Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » December 2004 » Interesting test of memory here....

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12/15/2004: Interesting test of memory here....

Common Cents.

Basically, you're given 12 pictures purporting to be the obverse of a Lincoln penny. Only one is correct. Can you choose the correct one?

I'm not too proud to say I missed it, but at least (a) the one I picked is trivially (by my definition of "trivial" :-) ) different from the correct one (or in other words, I didn't pick one of the pictures that was way out of line, and (b) interestingly enough, I picked the most commonly chosen penny (even more commonly chosen than the "correct" answer).

There's probably some deep and revealing psychological truth lurking in that set of facts somewhere. I'll leave it to someone more versed in psychology to explain it.

Len on 12.15.04 @ 07:26 PM CST


Replies: 3 comments

on Wednesday, December 15th, 2004 at 7:37 PM CST, SadPunk said

As a former philatelist, I got it on the first try. Interesting point they made about it, that maybe we only learn enough about an object to be sure of not mistaking it for something else.

on Wednesday, December 15th, 2004 at 8:39 PM CST, Len Cleavelin said

Did you mean former numismatist (coin collector/expert) vice philatelist (stamp collector/expert)? Or is it just that working with stamps sharpens your eye with respect to coins too?

And given that the penny is pretty distinctive in U.S. coinage (I don't *think* there's any other copper coin in general circulation), there's not a lot you have to learn to distinguish the penny from other coins.

A related issue, of course, is the screaming success of the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, which of course po'ed a lot of people who (at least according to popular belief) kept confusing it with the quarter (very similar size, primarily).

on Wednesday, December 15th, 2004 at 11:30 PM CST, SadPunk said

Duh. I did in fact mean "numismatist."

I suspect the reason for the failure of the Susan B., as well as the Sacajawea dollar, is simply that stores and restaurants don't have a slot in the till for them. Folks get them at the bank or post office, spend them at a store, and the store goes and deposits them in the bank again because they don't want to give them in change. Just a guess, though.

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