|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Sunday, January 26, 2003
The Agitator I found this wonderful twist on the old "guess an animal" binary search game that was one of the first applications available on PC's in the 70's: Guess the Dictator or Sitcom Character.
You are asked a bunch of yes-or-no questions until the quiz has enough information to hazard a guess. If the quiz is correct, it tells you how many other people have tried your subject. If incorrect it grovels before you, then asks for a question that would separate your subject from its incorrect guess.
The nature of the quiz leads to wonderful changes of subject such as
I read a lot more history than I watch TV, so I decided to try some strongmen. I warmed up with Pol Pot, and I knew the quiz had me when it asked
So I tried the Mexican dictator Santa Anna. When the quiz asked me
I was at a loss. Google told me that Santa Anna had indeed lost a leg in 1837 fighting the French at Vera Cruz -- and had it given a full military burial. The quiz got me again; I was the third contestant to try Santa Anna.
Then I tried Bela Kun, a Hungarian Communist dictator who ruled for a short time until deposed by Rumanian troops. There was another Bela Kun in the database but his data did not match up with my answers. So I tried Heng Samrin, the Cambodian puppet installed by Vietnam after they defeated Pol Pot. I was finally victorious.