And Another Thing

And another thing about this O’Hanlon piece in the NY Times– what exactly is this:

At the moment, we give the Iraqis a score of 5 out of 11 (our system allows a score of 0, 0.5, or 1 for each category, and is dynamic, meaning we can subtract points for backsliding). It is far too soon to predict that Iraq is headed for stability or sectarian reconciliation. But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

Was a scale of 1 to 10 copyrighted, or does a scale of 0 to 11 with .5 intervals just make things easier to distort?

I propose, in the future, all schools grade on a scale of 3 to 97, with 1/3 intervals and prime numbers as actual grades. For clarity and to properly note backsliding, of course.

*** Update ***

An example of the new grades:

At the moment, we give the young Jimmy a score of 51.13 out of 97 (our system allows a a scale of 3 to 97, with 1/3 intervals and prime numbers as actual grades, and is dynamic, meaning we can subtract points for backsliding). It is far too soon to predict that your children is learning. But it is also clear that those who assert that he is completely hopeless have not kept up with our new grading system.

I think it works.

*** Update #2 ***

Apparently Michael O’Hanlon has a future in the music industry:






22 replies
  1. 1
    Mary says:

    It’s official. I’m crushing on John.

  2. 2
    James Gary says:

    “Was a scale of 1 to 10 copyrighted, or does a scale of 0 to 11 with .5 intervals just make things easier to distort?”

    This one goes to eleven.

  3. 3

    Now, help me here, John. You’re the professor, not me…but, I always thought that getting a 45% on a test was typically a miserable failure. Which is to say “totally broken, even on a grading scale only an administration flack could love”, right?

    –demi “obviously, not creating history right” mondian

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    Now, help me here, John. You’re the professor, not me…but, I always thought that getting a 45% on a test was typically a miserable failure. Which is to say “totally broken, even on a grading scale only an administration flack could love”, right?
    —demi “obviously, not creating history right” mondian

    In this new world, only self-esteem matters. So as long as the Iraqi’s feel good about their progress, then they are doing fine.

  5. 5
    Shygetz says:

    I propose, in the future, all schools grade on a scale of 3 to 97, with 1/3 intervals and prime numbers as actual grades.

    I have a copyright on this. You owe me a quarter.

  6. 6
    TheFountainHead says:

    Now, help me here, John. You’re the professor, not me…but, I always thought that getting a 45% on a test was typically a miserable failure. Which is to say “totally broken, even on a grading scale only an administration flack could love”, right?
    —demi “obviously, not creating history right” mondian

    Right. But it goes to eleven!

  7. 7
    myiq2xu says:

    Now, help me here, John. You’re the professor, not me…but, I always thought that getting a 45% on a test was typically a miserable failure. Which is to say “totally broken, even on a grading scale only an administration flack could love”, right?

    You forgot that we’re grading on the “curve.”

    Or, since this is Iraq we’re talking about, the “Curveball.”

  8. 8
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Shorter O’Hanlon:

    “My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.”

  9. 9
    myiq2xu says:

    “My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.”

    You use yer tongue purttier than a $20 whore!

  10. 10
    AkaDad says:

    Why do people spout off on things they know little about? Go learn some Fuzzy Math™ like I have, then you will understand.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Wes says:

    But … it goes to 11

  13. 13
    Jake says:

    In the future all twittering bobble heads will be ranked on a scale of Fail Extreeme to Teh Suck with intervals of Stoopid to account for backsliding.

    But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

    You kind of think they’d want to supply some examples to support this statement, but I guess they were worn out after the wankery required to explain The Math.

  14. 14
    Cyrus says:

    Now, help me here, John. You’re the professor, not me…but, I always thought that getting a 45% on a test was typically a miserable failure. Which is to say “totally broken, even on a grading scale only an administration flack could love”, right?
    —demi “obviously, not creating history right” mondian

    To be fair, grading from 0 to 100 with 70 (or 60) as passing might be an American thing. I don’t know about other countries, but in French high schools, students get grades on a scale of 0 to 20, 10 is a passing grade, and a perfect score is quite a bit harder to get in French schools than in American schools.

    So if you’re in a country that the wingnuts hate, 45 percent is still a failure, but not quite as much as it is for us.

  15. 15
    Fwiffo says:

    I don’t think people are fully grasping the brilliance of the O’Hanlon point system. Spinal Tap’s amps also go to eleven, however, in that case eleven is just one more than ten. In the O’Hanlon system, eleven is two one-halves more than ten. Since two is more than one, an O’Hanlon eleven is more than a Spinal Tap eleven.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    It is far too soon to predict that Iraq is headed for stability or sectarian reconciliation. But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

    Shorter O’Hanlon: Sure, the numbers indicate Iraq continues to be a dismal failure. But you still aren’t as observant as me.

  17. 17
    borehole says:

    Anybody who works at a pro-war thinktank should be forced to work in a REAL tank.

  18. 18
    HyperIon says:

    In this new world, only self-esteem matters. So as long as the Iraqi’s feel good about their progress, then they are doing fine.

    i don’t think it’s their self-esteem that’s driving this process. i think it’s chimpy’s.

  19. 19
    Zifnab says:

    Anybody who works at a pro-war thinktank should be forced to work in a REAL tank.

    Why do I suddenly have a vision of Dukhakis?

  20. 20
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

    I hear that The Ministry of House Plants and the Bureau of Hubcaps are both doing great work.

  21. 21
    Martin says:

    and a perfect score is quite a bit harder to get in French schools than in American schools.

    That’s why the French are so self-loathing. By their own standards, they suck. Compare that to Harvard where everyone graduates with honors. Every student is equally awesome.

  22. 22
    jenniebee says:

    I think Hanlon’s method is brilliant, and it has so many possible applications! If only military strategists throughout history had thought of this!

    It might look something like this:

    Q. So… did we establish a beachhead or not?

    A. We got a 6

    Q. Does that mean we can move in the artillery? Or do we need to evacuate the survivors?

    A. It means that we met with enough success to politically justify continued action in that theater.

    or maybe:

    Napolean: How’s the Russian campaign going?

    Adjutant: I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve been trending upward all summer, and are now at a 9.5! We’re on the cusp of total victory, and my charts indicate that we should be all the way to a perfect 11 in another six months or so, which would mean that Moscow should be completely subdued in March.

    Napolean: Shouldn’t we be concerned about the winter?

    Adjutant: There has been a cooling trend lately, but that’s actually testing positive with the troops. More pleasant for marching, especially when they’re buttoned up in all that wool.

    Genius!

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