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Old 03-16-2018, 11:45 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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Do you live in a bubble? quiz

Here's a quiz from PBS about how insulated you are from mainstream American culture. What's your score?

I got a 52
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:03 AM
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I got a 48. The ranges are incredibly wide, for example:

Quote:
11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33.
They also don't well correlate with reality, even with the huge range. Based on my sample size, of 1, of course.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:04 AM
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I got 20.

I guess owing a pickup and having a few friends that I disagree with politically saved me from being completely out of touch...
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:06 AM
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Fuck that. Gave up after two questions.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:06 AM
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65

"You got 65 points.
The higher your score, the thinner your bubble. The lower, the more insulated you might be from mainstream American culture.

See below for scores Charles Murray would expect you to get based on the following descriptions.

48–99: A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie going habits. Typical: 77.

42–100: A first-generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and movie going habits. Typical: 66.

11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33."
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:20 AM
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18, yikes...

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Old 03-17-2018, 12:38 AM
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I would say I'm second-generation middle class, but I'm by no means "upper middle class." My parents were divorced, and my dad was white-collar-wealthy and my mom was pink-collar-struggling. I've been a union member and regularly attended meetings, own a pick-up truck, currently own a business which has me doing manual labor (lawn & garden) so I'm sore as fuck during the spring and summer, I live in a small rural town, but it's part of the Grand Rapids, MI metropolitan area, and I'm sure as hell not rich. I don't have any close friends who are Republicans, but probably because, aside from my wife, I don't like people and don't really care to have any close friends.

I got 41.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:47 AM
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I did it substituting "Canada" for "American" and got a 42.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:50 AM
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"The higher your score, the thinner your bubble."

How is that so? The chart clearly shows the highest scores to be well outside of "mainstream American culture." If there was one thing you'd think Charles Murray could recognize, it would be a bell curve.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 03-17-2018 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Here's a quiz from PBS about how insulated you are from mainstream American culture. . . . .
From the questions it's clear that this is the stereotyped "mainstream" which the media mythologized when Trump started to raise in popularity, though in fact many of Trump's voters would score low on this test. Numerically, the cultural indices in this test don't really represent the majority--they're just the majority of a certain segment of white culture, (which happens to be more prevalent in those areas that gave Trump the electoral college). On the whole, it's been shrinking, and that freaks out people like Murray, and leads them to make "tests" like these. They are in denial.

Someone who scores very high on this test is in a bubble of their own.

Last edited by guizot; 03-17-2018 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:58 AM
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62. I fit squarely in the top two categories - I’m a lifelong resident of a working class neighborhood and also a first generation middle class person (my parents had blue collar jobs and I have a low end white collar job) and have very average tv and movie habits.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:04 AM
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Got a 57. Not sure what to make of it.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:39 AM
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I got an 8. I like my bubble and would like to stay here.
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:02 AM
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I'm pretty sure I've taken this before, pre-Trump, and my score might be a touch higher this time around. I don't remember for sure, and it's hard to take it all that seriously. It's such an incredibly narrow definition of "mainstream American culture" that it seems largely useless.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:27 AM
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Question 1:

Quote:
Have you ever lived for at least a year in an American neighborhood in which the majority of your 50 nearest neighbors did not have college degrees?

Make your judgment with regard to your neighborhood, not your ZIP code. Answer “no” if you are thinking of a gentrifying neighborhood in which you were one of the gentrifiers.
How in the hell am I supposed to know that?
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:35 AM
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How in the hell am I supposed to know that?

Well, did you go to college? Because if, for four years, you lived in a dorm amidst a great many other dorms, each one housing people who — like you — of course didn’t yet have a college degree, well, then, clearly, that qualifies.

I may be doing this wrong.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:46 AM
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Got a 44, but the questions seem to be all over the place.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:40 AM
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Fuck that. Gave up after two questions.
Sounds like you got the right score.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:02 AM
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Forty-four. Any higher than that and I would be Fraiser Crane.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:30 AM
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47.

My answer to a lot of "Have your ever ..." questions would be very different if they were more like "In the last 40 years ...".

My childhood and my adulthood are two very different things, apparently.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:34 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is online now
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Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
Well, did you go to college? Because if, for four years, you lived in a dorm amidst a great many other dorms, each one housing people who — like you — of course didn’t yet have a college degree, well, then, clearly, that qualifies.

I may be doing this wrong.
I went to college but didn't live on campus. I don't think there's a time in my life when I even knew my 50 nearest neighbors period, nevermind whether or not they've had a degree.

makes me question the intentions of this quiz, or at the very least the background of the author(s.) methinks they may be in an urban bubble of their own.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:44 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Question 1:
Quote:
Have you ever lived for at least a year in an American neighborhood in which the majority of your 50 nearest neighbors did not have college degrees?

Make your judgment with regard to your neighborhood, not your ZIP code. Answer “no” if you are thinking of a gentrifying neighborhood in which you were one of the gentrifiers.
How in the hell am I supposed to know that?
And: 'How many years have you lived in such a place?'

Yep, that stopped me from taking the quiz. Where I live now, it's probably safe to assume that the majority of people don't have a college degree. OTOH, it might not be. In L.A. my 50 nearest neighbours may or may not have had degrees. Even if I knew whether they did, my building may have a population that is anomalous w/r college degrees. And of course if I don't have the data for the first question, I cannot answer the second.

I could make up answers for the quiz, but then what would be the point? Without an 'I don't know' option, the quiz is flawed.
  #23  
Old 03-17-2018, 08:51 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
makes me question the intentions of this quiz, or at the very least the background of the author(s.) methinks they may be in an urban bubble of their own.
Comments agree with you.

Quote:
Also, important to note, Murray is an elitist who wrote the Bell Curve so white guys like him could feel superior. Basically the guy is a racist.
Quote:
Um, the questions are supposed to be for White America...
Quote:
Yes, this is white nationalist propaganda, and it's disturbing that PBS is publishing it.
Quote:
If many of the native Savannah Georgians I encounter every day answered these questions, they'd score through the roof, despite never stepping outside of their own conservative, pro-gun, pro-military-industrial-complex, anti-art, culture, and higher learning bubbles.
And so on...
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:54 AM
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53. Of course, I've lived in the USA all my life, but I am a loner.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
methinks they may be in an urban bubble of their own.
Everyone, everywhere lives in one or more bubbles. It can't be otherwise without omniscience. (As one of many personal examples, I live in a bubble of ignorance about the contemporary musical tastes in rural Swaziland.)
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:03 AM
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78 - looks like I have the lead.
"Have you ever" questions are basically meaningless. I am not who I was 40 years ago.
Growing up one of nine in a single parent (mom died of cancer) household in the rural midwest with a factory worker father. Skewed a lot of the answers.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:19 AM
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I got a bubbleicious 15. It is easy to be insulated in San Francisco.

For the people who are concerned about the first question, yes it is speculative. But most of the others are very direct, and involve personal experience (Do you own a pickup truck? Have you ever gone fishing?) So you might want to give it a try, even if the first question is unanswerable for you.
  #28  
Old 03-17-2018, 09:24 AM
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Have you or your spouse ever bought a pickup truck?
I haven't, but my wife has. It seems to me that the assumption is that anyone who buys a pickup truck is assumed to live in a bubble, and it's likely that the person bought the truck because 'trucks are cool -- USA! USA!' My wife bought her 2000 Toyota Tacoma because she needed a vehicle to haul her stuff. And she chose the 4-cylinder, standard-transmission because they are reliable and efficient and she doesn't need to be 'macho'.

Quote:
Have you ever done either of these for a trip of 50 miles or more?

Ridden on a long-distance bus (e.g., Greyhound, Trailways)
Yeah, once. When I was 21. And I didn't like it. I've piloted airplanes and helicopters and driven Porsches far more than I've ridden in a bus. But that one time presumably counts toward 'You live in a bubble.'

I would very much like to know what the author assumes for each question.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:32 AM
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32. I don't watch TV, am self-employed, grew up in a small town (1500 people), then moved overseas for 12 years. Now I live in a condo in a medium-sized city and have a small circle of friends.

Last edited by Desert Nomad; 03-17-2018 at 09:34 AM.
  #30  
Old 03-17-2018, 09:40 AM
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I think this quiz, which was concocted quite a few years ago I believe, prior to the 2016 election IIRC, is interesting. Especially if you take away the pejorative 'you're in a bubble' for low score and/or recognize as several people have said in this latest round of comments (there might even have been threads here before about it) that if you score really high you're also in a bubble.

People saying this is about race, I don't agree with. I guess that's carry over from Murray's 'The Bell Curve' which is about race but I don't agree is racist. I think calling Murray a racist is an example of the unfortunately pandemic overuse/misuse of that term. Which doesn't mean you can't contest his findings. While this test seems pretty clearly aimed to maximize the scores of working class rural/small metro area whites and minimize those of multi-generation upper middle class urban/large metro whites, I guess the simple fact of being African American wouldn't change the score very much compared to the working class/rural/small metro v multi-generation upper middle/urban/large metro divide. People of recent immigrant background would tend to score distinctly lower I think just from that fact, and many people of recent immigrant background aren't 'white'.

I scored 29. I'm a largely lifelong NY'er (lived in small towns but not in the US or comparable country) and yeah second generation upper middle class, I'd say based on my parents being public school administrators (I guess that's managerial, anyway my dad particularly had a self image of having lifted himself far above his working class Brooklyn roots, my mom was more in tune with her similar roots). I quibble with 'was a close friend evangelical [Protestant]' as just redundant with where you live. If the idea is whether you have any insight into religious people, why not open that to devout people of other Christian denoms or other religions? Plenty of my friends have been devout, of various religions just not 'born again' Protestants. I myself feel somewhat alienated from the secular/anti-religious segment of society (not posing as any victim and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you continually insult people's beliefs they aren't likely to feel in tune with you). Also I wonder if the TV/movie stuff is overdone as a factor. And why no Cracker Barrel among 'regular folks' restaurants? (love that place)

Last edited by Corry El; 03-17-2018 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Everyone, everywhere lives in one or more bubbles. It can't be otherwise without omniscience.
That's a very good point.

The conceit of claiming that someone is living "in a bubble" is itself an ideological tool of certain political discourse, and we need to be aware of that. People pull it out in order to deflect that they have their own agendas.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:49 AM
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31. Probably fall into the "A second-generation (or more) upper-middle-class person who has made a point of getting out a lot." category.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:55 AM
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46 and have no problem with my "bubble". I never frequent those restaurants, nor do I watch network TV shows other than PBS. Some of my answers, such as living at poverty wages or near people without a college degree, were skewed by a career in the military.
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  #34  
Old 03-17-2018, 10:10 AM
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I think calling Murray a racist is an example of the unfortunately pandemic overuse/misuse of that term.
No, Murray fits very well and precisely into the original definition of racism--the belief that intellectual and personality traits are inherently dependent on race. It is the "prejudice with power" redefinition that is overuse/misuse.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:15 AM
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I couldn't even answer the first question - I have never had a clue about the education level that many of my neighbors. In fact, I never knew that many neighbors... Guess that answers the quiz.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:19 AM
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Yeah, once. When I was 21. And I didn't like it. I've piloted airplanes and helicopters and driven Porsches far more than I've ridden in a bus. But that one time presumably counts toward 'You live in a bubble.'
How so? I'm pretty sure it's actually the opposite, that it counts towards not living in the bubble, since you've ridden a Greyhound. (Or, rather, I guess it depends. If you've given "upper class" answers to the other questions, then presumably taking the Greyhound is outside the bubble. And if you've given "lower class" answers to the other questions, then maybe it might count towards the bubble, depending on how this test is structured, but I get the notion from the questions that it counts against the bubble no matter what.. For most of the people I currently am close friends with, Greyhound travel would be outside their bubble, for sure.)

I took this one a week or so back and got somewhere in the low 50s, I think.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-17-2018 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:19 AM
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I got a 41. I thought it was interesting that they count small towns towards not living in a bubble and I've lived in a small town but it was a ski town in Colorado not exactly the rich bubble bursting the author seemed to imagine with the question.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:19 AM
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49. The quiz seems to have a default of what is outside a bubble, and doesn't take into account (as far as I can tell) other bubbles. [I do see that in some of the comments here, and on the site]

Also, the "factory" floor question is annoying...I worked a blue-collar job full-time from the ages of 16 to 26, which killed my back for a decade...but no, it wasn't a factory.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:22 AM
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:25 AM
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  #41  
Old 03-17-2018, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell
How so? I'm pretty sure it's actually the opposite, that it counts towards not living in the bubble
Yes, just quickly doing the test chaging that answer from checking "rode the Greyhound" to not checking "rode the Greyhound," I got a difference of one point, with the "rode the Greyhound answer" scoring one point higher than the other. (And this was simply marking the first answer for every question, with "10 years" entered as the fill-in-the-number answer for the first question, and leaving all the multiple choice answers blank [except the hitchhiking one, where I only chose or didn't choose the first option of taking the Greyhound] and other-fill-in-the-blank questions as "0." This gave a score of 73 for riding the Greyhound vs 72 for not.)

So riding the Greyhound appears to be at least a point towards not living in a bubble.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-17-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:32 AM
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39, but I'm very atypical. Both my mother and I suffered from lifelong depression problems. As a result I am poor and under-educated for my potential, and socially isolated from both upper- and lower-class demographics.. I don't drive a pickup truck or drink imported beer.
  #43  
Old 03-17-2018, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
Forty-four. Any higher than that and I would be Fraiser Crane.
Do you mean lower? The lower your score, the more you live in a bubble. I would assume at least the stereotype of Frasier Crane would suggest a low score. Though it sounds like he grew up in a working class family (I can't remember--all I remember is his dad was a retired cop. I was not a dutiful watcher of the series), so a mid-range score might be possible for him.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-17-2018 at 10:35 AM.
  #44  
Old 03-17-2018, 10:36 AM
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I got a 30. I guess I need to hang out with smokers more. Or go fishing. Or watch stupid TV shows.
  #45  
Old 03-17-2018, 10:41 AM
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I couldn't even answer the first question - I have never had a clue about the education level that many of my neighbors. In fact, I never knew that many neighbors... Guess that answers the quiz.
This is me too.

I'm surprised anyone would know the answer to this question.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:47 AM
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57.

I don't drink beer and I don't watch much in the way of TV series (I do watch a ton of sports, though, I should get credit for that!).

The test appears to think "being in a bubble" and "living somewhere that people aren't all stereotypically white" are synonymous. In the village I lived in, it was rare to see people who weren't white. How is that not a bubble?
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:53 AM
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31 points: an upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Actually it's the other way around; my parents are more insulated than me.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:01 AM
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Yeah, the test simply seems to be looking for how closely you are connected to working class and poorer class America. I took the quiz and answered the questions with what I thought were "stereotypically working class and rural" answers. I got a 92. I then answered the questions in what I would call "stereotypically white, college-educated, ivy tower liberal" answers, and got 2.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:15 AM
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yeah, the test simply seems to be looking for how closely you are connected to working class and poorer class America. I took the quiz and answered the questions with what I thought were "stereotypically working class and rural" answers. I got a 92. I then answered the questions in what I would call "stereotypically white, college-educated, ivy tower liberal" answers, and got 2.
Yes, this was what I suspected. Thanks for doing the dirty work to test that.
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