Skip

You're way off.
June 24, 2014 9:01 AM   Subscribe


 
I got the first one right so I'm going to quit now at 100%. Top that!
posted by echo target at 9:05 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


"You're wrong about [wealth held by top 1%], thank god."

Welp. I guess everything's all right, then.
posted by spacewrench at 9:10 AM on June 24


No matter how many I get incorrect it is the world that is wrong. I am just inaccurate while the world is fucked.
posted by srboisvert at 9:11 AM on June 24 [16 favorites]


The quiz asks about the average American college graduate's debt, but when you click through to the source for the "correct" answer, it is clearly the average debt load for people who graduated in 2013—a tiny fraction of all American college graduates. Extremely misleading.
posted by enn at 9:11 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]


A lot of these are kinda weird. I mean, take for example the "how many car-crash deaths per day" question. They give a range of choices where you're "wrong" if you're off by 10% from the correct answer--but unless you're a traffic cop or a road designer or something it's absurd to expect anyone on the basis of general knowledge to have knowledge that precise. And, in fact, if you look at how people answered, they basically fall into two camps--a random distribution across the specifically bounded answers and about half the rest in the "120 or more" option. Similarly, on the "what percentage of the US budget is spent on defense" question. If you know it's about a fifth of the budget, you're just as likely to get the answer "wrong" as someone who thinks it's about 5% or about 95%.

I think it would have been better to put this not as "How Wrong You Are" but "how close can you get?" The interesting thing here is not "can you alight on the exact number from a ridiculously narrow range of choices" but how closely do people's average guesses come to the real figure.
posted by yoink at 9:12 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


That's entertaining, but I was kind of annoyed at the poor sourcing. I got CNN and Wikipedia as sources, and to the best of my knowledge, neither of these organizations collects or analyzes data. Yes, I'm a total pedant, but I'd like to know the actual source of the number, not just be pointed to a number being reported by a third party.

Maybe I'm just bitter cause I got them all wrong. Also, it was unclear if average college graduate meant average person who graduates that year or average person who has ever graduated
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:13 AM on June 24 [10 favorites]


Very interesting. I was pleased with how close I was (and how right I was) with many questions but the quiz is a fine illustration of the gap between what we like to think and reality.
posted by bearwife at 9:22 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


What percentage of animal species are headed to extinction in the next century?

Correct Answer
30–50%


With any luck, humans will be one of them.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:29 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


With any luck, humans will be one of them.

Surely you mean, "with any luck, humans will learn to live in harmony with each other and the environment."

Because otherwise, you're really just wishing for everyone you know and their friends and families and their children and their children's children to die, aren't you? And to die painfully, too. Extinction wouldn't be easy or instant. And that would be a hateful, terrible thing to say.

Honestly. Why does this extinction rhetoric get pulled out every time the subject of the environment comes up? I hate that line of thinking. It's lazy and defeatist. Because, face it: If we go extinct, there's a good chance we're going to take all other life on Earth with us, so we'd better get our shit together. Giving up is not an option.
posted by my favorite orange at 9:41 AM on June 24 [33 favorites]


Pick a number between zero and infinity.

Nope, you're wrong.
posted by grog at 9:46 AM on June 24 [13 favorites]


Because otherwise, you're really just wishing for everyone you know and their friends and families and their children and their children's children to die, aren't you?

I've got bad news for you.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:47 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]


Yes. We're all going to die anyway, so where's the harm in allowing our species to go extinct?

Please.
posted by my favorite orange at 9:49 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Because everything can eventually go back to 80s SNL sketches, I am reminded of the McLaughlin Group sketch.

John McLaughlin: Issue number two: What did you have for breakfast? Elanor "Gee, I think you're swell"-anor?
Elanor Clift: Yogurt?
McLaughlin: WRONG! Jackie-Jack Garmond?
Jack Garmond: Eggs
McLaughlin: WRONG! You all had Special K with banana!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:51 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]


I love the concept, but a lot of these answers are just plain wrong. The CEO Pay question says "average CEO" while the linked Wikipedia article is about "average CEO of a large publicly-traded firm", which is far less than 1 percent of all CEOs.
posted by miyabo at 9:58 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Actually, they're wrong about poverty. California has the highest measurement of relative poverty, but that measures income distribution, not benchmarks against the federal (or even local) poverty lines.

So, uh, suck a nut, poverty dilettantes.
posted by klangklangston at 9:59 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


The quiz asks about the average American college graduate's debt, but when you click through to the source for the "correct" answer, it is clearly the average debt load for people who graduated in 2013

It's not even that -- it's the average debt for people who graduated in 2013 and who had debt. Since 70\% graduated with debt, the actual average debt for graduating seniors was $24640 (which is still a lot). They don't report very much from the survey but median debt would be low -- it would have to be the 28th percentile debt.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:00 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


What an incredibly negative website.
posted by gyusan at 10:05 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Yes. We're all going to die anyway, so where's the harm in allowing our species to go extinct?

Because we're cockroaches. An individual human isn't that strong, but as a species we're incredibly successful at surviving and adapting. We live in almost every climate/ecosystem on earth, we've made it through an ice age or two, and until we developed better technology, we hunted by outlasting our prey and running them to death. Any event that makes us go extinct would also almost certainly cause a mass extinction event for many other large animals, and probably all of the land ones. And that would be sad.

Also, some people *like* other people, so extinction might be suboptimal for them.

Also, we've used up most of the easily accessible energy sources (coal, oil). If you're hoping for another species to grow up after us and create some sort of better society, they would almost certainly have a far harder time creating science and technology, just because we've used up the all the useful stuff that you can access when you're coming from a low-tech culture. If you're hoping for a future in which Earthlings make it to space (and I am), humans are the best shot we have.
posted by DGStieber at 10:06 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


These are all pretty easy if you pick the most outrageous one.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:12 AM on June 24


I gotta agree with a lot of people here, this site is full of questions that are textbook lying with statistics.
posted by aspo at 10:17 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]


For question "How many Iraqis, both combatants and civilians, do you think have died as a consequence of the war that began in Iraq in 2003?" it relies entirely on Iraq Body Count which only tracks civilian deaths and can best be described as the lowest good estimate available, as they only accept "official" printed in newspaper or government sources notices of death. They are currently working on incorporating the Wikileaks data, which will likely increase their total by around 15 000, but they reject any alternate method that "estimates" the death rate.

The "Lancet study" estimated that there was between 426,369 and 793,663 Iraqi deaths from violent causes since the beginning of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" invasion in 2003 through to 2006. Given that the violence is ongoing and primarily rooted in the instability directly resulting from our military occupation, a reasonably well informed mathematically literate person could claim the 500 000-1 000 000 range.

In short, I'm fucking right.
posted by zenon at 10:46 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


The HIV question is completely wrong going on the statistics they cite as well.

http://howwrongyouare.org/questions/how-many-people-contract-hiv-every-day/results

According to the linked statistics which don't mention worldwide data every 9 1/2 minutes someone in the USA contracts HIV. That adds up to 150 a day, not 7000+.

http://www.sfaf.org/hiv-info/statistics/

This website is wrong or misleading on many questions and should feel bad.
posted by GregorWill at 10:50 AM on June 24


Q: How Wrong Are You?
A: Not as wrong as you!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:54 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


The HIV question doesn't specify Americans, given the huge AIDS epidemic in Africa, 7000+ sounds about right.

That said, they really need to get their sources sorted and cited correctly.
posted by zug at 10:55 AM on June 24


My favorite one is "What is the percentage of women holding CEOs roles at Fortune 500 companies?"

Since the number of women holding CEOs roles is an integer, and there are 500 Fortune 500 companies, the answer must be (integer)/5%. This means that the first digit after the decimal point must be even, which rules out four of the six answers.
posted by ILuvMath at 10:57 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


I love watching MeFites brutally tear down shittily sourced/reasoned/presented information. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:09 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Because, face it: If we go extinct, there's a good chance we're going to take all other life on Earth with us, so we'd better get our shit together.

Not even remotely likely. We have serious trouble getting rid of all life in a small sealed room, when we're trying really really hard.
posted by CaseyB at 11:43 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


Because otherwise, you're really just wishing for everyone you know and their friends and families and their children and their children's children to die, aren't you?

Yes, that's what I'm wishing for, and unlike all your wishes, mine will undoubtedly come true.

that would be a hateful, terrible thing to say

I resemble that remark.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:07 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


The oddest thing is that there doesn't seem to be (in the sample of questions I guessed at) a single one where it tells you how right/wrong you are. Are the multiple choice answers parceled out by standard deviation from the mean? Some other measure of fidelity I'm missing? I'd like to actually know how far I am from being right, because I think that'd be more interesting than learning what the "actual" answer is.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:09 PM on June 24


False advertising. That site does an extremely poor job of assessing how wrong I am. More to the point, it does not even begin to grasp how wrong the rest of you are.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:39 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: what an incredibly negative website.
posted by klanawa at 1:47 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


If you believe the "See All Questions" link, there are only 32.
posted by achrise at 1:54 PM on June 24


Related Post: Paul Ryan as Romney's running-mate
posted by box at 3:34 PM on June 24


I thought I was right about lots of stuff and this website was gratifyingly confirming it but now Metafilter is suggesting that I'm not as right as I thought I was.

Which is pretty much what Metafilter always does, so: balance is restored.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:03 PM on June 24


HOW WRONG YOU ARE about what you thought I meant when I asked a very poorly phrased question
posted by Flunkie at 4:09 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Metafilter is about a lot of things, like explaining how wrong the "How Wrong Are You" website is.

Please never change.
posted by milarepa at 5:14 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


milarepa: "Metafilter is about a lot of things, like explaining how wrong the "How Wrong Are You" website is."

My favorite thus far is how the question "What percent of homeless people in the United States are employed?" is answered by a link to Wikipedia. Which itself has a citation, so you're clearly doing it lazy, or trying to obscure the source. Given the the source is an advocacy fact sheet that itself doesn't cite any survey or analysis for that particular fact, I can't say for sure which it is.

I like to think, then, that this is not a holier-than-thou Here's Whats Wrong With America advocacy piece, but a project to call out bullshit facts on CNN and Wikipedia, using crowdsourcing techniques!
posted by pwnguin at 5:26 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I got most of the questions "right", but now MetaFilter is here to tell me that in fact the statistics were bad, so I actually got them wrong.

Also, I can't really figure out if this is a bad leftist propaganda site or a bad rightist propaganda site. The questions are all questions that point out some horrible things about US society, so I'd figure it's leftist, but when you look at the "How others answered" graphs, people tend to be guessing things are even worse, so maybe it's a "Hey guys, things aren't as bad as you think" rightist site. Confuzzling.
posted by Bugbread at 7:53 PM on June 24


It's not left/right, it's an offshoot of the Less Wrong movement which is a kind of internet cult.
posted by miyabo at 8:26 PM on June 24




« Older Mississippi Smouldering   |   Celery: from silver vases and... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post