Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beating Ken Jennings

Some bloggers around the internet today are apparently on this meme, so below is my list.

I'm Reasonably Confident I Would Beat Ken Jennings in These Jeopardy! Categories:
  1. How Many Letters
  2. The Philadelphia Eagles
  3. Mathematics
  4. Geocaching
  5. American Idol
  6. Microsoft Access
  7. ESPN
  8. Actuarial Terms
  9. Golf
  10. Firefighting

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Random Thoughts About

I found a wonderful little website, on which you can do social experimentation. It is called Jyte. The site is very simple. You make a claim that people can either agree or disagree with. Then people come and vote for or against your claim. If you don't want to make a claim, you can just vote on other people's claims.

The first interesting thing you observe on Jyte is that people are pre-disposed to agree with things, especially controversial statements. This is what I have always called the "Petition Syndrome". People love to sign petitions. Then on the way home from signing it, they ask what it is that they just agreed to. Below is an example of this phenomenon as clearly demonstrated by two opposing statements on Jyte:

(the number on the left is the number of people who agreed with the statement; the number on the right is the number who disagreed)

The next observation about Jyte is how insanely liberal most people are who visit the site. This is for the same reasons that most people are liberal on other geeky sites like Digg. To give you an example of how liberal these people are, you can tell from the religion questions that about 40% of the people are atheists, as compared to less than 6% of people in the general US population. Here are two claims I made that offer more proof:

If you are looking for a fun challenge on Jyte, try to make a claim that roughly half of the voters will agree with. It is hard! Here is one of my claims that worked:

A final use for Jyte is to validate any behaviors you may have which are of questionable morality. Again, because the visitors to this site are so wickedly liberal, they will support almost any behavior. I felt good to see the acceptance to the following claim:

Go Mike! You stick it to Corporate America!