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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Wed Nov 7th, 2007 8:10pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
How many instances can you all recall when a piece of QI 'knowledge' turned out to be quite irredeemably wrong? (The urban legend about Edison inventing the word 'hello' comes readily to mind.)

I'm bringing this up because I was considering buying "The Meaning of Tingo" by QI elf Adam Jacot de Boinod - until I read the reviews left on its amazon.com page by native speakers of some of the languages he 'researched'. Forget Hawaiian or Pascuense: the guy apparently managed to get even his German and Russian wrong, to say nothing of Chinese and Turkish! Either his reviewers are all malicious slanderers with an agenda to undermine his sales, or Boinod's methods of 'research' involved zero fact-checking with experts and too much internet browsing. One wonders if that's the way things are done as a matter of course on QI. If so, how embarrasing for everyone involved.

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Thu Nov 8th, 2007 6:45pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
Wow.
That is all.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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whatonearth


Member

Posted Thu Nov 8th, 2007 7:23pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
Haha to be honest I've always taken every bit of info on QI with a small pinch of salt. I love it for its niceness and humour but I never really 'learn' anything from it apart from that there are interesting little tidbits of information everywhere. And moonwalking birds.

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Thu Nov 8th, 2007 10:35pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
I thought the whole point of QI was to get people to see how weird and fascinating the world is. The *real* world, not fabrications gleaned off the web.

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whatonearth


Member

Posted Sat Nov 10th, 2007 2:17pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
I have a bone to pick with yesterday's episode actually.

They said that Mr Q (can't remember his name) invented the Q-tip after he saw his wife cleaning out her kids' ears with cotton wool on the end of a toothpick (am I right or am I just imagining this?)...well if you ask me his WIFE invented the Q-tip, he just redesigned it slightly and patented it. Sexism to the max if you ask me, and I can imagine if there was a question like 'who invented the telephone?' Alan Davies would say 'Alexander Graham Bell', he'd get the obvious-but-wrong sirens and it would turn out to be some guy who invented it in 1750 but never patented it, or it was made out of toilet roll tubes or something, I don't know. So yes, naughty naughty QI!

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MinervaMoon


Member

Posted Sat Nov 10th, 2007 9:31pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
I can imagine if there was a question like 'who invented the telephone?' Alan Davies would say 'Alexander Graham Bell', he'd get the obvious-but-wrong sirens and it would turn out to be some guy who invented it in 1750 but never patented it, or it was made out of toilet roll tubes or something, I don't know.

That already happened . . ..

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whatonearth


Member

Posted Sun Nov 11th, 2007 1:44am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
I can imagine if there was a question like 'who invented the telephone?' Alan Davies would say 'Alexander Graham Bell', he'd get the obvious-but-wrong sirens and it would turn out to be some guy who invented it in 1750 but never patented it, or it was made out of toilet roll tubes or something, I don't know.

That already happened . . ..
haha wow, maybe i forgot that i remembered it or something. but then there have been a LOT of weird coincidences/me guessing what's going to happen over the last couple of days...maybe i'm in the matrix.

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Sun Nov 11th, 2007 3:33am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
I can imagine if there was a question like 'who invented the telephone?' Alan Davies would say 'Alexander Graham Bell', he'd get the obvious-but-wrong sirens and it would turn out to be some guy who invented it in 1750 but never patented it, or it was made out of toilet roll tubes or something, I don't know.

That already happened . . ..
haha wow, maybe i forgot that i remembered it or something. but then there have been a LOT of weird coincidences/me guessing what's going to happen over the last couple of days...maybe i'm in the matrix.

I'm afraid I've got a prior claim to being the matrix. Check out this snippet of a chat I had with my friend/professor two days ago.

WARNING: blasphemy ahead. So if your religious feelings are easily offended, now is the time to click the "back" button.

------------------------------------------------

poniness: you can't turn water into heroin. God cannot create dipole ex nihlio
me: God can do anything given enough impetus and alcohol
poniness: there's a conservation of magnetic moment, which explains the theodicy of the lack of monopoles
no, you're thinking of Russians
me: i mean, he created everything ex nihilo, what makes you think a dipole or two is beyond him?
4:09 PM poniness: because dipoles imply that there's a balance between opposing forces. to create one would imply creating the other
4:10 PM and unless yo'ure a zoroastrian, this is going to be problematic. Dipole = problem of evil
4:11 PM the lack of magnetic monopoles is proof of teh unity and goodness of god
4:12 PM me: nevertheless, dipoles exist, and God must've created them. so what would disable him from creating more of them at will?
4:25 PM poniness: because a god who creates new dipoles ex nihilo would not one one in which we could know that the world is good
me: "would not one one "?
poniness: be one
4:26 PM me: wouldn't that technically speaking do away not just with dipoles but with all miracules?
lol
'miracules' - miracles with animalcules
4:27 PM poniness: wow, i just finished grading papers on spermatism and religion
those woudl count as miracules
me: LOL
i am TEH PSYCHICs. lolz.
ph34r m3

------------------------------------------------


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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Wed Nov 14th, 2007 9:57am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
If QI can be wrong then perhaps I am not as thick as I thought.

MinervaMoon - I would have got the telephone question right. Not because I'm super clever or anything, but because it was mentioned 2 or 3 times in The Godfather Part 3! So the fact that nobody in the studio got it in that episode worries me. It's like those times when they interview someone like Patrick Stewart about their big sci-fi show and they say something like "Half the time I don't understand the scripts! Ha ha ha!" and I think to myself "For fuck's sake it may be sci-fi but it's not rocket science! This is mass audience stuff! If you don't get it, I am going to have serious doubts about your comprehension of, say, Shakespeare."

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MinervaMoon


Member

Posted Thu Nov 15th, 2007 12:50am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
Haha! To be fair, Star Trek does use a fair amount of technobabble. Can someone tell me what a plasma injector does? It doesn't sound like injecting plasma anywhere would be a good idea.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Thu Nov 15th, 2007 8:11am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
See this is why Doctor Who is sooo much better.

Martha: But, how do you travel in time? What makes it go?
The Doctor: Oh, let’s take the fun and the mystery out of everything! Martha, you don’t want to know, it just does. Hold on tight!

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Spiny Norman


Member

Posted Tue Dec 18th, 2007 3:12pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
The telephone was pretty useless until carbon transmitters (a type of microphone) was invented by Edison.

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StickyKeys


Member

Posted Mon Dec 24th, 2007 2:01am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
Seriously though, who has actually seen The Godfather 3? I could barely sit through the first one. Blueh

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beeline


Member

Posted Sun Dec 30th, 2007 9:53am Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
Interestingly, an article recently appeared on MSN about Bell's naughtiness surrounding the acquisition of the telephone patent:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22400009/

AxmxZ, could you provide us with the exact nature of the mistakes that QI researchers are constantly making? I'd be glad to fill you in on the background for any piece of research with which you disagree, as we keep a (reasonably) meticulous list of all our sources, as I'm sure you do with your corrections.

And yes, occasionally we make mistakes because we are (gasp!) human. QI genuinely does try to open people's eyes to interesting things of which most people may be unaware. Of course we welcome corrections and clarifications - that's an important part of learning - but might I suggest that you try to raise them with more grace. It's very easy to target the show's staff from afar, and use any perceived mistake as a springboard to elevate one's own intellectual status amongst one's peers, but that's not really the game we're in. We like to *discuss* differences of opinion, and perhaps work together to find the best explanation available, not embark on slightly pointless ego trips.

Yes, we were wrong about the first written use of the word 'hello' - it wasn't Edison at all, it turns out. But - quite interestingly - according to the OED, neither was it Mark Twain. That was indeed a simple mistake. But it's certainly worth trying yourself to find a thousand interesting facts and placing them before an audience of several million to see if every single one of them stands up. I'll guarantee nobody can do that. If you can manage more than a 95% hit rate, we'll consider hiring you!

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Spiny Norman


Member

Posted Sun Jan 6th, 2008 7:49pm Post subject: Dubious quality of QI research
"Dune" (1984) wasn't directed by "Alan Smithee", he only got that credit for the longer TV edition. David Lynch did take the credit for the theatrical release.

I spotted a small mistake in QI and it doesn't even feel good. I feel like a nagger.

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