Familiar Faces?
August 13, 2003 1:37 PM   Subscribe

The Qualifying Exam Meets the Cult of Personality. I did abysmally on Marcel's People test. How 'bout you?
posted by KF (25 comments total)
Are you kidding? I hadn't even heard of over 90% of them.
posted by jonson at 1:46 PM on August 13, 2003

I'd heard of a few more than that, but recognized maybe 5. Total.
posted by KF at 1:50 PM on August 13, 2003

I recognized seven, have heard of maybe two dozen of them. Who the hell are all of these cats?
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:13 PM on August 13, 2003

Great link. I have a philosophy degree but things like that remind me how much more I should have read.

Makes me laugh when Edmund Gettier is suggested as a major philosopher. He wrote just this one little paper with some examples showing that knowledge was not justified true belief.
posted by Dan Brilliant at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2003

I got James Joyce and Bertrand Russel. I then stopped for fear of embarrassing myself... more.
posted by knapah at 3:26 PM on August 13, 2003

go go Wallace-l power!
posted by LimePi at 6:29 PM on August 13, 2003

those pictures were horrible!

i thought trotsky was frida kahlo

i've met people on that list that i didn't recognize.
posted by goneill at 6:43 PM on August 13, 2003

I got Poe, Marx, and Larry Wall. Pitiful.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:25 PM on August 13, 2003

RMS, but no ESR?
posted by turbodog at 7:25 PM on August 13, 2003

I got Jim Hensen and gave up on the page loading
posted by jazon at 7:42 PM on August 13, 2003

This could be made into a fairly revealing test with a few modifications:

1: Lots more pictures (no mercy on this poor devil's server);

2: Make the choice for each picture multiple choice a) know who it is, b) recognize the picture, c) wish I had known who it is, d) definitely recognize the name, e) vaguely remember some drunken guy dressed in black trying to hit on my girlfriend mentioning the name, f) have no who it is even if you tell me the name, g) hey that's me!

For the record, here's my recognized list:

Jaques Cousteau
Karl Marx
Leon Trotsky
TE Lawrence
Sigmund Freud
Walter Cronkite
RM Schindler
Athur C Clarke
Carlo Scarpa
Marcel Proust

I'm a 50 year old (Cronkite) architect (Schindler & Scarpa) who used to be an oceongraphic tech (Cousteau). My Trotskyite (Trotsky, Marx) father took our family on sabbatical to Paris (Proust) for a year. At least 50% of my reading as child was science fiction (Clarke).

TE Lawrence? Not sure, except I do like movies (do you young folks still call them that?) and Lawrence of Arabia is a favorite.

Take the test and reveal your inner soul.
posted by skyscraper at 7:45 PM on August 13, 2003

I see white people.
posted by TuffAustin at 9:40 PM on August 13, 2003

That was tough. However, I do feel a little better that my "recognized" list hit eleven:

Nietzshe (I've got him on a t-shirt, okay?)
Dough Boy

My most embarassing "misses" (aka "oh yeah's") were Eno, Kubrick, Kafka, Joyce and Jung. My "glad I now know what they look like's" include Turing, Wallace, Hofstedter, Skinner, Dostoyevsky and Pavlov. For the record, I'd "heard of" 32 beside my list above.

Now, why did I just do all that, anyway?
posted by yhbc at 10:12 PM on August 13, 2003

He should of mixed in a bunch of serial killers and have us guess which were which.

Got a few, Pilsbury Doughboy was pretty easy, Marx, Poe, Foucalt, Joyce... missed some, that was like the worst picture of Chomsky... and David Foster Wallace looks like nineteen in that photo. I had heard of but not seen the Pynchon photo. Heard of about 45 or so (what are Bill Gates and Strom Thurmond doing there?).
posted by bobo123 at 11:30 PM on August 13, 2003

No fair showing a young Strom Thurmond.
posted by billder at 11:54 PM on August 13, 2003

Henson, Woolf, Freud, Doughboy, and wtf, Thomas Pynchon was a sailor? And David Foster Wallace is on there? I still haven't forgiven him for Infinite Jest.
posted by Lynsey at 12:15 AM on August 14, 2003

So many beards and glasses.

Wittgenstein, Noam Chomsky, Arthur C. Clarke, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Trotsky, Virginia Woolf, Marx, Freud, Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, Edgar Allen Poe, Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka... there were others I recognised but couldn't place their names because the context was all wrong: Brian Eno, Stanley Kubrick, Jim Henson, Walter Cronkite. And others I recognised once I read their name. And others whose names I recognised. And then there were... others.
posted by rory at 2:50 AM on August 14, 2003

11 + Doughboy and that "MIT-doesn't-pay-me-enough-to-buy-a-hairbrush guy."

Cornel West?
posted by shoos at 3:08 AM on August 14, 2003

Damn, I sucked at that. I only got Woolf, Joyce, and Erdos (what that says about my reading habits I don't care to think).

And lol Tuffaustin.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:31 AM on August 14, 2003

I got 32 of them but I think they tried to get obscure and awful pictures of half of these bozos. The Strom Thurmond circa 1909, or the David Foster Wallace High School Yearbook Picture, and the Bill Gates pie in the face photo.
posted by GiantRobot at 6:01 AM on August 14, 2003

I see white people.

Yes. And dead male ones at that! spoooooky.
posted by rainbaby at 8:08 AM on August 14, 2003

ha! they can't fool me.

donald e. knuth is on there twice.
posted by nylon at 9:37 AM on August 14, 2003

When I was an undergrad, my friends and I made a "photographic history of structuralism and semiotics" (with funny captions!). I got over the lit crit personality cult thing a loooong time ago, thanks!
posted by rschram at 12:52 PM on August 14, 2003

Twenty, including the doughboy -- mostly Marxists and modernists (Conrad, Nietzsche, Trotsky, Billy Gates, Proust, Chomsky, Freud, Cornel West, Schindler, Woolf, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Bakunin, Kristeva, Joyce, Benjamin, Gramsci, Poe, and Marx himself). It's just like being in grad school all over again! (Except for the part where I'd start drinking around noon.)

Amusingly, I had never realized (or perhaps had just conveniently forgotten) how much the young Trotsky and Gramsci resemble each other. Maybe our boy Leon was really in exile in Italy before the Revolution?
posted by scody at 1:41 PM on August 14, 2003

Coming in late, but: Twenty-one faces, and 85 names in addition to that. With 264 faces, the respective percentages are: 7.95% of faces recognized, 32.20% names recognized, and 59.85% completely unrecognized.

YRMV, especially since each test mixes up the faces and draws from a larger pool; i.e. I didn't get the Doughboy, but I did get the Dancing Baby (which I didn't recognize, I'm ashamed to say) and a famous example of Squirrel Fishing.
posted by skoosh at 7:24 AM on August 16, 2003

« Older Buffett for Ahnold?   |   All the hits, all at once! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments