Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

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Volante
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Volante »

skygilbert wrote:
ArthurChu wrote:Indeed I'm *not* particularly "proud" nor "ashamed" of not knowing about sports, I just don't, and as I explained the snobbery is really on the part of the Jeopardy writers, who have a demonstrable pattern of packing the higher-value DJ questions with "the classics" and leaving "sports" and "pop culture" in Single Jeopardy where they matter less, thus creating an economic incentive for game-theoretical maximizing assholes like me to decide that sports is not worth studying compared to memorizing US presidents and world capitals.
This is an epic run-on sentence, Arthur.
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gnash
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by gnash »

ArthurChu wrote:Wolf Blitzer, Thomas Friedman and Margaret Spellings (former US Secretary of Education) all did horribly on Jeopardy, including involving clues that related to US politics. I could make a strong case that however badly I might fare against other Jeopardy champions I could probably smoke all three of those people in a Jeopardy scrimmage match. This does not mean that I would be qualified to be a TV news anchor, a NY Times columnist or the US Secretary of Education.
Those three are not qualified for their respective (current or former) jobs either, and their J! performances should have surprised no one who has been paying attention.

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lieph82
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by lieph82 »

The only time I've seen Margaret Spellings on was in 2006, and I thought she acquitted herself just fine. A quick look at the archive tells me she did fine but not spectacularly, and she ran into a buzzsaw in Michael McKean, who, as far as celebrities go, is a good player. I remembered that Thomas Friedman bombed, but again, the archive says he did fine but not spectacularly and ran into a much better player in Anderson Cooper.

No argument about Wolf Blitzer's most recent performance, but it's worth noting that he got 15 right in his appearance in 1997.

Being smart doesn't automatically mean you're good at Jeopardy!, and being good at Jeopardy! doesn't automatically mean you're good at other things that require different types of intelligence. Like Arthur said, how good you are at Jeopardy! is purely a measure of how good you are at Jeopardy!.

That being said, celebrities and power players don't typically have the time to prepare the way the best Jeopardy! contestants can and do, or even the way the average Jeopardy! contestants do. With a few notable exceptions, no appearances on celebrity week make me think any differently of the players.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Stanislaus Jacob »

ArthurChu wrote: For the record, I do think that if you don't find sports particularly fun to watch for their own sake, learning trivia about sports is an incredibly tedious and mind-numbing exercise because there is SO MUCH to learn.
For what it's worth, sports questions on the show are usually much easier than those in other areas of pop culture. I don't mean easy for someone who is not a sports fan, but if you are a non-fan and want to do well in such categories, memorize which teams play in which cities and the names of a dozen or so great players in each sport and you should be good to go. They will never ask an ultra-precise question along the lines of "Who won the World Series in 1963?" or "Who is seventh on the all-time NBA points scored list?" The Hank Aaron question the other day was only slightly harder than "Name the Beatles" or "Who is Bart and Lisa's father?" would be in other pop-culture realms. (Of course, this applies to regular play, which is in Arthur's rear-view mirror forever now; Tournament of Champions clues will likely be a bit harder.)

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by ArthurChu »

I'm aware of this and I made a set of flashcards out of ESPN's SportsCentury's Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century (as good a place to start as any) but never included it in my regular rotation. Herb Brooks wasn't on it, in any case, and even if he had been that was the rare category designed to have no real TOM so I'd pretty much already committed to a $5 DD wager if I found it there.

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Dr. J
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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Dr. J »

ArthurChu wrote:Jeopardy isn't so much a test of intelligence or even, broadly speaking, "education" as it is a test of whether you've had the same kind of educational background -- and cultural background -- as people who write for Jeopardy.
THIS. So much THIS. Anyone who thinks that J! questions are somewhat biased (skewing male, white, Eurocentric) are right; they're a product of the writing staff, who reflect their own backgrounds while writing. In addition, our own culture privileges certain types of knowledge and information. If this weren't the case, you wouldn't see a skit like "Black Jeopardy" on the Louis C. K. SNL recently.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Stanislaus Jacob »

ArthurChu wrote:I'm aware of this and I made a set of flashcards out of ESPN's SportsCentury's Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century (as good a place to start as any) but never included it in my regular rotation. Herb Brooks wasn't on it, in any case, and even if he had been that was the rare category designed to have no real TOM so I'd pretty much already committed to a $5 DD wager if I found it there.
Fair enough; harder ones (such as Herb Brooks) do come up from time to time, but more rarely.

Another pretty hard one recently was the Chicago Cubs fan magazine FJ that Julia knew.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by rouquinne »

When I mentioned to people that I was going to the audition for the show last year, the first thing out of their mouths was: Oh, you must be smart.

But I don't think of myself as smart in the least; I just happen to have a freakish memory that soaks up bits of information here and there and can spit it out at the strangest times. Just don't ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday!

:lol:

I am also following the Bob Harris study plan outlined in Prisoner of Trebekistan, using the lists at the back of the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy as my study guide, along with my flash cards about US Presidents and states, world capitals, and the differences between Greek and Roman gods (and counterparts in other cultures). In order to help my chances of remembering all these things at my advanced age, I started working with Mind Sparke (British version of Lumosity) and doing hand exercises to help my reflexes due to my de Quervain's syndrome.

I've always had a deeply competitive streak (probably one reason I'm single and middle-aged), and I don't intend to be that person who's always "been the smartest in the room", who gets on the show and doesn't get a word in edgewise...

I hope!

;)

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Magna »

Dr. J wrote: Anyone who thinks that J! questions are somewhat biased (skewing male, white, Eurocentric) are right; they're a product of the writing staff, who reflect their own backgrounds while writing.
Do you mean the subject matter, or who can do well on them? If it's the former, I'd agree. It's not just the writing staff, though - history being what it is, a lot of subject areas that Americans know about and would find interesting tend to skew white and male. Not all, of course, but enough that white males are overrepresented. On the other hand, I do think the clues tend to demand a broader cultural knowledge than middle America is quite conversant with, so in that sense they are stretching their audience a bit. Hardly any other popular show has anything at all about topics like modern African history, Bhutan, or Corazon Aquino.

If the latter, I'm not sure. I'd look for an explanation of why certain subject areas are harder for women to do well in. I've seen abstracts of at least one study concluding that the clues advantage white males, but I haven't seen the study itself, and I don't know how valid it is.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by alietr »

rouquinne wrote:But I don't think of myself as smart in the least; I just happen to have a freakish memory that soaks up bits of information here and there and can spit it out at the strangest times. Just don't ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday!
That's part of what makes Jeopardy so interesting for me. It's not simply remembering a lot of information. There's a lot of deduction required. It's fun to puzzle through the clues, and that's what takes intelligence. If it were simply remembering things, Watson would have done even better without a buzzer advantage.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Dr. J »

Magna wrote:
Dr. J wrote: Anyone who thinks that J! questions are somewhat biased (skewing male, white, Eurocentric) are right; they're a product of the writing staff, who reflect their own backgrounds while writing.
Do you mean the subject matter, or who can do well on them? If it's the former, I'd agree. It's not just the writing staff, though - history being what it is, a lot of subject areas that Americans know about and would find interesting tend to skew white and male. Not all, of course, but enough that white males are overrepresented. On the other hand, I do think the clues tend to demand a broader cultural knowledge than middle America is quite conversant with, so in that sense they are stretching their audience a bit. Hardly any other popular show has anything at all about topics like modern African history, Bhutan, or Corazon Aquino.

If the latter, I'm not sure. I'd look for an explanation of why certain subject areas are harder for women to do well in. I've seen abstracts of at least one study concluding that the clues advantage white males, but I haven't seen the study itself, and I don't know how valid it is.
I am asserting the former. It may be harder, in fact, for anyone who is not a member of the privileged group to have to absorb that knowledge on top of the knowledge that is important to their own subcultures, but YMMV. I'm sure that all of us have some extent of specialized knowledge that the J! writers are unlikely to write about. This is what frustrates me as a woman -- I know a shit ton about "girl stuff" in addition to all the mainstream male stuff that I need to know to be culturally conversant and good on Jeopardy. (I didn't have to learn about sports, per se -- woman, as Alex clearly believes, don't know much about sports -- but I grew up in an athletic household and love watching sports myself.) I wish they'd ask about those things more frequently; where's a cursed knitting category when a gal needs one?

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Bamaman »

Dr J....Does it bother you any when Julia (along with Larissa and you in the BOTD) are hailed as the "top winning women" on the show, as if women should be categorized separately from men on the show?

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by harrumph »

Female musicians are often compared to other female musicians, instead of just musicians in general. Why should Joni Mitchell have to be lumped in with Kate Bush, etc?

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Dr. J »

Bamaman wrote:Dr J....Does it bother you any when Julia (along with Larissa and you in the BOTD) are hailed as the "top winning women" on the show, as if women should be categorized separately from men on the show?
As a feminist, I'd say yes. As a narcissist, I'd say not at all! These days, the narcissist is winning out :).

And BTW, when I was first on, it was my husband who discovered after I won 5 games that no other lady had won more than 6. I went back into taping armed with that fact and the sole determination to beat that mark if I could (just barely!). When I pointed it out to the producers that I had won more than any other woman on the show at #7, they didn't know anything about it and refused to officially acknowledge it (Alex said I tied the record). So if you want to blame me for the attention paid to the gender component, go ahead :) I was just looking for a little record I could own, having never stood a chance of getting Ken's.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Magna »

There's an interesting conundrum, which I don't have the answer to, about whether one sex or the other is inherently better at certain types of mental competitions. For example, for reasons no one is quite sure of, all of the top chess champions have been men. The highest-ranked female player in mixed competition is Judit Polgár, who is ranked #64 in the world and is the only woman ranked in the top 100. There's also an all-women's league, but Polgár doesn't compete in that.

Some of the speculation is that women inherently tend to think and/or behave differently, in ways not conducive to winning chess games. Other speculation is that women are not encouraged to take up chess and practice it, or are actively discouraged from it, or that women are conditioned or pressured to prepare and play differently.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Golf »

Magna wrote:There's an interesting conundrum, which I don't have the answer to, about whether one sex or the other is inherently better at certain types of mental competitions. For example, for reasons no one is quite sure of, all of the top chess champions have been men. The highest-ranked female player in mixed competition is Judit Polgár, who is ranked #64 in the world and is the only woman ranked in the top 100. There's also an all-women's league, but Polgár doesn't compete in that.

Some of the speculation is that women inherently tend to think and/or behave differently, in ways not conducive to winning chess games. Other speculation is that women are not encouraged to take up chess and practice it, or are actively discouraged from it, or that women are conditioned or pressured to prepare and play differently.
Dr. J and I recently had a banter about that regarding Jeopardy. Might have been in this thread, pretty sure it's in one of Chu's.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Magna »

Golf wrote:Dr. J and I recently had a banter about that regarding Jeopardy. Might have been in this thread, pretty sure it's in one of Chu's.
It was here, I think. With chess, people have theories, but no one really has a good answer.

Jeopardy is a more multi-skilled game, though, involving reaction/buzzer skills, wagering skills, clue evaluation (quickly reading and seizing on TOMs, etc.), probably some kind of psychological skills (evaluating opponents, etc.), emotional skills (keeping calm, making gutsy wagers when required, etc.), and of course underlying knowledge of whatever the writers are asking about. And probably some other things that I've left out. Some of that is learnable, and some not so much. Even assuming one sex or the other has an advantage in any of those, it could be overcome somewhat by a player who was better in other areas.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Golf »

Magna wrote:
Golf wrote:Dr. J and I recently had a banter about that regarding Jeopardy. Might have been in this thread, pretty sure it's in one of Chu's.
It was here, I think. With chess, people have theories, but no one really has a good answer.

Jeopardy is a more multi-skilled game, though, involving reaction/buzzer skills, wagering skills, clue evaluation (quickly reading and seizing on TOMs, etc.), probably some kind of psychological skills (evaluating opponents, etc.), emotional skills (keeping calm, making gutsy wagers when required, etc.), and of course underlying knowledge of whatever the writers are asking about. And probably some other things that I've left out. Some of that is learnable, and some not so much. Even assuming one sex or the other has an advantage in any of those, it could be overcome somewhat by a player who was better in other areas.
Yep, that's it.

I don't think there's any disagreement that men tend to be better at competitive games, the results are overwhelming. But there's probably lots of disagreement on why that is.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by Magna »

Golf wrote:I don't think there's any disagreement that men tend to be better at competitive games, the results are overwhelming.
I'm not sure about this. It probably depends on the game and maybe some other factors like how contestants are selected. For example, I don't know for sure about this, but it wouldn't surprise to me if I learned that women did better on game shows like Password or The $20,000 Pyramid - partly because of the nature of the games and partly because more women probably auditioned. But with chess, men have done much better (so far, at least).
Last edited by Magna on Fri May 23, 2014 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Haters gonna hate, I suppose, but...

Post by lieph82 »

I think that the results don't necessarily indicate that men are better than women at competitive games. I'm curious about the numbers. I wonder how many women have a chess ranking (which would just indicate how many women have played in a qualified chess tournament), period. If 5000 men and 100 women play in a poker tournament, and there are only 2 women in the top 100, then proportionally, women are doing just as well as men.

I've always been on the second side of Magna's positions, but I also question the chess results and other results on their face.

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