernake’s mug.
That wasn’t even difficult. The longest one I thought about was the Afghanistan question, but once you put it in perspective, it was easy to get that.
A bit shocking that 8% got all of them right. Really, America?
I guess we’re elitists if we got all of those. Sorry, every 6th grader should know this stuff (even Ben Bernanke’s picture).
Would have gotten 13/13 but somehow I read the question about co-founders as “who co-founded Microsoft” and was looking for Gates and Allen (instead of Wozniak and Jobs)…
11/13… I blew the symbol associated with Islam (I chose the pretty calligraphy) and the number killed in Afghanistan. I answered better than 74% of the respondents which is damn frightening.
@Yutsano: Cookie? Double chocolate fudge layer cakes for the 13/13s!
I brain farted on the stupid GOP elephant and said Democrat. Duh. Guess I just proved that women are stupid and should have probes shoved up our vejayjay just to keep us in line.
Apparently yoga isn’t as big in the BJ demographic as I might have expected. On the upside, we all know our way to Brazil in case we need a meeting place for a party.
13/13 here. Kinda sad that the scores were as bad as they were given how easy it was. OTOH, I don’t have a life unlike some folks.
For a lot of Real Merkins, this is a good explanation for the source of their ignorance given that their brains seem to be levitating in sky Bible-land.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I can’t help noticing that Mittens alone among the GOP presidential candidates is not doing a Sunday talk show. Not that I care, as I intend to watch precisely none of them.
Oh, and 13/13 here.
Okay, Seattle B-Jers, I’m here a little early.
13 of 13. I think I’m going to have to go bake if I want a cookie. Mocha chocolate chip with pecans. yum.
@Linnaeus: I feel bad in more than one sense. But more importantly I’m still pretty sick, so I’m not attending unfortunately. CaseyL is a hoot though. You’re gonna have fun. And I have a strange feeling this will become a thing with us. :)
Just worry about getting better. Me, I just need to know who to look for.
8% merit badge for me too. What a buncha of Poindexters we got around here! (Or maybe it should Mr. Peabodys, what with all the caninophilia.)
Like some others above, I hesitated over the question on religious symbols. Calligraphy aside, that seemed a dismayingly easy quiz (Brazil? Israel?).
Of course, it was a big plus for my self-esteem that there were no questions about popular television programs or celebrity kulcha.
Ouch, we 13/13’ers are all closet Republicans:
Ouch, we 13/13’ers are all closet Republicans:
13/13. Hestitated just a bit on the symbol for Islam, otherwise, pretty simple.
Why would you expect a normal distribution, here? This doesn’t have that CLT-ish flavor that would lead me to expect one. (These are really not Bernoulli trials—the probability that a person will get a question right is probably really, really predictable based on their performance on the previous questions.)
Ok. I got 13/13 too, and I’m not even a US citizen nor have I ever lived there. Bit scared to think about exactly what that means :)
@Roger Thornhill: Republican outperforming Democrats on a poll about political IQ. I call bullshit! I get that they know who the Chairman of Federal Reserve is, since they’re obsessed with him, but to figure out in a map where any country is — that’s suspect.
Also, too, I am part of the 8%.
Easiest quiz ever. Sad only 8% aced it. Now naming all the people in the pictures. And surrounding countries. Better but still
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I bet some upstart politician (or comic) could make hay out of being “The Dem who’s ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR SUNDAY SHOWS, And Entertainingly So”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Jeffro: There’s an old chestnut in Washington that the most dangerous place in the world to stand is between Politician X and a camera. I think that’s true of all of them except maybe Herb Kohl and Olympia Snowe. And this week, maybe somebody might want to talk to Barbara Boxer or Kristen Gillibrand or Nancy Pelosi or Patty Murray or Louise Slaughter, who all seem to have something to say about current events.
I got them all right, but I’m honest enough to admit that Bernanke, Sotomayor, and David Cameron might have slid past me had it not been multiple choice. Entertainingly, I knew that that was a picture of the Chairman of the Fed but thought I was looking at a picture of Robert Reich, who… isn’t.
So dock me some points, I guess.
There was an error in the quiz, none of the Beatles were pictured as co-founders of Apple.
@MBL: I got 2 wrong, one on the casualty numbers in Afghanistan (misplaced decimal point!) and that one. I am horrible with faces though and consider it a goddamn miracle I recognized Sotamayor.
13, bitchez. W00t.
Blog Wobegon, where all the regulars are above average. The trolls, on the other hand…
Hey, it’s Ian Anderson circa 1973!
Naive and Sentimental
A very easy test but I fully understand the low information of some people. I have a relative who when asked did not know if Barack Obama was a Republican or Democrat.
I aced it, too (though having read the comments first I knew what was coming). I notice that 45% got at least 9 of 13 right, for what that’s worth.
Saddest thing to me was learning that only 61% (if I’m recalling correctly) of college graduates knew that Republicans control the House but not the Senate. If we’re not teaching them to pay attention to the composition of their own government…or maybe it just says something unbecoming about Democratic Senators.
This was too easy.
I am the 8% and I am not even an American (although I lived in the US in the 1990s). If I were one, I would be so ~Republican! Although, I think it is not easy to correlate intelligence with logical behavior when it comes to public policy. I have seen extremely bright people with insane rightwing views just because of a single pet peeve of theirs – usually teachers unions, guns or a single politician they hate.
13/13 way easy
Way late to the party, but I am the 8%
I got 15 out of 13.
No, wait, I got 27 out of 13!
No, I got a bazillion!
Pick ME, Monty!!!!
I’ll take “People Talking About Their Non-Achievement Achievements” for $1000, Alex!
All of the above is my long-winded, assholish way of saying, “Slow news day, Tom?” I mean, really, who gives a rat’s ass what people here scored?
13 out of 13 (patting myself on back)
Figured the Star and Crescent was the obvious Islamic symbol, but am wondering what the Arabic (?) calligraphy (answer #4 in mine) means ? If you know, please pass the info on to us. Thanks!
@jafd – IIRC, that was the Hindu sacred word “Om” in Devnagari script.
Well, the only one I got wrong was the Islamic symbol, and, I was born in Iran to a muslim family!! That tells me how much I know about Islam! YIKES!
I am the 8 percent
13/13, which I did not expect to get.
Glad Pew didn’t offer a photo line-up for British PM – I have no idea what that guy looks like.
I guess the fact that 62% can correctly identify John Boehner (R-Cantor’s beeyotch), yet only 51% got majorities in the houses of Congress right, indicates that at least 11% of those surveyed think the Republicans have a majority in the Senate too.
Which of course they do, 47-53. Or is that 49-51, discounting Lieberman and (Ben) Nelson? Certainly within the statistical margin of error of any Republican-run election, witness Iowa, Maine, and 2000-era Florida…
13/13 – test-taking proves I’m good at … test-taking.
13/13 New Zealand represent…
13/13 stupidly easy quiz i think they should analyze the referrers by score as well