Worst performance by a WWTBAM audience ever

From earlier this week. The question (paraphrased):

“In an article in some publication, the author says that “because it facilitated long-distance romance and therefore genetic diversity”, this invention had a huge impact on recent human evolution.”

The choices:

A: The typewriter
B: The bicycle
C: Air conditioning
D: The phonograph.

Answers in the next post.

Difficult question, admittedly. The contestant thought so, too, and Asked the Audience. Their responses:

Typewriter and phonograph totalled about 90%, air-conditioning at 9%, bicycle at 1%.

The correct answer:

The bicycle.

I guessed right. But I’ve never seen such a low percent for the correct answer. So much for “wisdom of crowds”.

I would think that people were thrown off by the phrase “long distance romance.” It suggests that the people in question are currently apart, not just that it takes travel for them to meet up.

Where Would Tarzan Bone A Monkey

Apparently “the author” has never heard of a horse.

Yeah, I have serious doubts about the author’s conclusions. How far can you go for romance on a bicycle?

But taking his conclusions at face value, and given the 4 choices:

There’s nothing romantic you can do with a typewriter that you can’t do written out in long-hand. AC and the phonograph are not distance-related; so by process of elimination it has to be bicycle.

Genetic diversity? How far were people riding on bikes?

Stimulating the females, that’s going to lead to trouble.

No longer will you have to marry your sister. Now you can marry your attractive cousins, behold! The bicycle!

This questions is almost as bad as the one from Jeopardy where even good Mormon boy Ken Jennings thought that a “loose person” was a hoe, not a rake.

What was the stage/dollar amount of the question?

Africa to Europe on a bicycle, apparently. :slight_smile:

I guess the author’s line of thinking is that you ride your bike to the next village over, and you’re likely to find a mate that you’re not already related to. But as silenus points out, you can do that on a horse.

So ok, the article was seriously flawed. But…1%?!? Coin-flips would have come up with a better response.

Yeah, even though I’ve watched the show many times, the acronym looked utterly foreign and I had to look it up.

People always overestimate the distance a horse can travel in a day.

Well, you can’t walk to Turkmenistan.

I cracked up at this.

The author must have had the song Bicycle Built For Two in mind. That’s how I arrived at the answer. Yeah, I know. I’m not like everyone else.

I guessed the right answer, by process of elimination, but why the hell couldn’t you spell out what WWTBAM stood for? I had to Google it.

Or even just the word “Millionaire.” Most people would have known what show from just that one word.

How many people in the mid 19th century do you think could afford to own a horse?

Yeah a bicycle is a lot cheaper to own than a horse. You don’t have to feed a bicycle and you don’t need a stable or a field to keep it in.

That’s why they made livery stables, and why we have the term “Hobson’s Choice.” Or did you think rental transportation started with Hertz?

The author is wrong. What really put the genetic mix on puree was the railroad. Well, that and the automobile, which took courting out of the parlor and into the back seat.

As for horses: a good average would be 30 miles per day. Just how far are you planning on riding that 50 lb. bicycle over dirt roads with skinny tires in a day? And be in any shape to do any courting at the end of said day?