Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The (New) World's Shortest Political Quiz

There are many political quizzes, even if one just sticks to the libertarian sort.

There is the Politopia Quiz....where I live somewhere between Drew Carey and Ayn Rand.

There is the (previously) World's Smallest Political Quiz. (I got an 80% on social/personal, and 90% on economic)

There is the Bryan Caplan libertarian quiz (where I got a 54).

Now, it is time for the NEW world's shortest political quiz. It only works for faculty. But it has a very high classification power.

Here is the quiz:

1. When you finish lecturing, do your erase the marks you made off of the blackboard?

a. No, they should hire some poor person to do that. The little people need something to amuse them.
b. No, the state should do that. I'm too busy working on behalf of the people.
c. No, that might put a union janitor out of a job. And it might make me sweat. I only sweat in the gym.
d. Yes, of course, I marked up the blackboard, I should return it to its previous pristine state. We are all in this together. (Do a half-assed job, kind of run the eraser over the board in a desultory way, and then go share more feelings over coffee)
e. Yes, of course, that is the implied contract. And I honor my promises.

and....the results? If you answered
a: You are a conservative
b: You are a social democrat
c. You are a liberal
d. You are a communitarian
e. You are a libertarian

The only error in this test is that Objectivists, who think they are libertarians, secretly all think they are ubermenschen, and answer "a", if they are honest. Nietzsche didn't think real men, like Ayn Rand, should erase blackboards.

Otherwise, it always works.

And, let me say, there are apparently not many other communitarians or libertarians in the world. Why doesn't anyone erase the freakin' blackboard?


vegreville said...

And don't use that huge, unerasable chalk (teaching PDE's before my class) so that no matter how hard I erase, no board for me.

David said...

What if I'm a student who uses the blackboard at night for studying purposes? Might the quiz work in that case?

Anonymous said...

We've got whiteboards at my university, and I've got a colleague who has a different bad habit. He pounds on the whiteboard with the marker, turning even the newest, finely-chiseled tip into unusable mush within a couple of days. He tries to erase the board, mostly, but the marks he jams into the poor board frequently resist any amount of erasing.

Mungo, is it ok to hurt him?

Chris Lawrence said...

Well, the board in Trent 039A is a purple mess after two days with a pen that obviously isn't the right one for that type of board. I gave up on cleaning it after yesterday's session turned my right hand purple.

Once I figure out what happened to my dry erase markers I'll start using them.

As far as the actual question goes, about 90% of the time (e) and the remainder of the time (f): let the next professor do it, since I shouldn't be teaching in this godforsaken building anyway ("I am a social scientist, whereas y'all are chemistry profs making six figures; erase your own damn board.").

Michelle said...

Not only do I erase the chalkboard, but I also regularly walk my grocery cart back up to the front of the store if I'm closer to the store than the stable-thingy in the parking lot.

On the other hand, I try to avoid using the self-checkout at the grocery or hardware store or the self check-in at the airport.

Interpret that! [I actually have reasons for this behavior....]

Kent said...

Aaaahhhhg! I scored a 64 on the Caplan and had the same scores on the WSPQ. Does this mean I'm more "libertarian" than our next Governor? (I'm from North Carolina.) I get such satisfaction from being more liberty focused than our highest elected leader...I guess this means I want Mungo to lose in '08. But that cannot be right...help, I'm lost in circular logic and cannot get out!

Anonymous said...

e. I feel strongly about e. I wish there was a market based solution to encourage others to choose e.

I only scored 37 on Caplin, but my scores on the other two were very Mungonian. I'm trying to decied if I should be concerned about those outcomes.

The Unknown Professor said...

Mungo: If they write on the whiteboard with permanent markers, can we kill them? I have a woodchipper, a large wooded plot out back, and also need compost for my roses.

The Unknown Professor said...

anonymous asked "Mungo, is it ok to hurt him?"

You should start a regular advice column "Mungo Say". I'd pay to read it. Not much, but I'd pay.

Ironically, the verification letters for this post spelled out "bshaze".

Anonymous said...

What about those of us who would answer, no, I never erase the blackboard because that would convenience the other academics? I would prefer that someone open a crate of anthrax during a faculty meeting while I am away, but since that is unlikely to happen, I will settle for making them erase the damned board.

David said...


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Anonymous said...

All those comments from exhalted political educators, and not one corrected the misstatement that Ayn Rand was a man. That is why chemists make six figures.

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