Why I Answer Forty Two to Every Number Quiz I Get.

Monday I got a curious apology in my inbox. I don’t think the apology is necessary. I do I think the authors solution misses something. LinkedIn Expert Wayne Breitbarth had posted an apology to his e-mail list about his last blog entry which started:

The other day I counted six puzzles, four number games, and three eye charts in my LinkedIn home-page feed…and that was in one hour.

Is that really how you want to spend your time on LinkedIn? For most of us, I think not.

So, here is a quick fix to stop the madness.

Wayne goes on to show how to block this type of posting. Apparently some people were upset with this. People apparently like those puzzles. Wayne apologized. I’m not the biggest fan of them but do fill them out occasionally. I almost always answer forty-two, in a nod to Author Douglas Adams’. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy . However with due respect to Wayne, who knows how to get stuff done with LinkedIn like no one else I know. I think those quizzes are gold. Don’t block them. Douglas Adams has a solution for all of these quizzes for me.

In Adams’ book the plot concerns a lot of work and a couple of billion years of computing time to find the answer to Life the Universe and Everything only to find out it is forty-two.Yet, there is no Question to this answer. I jokingly put forty-two in the answer to these quizzes trying to match the quiz question to The Answer. Anyone familiar with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reading the responses, gets my reference, has a little chuckle, and connects with me in a way all the right answers never will.

There is the gold – don’t answer the quiz, read the responses. It will tell you a lot about people. Some will give just an answer they believe right. But some will give you more. Those are people to pay attention to. It’s not what if the answer is right, but what they respond with. Is it a formula, a joke, a literary reference, or a philosophical argument that invalidates the quiz? That will tell you a lot more about the person who answered than any profile ever will.

Sometimes we have a question and not an answer. Sometimes we have an answer and not a question. We can learn from both.

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Trainer, App developer. Author. Artist. Proprietor of makeapppie.com and Host of Slice of App Pie Show

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