Last week I posted the following quiz:
I ran into someone the other day whom I had never met and who fit the following five criteria:
- He/she attended the University of Chicago.
- He/she is still alive.
- He/she is a whole lot smarter than I am.
- He/she is a whole lot more famous than I am.
- He/she is even more controversial/notorious than I am.
There a lot of people who satisfy many of these criteria (especially #2 and #3), but I think the set of folks who satisfy all five of these criteria is not very large.
There were many good guesses (Ashcroft, Bork, Corzine, etc.). There were also some really awful guesses, like my colleagues Robert Lucas and Gary Becker, who fit many of the criteria, but obviously I was not meeting for the first time last week.
It took until the 47th commenter to get the correct answer to the quiz. Jonathon K. came up with the right name: James Watson.
I ran into James Watson, who attended University of Chicago in the 1940’s while taping the Charlie Rose show. It would be hard to dispute that he satisfies all five of the criteria I laid out.
I have to say I found him to be a very charming man, and he told me some wonderful stories about his life. Absent anything else to write on, I even got him to sign my copy of SuperFreakonomics.