• Sampling the Slyme

    Random sampling is one of the most powerful epistemic tools ever developed by humankind. It provides us with the ability to gain statistical insight into an entire population without the massive expenditures  involved in conducting a full census.

    On a recent post, a fellow calling himself “Steersman” (sounds a bit pretentious to me, but hey, it’s an internet pseudonym) suggested that I was being unfair in the way that I have been sampling the Pit, picking out the worst bits and drawing attention to them. In the interests of statistics and fairness, then, let us sample the pit randomly.

    Lsuoma’s version of the Pit has been running since 7/3/2012 at 8:58pm which is exactly 460 days ago as of the time of this posting. This new Pit has been operational for 11,040 hours, or 662,400 minutes. If only there were some way that we could randomly slice up that time frame using a truly random web-based process.

    What I’ve done here below is convert the list of numbers generated by Chibbi into their corresponding posts in “the endless thread” which is the central axis of slymy discussion:

    Jul 18, 2012 4:56 pm  
    Jul 23, 2012 12:53 pm
    Aug 05, 2012 1:42 am
    Aug 23, 2012 1:35 am
    Sep 02, 2012 5:10 pm
    Sep 19, 2012 8:23 pm
    Sep 24, 2012 12:14 pm
    Oct 21, 2012 9:56 pm
    Nov 04, 2012 3:00 pm
    Nov 20, 2012 6:33 pm
    Nov 23, 2012 6:52 am
    Dec 01, 2012 7:00 pm
    Dec 21, 2012 9:54 am
    Jan 21, 2013 4:58 am
    Mar 10, 2013 3:54 am
    Mar 23, 2013 1:12 pm
    Mar 23, 2013 7:22 pm
    Apr 16, 2013 3:45 pm
    May 04, 2013 8:43 am
    May 07, 2013 2:15 am
    May 27, 2013 6:06 am
    Jun 06, 2013 11:00 pm
    Jun 23, 2013 7:11 am
    Jul 06, 2013 10:36 am
    Aug 14, 2013 7:49 am
    Aug 16, 2013 1:06 am
    Aug 30, 2013 2:28 am
    Sep 12, 2013 2:59 pm
    Sep 24, 2013 12:46 am
    Sep 29, 2013 4:28 am


    The process was very simple, each of Chibbi’s numbers represents the number of minutes since the founding of the forum, and I simply linked to the next post after that time had elapsed.

    Whereas fans of the Pit will tend to judge it by its most brilliant posts and posters, and critics (such as myself) will tend to judge it by its worst posts and posters, the process of random sampling eliminates such biases and provides us with an unbiased representative sample of the endless thread from its foundation until today.

    I’m not going to provide my own subjective evaluation of the content of these links right here and now. Instead, I’m going to leave the links up for those who want a fair sample to peruse at their own leisure, or to share with critics or supporters of the forum. If you want to avoid positive-spin cherry-picking or negative-spin nightshade-gathering in favour of a truly unbiased and randomized approach, this is the probably your best bet.

    Should the content from list of links change your own impression of the Pit, whether for good or ill, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

    Category: Damned Lies and StatisticsSlymePit

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.