Click bait. It's the modern cousin of the old carnival freak shows. "Two Headed Woman! Just a nickel!" Show the sign to enough people and enough would part with their nickels to view the freak of nature. Which was usually a normal woman with a fake head attached.
Nobody offers nickels any more but they DO offer their time and their eyeballs. And although they're not worth much individually, the trick is that there's millions out there so succeed in capturing just a small percentage and you're golden.
It's fun to reverse engineer them, to ask oneself just what's the motivation to click. This one, for instance. It starts with "If you can guess". And then goes on to "can you identify". Hmmmm. Guessing and identifying are pretty much completely different. Does IQ correlate with guessing? I'd have guessed ... not. Or rather, if the questions are carefully chosen, with given prior information supplied, and you have to make an educated guess based on what you've been told and through using your brain to draw subtle conclusions that support your guess ... then yes, that'd reflect IQ. But I'm willing to bet real money that's not what you'll find if you click an ad like this.
And note the IQ listed. 140. That's genius level. Not many geniuses around. And yet - I'll bet a good chunk of those choosing to waste some of their time clicking will find to their amazement that they've got genius IQs! Yay for them!
But you don't have to be a genius to realize that clicking the link is pretty much going to get you what the two headed lady audiences got a century ago. A big helping of "not much".
I have a hard time not noticing that, for most of the day, our cat likes to quietly philosophize. By which I mean - snooze. And our dog follows a similar philosophy. Their lives seem to be summed up by “be fed, run around a bit, snooze”. And in the case of my dog, bark like a lunatic at any and all squirrels and postal workers.
This behavior contrasts markedly with the birds I see in our garden. They’re flitting around, here there and everywhere, looking for something to eat. They don’t sit around a great deal.
Can I conclude that a top priority of life is to find something to eat? Outside, where life is hard, it takes up a good bit of time. And inside, where food is freely offered, it’s a quickly accomplished task. One that, once accomplished, permits us to just lie around and relax. Judging from these examples, I’d be forced to say yes, that would seem to be the life's goal.
And yet … humans. We don’t seem to advocate this approach to our time on this mortal coil. Especially in North America there’s this nagging sense that if we’re not eating (or sleeping or having sex) we should be DOING SOMETHING. Just sitting around is lazy. It’s a waste of time. It’s … non-productive. A sin.
Of course, if we busy ourselves we can perhaps earn more money. Money which lets us buy and eat even more food! But we can’t eat it all, can we? There’s a limit. And we wouldn’t want to try, unless a steadily increasing number on the weight scale is our goal.
Stuff! That’s an answer! With more work and more money we can buy more stuff! In fact, our society has evolved such that the creation and purchase of new stuff is seemingly its core activity set. Civilization would crumble if we didn’t keep working and buying and working and buying. Until we die, of course.
So does this make us happier than my cat or my dog? I can’t be sure, of course. But judging from their expressions I’d tend to think maybe not so much.
This is an important observation, so pardon me while I close my eyes and quietly philosophize about it. Zzzzzz ....
The next time you want to say "begs the question" I urge you to instead say "raises the question". That way you're saying exactly what you mean AND you're saving "begs the question" for its actual meaning, rather than steering it away from its lovely purpose in logic and disputation.
Ahhhhh, Tuesdays. Just the time of week for a grammar rant, don't you agree?
Wherestuffis. That’s the name of the file. And as it’s called, so does it do. I don’t know if you’re better at it than me (yay for you if you are!) but I’m terrible at remembering where I’ve put stuff. I’ll buy a new battery charger and then say to myself “I’ll put it here in this drawer” and I’ll stare at the drawer to burn it into my memory. And a month later, when I need it, I’ll have no idea where it is.
Well, I’ve finally found a solution that works for me and can work for you. Start by accepting that you’ll forget unless you take action and create your own “wherestuffis” file on your computer. Then write down exactly what and where for everything that’s not in day to day use. You can even throw in the date if that helps. Hit save and then put the item in its designated spot.
This works SO WELL. I can’t express the degree of awesome-sauce it is to wonder where my electronic fly swatter is, open up my wherestuffis file and read “top shelf, laundry room closet”.
Of course, if you don’t write it down you can’t win and so that has to become a habit. Give it a try, why don’t you? You’ll be glad you did!
Have to amuse myself while waiting for the rest of the family to wake up. Therefore ... this.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.