Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Hooked on Quora

Quora is a web site where people ask stupid questions which sometimes people try to give sensible answers to.

Well, not altogether, but that was my first impression.

I discovered Quora when someone suggested it as a suitable site to promote my book.

I had a look at it, and saw no way that it could be used to promote a book, at least not the kind of books I’ve written. But if you scroll down through all the stupid questions, perhaps one in 20 is one that can be answered, and one in 40 is one I could answer. Everyone knows something about something, and so if you go on Quora you’ll probably find something you can answer. I haven’t thought of many questions I’d like to ask. But when it’s 15 minutes till supper time, and I’m not cooking, or even if I am, I fill in the time with a quick look at Quora, to see if there is anything I can answer. some only need one-line answers, so it fills the time in nicely before I have to go and stir a pot or something.

Q: My physics teacher is a flat-earther, what can I do?
A: Be thankful that it’s your physics teacher and not your geography teacher.

There are a few problems about the site. For one thing, it stopped me answering questions on my desktop computer. Something they tweaked on their software, I think, and that’s were I usually am working just before supper. It still works on my laptop though.

Also, it asks a question I know something about, like the main differences between Christianity and Islam, and suddenly it regards me as an expert on Islam, and shows me lots of questions about the most abstruse Islamic theological terms.

And occasionally one can have fun with some of the strange questions.

Q: Why does a tracksuit look bad on a Caucasian?

The answer I should perhaps have given was “Just Google ‘Caucasian national dress'” and click on “Images”.

I mean, do you really think anyone, and not just a Caucasian, would look better in a tracksuit than in this?

If you want to look really cool, dress like a Caucasian.

Apart from the sartorial tastes of Caucasians, one sometimes finds questions that are clearly school or college assignments, and someone is trying to get someone else to do their homework for them,

Some questions already have lots of answers, and I look at them, and “upvote” the best of them, and don’t bother to write my own answer unless the others are all bad. And so far all my answers have got upvotes, and none have got downvotes.

And some answers don’t answer the question, but go into a long analysis of why the questioner asked the question.

Q: What system of government did South Africa have under apartheid?
My Answer: A race oligarchy.

But someone else had answered that apartheid wasn’t as bad as everyone said it was and a long apologia for apartheid. But the question wasn’t whether it was good or bad, but what the system of government was. Apartheid was not a system of government, it was an ideology that gave rise to a policy. A system of government is something else.

Well, I go to the site, and the first question I see is:

Q: Why are white people so aesthetic?

Can you answer that?

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