The trouble with quizzers

Quizzers are fundamentally interesting people. At least they are supposed to be. They have above-average skills in connecting things, and “working out” answers to quiz questions. And the fact that they have attended so many quizzes means that they will know lots of “fundaes”. And have knowledge of lots of interesting “stories”.

Above-average skills in connecting stuff, and above average knowledge of the world and how it works should naturally make you more interesting than most people. And I’m sure most quizzers have the potential to be supremely interesting. But the sad fact is that in general conversation they seldom exhibit such interestingness.

The trouble with quizzers is that when you put a bunch of them together in a room, they naturally gravitate to discussing quizzes, and quizzers. Now, if they were to discuss specific questions and expand the discussion around the topic of interest to the question, it would still be interesting – for most quiz questions (of the Bangalore variety at least, not sure about Kolkata) have the potential to be great conversation seeds.

However, quizzers don’t discuss that. They instead discuss about how the quiz progressed in terms of relative standings – like they were discussing a horse race. They discuss stories around quizzes – which is more about the people involved in the quiz rather than the fundaes involved. They bitch about fellow-quizzers (this blogpost falls in that category, perhaps?) and talk about why this quizzer is an asshole and that quizzer is a copycat. And go into expositions on why a certain kind of quizzers are better than the other. You get the drift.

Now, from my (forced – I’d rather discuss fundaes with these guys than quizzers) participation in such bitching sessions, I understand that some of this lack of interestingness is strategic – quizzers don’t want to discuss fundaes because they are afraid that they might “give away” some of their hard-earned knowledge which might help a competitor in a subsequent quiz! One prominent quizzer who had once-upon-a-time been my regular teammate once apparently (I got this info from one such bitching session) set an entire quiz based on the last one week’s newspapers – the logic being he didn’t want to give away fundas that he might use to answer in a quiz sometime later!

Thinking about it, it’s not just quizzers who indulge in such behaviour. Such conversations are a staple at “tweetups” also, I’m told. People who know each other mainly through twitter get together, bitch about other people on twitter, and talk about what they’ve already tweeted (this is from hearsay). But then they can be forgiven for the median tweetup-attender is not anywhere as potentially interesting as the median quizzer!

Then again, it is known that a large number of “successful” quizzers are “database quizzers” – who rely on their prowess for mugging up entire fundaes which they can then spit out in a quiz, rather than actually knowing them and using them to work things out. Perhaps the fact that they talk inanities in general conversation is an attempt to cover up the fact that they’re actually uninteresting? And to not get found out that they’re database quizzers (database quizzing is “anti-big data” in that a lot of people do it but no one claims to do it!)?

From here on, any quizzer who in a group of quizzers talks more about quizzes and quizzers, rather than talking fundaes, is prime suspect in being a “database quizzer”. Hopefully this will be deterrent enough for non-database quizzers to show their interestingness!

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