3 years ago: Family Feud politics

March 10, 2010, on this blog: Family Feud politics

Facts matter in Jeopardy!

Facts do not matter in Family Feud. That game show — which pits teams of five family members against other family teams — isn’t about getting the right answer, but about guessing the most popular response. Where Jeopardy’s questions and answers come from an almanac or an encyclopedia, Family Feud’s responses come from surveys and polls. “One hundred people surveyed,” the host says, over and over, “the top five answers are on the board.” The questions on Family Feud don’t require knowledge or a grasp of information, but rather the ability to guess what answers were most popular with those “hundred people surveyed.”

Usually, the Family Feud producers do a good job tailoring their questions to this subjective format. “Name something that might be found in a glove compartment,” or “Name a popular animal at the zoo.” Such questions don’t have right and wrong answers, per se, just common or uncommon answers. But sometimes the producers trespass into more objective realms, offering questions that actually do have right and wrong answers. And on Family Feud, insisting on the right answer can get you into trouble, because those “hundred people surveyed” often seem to be an ill-informed bunch of morons.

When Alex Trebek asks you about the capital of Australia, you’d better say “Canberra” or you’re going to lose. When Richard Dawson or his successors ask that question on Family Feud, you’d better be prepared to answer “Sydney” or “Melbourne” or “Vienna,” because those hundred people surveyed may have never seen a map.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    It’s seriously been three years since this post?

    Am I the only one reacting to each of these with, “It’s been that long?”

    -

    Also, Fred and all others who might be concerned, I recently heard a person (a college professor) remarking on how strange it is that we have “fact checkers” now since once upon a time people who checked facts went by a different name: Journalists.

    It used to be assumed that a basic facet of reporting the news was telling you what the news actually was.  Not what people thought it was, not what people said it was, not, “Here’s a Republican analyst talking about things and here’s a Democratic one, make up your own damn mind,” but instead, “Here are the facts of the case.”

  • walter comer

      The best lack all conviction, while the worst

        Are full of passionate intensity.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Indeed, things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    In the UK that game goes by the name of Family Fortunes :-)

    This has nothing to do with the matter at hand.

    However in the UK we also have Family Fortunes Politics and the current government is playing it with welfare reform. Grrr.

    Case in point: apparently being blind is a lifestyle choice. *facepalms*  http://audioboo.fm/boos/1227615-blind-woman-says-she-fears-losing-her-home-because-of-the-so-called-bedroom-tax

  • Mrs Grimble

     I thought the nearest equivalent UK show was ’8 Out Of 10 Cats’  where panellists have to guess what people have voted for in surveys?  But at least that’s played for laughs.

    I’m also in the UK and yes -  blasted *&%^$£ welfare reform!  I have a friend disabled with mental health problems who is having similar problems to the woman in the broadcast.   She’ll have  to put her precarious mental stability at risk with the stress and upheaval of finding a smaller place, away from her friends and her support team,  because she won’t be able to pay the bedroom tax on her minute spare room.
    Like tens of thousands of other ‘bedroom tax refugees’,  she’ll end up in a private rental and claiming more in housing benefit, costing the government more!  This lot in power are supposed to be intelligent and well-educated, but they apparently can’t do simple adding-up sums. 

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    1. Family Fortunes :-)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Fortunes

    2. I’m really sorry to hear about your friend’s woes. :-( It might be worth measuring the room and challenging the bedroom tax if it’s under 70 square feet area. There’s a lot of argument about this but apparently there’s a good argument that if it is it’s not a bedroom but you really have to push it because you are challenging the definition as a bedroom and her landlord won’t want to change it. http://www.youreable.com/forums/showthread.php/3718-Bedroom-Tax-READ-THIS

    3. Have you signed the War on Welfare petition yet? http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154

    4. Labour MP does interesting vlog series about the effects of the bedroom tax http://www.youtube.com/user/HelenGoodmanMP?feature=watch

    5. I think they can do sums, the bedroom tax is ideological like all of austerity. It’s not working, even the IMF agrees it’s not working, but like scientifically literate climate change deniers they can’t see it because their ideology says it can’t be so.

  • http://danel4d.livejournal.com/ Danel

    An amusing note about the UK version of Family Fortunes is that for some time now it’s been in a Celebrity Special version by the name of “All-Star Family Fortunes” – which, given the very format, is quite wrong. One Star and their perfectly ordinary family Family Fortunes would be more accurate. 

    ATOS bloody ATOS. As ever, the government is happy to throw money at the companies that do this sort of awful stuff, like ATOS and it’s awful assessments, and a number of “Employability Skills Training” outfits which were found to actually reduce the chance of someone getting a job.

  • Albanaeon

    I think at this stage, anyone peddling austerity from a position of power KNOWS it doesn’t work.  Aside from what’s happening in Europe right now, to the SAP’s forced on Africa and S. America of the Cold War, to the Great Depression, we’ve got nearly a century of evidence that not only is “austerity” bad, but it brings terrible civil and political strife.  It’s not surprising that a fascist party is on the rise in Greece when they are suffering the worse of the European Crisis because extremism breeds extremism.

    Yet, here we are and the range of our debate among our political class even among our “liberals” is to the right even of most of our Republicans in this country because our debate has been captured by austerians.  Mainly because the ones wanting it have most of the money and have bought one party outright and probably 50% or so of the other, but also because Reaganism has been the status quo so long that its sheer momentum is keeping it the norm.  And all this is abetted by a punditry that ranges from willful ignorant, to plain greedy, to can’t admit they are wrong.

    So, I think we’ve actually moved beyond “Family Feud” politics into something different.  Now all we need is a few well placed pundits to say what we want to do and that’s enough to push forward with any plan, no matter how against public opinion and good sense it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.mcirvin Matt McIrvin

    The 2012 election revealed that that article was wrong: Republicans don’t necessarily even pay attention to polls if they tell them things they don’t want to hear. The survey said Romney was not going to be elected. This seems to have come as a surprise to his campaign.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.mcirvin Matt McIrvin

    …I think sometimes that we should have elected Romney.

    When a man has a loaded gun jammed in your stomach and demands your wallet, you give him your wallet. We didn’t do that; we denied the Republicans the wallet, so as not to reward bad behavior. Now they’ve pulled the trigger, and we’re in that fleeting moment just before we collapse gushing blood onto the sidewalk. If we’d appeased the mugger a while longer, we might have survived.

  • Mrs Grimble

     

    1. Family Fortunes :-)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F

    Ah.  I have never seen either show, and was just going by what I’d heard about them.

    2. I’m really sorry to hear about your friend’s woes. :-( It might be worth measuring the room and challenging the bedroom tax if it’s under 70 square feet area. There’s a lot of argument about this but apparently there’s a good argument that if it is it’s not a bedroom but you really have to push it because you are challenging the definition as a bedroom and her landlord won’t want to change it.
    http://www.youreable.com/forums/showthread.php/3718-Bedroom-Tax-READ-THIS

    Yes, she’s seen that but  has decided she’ll probably move anyway, figuring that would be less hassle than challenging anything.

    3. Have you signed the War on Welfare petition yet? http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154

    Yes, signed it and several similar petitions, for all the good that it will do….

    Not seen Helen Goodman’s videos yet, but will give them a look.  And yes, I fear you’re right about the new Bill being based on blind ideology rather than common sense, pragmatism  or any sense of compassion. And it’s another two years until the next general election?    Sheesh.
     Makes me glad to be living in Scotland; I’ll be getting the chance to vote to break away from the rule of these parasitic psychos.

  • Caravelle

     Reminds me of another UK game show which is pretty much the opposite of this – it’s “Pointless”, and it involves asking 100 people questions, and the contestants have to answer the same questions; if they’re wrong they get 100 points, if they’re correct they get as many points as there were people surveyed who gave that same answer. The aim is to get as few points as possible, the best being to come up with a correct answer that 0 of the 100 people gave, getting 0 points – hence “pointless”.

    Like Family Feud you need to have an idea of what the general public would know, but the game  rewards extensive knowledge of obscure things.

  • phranckeaufile

    Perhaps instead of Dunning-Kruger, it should be called the Yeats effect.

  • AnonymousSam

    Given the choice being having to fight tooth and nail for what we get and getting nothing, you’d have preferred nothing?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Thing is, when the mugger says “Give me your money and I’ll shoot you,” you might as well be contrary about it.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    What happened to ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists’?

    The US survived Warren G. Harding, we can survive the Teabaggers.  Then we can make sure they NEVER GET ELECTED AGAIN.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas-Canalos/827538816 Nicholas Canalos

    “When Alex Trebek asks you about the capital of Australia, you’d better say “Canberra” or you’re going to lose.”

    NO! Do not follow this advice! You had better say, “What is Canberra?” or you are going to lose.


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