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Wednesday, November 19, 2003


My friend Mark posted this quiz to a mailing list we're on, which prompted a bit of discussion about the quality of the quiz itself. My two cents:

I made it through unscathed, but had to second-guess the intentions of the test writer--particularly their use of "justified". I think the test writers are exercising a little faith themselves in assuming an ultimate objective root for justification (such as, for example, rational self-interest). "Justified", imo, should only be used with respect to a declared goal, i.e., where A is justified in the furtherance of B, much in the way that "value" is also always subjective as in "A is of value to or toward B". A thing cannot be of value without a valuer, nor justified without a goal or metric. ("Justified" was also thrown about heavily, equally misused imo, following 9/11, both in terms of what was and wasn't justified.)

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com