Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thank You, Joe Simmons

At some point in my survey taking crazy (I believe this was junior year), I got signed up to an email list run by one Joseph Simmons, which I believe about half of Princeton is also on, where you take short, seemingly inchoate surveys with the promise of winning $50. First, has anyone actually won? By the usual rule at Princeton, that between you and everyone you know and everyone that everyone you know knows (practice your recursive descent parsing skill!) you encompass the entire class, it should be easy to determine if anyone ever wins. Second, the one I took today (I suppose I should, um, stop taking them, but whatever. It's the digital equivalent to people handing PETA pamphlets out on street corners. Except you don't have to see or smell them, so it's actually much better. Dirty plebeians) is exceptionally strange. The first question was, if you unexpectedly find $20, would be willing to gamble it in a fair game (50/50 change of -$20 or +$20)? The second was, if a husband and wife can't decide whose last name their child should have, is a coin toss an acceptable way to make the decision? The third was your gender (at this point, the survey mostly makes sense. How much do you like 50/50 games? Is there a gender preference for 50/50 games over money, vs. 50/50 games about life decisions?). The final question was if you are a vegetarian. So, now I have questions:

  1. What?
  2. No, seriously, what? Why did you ask that? What is the goal?
  3. Why aren't I a psychology/sociology graduate student?

Also, I found this album on my computer of Benjamin Britten songs with lyrics by Auden (not sure if this was an explicit collaboration, or just Britten setting already written poems), which is very enjoyable. I don't understand why people dislike traditional Western vocal music. I mean, I can understand disliking the music, but I know a surprising number of people who wouldn't object to the music without a singer, but hate when they hear a voice come in. I don't get it.


  1. 1. I do every single survey Joseph Simmons sends me. I answer the questions randomly and as fast as I can without reading anything. I just want a $50 coupon

    2. I have never won the coupon

    3. I have often contemplated whether said coupon even exists

    4. I'm ready for an investigative shakedown of this survey-taking racket

  2. To echo Maureen,

    1. I have done every single survey Joseph Simmons has sent me for the same reason: I want a $50 gift-cert. I answer them sincerely, though.

    2. I have never won anything

    3. I mean, really, WHO HAS WON THIS?

    4. YES!!!

  3. I have nothing to add other than I ANSWER ALL OF THEM TOO (SINCERELY) AND HAVE NEVER WON.