Thursday, January 13, 2011


On Handwriting Alone, Can You Tell Which of These Three Guys Is a Computer?

Ken, Watson, and Brad are all competing on Jeopardy, but only one of them is a computer.

Watson! Watson is a supercomputer, and he just demolished Ken and Brad in a practice round leading up to their Valentine's Day Jeopardy death match. Here's what his voice sounds like:

Sort of soothing and mature, like he could take care of you. Like he could just really be in charge of you, forever. Plus he's so smart. Watson, are you reading this? Watson, are you always reading everything? : )


15 Comments / Post A Comment


Wait, but who's this Brad? He looks cute! And you know, human. Double-date?!


Isn't he? He looks a bit like Jon Hamm as Drew, Liz Lemon's stupid doctor boyfriend.


OK, so this is sort of related, but not really.
You want to know what bugs the hell out of me with people in their 20's and trivia? It's that you little bastards cheat at every fucking trivia game that you can and you do so without one hint of embarrassment when you do it. Let me explain.
I love trivia and I'm actually pretty good at it. I'm no Ken Jennings, but whenever I play like the national video trivia games you find in a bar, I'm always top 100 (out of 5,000 to 10,000 contestants) and once I get warmed up I can usually get into the top 10. So I'm not a complete idiot (just a partial idiot). The good thing about that particular videogame is that it rewards speed and even if you had a superfast computer or phone nobody can type in a question and google it fast enough to beat a person who just knows the answer off of the top of his head. And that's why I pretty much only play that trivia game anymore. Because you're getting honest competition with that format.
But you go into a bar these days that does it the old fashioned way where you have an emcee calling out questions with everyone writing on a slip of paper and throwing it into a bowl and all you get is kids with their phones searching every answer so that they don't miss a question. And they do this even when there's no prize involved! It's bragging rights only bar trivia and these stupid kids are cheating at it to win. I actually think it's an incredibly revealing thing about the generation under me. We taught you to take the tests and to get the right answer no matter what. Process be damned. Your lab rat mentality just wants to press the right button for the pellet. You can't even turn it off when there is no pellet. It also shows a tremendous misunderstanding of why general knowledge is still a relevant skill for you to have, but I don't even want to get started on that.
So I like the idea behind this Jeopardy episode because it's really about old guys with a head full of facts versus the automatons that we have in the younger generation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing you all of cheating, just a significant majority of you.
Now get off my goddamn lawn, Matlock is coming on.


Yeah typos. Shut up, STC.

Edith Zimmerman

I would disagree! If I saw someone at bar trivia searching for something on their phone, I'd probably say/do something stupid and passive aggressive, but so would most people I know. It just defeats the point/strips the fun out of trivia. I'd say phone-googling is frowned-upon in all circles, although admittedly it's been a while since I've been to bar trivia.


I thought STC was one person, but now I am confused, because he sounds like an old dude in this rant. STC I'm not sure who you are anymore.


@PB: I'm kinda of an olde! Compared to many of you at least.


That was a really great rant. I wish I had ranted it, except I suck at trivia questions in this current life.

But shouldn't this particular round of Jeopardy have been evaluated on a F/M/K basis?


In my bar trivia circles, it's a banish-worthy crime to use any technology other than the little gray cells. Maybe you're going to the wrong bars?

Bonnie Downing

Ken! Ken is the computer, am I right?

Sunny Schomaker

I am not surprised the computer won. As a former Jeopardy loser (having had my ass handed to me by Jennings), not knowing the answer was not my problem. It was the whole lousy hand/eye coordination thing.

And STC, "The World's Largest Trivia Contest" evolved to stymie googlers. However, it does reward the kind of tool who takes notes during a movie.


Brad (Rutter) and I went to the same high school. Very nice guy, living in LA now. He holds the record of most winnings from a game show. He's funny to boot! What more could you ask for!

Patrick M

Someone made sure that this isn't some Wolfgang von Kempelen thing and isn't really an empty box concealing a midget with a Verizon iPhone, right?

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account