Where Waldo is (or, The science behind why journalists now think there is a science to be had behind everything)


The challenge: You know the drill. Waldo appears in different places in different scenes. There are 68 locations, therefore 68 places.

The simulation: Let’s pretend Waldo is not a guy in a crowd but a dot on a page.

The problem: There are 68 dots representing possible Waldo locations. You must find the right dot as quickly as possible.

Pic: (c) Randal S. Olson (randalolson.com; @randal_olson)

Pic: (c) Randal S. Olson (randalolson.com; @randal_olson)

The solution: Look at all the dots. As quickly as possible.

The science: TL;DR The shortest distance between two dots is a straight line. Get a computer to figure out the shortest distance between all 68 dots for you.

The application: You, the user, must memorize all the dots and lines in order to remember the sequence in which to move your eyes in order to find Waldo in a given scene. Here it is:


The snag: Er, that’s impossible.

The news coverage: To hell with ‘impossible’. It’s Waldo, for goodness sake!


Try to find the real news as quickly as possible


Categories: Biological reductionism, Eyesight, Mathematics, Psychology, Science

Tags: , ,

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