Monday, July 21, 2008

Thoughts on being informed, life imitating sci-fi...

Even a moderately informed person should get 10 of 12 (in reality, 12 of 12 really shouldn't be a stretch) on the Pew Research Center Online News Survey. When you read the demographic breakdown of the questions, you'll get an idea on just how informed most respondents were - by age, gender, and education level.

The website io9 tries to point out five way that Sci-Fi has turned out real this century. I'm not sure I agree - some of the stuff they bring up is pretty ... well ... lame. Apparently CERN, the offer of space tourism at $20M a pop and the SARS and bird flu "near pandemics" qualify as "sci-fi-like". I guess when I saw the link I expected more. What did I say? Have no expectations and you won't be disappointed?

7 comments:

Julie said...

I only got 9 out of 12, but two of the three I got wrong were the statistics questions. THis was no surprise, as I'm very bad at stats. In both cases I erred on the pessimistic side.

Stickthulhu said...

*****SPOILER ALERT*****
Please don't read below if you still want to take the quiz...

Yeah, the stats questions always catch me up, too. Got wrapped around the axle on Iraq casualties vs deaths, and though I got the Dow question, it's still one I could see people missing, given fluctuations. Good thing they didn't ask the price of a barrel of oil!

I missed Kosovo as well, I'm sad to say.

Dr. Momentum said...

Got 10. Screwed up on Kosovo and the Dow (I thought we were down around 10,000.)

So, I'm around 83%.

B.O.B.(bob) said...

swear I responded to this before lunch but comment didn't show.

got 11 of 12 but screwed up Rice's job. Must have just clicked the wrong button because I do know she's sec of state. The #'s ones I educated guessed since I wasn't sure exactly where the dow was but knew it had been at 12,000 recently and knew deaths have been >3000 for awhile now.

briwei said...

12 of 12 for me, but there were a couple of educated guesses there. Got the deaths and almost went 10,000 on the Dow because of how bad it has been tanking of late.

Looked at the report and the thing that surprised me the most was the gap between responses from men and women.

Stickthulhu said...

Bri -

12 of 12 after what must be a severe jet-lag hangover...you sir, are a deity!

The disparity between men and women caught me off guard, too. I expected women to score higher; maybe because most of the women I know personally are incredibly well-informed, probably more so than I.

I think the main take-away is that no matter how informed people are, EVERYONE knows what Oprah's doing these days!

Julie said...

Well, that's funny. Kosovo was the non-stats one that I got wrong too.