Friday, July 13, 2007

What do you really know...

I stumbled on this quiz this morning - it was interesting..  I did ok:


It is good to know I am 'technologically useful' :)  I liked the concept because it reminded me of a sci-fi book I read once (that I cannot for the life of me remember the title/author to - maybe someone reading this will have read the same book and can remind me, I really liked the story...)  The concept of the book was that a very advanced space craft was found in the desert.  When we got into it - there were some mummified remains, of humans.  Basically, the earth was populated human wise by the survivors.  But, if that were true and this ship was so advanced (meaning the people were technologically advanced) why didn't we get a big jump start in technology?  The reasoning - you need a large critical mass of people in order to be as advanced as we are now.  No one knows everything about anything - if you didn't have the mass of people building on each others work - it would all fall apart, rapidly.

It seems likes to be true, if you ask me. 



Anonymous Anonymous said....

"Inherit The Stars" by James Hogan?

Fri Jul 13, 11:12:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

couldn't be inherit the stars, that was the moon :)

Fri Jul 13, 11:16:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Jim said....

Jared Diamond makes that point in the Third Chimpanzee. Our human ancestors languished for quite awhile until there was a great leap forward. Probably caused by people living longer and in larger groups. Those longer living people could pass down their knowledge and experience to the young. Think of them as a living library. The more you have in a society the greater opportunity for language development and technological development.

Fri Jul 13, 11:26:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Roderick said....

I got 9 out 10 right on the first try and still only get us to the 19th century. I'll be the first to admit it was mostly luck though. For example, I only know what goes into making steel from playing World of Warcraft. Throw me back 2000 years and I would not know how to recognize iron ore much less flux. I don't know how hot an oven has to get before iron turns to steel (unless you embed the answer within an easy multiple-choice question).

Then there would be this language barrier to overcome (even if they spoke some form of English back then). Maybe if I studied Latin for several years, I might have a fighting chance of not getting placed into slavery and dying quickly with my wealth of Trivial Pursuit winning knowledge and lack of upper body strength.

Have no idea what book you are talking about, but it sounds interesting. :)

Fri Jul 13, 12:50:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Chadders said....

Although starting from the year 0 may be a bit difficult! ;-)

Fri Jul 13, 12:51:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I managed 10/10 at my first attempt - mainly due to my aptitude for multiple choice questions, rather than in-depth knowledge of the subject matter . . . next step OCP certification . . .


Fri Jul 13, 12:56:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I got the ... advance to the 17th or maybe 19th century as well.... actually I'm quite please with that, things kind of went to hell after that.

Fri Jul 13, 12:59:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Although starting from the year 0 may be a bit difficult! ;-)


Fri Jul 13, 01:16:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Stew said....

I'm thrilled that my score matched the great Tom Kyte's! Woo hoo!!! I'll be posting this on my blog shortly! :-)


1) I did match Tom's score.
2) I think highly of him, so am pleased.

No, it won't show up on my blog! ;-)

Fri Jul 13, 01:48:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Jeffrey Kemp said....

I got 8/10 and my father-in-law (who is a farmer) got 6/10, but I can bet he'd actually be much more useful 2000 years ago than I would.

The quiz's premise reminded me of HHGttG, when Arthur Dent realises that while he understands the principles of VCRs and car engines, the only real useful knowledge he was able to take to the galaxy was how to make a good sandwich.

Sat Jul 14, 09:47:00 AM EDT  

Blogger FirstYearAndSurviving said....

oh dear ... here I am teaching the "future" and I scored mediocre.

Could be worse though ... I could mispell the number that comes after thirty-nine.

Mon Jul 16, 09:17:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Michael Hinds said....

Ah but Tom, real life has more than 3 choices, and mostly there's no "correct" answer ;)

Wed Jul 18, 08:45:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Joe said....

Read Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle books. I'd forgotten just how recent most of our technical knowledge is. Further, how hard it would be to prove to anyone that you know what you're talking about.

Knowing that Penicillin was isolated from mold on Oranges wouldn't help fashion an effective treatment.

Fri Jul 20, 02:41:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Jared said....

Year 0?

Quick, how many years are there from the year the beginning of 1 B.C.E to the end of 1 C.E?

That's right, 2. There is no year 0. :)

Conversely, how much time passes between the end of 1 B.C.E to the beginning of 1 C.E?


See for for info on BCE/CE

Thu Jul 26, 12:41:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Ana Aman said....

I'll make it only to the 15th century ...

Mon Aug 20, 10:46:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Frank said....

According to Oracle, there is a year 0.
See for this, and more details about Common Era.

OT: scored 9/10 - wonder whether I missed the cement, or the aluminium question?!?

Tue Oct 02, 06:54:00 AM EDT  


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