Tonight at the laundromat one of the TVs was showing Jeopardy. When I was younger--10, 11, 12--I would watch the show regularly. Now whenever I see it I'm just flabbergasted at how obvious the secret is: watch a lot of television, spread out your viewing over 10-20 channels (including Discovery, History, a few more), and retain as many soundbites as possible. You can get every question right! If it isn't to be found on an hour-long Hitler special or trumpeted as the lead story on the national news, it won't be found on Jeopardy.
But there was one question tonight that did hew vaguely towards that wide, weird world of books. The cue was something like, "John Stuart Mill was an advocate for this system of 'the greatest good for the greatest number of people.'"
Contestant 1: What is capitalism?
('No, sorry.' Beat.)
Contestant 2: What is socialism?
('Not that either.' Beat. Beat. 'The correct answer, 'What is utilitarianism?'")
I suppose there aren't too many specials on J.S. Mill. But that first contestant sure knew his Marvel superheroes (an entire category for them, with illustrations).