Your Very First “Flockbinkers” Pop Quiz.
by David Kennedy Bird
Alrighty, boys and girls, it’s time for a pop quiz. (You knew this was going to happen eventually, and i shall be most disappointed if i find that you’ve not been paying attention.) Put your books away, take out a pencil and a sheet of paper, and let’s begin.
Question #1: Which of the following are NOT branches of philosophy? Select all that apply.
G. Justin Bieber’s Greatest Hits
J. Whatever Eckhart Tolle’s latest book is about
Question #2: In which of these places are you NOT likely to find real philosophy?
A. The dialogues of Plato
B. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
C. The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of Ludwig Wittgenstein
D. The poetry of Alexander Pope, Matthew Arnold and T.S. Eliot
E. The “Intro to Philosophy” class at many state universities
F. The “Philosophy” section at Barnes and Noble
G. David Letterman’s interviews with Julia Roberts
H. Facebook memes (with or without the obligatory misspellings, incorrectly used apostrophes and grammatical monstrosities)
I. In the second stall from the end, in the men’s room at the Imperial Golden House #2.
J. The pontifications of that barista who likes to begin every statement with, “Well, MY philosophy is….”
Question #3: Which of the following are NOT functions of logic?
A. Increasing clarity and reducing misunderstanding
B. Creating a clear path from evidence to conclusion
C. Guaranteeing the truth or falsity of propositions
D. Furnishing a set of tools by which you can sound all fancy and stuff
E. Creating an environment in which the Darwin Awards are possible
F. Enabling you to demonstrate that your opponent is an idiot
G. Enabling you to (inadvertently) demonstrate that you are an idiot
H. Slicing, dicing, and making julienne fries
I. Forging an insanely dense, turgid and confused mass of incomprehensible language where a perfectly ordinary conversation might have worked just as well
J. Enabling the speaker to introduce nonsense terms like “treadknicious” and “inflammable” into the discussion
Question #4: Complete the following sentence. You may select more than one answer. You may NOT select answer (G). Somebody’s been hacking my WordPress…
“All Flockbinkers are ___________________ .”
C. doing quite well, thank you, and living in a condo in Miami Beach
D. rather a ridiculous thing to be taking up precious conversational time with, don’t you think? I mean, honestly.
E. of uncertain ontological status
F. related in ways we do not fully understand to wamwams
G. symptomatic of The Blogger’s unique psychopathology
I. your mom
J. oh, wow, that last one was pretty mature, wasn’t it
Question #5: True, false, neither, or both?
“The present king of France is bald.”
A. False: French men don’t go bald
B. False: There is currently no French king.
C. Do we mean “publicly bald” or “actually bald”? I’ve heard he wears a hairpiece.
D. Neither: There is currently no French king
E. Yeah, okay, so somebody’s been channeling Bertrand Russell
F. Bertrand Russell shmertrand russell, it’s a straightforward case of a bogus question involving a non-referential term
G. I have no idea what those last two guys are talking about, i’m going with “true.”
H. Okay, so there’s only one left, i’ll take “both.”
I. It can’t possibly be “both.” A statement cannot be both true and untrue at the same time. That’s basic Aristotelian logic.
J. What do i know from Aristotelian logic? I was a sohsh major. I’m going with “both.”
Question #6: Select all that apply.
The term ‘ontology’…
A. means “an area of study that deals with being or identity”
B. is a branch of philosophy similar to metaphysics
C. is a branch of philosophy that is sometimes presented as a subcategory under metaphysics
D. is a branch of philosophy under which metaphysics is sometimes presented as a subcategory
E. Let me get this straight, some of you people actually talk like this on a regular basis?
F. sounds almost like a branch of medicine
G. is the science that studies new dinosaurs
H. Get it? “Paleontology” studies prehistoric dinosaurs, and “ontology” studies the new ones.
I. I’m guessing here, does it mean the study of elderly female relatives? I’m totally guessing.
J. rhymes with “shmontology,” thus making possible the poem: “ontology, shmontology.”
Question #7: Complete the following sentence. You may select more than one answer.
“The unicorn is an entity that ___________________ .”
A. shares certain attributes in common with the flockbinker
B. can be found throughout world literature and myth
C. is of uncertain ontological status
D. Dude, the same people who talk about unicorns do not use the word “entity.”
E. can be used to trip up The Good Reader into saying self-contradictory things
F. is often pictured communing with a virgin on medieval tapestries
G. if it existed, would be kind of cool
H. if it existed, would be a horror past all imagining
I. is a favorite animal among those who self-identify as “horse-people”
J. “…has a single horn growing out of its forehead. Except, well, you see, it doesn’t, because unicorns aren’t real. Well, it’s complicated. Darn it, you tripped me up again!”
Question #8: Complete the following syllogism.
Some broomshovelers are hobnobbicus.
All broomshovelers are froombicious.
Therefore, _____________________ .
A. some things that are hobnobbicus are also froombicious.
B. You have got to be kidding me.
C. No, it’s a serious logic exercise.
D. How can something with nonsense words be a logic exercise? That’s totally illogical. heh heh.
E. No, it’s not totally illogical. Non-referential terms can be used as placeholders to illustrate various kinds of logical relationships.
G. I’m guessing that “whatever,” in the present instance, means “i’m not capable of grasping the nuances of structured philosophical discourse.”
H. Yeah, well, i’ve got your structured philosophical discourse right here, pal.
I. Hey, can y’all take the argument offline, please? I’m trying to figure out the answer to the dude’s question.
J. I just got here. Sorry i’m late, everybody! Hey, did i hear somebody say “broomshovelers”? Funny! I’m actually studying that at the community college. Small world.
Question #9: True, false, neither, both, or both neither and both?
“A flockbinker does not have to exist in order to be treadknicious.”
A. That’s silly. How can something that doesn’t exist be “trebulishus” or anything else?
B. You have to pick one of the five options he gave you.
C. I did. What part of “that’s silly” doesn’t pretty much mean “false”?
D. We’re all philosophers here. Precision is kind of a big deal.
E. Guys, The Blogger here. Can you please refrain from using up all the answers with your bickering? I only get to put in ten answers per question.
F. You’re The Blogger, how do you not get as many answers per question as you want to include? Hmmmm?
G. Hey fellas, i’ll take a stab at it. “Neither.” ‘Cause a flockbinker doesn’t exist and also isn’t treadknicious.
H. Oh my word. Kill me now.
I. What, that wasn’t the right answer? I thought it made perfect sense.
J. Let me try. I’m going with “both neither and both,” on account of it sounds like the most complicated answer, and it’s a complicated question.
J 1/2. He only included that one to be absurd. I’m pretty sure he didn’t expect anyone to select it.
J 2/3. Well, it’s my answer and i’m sticking to it.
J 4/5. By the way, o mighty Blogger, don’t think we haven’t noticed that you’re stretching out the answers.
Question #10: Fill in the blank. Choose all answers that apply.
“There are two kinds of people in the world: dog-people and horse-people. We only threw in the dog-people to make the question seem more involved than it really is. You can lead a horse-person to water, but you cannot ________________________ .”
A. make him drink it.
B. make his horse drink it.
C. take the risk of attaching either the pronoun ‘he’ or the pronoun ‘she’ to ‘horse-person,’ because ‘horse-person’ is a gender-indefinite term.
D. Well, traditionally, ‘he’ has been used as the gender-indefinite pronoun in English.
E. Your respect for tradition is endearing! I bet you knit your own sweaters, too. Welcome to the 21st century! We’ve kind of moved beyond sexist grammar.
F. There’s nothing ‘sexist’ about having an indefinite pronoun that happens to be the same word that, in other contexts, would be a masculine pronoun.
G. The Blogger: Fellas, fellas, please! Take the argument outside. I’m really trying to run a quiz here.
H. “Fellas”…? What makes you think we’re both men?
I. I was using the word ‘fellas’ in its gender-inclusive sense.
J. The word ‘fellas’ does not have a gender-inclusive sense, dude. It’s a masculine-reference noun, admittedly idiomatic in nature but nevertheless conventionally masculine.
J.5. You called me “dude.”
J.8. You called me “dude.” How do you know i’m a fella?
J.9. I read your bio, dude.
J.995. Oh, that’s right. Blast. Thought i had you.