You Are What You Believe
Culture Studies Editor
John Lily said, "You are what you believe; what you believe either is real
or becomes real." In the current version of civilization five systems of belief are
dominant. To which do you adhere? If you choose to believe that we're not serious about
this, well, Q.E.D.
1. Comparing only these five persons, which is the most important in terms of
a. Jaron Lanier.
b. Jacques Derrida.
c. Jack Welch.
e. Jack Paar.
2. Which of the following can you give from memory?
a. Plancks Constant.
b. The number of deaths in the Thirty Years War.
c. Total dollar-value lost in the market bubble-burst of 2001.
d. The number of Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
e. Average size of the erect human penis.
3. Which of the following statements is the most important truth?
a. "The capacity of the computer chip will double every
b. "More is less; less is more."
c. "Whats good for General Motors is good for America."
d. "God is on our side."
e. "Nothing is what it seems, and what nothing seems is
4. In your opinion, which of the following dates is most important in human
a. July 16, 1945.
d. 4004 B.C.
5. If you had $100 million, and your tax attorneys convinced you that you had
to give it away, what would you do with it?
a. Donate it to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
b. Donate it to Poetry Magazine.
c. Set up a foundation based in the Cayman Islands whose sole
purpose would be to give an annual, very large
prize to persons
who set up $100-million-dollar foundations in
the Cayman Island.
d. FedEx it to Jerry Falwell.
e. Construct a large vat on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, with an
array of gas burners beneath it, fill the vat
with manure from the
stockyards, light the burners, drop the $100
million into the vat
in the form of $100-dollar bills, and stand
back and watch. (This
answer inspired by Terry Southerns The
6. None of the following received a Nobel Peace Prize. Which person do you
think most deserved it?
a. Edward Teller.
b. Michel Foucault.
c. Kenneth Lay.
d. Oral Roberts.
e. Pee-wee Herman.
7. If on a "Scale of Beauty," where 1 is very ugly and 10 is very
beautiful, which one of the following would you give a 10?
a. A Rover photograph of the surface of Mars.
b. Las Meninas.
c. Any days editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.
d. The Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California.
e. The joke page in Playboy.
8. Which of the following do you think human beings will most likely be aware
of 10,000 years from now?
a. Avogadros Number.
b. The Goldberg Variations.
c. Bill Gates.
d. The Shroud of Turin.
e. The Tele-tubbies.
9. Which of the following was the most important human accomplishment during
the second millennium (1000-1999)?
a. The scientific method.
b. The works of Shakespeare.
c. Free-market capitalism.
d. Arthur Seymour Sullivans composing of "Onward, Christian
e. The battery-powered dildo.
10. Which of the following periodicals is most important to the continuing
betterment of humanity?
b. The Nation.
c. The National Review.
d. The Watchtower.
e. Magellans Log.
For each "a" answer, give yourself one point, for each
"b" answer 3 points, for each "c" answer 5 points, for each
"d" answer 7 points, for each "e" answer 9 points.
Interpreting Your Score:
Congratulations! You are a true Scientist, a nonpareil rationalist. You may of
course have certain relationship issues in your personal life but your virtuosic ability
to analyze such problems allows you to see that the problem lies not with you but with
your quasi-rational Significant Other(s). You will not even be bothered by serial
Significant Others, each of whom leaves with the same parting shot: "Well, fuck you
too," or words to that effect.
Congratulations! You are a true Humanist, ever aware that although all cultural
values are ephemeral human constructs, your ability to explain this seemingly hopeless
situation in impenetrable essays and books will not only assure you of tenure at the
university of your choice, but also obsequious obeisance on the part of lesser beings who
havent a clue what youre talking about.
Congratulations! You are a true Capitalist, an incessantly acquisitive winner,
living consistently in the belief that a rising tide lifts all boats but if the rising
tide knows whats good for it, it better include a non-progressive tax code and lift
your boat a lot more than anybody elses.
Congratulations! You are a true Christian, a stalwart of the Church Militant, a
literal-inerrantist or an inerrant literalist, whatever, in any case a trustworthy member
of a local flock which as one hangs on your local shepherds every monosyllabic word.
Congratulations! You are a true Free Thinker, a former cynic who is well on the
path to learning that silence is the better part of wisdom.
*In case youre wondering about the dates in No. 4:
a. July 16, 1945: the first atomic bomb, at the Trinity Site in New Mexico.
b. 1440: Gutenbergs first use of the printing press.
c. 1723-1790: Adam Smith.
d. 4004 B.C.: The creation of the universe.
e. 1207: the birth of Rumi.