Culture, Plain Speaking, Truth

Sigh: Encyclopedia Britannica Succumbs to New Math in the Service of–What, Exactly?

So.  In an outburst of enthusiasm, I thought I’d write a new post today, and–as I often do–I began a search through Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and a couple of other sites where I regularly look up “On This Day…” information as a prelude and springboard to discovering something new and interesting.

Today, though, I got sidetracked on the Encyclopedia Britannica site by a promised “quiz” to see “How Much Do [I] Know About the Kings of England?

I’m a sucker for such things, having always loved both history and general knowledge quizzes and puzzles.  So I clicked.

There were seven questions.  Here is my result, after I’d completed the quiz:

So, let me get this straight:

There were seven questions.  I got all seven right.  But somehow, I scored only 130 out of a possible 165 points.

How does that work?????

Move down the page a bit further, and I discover that I can “compare my score” with the leaders:

And I discover that I have failed in my quest for excellence.  Not only am I nowhere near the leaders, but my score isn’t all that much higher than the “community average.”

What is going on, I wonder?  How could I possibly have missed out on the additional 35 points I ought to have garnered by my impeccable performance, as demonstrated by my correct answer to all of the questions posed? 

My working theory at the moment, WRT this perplexing matter, is that somehow my British Privilege (i.e. unfair advantage in a quiz about British monarchs) is working against me.  I figure that Encyclopedia Britannica discovered my intersectional advantage in a database lurking somewhere online, and that therefore, for each question which is worth–for a correct answer from a person without British Privilege25.25143 points, I am awarded–because of my pesky British Privilege, only 18.57143 points.  Sort of like a golf handicap–only backwards–in which those who are expected to do better have their total scores reduced, to–as it were–level the playing field.

Hence, my failure to appear with those at the top of the leaderboard who must be–or so it appears–disadvantaged types who need a leg up and a helping hand to buttress their pretensions to excellence, whilst The Encyclopedia Britannica  puts a thumb on the scale to suppress the rest of us.  (Like “keeping your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel, and your ear to the ground,” it’s difficult to do all those things at once in any situation, particularly this one.

Glory Be.  If The Encyclopedia Britannica (somewhere I have a complete set from the early 1970s I bought for $50 or so at a flea market, and which seems to be one of the last rational and reliable sources of printed information on record) has gone fully, and innumerately, woke and illiterate, then perhaps we really are doomed.



Leave a Reply