Pop Quiz #468 pt.2

As of this morning, there were a total of 144 votes, 19.4% of whom said I’d be giddy with glee that the navy and black pant lengths were disparate. This is correct. I was quite pleased the black pants were longer and a tad roomier.

Let’s review, hasn’t a pattern emerged yet with regard to the pop quizzes? Without exception, the correct response has always been the counterintuitive one. This is not accidental. A primary tactic of retention in instruction is to shock the student, surprise them and this is the deliberate strategy I employ. I had been hoping that more people would have noticed this pattern and so, logically select the counterintuitive response and then ponder to themselves, how this response might be true over the other obvious one. One person did that, maybe others did but they did not so indicate.

Second, let’s again review Occam’s Razor:

The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory…This is often paraphrased as “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.” In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities.

In other words, in my selection of questions for pop quizzes, I am also selecting questions to illustrate core concepts, with parsimony and paucity of detail rather than trick questions subject to aberrant or unusual circumstances.


Todd correctly stated:

You would be giddy to find the black a different length. You’ve said this before that different colorways, especially black, shrink differently. Therefore each colorway would be graded for shrinkage differently. After washing, both colors should shrink to the same size. This difference in length tells me that the manufacturer did testing on each colorway (or at least black versus other colors) before making the markers. If this was a pre-washed garment, such as jeans, and the colors turned out to be different lengths off the rack, I might say that the manufacturer did not test for different shrinkages before making the marker.

Consumer PSA: If you plan to buy more than one color way of a style, you must unfortunately try them all. While it is true that some manufacturers produce identical styles across various contractors using separate patterns, the safest assumption to make is that the snuggest fitting colorway is how the other styles will fit after you’ve washed and dried them several times. In fact, if a style fits identically across colorways, don’t buy any of them. This most often means the manufacturer has not cut the styles according to shrinkage. In the latter case, assuming you love the style and must have one of them and they already fit snugly, avoid the black one. It will shrink the most.

Next I’ll post a guest entry from Maria Santiago who shares her experiences calculating shrinkage for denim. This method is different from the methods that most use; I found it very educational and hope you will too.

Class dismissed.

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