Yet another weird SF fan
 I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?Go to first entry

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 Yet another weird SF fan

### The Cognitive Reflection Test and a William Buckey Quote

William F. Buckley once said that he would rather be governed by the first few thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than by Harvard University. Today we can quantify that using the Cognitive Reflection Test (seen via Derek Lowe.

The Cognitive Reflection Test is a test of someone's ability to think for a second or two before jumping to a conclusion. It consists of the following three questions:

1. A bat and a ball cost \$1.10 in total. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
5 cents

2. If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
5 minutes

3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?
47 days

The really interesting fact is that the test was given to a sample of Harvard students and to a sample of ordinary Bostonians at the Boston Fourth of July celebrations. The ordinary Bostonians did better.