Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Just get back in the box

Advertisers have launched a new recruiting wheeze: the Diagonal Thinking test. Why diagonal? As you doubtless worked out, because it test both Linear and Lateral thinking. Clever, huh?

I'm not cut out to be in advertising, I fear. At least, not if this blurb is anything to go by:
Linear thinking question
Should all British householders be fined for failing to recycle at least 70% of their household waste?

Questions like this measure your ability to judge whether an argument is a good or poor one in relation to the question presented. A good one would be important and related to the question, while a bad one would be if it is of minor importance or related only to trivial aspects of the question. For example, a poor argument might be "No - fining schemes usually backfire as people often rebel against them. It should be up to each individual household to decide on the amount of waste they wish to recycle." In contrast, a good argument might be: "Yes - this would encourage the average British citizen to think more about their recycling habits."
I'm such a loser. I thought that arguments about whether or not it would work might be considered "good" while bald assumptions of the conclusion would be bad. Thinking inside that box again.

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