The Edisonian Wisdom
Mr. Edison's "questionnaires" for the searching of the minds of his own prospective employees are his own business, and it is to be assumed that experience has taught him wisdom in the means of testing the general intelligence of applicants for positions in his establishment. In this age, "intelligence" frequently means information, and Mr. Edison's latest list of questions, as published, certainly constitutes a good test of general information, and Mr. Edison's latest list of questions, as published, certainly constitutes a good test of general information and keenness of sense. The questions are of course, far from being a test of scholastic training. There are many highly educated men, especially in the specialties of science, who are quite devoid of common sense, and to whom the book of general information remains for ever sealed. Many of Mr. Edison's questions are distinctly along the line of the "wisdom of the humble". This one for example: "What three American coins make a dollar?" the answer to which is doubtless "a half-dollar and two quarters". His questions derived from the game of poker possibly indicate the presence in the mind of our great American game as a means of sharpening the wits and developing the resources of the brain. In the submission of such tests as the following Mr. Edison has a decided advantage over all the educational institutions:
You have only $10 in the world and are playing poker with a man you have never seen before. On the first deal he holds a pat hand. You have three eights before the draw. There is fifty cents in the pot. He bets a quarter. What are you going to do and why?
Scholastic use of such a test would certainly be barred, and yet the answers to it may throw a flood of light upon the brain and sense of the person under examination. --The Boston Transcript