Take this quiz: Which of six new political parties do you belong to?

September 9, 2021 • 9:15 am

The New York Times’s opinion section has started a new series whose purpose is outlined in the article below by

But America is not young anymore. Whereas it was once spry and excitable, it is now creaky and soft. The country that passed Prohibition and created Social Security now spends decades dithering over how large a role the government should play in health care. The country that went to the moon shrinks at the challenges presented by climate change. Its bold and expansive political imagination has atrophied.

There are, of course, reasons for this settling. As the historian Daniel Immerwahr argues in a guest essay, hard partisanship makes it difficult to create coalitions for sweeping changes. Wars, which once smashed through gridlock, no longer lead to collective action.

Not all of the big changes were completely — or even ambiguously — good. The economic boom of the industrial age was fueled by the blood and sweat of exploited workers; the country’s westward expansion came at the expense of Native Americans. But America in its youth was a country confident and unafraid to confront the future. What if it could recover that spirit of invention and restlessness, the risk-taking that formed this country? What would it change? What could it be?

This is the idea behind Snap Out of It, America!, a new series from Times Opinion. It will present not a single, cohesive vision but an array of ambitious ideas from across the ideological spectrum to revitalize and renew the American experiment.

The series will come out every Wednesday, but I’m not going to be paying a lot of attention. Click on the screenshot to read Kewku’s whole article

Now the fun part: a quiz! Yesterday, as part of this series, the Times decided to revitalize America by imagining not two but six political parties falling on a two-dimensional plot of social conservatism and economic conservatism. There’s a brief intro of the seemingly thin rationale at the screenshot below:

America’s two-party system is broken. Democrats and Republicans are locked in an increasingly destructive partisan struggle that has produced gridlock and stagnation on too many critical issues — most urgently, the pandemic and climate change.

There is no reasonable or timely way to fix this broken system. But there is an alternative: more parties.

It is not so hard to imagine a six-party system — and it would not even require a constitutional amendment.

The description of how to get to such a system is below. But first, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent (or other), in the 20-question quiz below, you can discover which new party would be the best fit for you.

Now that’s gonna work. We’ll have the Christian Conservative Party, the Patriot Party, the American Labor Party, the Growth and Opportunity Party, the New Liberal Party, and the Progressive Party.

Which one would you belong to given your social and political views. Click on the screenshot below to take the 20-question quiz. At the end it will slot you into one of the six parties and tell you a bit about it. If you want to skip the quiz and read about these imagined parties, just go here.


Here’s the first of 20 questions; many of them are about race:

I took the quiz twice independently several hours apart, and both times fell into the same party. (I didn’t remember my answers to the first round.)

This is a description of that party:

The New Liberal Party is the professional-class establishment wing of the Democratic Party. Members are cosmopolitan in their social and racial views but more pro-business and more likely to see the wealthy as innovators.

Its potential leaders include Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Eric Garcetti and Beto O’Rourke. Based on data from the Democracy Fund’s VOTER survey, this party would be the best fit for about 26 percent of the electorate.

I guess I can’t be unhappy with that, as I’m on the liberal side of both economics and social attitudes. Still, I don’t know what this means, what I’m supposed to do about it, or how I can use my slot to revitalize America.

Of course you’ll want to know where you fall, too, so comment below and we’ll put a quiz here showing where readers fall.

Which party were you closest to?

View Results

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h/t: Paul

A tricky quiz

May 13, 2021 • 1:15 pm

Reader Bryan sent me this quiz made by  Presh Talwalkar. Your job is to catch all five errors in the sentence below. Can you do that? Are you a genius? Bryan adds this:

Personally, I think the interesting thing isn’t finding the “mistakes” – as such, but how long and how many readings – the thought process – it takes to do it.

Answers to the “young musicians quiz” (and two more to guess)

April 21, 2021 • 8:00 am

Yesterday’s “Guess the music stars” quiz, which showed famous musicians (rock and country) as young kids and asked you to guess who they were, got a surprising amount of attention. In lieu of today’s wildlife photos (send yours in, please!), I’ll give you the answers to yesterday’s quiz, along with my comments.

The photos came from a set published on the “Don’t worry be happy” public Facebook page on May 4 of last year, and you can see the photos, and others I didn’t show, at this link. I was surprised at how few were guessed correctly by most people, but of course I knew the answers when I posted them, so to me it seemed easier than it really was.  But on to the photos!

1.) Carlos Santana.  This would have been one of the hardest for me to guess, I think, but a fair number of people got it.

2.) Ron Wood. This would have been tough for me as well because I’m not a big Stones fan.

3.) Neil Young. COME ON, PEOPLE! How could you miss this one?

4.) John Lennon. Another toughie.

5.) Johnny Cash. Maybe the overalls would help given his poor background as a farmer’s son.

6.) Janis Joplin. Of course! Lots of people got this one.

7.) David Bowie. Another hard one.

8.) Freddie Mercury.  Did anybody get this?

9.) Van Morrison. You can sort of see the future rock star in there. . .

10.) Mick Jagger. Lord, this one isn’t easy!

11.) Jim Morrison. Another hard one.

12.) Paul McCartney. Come on! This is dead easy!

13.) Keith Richards. Not easy. . .

14.) Elvis Presley. Everybody should have gotten this one.

15.) Sting (Gordon Sumner). Not that easy.

16.) Chuck Berry. Not that easy, either.

17.) Ringo Starr. In my view, this one’s easy.

18.) Same as #5, Johnny Cash.

19.) George Harrison. The hair color would throw you off if nothing else.

20.) Mark Knopfler.  A fair few people got this one, but I wouldn’t have.

Since you did so well, here are two more musicians to guess. All comments and guesses below, please.




What bird are you like?

July 14, 2020 • 2:00 pm

Can you resist this given that the quiz—which of 22 birds are you most like?—was designed by the estimable folks at Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab. Take the quiz here, and see whether you’re most like a kestrel, an American robin, a bald eagle, a blue jay, a Canada goose, a chickadee, a crow, a goldfinch, a great blue heron, a great horned owl, a ruby-throated hummingbird, a magpie, a mallard, a mourning dove, a northern cardinal, a northern mockingbird, a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed hawk, a rock pigeon, a raven, a snowy owl, or a screech-owl.  Now this is just for fun, but can you resist?
The quiz’s notes; each question has four choices.

Cornell Lab ornithologists and educators examined the personality and behavior characteristics of 22 North American birds, to help create this fun personality quiz. Now you can find out which bird you are most like (or is most like you) based on 15 simple questions.

This quiz is a companion to AM I LIKE YOU?, a children’s book by Laura Erickson and Brian Sockin, illustrated by Anna Rettberg.

Copyright © 2016, the Cornell Lab Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

It turned out that I was a kestrel: here’s my diagnosis. I am single-minded and determined, I’m not particularly graceful, I do like to travel, I don’t like going to baseball games that much, and I am NOT tolerant of messy living quarters. So it goes. I still like kestrels, though.

h/t: Jeannie

Sunday wildlife: Duck O’ the Day:

April 26, 2020 • 7:45 am

Evolutionary biologists and amateur photographer John Avise continues with his series on North American ducks. The object is for readers to learn all our ducks as a project in quarantine. You have to guess which one is shown in these photographs, and then see the answer, a duck fact, and a range map below the fold. John’s comments are indented.

Now, name this duck (many of you will get this one):







Click “read more” to get more facts about this species: Continue reading “Sunday wildlife: Duck O’ the Day:”

Sunday’s Duck O’ the Week

April 19, 2020 • 8:00 am

Evolutionary biologist John Avise has a backlog of duck photos to help us through the pandemic. As I said, every Sunday I’ll post his photos of a single species, and your job is to guess the species. By the time we’re out of lockdown in a few years, we’ll know all the duck species!

Here are the photos. An ID, range map, and John’s Duck Fact O’ the Week is below the fold:

Click “read more” to learn the ID and other stuff about the species.


Continue reading “Sunday’s Duck O’ the Week”

Readers’ wildlife photos: Sunday Duck O’ the Week

April 12, 2020 • 8:00 am

Evolutionary biologist and avid bird photographer John Avise continues our weekly series in which readers are challenged to name the species of duck show. Click below the fold to get the answer, along with John’s Duck Fact about the species.  A preliminary comment from Dr. Avise:

During these difficult times, I find it comforting to reflect upon the fact that life goes on as usual for all ducks and other creatures.  Here are my photos of our next Duck O’ the Week:

Click “read more” for the answer, a Duck Fact, and a range map: Continue reading “Readers’ wildlife photos: Sunday Duck O’ the Week”

Which Democratic candidate best aligns with your views?

January 19, 2020 • 8:30 am

Reader Simon called my attention to this quiz in the Washington Post that asks about your views on issues like gun control, immigration, government-sponsored health care, voting rights for felons, the Electoral College, and other stuff that we’ve been talking about. You get to answer 20 multiple-choice questions, and after giving each answer you are shown which Democratic candidates agree with you.

At the end, they tally up your answers and tell you which candidates agreed with you most often overall.

Take the test by clicking on the screenshot, and put your results below. Big fun!

And here are my results. I guess that makes me a centrist rather than a “progressive” Democrat. So be it. I’d still vote for any of these folks were they the candidate.

Are you likely to be a Democrat or a Republican? Take this short quiz on your demographics, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age and religion.

August 9, 2019 • 9:00 am

Reader Rick called my attention to a quiz in today’s New York Times—a quiz you can take to assess, based on only three to eight questions (or perhaps more), your likelihood of identifying as a Democrat or a Republican. The diagnosis depends on where you go for a set of bifurcating questions (“yes” or “no”). You can be fairly accurately diagnosed in as few as four questions or, in my case, as many as eight.

The accuracy is because there are a few “yes” factors that drastically increase your probability of being a member of one party. For example, if you’re Black, Hispanic, or Asian, you immediately acquire a 64% “difference in Party identification”. That is, there’s a 64% difference between the probability you’re a Democrat versus a Republican, in the direction of being Democratic. That’s the first question, but if you’re white or more religious, you’re more likely to be a Republican. This much we know. Also, more college education is correlated with a higher probability of being a Democrat. In contrast, gender by itself isn’t highly predictive of your party affiliation, although when combined with age and marital status, it increses predictive power: 70% of millennial women ally with Democrats.

But now it’s time to take the quiz, and who can resist a quiz? Click on the screenshot below, and then on the “Are you Black, Hispanic, or Asian?” button, which will take you to the next question.


It took eight questions to get me to the point where I fell within the range of the 50 percentage point difference in party identification (that is, as I understand this statistic, people with my views and demgraphics are on average are 75% Democratic and 25% Republican. I would have thought I would have ranked more Democratic than that. I gained a lot of points by being nonreligious, but lost ground—toward the GOP side—by being straight and male.

Here’s my pathway:

If you’re black, older, and female, you’re virtually guaranteed to identify as a Democrat. Only four questions, with the proper answers, get you to a 91% difference in party affiliation:

On the other hand, I answered the questions the way I thought Republicans would (I was right on all of them), but it took me seven questions to get to the 75% difference point.

I’m curious about how many people got an incorrect diagnosis from the questions. Weigh in below. I’m expecting, of course, that most readers will fall on the Democratic side, but some will not. Let us know how accurate the questions were for you.

How populist are you? A Guardian quiz

December 4, 2018 • 9:45 am

Greg Mayer sent me a link to this Guardian quiz, “How populist are you?”. Click on the screenshot to go to the 20-question quiz, which takes a bit of demographic information and then asks you to rank your views on various social, political, and economic issues.


Here are the positions of various leaders:

And my own position—on the line connecting Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, on the populist left, firmly in the left, but close to the populist-nonpopulist line. I don’t know what this means except I’m on the right side (i.e., left side) of history.


Where do you fall? I’m sure some readers will have pungent remarks about the questions.

h/t: Greg