prompt n.

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 15 21:39:34 UTC 2010

Sadly, no. You're not dreaming. I wish I could say that the
terminology evolved in response to the idea that "choice" is the wrong
word to have when only one "choice" is correct--that makes it no
choice at all (in one sense of "choice", at least). But I can't even
offer that solace. It's just part of the jargon and there need not be
any reason behind it. Just remember, when dealing with psychometrics
and US politics, you must time-travel to the time when Behaviorism was
a legitimate ideology in psychology. Reductionism, in general, has
great appeal for small minds and has swallowed some great ones as

I am also not sure there is much improvement in history being written
by the losers--Mike Huckabee yesterday "observed" on his show that
George W. Bush was one of the most intelligent, humorous and
articulate presidents we've ever had, with his proudest moment coming
in Florida when he stood up to terror. I knew I wasn't dreaming, but I
had to check to be sure.


On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 4:40 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
>>> the answer choices [are] all referred to as "distractors" (even though
> one of them is
> supposed to be correct)<<
> Obviously I dreamed this. Please tell me that I dreamed it. (Note too how
> much less economical "distractor" is than "choice." Besides being dumber.
> Unless I dreamed it.)
> It brings back memories of learning that the once satirical _multiple-guess
> test_ is now often used neutrally and without irony.
> It also somehow resonates wuth the CNN commentator (presented as nonpartisan
> expert in pedagogy) who observed today that attempts by Texas schoolboards
> to require the teaching of creationism in public schools is perfectly
> understandable, because "History is always written by the victors."
> Huh?
> JL

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