[ExI] quiz for the new year

David C. Harris dharris at livelib.com
Sun Jan 3 10:47:21 UTC 2010

spike wrote:
> >Jack is looking at Anne, but Anne is looking at George. Jack is 
> married but George is not. Is a married person looking at an unmarried 
> person?
> >Yes      No      Cannot be determined
> ...
> ... excellent article below on irrationality in smart people:
> http://www.magazine.utoronto.ca/feature/why-people-are-irrational-kurt-kleiner/
> How many answered it correctly? 
> How many of you horndogs are like me, pondering the comely figure of 
> Anne, instead of concentrating your intelligence on being rational? 
> spike
Excellent article indeed!  I initially answered wrong, then analyzed the 
T/F cases for Anne's marriedness when I read your endorsement of YES and 
then wondered "now why did I do that wrong and feel so confident?"

I first noticed a discrepancy between normal logic and my ability to 
detect correct answers when I took touch typing, after I became enamored 
with the potential of computer keyboards.  My fingers responded to 
characters I saw WITHOUT MY MIND being aware of choice to use a 
particular finger and motion.

Another discrepancy occurred with the Miller Analogy Test, a test of 
verbal analogies.  I do those  VERY well, scoring in the top 1% of the 
highest reference group (psychiatric trainees).  But I noticed that I 
was picking the right answers without knowing explicitly why I chose 
those answers.  This felt like another "bypass" of explicit personal 

I'm particularly interested in what the article calls "mindware", which 
probably overlaps with  mathematics: representations and methods of 
processing that lead us to better answers.  I've benefited greatly from 
using Venn diagrams and from checking the units in science calculations 
(e.g. there is confusion in some of the global warming discussions when 
people use "kiloWatts" as if it meant "kiloWatt hours").

With this little puzzle, what would be a good mindware tool to use?  I 
built a graph of the "looks at" relationships, but didn't realize I'd 
need to examine the two values of "married" for Anne.

  - David Harris, Palo Alto

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