Friday, June 14, 2019

Jeopardy winner James Holzhauer boned up on children's books


Jeopardy contestant James Holzhauer attracted notice for his use of children’s books in preparing for the quiz contests and the memorization of trivia. 


Karen Springen writes about his use of children’s literature as a preparation strategy. Why?  Writers of these book shave a unique challenge: to make things “interesting to uninterested readers.” This is about creating literacy – and the lack of it in adults later in life is part of our problem with misuse of Internet content today. 

He says he had to be coy about spending too much time in a children’s section to avoid appearing to behave inappropriately.  I’m reminded of Reid Ewing’s 2012 (short film) satire “It’s Free” set in a public library which grazes on a similar point.

Hozhauer’s remarks reflect that writers of these books have to actually think about what their readers want and need, not just on what the writers think they have to say.
  
Holzhauer is a professional game player with a background in mathematics.  I guess that includes poker, but chess hasn’t been mentioned.

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