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Big Questions is an Australian television show which is produced and broadcast on the Nine Network, with Jules Lund as host. It commenced broadcasting on 19 October 2006. It shouldn't be confused with the Sydney Morning Herald column of the same name in the Saturday edition that poses sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical questions answered by readers. Prolific contributors are John Moir, Jim Dewar and David Buley.
The show features 2 panels each with two people debating on a popular question which divides people's opinions. Examples include SeinfeldorFriends,The Beatlesor theRolling StonesandSpeedos or Board shorts. A live audience casts their vote on which is the better of the two.
Many celebrities have been chosen to debate the issues:
- Red Symons
- Tom Gleeson
- Kate Kendall
- Andy Lee
- Hamish Blake
- Tottie Goldsmith
- Leo Sayer
- Sami Lukis
- Akmal Saleh
- Human Nature
- Livinia Nixon
- Trevor Marmalade
So far the audience has voted on
There is no news whether Big Questions will return on Channel 9 after a three year hiatus. During that time, Jules hosted Things you try before you die.
Upon the program's commencement, there had been an increasing trend of pop culture panel programs on Australian television. The success of the ABC'sSpicks and Specksbegan the popular trend and has been replicated, often unsuccessfully on other networks.
Complex question, trick question, multiple question or plurium interrogationum (Latin, "of many questions") is a question that has a presupposition that is complex. The presupposition is a proposition that is presumed to be acceptable to the respondent when the question is asked. The respondent becomes committed to this proposition when he gives any direct answer. The presupposition is called "complex" because it is a conjunctive proposition, a disjunctive proposition, or a conditional proposition. It could also be another type of proposition that contains some logical connective in a way that makes it have several parts that are component propositions.
Implication by question
One form of misleading discourse is where something is presupposed and implied without being said explicitly, by phrasing it as a question. For example, the question "Does Mr. Jones have a brother in the army?" does not claim that he does, but implies that there must be at least some indication that he does, or the question would not need to be asked. The person asking the question is thus protected from accusations of making false claims, but still manages to make the implication in the form of a hidden compound question. The fallacy isn't in the question itself, but rather in the listener's assumption that the question would not have been asked without some evidence to support the supposition. This example seems harmless, but consider: "Does Mr. Jones have a brother in jail?"
A real-life example of this was seen during the 2000 South Carolina Republican presidential primary, during which voters were asked "Would you be more or less likely to vote for Senator McCain if you knew he had fathered Alex Ngo?" Asking the question implied that there was reason to think he had fathered Alex Ngo.
In order to have the desired effect, the question must imply something uncommon enough not to be asked without some evidence to the fact. For example, the question "Does Mr. Jones have a brother?" would not cause the listener to think there must be some evidence that he does, since this form of general question is frequently asked with no foreknowledge of the answer.
Complex question fallacy
The complex question fallacy, or many questions fallacy, relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. In other words, a presupposition by itself, doesn't have to be a fallacy. It is committed when someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. For example, "Is Mary wearing a blue or a red dress" â€“ with an assumption that Mary is wearing a dress â€“ is likely non-fallacious, if it is common knowledge that Mary wears dresses. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question and are intended to trick them into replying in a way they wouldn't do if the question was simple, does the argument containing them become fallacious.
Hence we can distinguish between:
- legitimately complex questions (not a fallacy): A question that assumes something that the hearer would readily agree to. For example, "Who is the Monarch of the United Kingdom?" assumes that there is a place called the United Kingdom and that it has a monarch, both true.
- illegitimately complex question: On the other hand, "Who is the King of France?" would commit the complex question fallacy because while it assumes there is a place called France (true), it also assumes France currently has a king (false). But since this answering the question does not seem to incriminate or otherwise embarrass the speaker, it is complex but not really a loaded question.
When a complex question contains controversial presupposes (often with loaded languageâ€“ having an unspoken and often emotive implication), it is known as a loaded question. For example, a classic loaded question, containing incriminating assumptions that the questioned persons seem to admit to if they answer the questions instead of challenging them, is "Have you stopped beating your wife?" A loaded question may be asked to trick the respondent into admitting something that the questioner believes to be true, and which may in fact be true. So the previous question is "loaded," whether or not the respondent has actually beaten his wife. The very same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example the previous question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.
Similar questions and fallacies
A similar fallacy is the double-barreled question. It is committed when someone asks a question that touches upon more than one issue, yet allows only for one answer.
Question Time is a topical debateBBC television programme in the United Kingdom, based on Any Questions?. The show typically features politicians from at least the three major political parties as well as other public figures who answer questions put to them by the audience. The independent production companyMentorn has made the programme for the BBC since 1998.
It is usually recorded about 2 hours prior to transmission, but has been broadcast live as recently as May 2009 when the broadcast came from Salisbury at the earlier time of 9.00pm BST.
The current series began on 16 September 2010 and is currently being shown on BBC One at 10.35pm on Thursdays. Usually at least once a month BBC One Northern Ireland replaces it with the more local debate show Let's Talk hosted by Mark Carruthers. Viewers in the United Kingdom can also view the show via the BBC iPlayer.
Question Time began on 25 September 1979, as a television version of the BBC Radio 4 question programme, Any Questions?. It was originally intended to have only a short run, but the programme became very popular and was duly extended. The guests on the very first show wereEdna O'Brien, Teddy Taylor, Michael Foot and Derek Worlock, Archbishop of Liverpool. Veteran newsman Sir Robin Day was the programme's first chairman, presenting it for nearly 10 years until June 1989. His famous catchphrase when he had introduced the panel was "There they are, and here we go." After Day retired, Peter Sissons took over and continued until 1993. Since 1994, David Dimbleby has been the programme's presenter. Any Questions? is still broadcast and is chaired by Dimbleby's brother Jonathan Dimbleby.
Question Time began with a panel of four guests, usually one member from each of the three major parties (Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats) and another public figure, for example non-governmental organisation directors, newspaper columnists, or religious leaders. In 1999, the panel was enlarged to five, with another non-partisan member or leading member of a fourth political party joining the panel.
The Chairman sits in the middle and chairs the debate, deciding who can speak and selecting the questions for the panel to answer. Questions are taken from the audience before the programme goes on air, and the chairman picks some to put to the panel. The panel do not get to see the questions before recording begins. During the programme, the presenter selects a member of the audience to put a question to the panel and gives each member an opportunity to answer the question and each others' points. Usually the first question deals with the major political or news event of the week, and the last with a humorous issue to be answered quickly.
For a brief period in the mid-1990s, the programme used voting keypads to take a poll of the audience, who were stated to have been selected to provide a balanced sample compared with the nation as a whole.
During general election campaigns, the programme has taken a different format, with the party leaders appearing as single guests and fielding questions from the audience.
The BBC commissioned a new programme called The Big Questionsin 2007 which has a similar format to Question Time but focuses on ethical and religious issues. It is broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday mornings between 10am and 11am. Both programmes are produced by Mentorn Media.
Viewers of the show can submit serious or lighthearted comments to the show via SMS and a selection of those comments are posted on Ceefax page 155 (not available in Wales). Comments are edited and put to air by a team of four journalists based on the seventh floor of Television Centre in London. The system displays one message at a time, and usually shows several tens of messages throughout each hour-long episode. The system is popular because its editors display both serious and lighthearted comments.
On average, around 3,500 texts are received during each hour-long programme, although 12,000 texts were once recorded in one frantic programme in 2004. Text quantity is directly related to the composition of the panel. The panellists who generate the most texts are: Tony Benn, Ann Widdecombe and Ken Livingstone, with messages of support and derision in broadly equal numbers.
Since March 2006, many episodes of Question Time have included lighthearted messages about the cult topic 'Peruvian earthworms'. That month, a viewer remarked that one particular episode of the programme was so dull that they were considering reading their book on Peruvian earthworms instead. Several viewers of that episode sent in further comical remarks about Peruvian earthworms, in a topical context. Since that episode, at least one comment on Peruvian earthworms has been displayed on the Ceefax-based service in most episodes. This has made 'Peruvian earthworms' an (albeit unlikely) cult topic.
On 24 September 2009, the show launched its Twitter presence and the show's presenter has regularly announced its presence on Twitter since late 2009. Using the Twitter ID "@bbcquestiontime" it tweeted using the #bbcqt hashtag. By early 2010, this had become one of the UK's most active "Twitter backchannels" to a TV show. @bbcquestiontime claimed 10,000 tweets had been sent around the show on 7th October 2010. The show had over 40,000 followers on Twitter by October 2010 and this exceeded 50,000 on the evening of 3rd February 2011.
The show's presenter claimed on 18th November 2010 that â€œweâ
Twenty Questions is a spokenparlor game (or car game) which encourages deductive reasoning and creativity. It originated in the USA and escalated in popularity during the late 1940s when it became the format for a successful weekly radio quiz program.
In the traditional game, one player is chosen to be the answerer. That person chooses a subject but does not reveal this to the others. All other players are questioners. They each take turns asking a question which can be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No". In variants of the game (see below), multiple state answers may be included such as the answer "Maybe". The answerer answers each question in turn. Sample questions could be: "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" or "Can I put it in my mouth?" Lying is not allowed, as it would ruin the game. If a questioner guesses the correct answer, that questioner wins and becomes the answerer for the next round. If 20 questions are asked without a correct guess, then the answerer has stumped the questioners and gets to be the answerer for another round.
The most popular variant is called "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral". This is taken from the Linnaean taxonomy of the natural world. In this version, the answerer tells the questioners at the start of the game whether the subject belongs to the animal, vegetable or mineral kingdom. These categories can produce odd technicalities, such as a wooden table being classified as a vegetable (since wood comes from trees).
- "I am the very model of a modern Major-General. I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral, I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical."
Other versions specify that the item to be guessed should be in a given category, such as actions, occupations, famous people, etc. In Hungary, a similar game is named after Simon bar Kokhba. A version of Twenty Questions called Yes and No is played as a parlor game by characters of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. A children's version is played with the categories, "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, Candy."
In another version, the answerer claims to have a story in mind and the questioners are to attempt to obtain and retell the story via twenty questions. But, without the questioners' knowing, the answerer actually has no story in mind, and answers the questions "yes" or "no" according to some set rule, such as whether the question ends an a vowel or consonant (and "maybe" if the question ends in "y"). After the twenty questions the questioners try to retell the story according to the answers, which results in laughs for everyone.
Computers, scientific method, and 20 Questions
The game suggests that the information (as measured by Shannon's entropy statistic) required to identify an arbitrary object is at most 20 bits. The game is often used as an example when teaching people about information theory. Mathematically, if each question is structured to eliminate half the objects, 20 questions will allow the questioner to distinguish between 220 or 1,048,576 subjects. Accordingly, the most effective strategy for Twenty Questions is to ask questions that will split the field of remaining possibilities roughly in half each time. The process is analogous to a binary search algorithm in computer science or successive approximation ADC in analog-to-digital signal conversion.
In 1901 Charles Sanders Peirce discussed bases for the economical selection of a hypothesis for trial â€” (1) cheapness, (2) intrinsic value (naturalness and likelihood), and (3) relation to other projects (caution, breadth, and incomplexity). He discussed the potential of Twenty Questions to single one subject out from among 220 and, pointing to skillful caution, said,
Thus twenty skillful hypotheses will ascertain what two hundred thousand stupid ones might fail to do. The secret of the business lies in the caution which breaks a hypothesis up into its smallest logical components, and only risks one of them at a time.
He elaborated on how, if that principle had been followed in the investigation of light, half a century would have been saved.
In the 1940s the game became a popular radio panel quiz show, Twenty Questions, first broadcast at 8pm, Saturday, February 2, 1946, on the Mutual Broadcasting System from New York's Longacre Theatre on West 48th Street. Radio listeners sent in subjects for the panelists to guess in 20 questions; Winston Churchill's cigar was the subject most frequently submitted. On the early shows, listeners who stumped the panel won a lifetime subscription to Pageant. From 1946 to 1951, the program was sponsored by Ronson Lighters. In 1952-53, Wildroot Cream-Oil was the sponsor.
The show was the creation of Fred Van Deventer, who was born December 5, 1903 in Tipton, Indiana, and died December 2, 1971. Van Deventer was a WOR Radio newscaster with New York's highest-rated news show, Van Deventer and the News. Van Deventer was on the program's panel wi
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