Why carry the horse, when you can ride it?

I was doing some AP calculus (Along with video at Khan Academy) for something to do today. And I was studying economic game theory ( Yale ), fixing a bad thing I did to my /dev directory, testing shell scripts with regexs, and doing some C programming. The thing that bothered me is the same thing which bothered me when I first took the Stanford Benet IQ test. To be blunt, my impression was that the people who designed the test were idiots and though I grasped what they wanted me to do, it was the idiots approach to how to solve problems. I got the highest recorded IQ in the history of the school, even though I took the time to decorate my test with cartoons. It was my subtle way of saying that those who composed this test and those who rely upon it to rate genius would have to be smarter than the person taking the test for it to be valid. It is a tough problem to try and figure out if somebody is smarter than yourself. In fact, I think it is NP unless ,NP=P ☺

When looking at the problems for AP Calculus, it struck me that there are numerous solutions that jump right out, The problem is that it would take too long to explain why they want a specific answer and another is quicker and more general. In the case of AP Calculus, why on Earth would I be required to trudge through the mud and hand code machine assembly language instructions to do something which can be solved with a flick to Wolfram Alpha, opening KIG, writing a few lines of Python, popping up SAGE, or using techniques which are more elegant.

Perhaps the test is not designed to see if you are skillful, but rather whether you will take directions from an idiot. There are certainly some brilliant people in this world and some of them are quite odd. I suppose it is not required, or even reasonable to assume, that a person of great mind, would act normally. And that is so cool, IMHO, that it is -273.16 degrees Centigrade.

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