In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:08 am UTC

PeteP wrote:So I'm unsure whether the special treatment is warranted. Though I guess the difference might just be how high the risk increase is and for non STIs it's lower.

The difference, to me, is that cheating pretty much by definition requires that you are still in an intimate relationship with your "legitimate" partner, and that you are concealing your affair from them. Anything else and it's polyamory or an open relationship.

So, you're coming to them and purposefully concealing your possible exposure to disease and encouraging them to engage in behavior that is incredibly risky, with the expectation that if you're not verbally lying to them, it's because you've engineered a situation where they expect an answer that would nullify the need to ask, and you know that. That's not analogous to simply walking past people who haven't asked whether you work in a disease lab -- that's analogous to wiping your hands on cookies after leaving the disease lab, and then handing the cookies out. Whether or not you are actually caring a disease at that moment, the flagrant exploitation and abuse of their good faith is deplorable.

Furthermore, working in a disease lab (unless you're making WMDs, which would mean you kind of are an asshole) means that you're working to help humanity - that you're doing something to benefit those around you. Lying to those who have given you their trust so you can get your dick/clit wet is not equivalent to that in the least.

If you could pass a guaranteed-accurate disease screening after your lurid liaisons, and be absolutely, 100% sure you were clean, then you "only" have the emotional betrayal of the necessary dishonesty to weigh on you. I'm pretty sure even our best tests still produce false positives, so I'd have to say that even this mythical "ethical cheater" is committing what we should catalogue as sexual violence.

As for the STI discussion, that seems like a particularly poor argument. If you cheat with someone who doesn't have any disease and can prove it, it is still cheating and the person you cheat upon is unlikely to find talk of testing and protection very comforting.

I absolutely agree that there is an emotional component that I empathize with the most. However, some groups, with large sway in society, say "fuck other people's feelings", and so pointing out that it also counts as sexual violence is a useful corollary.

There are many situations where the marriage itself is unethical and I would cheer on a person for cheating.

Sure. If you don't have the option to be honest with your partner, as in, you fear physical harm, it's hard to blame you for trying to seek happiness while confined to a marriage you were forced into. That's not Ashley Madison though.

I agree. I think cheating is unethical, but I do not believe that a law can stop it, and associated costs exist. We've had anti-adultry laws before, there's a reason we're moving away from such things.

Also want to clarify that a law would definitely be abused to trample over poly/etc. persons. My vehemence is just against the idea that "adultery is no big deal, guys". It's pretty impossible to not laugh at that claim if you've actually been cheated on.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:45 am UTC

Assholes stack several categories at the Hugos with works whose politics appeal to them; WorldCon attendees show up in record numbers to award those categories to nobody.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:23 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:I thought 'cheater' websites are mostly a thin cover for prostitution.
I was wondering the same but the money seems to be flowing the wrong way for that to be the case. That plus if the website was just a flimsy cover for prostitution, surely some articles would have mentioned it. Paying for sex is generally considered more shameful than cheating on your SO after all.

Whizbang wrote:Except for the fact a person is likely not to continue paying indefinitely anyway. Either they get a match or they do not. Both outcomes results in them discontinuing service. However, people who get a match are much more likely to recommend the site to others, or return if things change in the future.
Is a cheater's website something that really spreads by word of mouth? "Hey, Bob, I had a lot of success finding a mistress on this website. You should check it out."

ObsessoMom wrote:Can someone help me with the math here? I'm trying to derive the headline...
Simply put, it seems that women are better at having affairs than men.
It seems the article just claims women don't get caught (ever?) and somehow it isn't as bad when a woman cheats. It doesn't seem to offer much support for its claims beyond the author's one friend that's been cheating on her husband for years and doesn't even feel bad about it but admittedly I didn't read all of it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Echo244 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:44 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:I thought the article made interesting points, but the headline sure looks like a fail.


It's the Daily Mail. Factual accuracy is irrelevant to that organisation, stirring up controversy and outrage is all they care about. Particularly online when it comes to clickbait-y headlines.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:54 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:I thought the article made interesting points, but the headline sure looks like a fail.


It's the Daily Mail. Factual accuracy is irrelevant to that organisation, stirring up controversy and outrage is all they care about. Particularly online when it comes to clickbait-y headlines.


Relevant youtube video

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:04 pm UTC


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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

According to reports, she quite quickly began “acting wildly and yelling incoherently.” She fell to the floor and stayed there until the police arrived.
Around here, we call that "Thursday".
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:33 pm UTC


I'm not sure whether to be impressed or horrified. I mean, that's damn fine cognac - it deserves to be sipped!

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:Assholes stack several categories at the Hugos with works whose politics appeal to them; WorldCon attendees show up in record numbers to award those categories to nobody.


Saw this on slashdot. Wading through the BS got tedious, but evidently it's some sort of political battle, and everyone is intent on blaming the other side pretty hard. Evidently one side sees meanieheads/Basic Human Decency as the original problem, while some see this opposing force as the problem, and bam, outrage results.

More interestingly, the hugos use a fun voting system for determining winners, but it's nominating process is very different. So, if you like electoral systems, could make for a fun systemic study.

Also, seriously, more people voted for "no award" than "Skin Game"? No taste.
maybeagnostic wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:Can someone help me with the math here? I'm trying to derive the headline...
Simply put, it seems that women are better at having affairs than men.
It seems the article just claims women don't get caught (ever?) and somehow it isn't as bad when a woman cheats. It doesn't seem to offer much support for its claims beyond the author's one friend that's been cheating on her husband for years and doesn't even feel bad about it but admittedly I didn't read all of it.


That does seem pretty wild. The idea that women put more effort into evading detection is possible, but that would not lead one to believe that it "isn't as bad" in terms of social consequence. Quite the reverse.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
ahammel wrote:Assholes stack several categories at the Hugos with works whose politics appeal to them; WorldCon attendees show up in record numbers to award those categories to nobody.


Saw this on slashdot. Wading through the BS got tedious, but evidently it's some sort of political battle, and everyone is intent on blaming the other side pretty hard. Evidently one side sees meanieheads/Basic Human Decency as the original problem, while some see this opposing force as the problem, and bam, outrage results.
Honestly, I think quite a few of the No Award voters were probably indifferent to the meaniehead vs. Puppies fight. They were just pissed off that the nomination process was fucked with.

Also, seriously, more people voted for "no award" than "Skin Game"? No taste.
Probably not a reflection on Butcher. The Puppies' approval was just the kiss of death this year, because fuck those guys.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:21 pm UTC

Also, seriously, more people voted for "no award" than "Skin Game"? No taste.
Probably not a reflection on Butcher. The Puppies' approval was just the kiss of death this year, because fuck those guys.

Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet actually turned their nominations down because they were on the Puppies' slates, which is a course of action I can respect.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:27 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
Also, seriously, more people voted for "no award" than "Skin Game"? No taste.
Probably not a reflection on Butcher. The Puppies' approval was just the kiss of death this year, because fuck those guys.

Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet actually turned their nominations down because they were on the Puppies' slates, which is a course of action I can respect.


Dammit, another thing I like has now become a giant political battleground.

I miss when talking about video games and sci fi didn't devolve into a labrynthine tale of sectarian trolling and hatred.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:33 pm UTC

How exactly does this voting/nomination work if it's so easy to game? Is there something like getting huge blocks of internet voters to just vote on specific books or something?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:35 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Dammit, another thing I like has now become a giant political battleground.

I miss when talking about video games and sci fi didn't devolve into a labrynthine tale of sectarian trolling and hatred.

I feel you. Political battleground is a shitty place for it to be. I have to say though that just letting the Puppies (particularly the Rabid Puppies) control the thing would be an even worse place for it to be.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:37 pm UTC

Chen wrote:How exactly does this voting/nomination work if it's so easy to game? Is there something like getting huge blocks of internet voters to just vote on specific books or something?

Anybody can get the ability to vote in the nomination but they have to pay 40$ or so. So not effortless internet mob voting, you have to have people dedicated enough to pay some money. But I guess that also lowers the amount of people you need.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:52 pm UTC

Chen wrote:How exactly does this voting/nomination work if it's so easy to game? Is there something like getting huge blocks of internet voters to just vote on specific books or something?
Here's the FAQ

Everybody who has a ticket to WorldCon during the current year, the previous year, or the next year can submit up to five nominations per category. The slate of nominees is decided by first-past-the-post: the five works with the most nominations are on the ballot. (This is the bit that is susceptible to being gamed: a coordinate minority can dominate the slate over top of the un-coordinated majority. My understanding is that the Puppies chose a slate of nominees in each category and encouraged people to nominate all and only those entrants.)

The winner is decided by Australian ballot and only the attendees of the current year's WorldCon can vote. This is less prone to shenanigans.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zamfir » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:59 pm UTC

It's an open nomination: people can send in a top-5 (per category) of their own choice, and the 5 works with the most votes become the short list.

There's not that many people who nominate, and their votes are distributed over many, many works. Which means that the top 5 works don't actually get that much votes. Some guys (’sad puppies') realized that this could be exploited: they proposed a 'slate' of 5 works per category, and encouraged their supporters to vote for exactly that list. Such an organized block needs only a relatively small amount of the the votes, unless some other block emerges that pushes a rival slate.

The sad puppies had partial success last year, and were planning a stronger effort this year. Another group called 'rabid puppies' hijacked their campaign to push for a similar put slightly different slate. They pulled it off, so in most categories the short list consisted only of the rapid puppy slate. Hence the 'no award' victories - the rabid puppies have enough votes to push the slate through the nomination, but not enough to win the final election.

There is a worked-out proposal to change the nomination process, but it takes some time to get it approved. In 2 years time, the system should be slate-proof. In the mean time, the no award victories are probably the best result. The alternative would be that some respected people propose an anti-puppies slate, but that gives them exactly the both- sides-do-it justification they are looking for.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mambrino » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:08 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
Chen wrote:How exactly does this voting/nomination work if it's so easy to game? Is there something like getting huge blocks of internet voters to just vote on specific books or something?
Here's the FAQ

Everybody who has a ticket to WorldCon during the current year, the previous year, or the next year can submit up to five nominations per category. The slate of nominees is decided by first-past-the-post: the five works with the most nominations are on the ballot. (This is the bit that is susceptible to being gamed: a coordinate minority can dominate the slate over top of the un-coordinated majority. My understanding is that the Puppies chose a slate of nominees in each category and encouraged people to nominate all and only those entrants.)

The winner is decided by Australian ballot and only the attendees of the current year's WorldCon can vote. This is less prone to shenanigans.


And because in the nomination part you can submit any eligible work and some of the award categories are more marginal than others (there's more interest in the best novel than in best novelette, and there are probably more short fiction to choose from), coordinated vote pooling is quite effective.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:32 pm UTC

Interesting. And pretty bad for the whole Hugo awards if the change in rules actually does take another full year to come about. Ironically it seems like the Puppy movement might caused more dissenting votes than votes for their authors. Meaning their whole effort really just skewed the results in the opposite way even more. Which is problematic for the actual authors this year. I mean take Butcher's Skin Game. Did it lose to the Three Body Problem because that book was better? Or because it was associated with this Puppy slate and thus was dismissed in favor of the other book that wasn't part of their slate?

Edit: that was just an illustrative example. From everything else I've read The Three Body Problem likely was the better novel anyways.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:46 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Dammit, another thing I like has now become a giant political battleground.

I miss when talking about video games and sci fi didn't devolve into a labrynthine tale of sectarian trolling and hatred.

Well, it did, it was just about Trek vs. Wars ;)

Seriously, though, this is pretty aggravating. Seems like there's nothing that can't be turned into some kind of shit-slinging festival between opposing hordes of assholes. My normal advice would be to just disconnect, since 95% of this shit takes place on Twitter and Facebook and there's plenty of small, dedicated forums out there where relatively sane people can still have a satisfying discussion, but having it infest an institution like the Hugos is a whole new level of depressing.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:35 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Edit: that was just an illustrative example. From everything else I've read The Three Body Problem likely was the better novel anyways.


I haven't actually read The Three Body Problem, so I can't reasonably compare it to Skin Game. However, I think it's an easy argument that Skin Game should be ranked higher than "No Award". So, yeah, definitely a problem.

Commodore, yeah, that's what bugs me. I just don't twitter, and don't do other social media that is *just* that sort of thing. No big. Lots of worthless stuff out there. But when it invades something I like that was previously useful...gah. Sometimes it feels like all of society is getting caught up in an ever more sectarian political struggle.

And election season is only just begininng. Goddammit, time to go vodka shopping.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:19 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Chen wrote:Edit: that was just an illustrative example. From everything else I've read The Three Body Problem likely was the better novel anyways.
I haven't actually read The Three Body Problem, so I can't reasonably compare it to Skin Game. However, I think it's an easy argument that Skin Game should be ranked higher than "No Award". So, yeah, definitely a problem.
I mean, yeah there's a problem, but I don't think it's fair to say that the problem was people reacting to the Puppies list by voting No Award, regardless of what they thought of the book. Regardless of the merits of Skin Game, a vote for it would be takend to mean that you're ok with the shenanigans. I don't think the voters can be faulted for not wanting to put up with that.

EDIT: haven't heard anything about what Butcher himself thought, though. It is pretty sucky for him.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:Assholes stack several categories at the Hugos with works whose politics appeal to them; WorldCon attendees show up in record numbers to award those categories to nobody.


That's a bit of a simplification.

Prior there were some less organised similar campaigns which exploited the same weakness though normally targeting individual books rather than a whole slate.

The SP guys stated belief was that the system was already being gamed by some other slightly less organised groups.

The data sort of hints that they may have been somewhat correct as there was a significant slump in the quality of the nominations and winners where up until a few years ago there had been an upward trend.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:14 pm UTC

I'm not at all convinced that the trends you are seeing in that data are anything other than noise. I'm trying to think of the appropriate statistical test for it - a simple way might be to take all the nominations from 1985-2000 then all the nominations from 2000-2015 and just run a T test. You would expect the data to be normally distributed, and the variences look approximately equal, so it satisfies the necessary assumptions for a T test.

I'm also not at all sure that seeing the correlation between goodreads ratings and Hugo awards change would lead one to conclude that the system is being gamed - it could be that you're seeing some overall trend between how old a book is and goodread ratings for example.
Last edited by Quercus on Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:16 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:16 pm UTC

make sure to cut out 2014 and 2015 or treat them as a separate group since the puppies injected some with much higher ratings. Warbound (from the puppies slate) is that super-high rated datapoint on the top right.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:20 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:make sure to cut out 2014 and 2015 or treat them as a separate group since the puppies injected some with much higher ratings.


If you give me the data, I'll run the test - I think excluding 2014-2015 might be simplest, because I'm not at all certain of the validity of comparing different time periods (and if I start testing every two years against every other by ANOVA or somesuch I'm going to lose far too much statistical power).

I don't think it will be very informative either way, but what the hell.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:22 pm UTC

With some control for low number of votes I would accept goodreads ratings as proxy for popularity, but for quality? Yeah there should be a correlation but whether it's strong enough to say higher rating = higher quality is something I would require some evidence for. (Though I have no idea how to properly study that.)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:24 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:With some control for low number of votes I would accept goodreads ratings as proxy for popularity, but for quality? Yeah there should be a correlation but whether it's strong enough to say higher rating = higher quality is something I would require some evidence for. (Though I have no idea how to properly study that.)


It's easy, first define an objective measure for the quality of a book... oh, wait. Damn.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:29 pm UTC

I don't have the source data files, the graph comes from this blog:

http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com ... -analysis/

he may have data files available somewhere in there.

Quercus wrote:It's easy, first define an objective measure for the quality of a book... oh, wait. Damn.


There's no objective measure but aggregate subjective measures make a decent proxy. Highly rated works are rarely utter shite while low rated ones do tend to be quite poor.

I expect goodreads to stop being useful as soon as a notable number of people start using it like this, then like all proxy metrics it will start being gamed more and more heavily.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:40 pm UTC

Sweet - I'll check out that article. If all else fails I seem to recall a image processing program that could extract a good approximation of raw data from a graph, which might be cool to check out. Might have to wait until next week though, I'm kind of busy at the moment.


HungryHobo wrote:There's no objective measure but aggregate subjective measures make a decent proxy. Highly rated works are rarely utter shite while low rated ones do tend to be quite poor.

I expect goodreads to stop being useful as soon as a notable number of people start using it like this, then like all proxy metrics it will start being gamed more and more heavily.

I don't disagree - I was just commenting on the general difficulty of assessing just how good the aggregate subjective measures are - it always feels a bit unanchored to me. This is probably my hard science bias speaking though (where we have the luxury of generally using reasonably objective measures for things).

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

Further confounder may be that goodreads is fairly recent (2007 or so) so older books may be more highly rated because people who loved a book years ago are more likely to look it up and rate them while people might casually rate books published after 2007 attracting raters who are less fond of the books.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:08 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:Further confounder may be that goodreads is fairly recent (2007 or so) so older books may be more highly rated because people who loved a book years ago are more likely to look it up and rate them while people might casually rate books published after 2007 attracting raters who are less fond of the books.


This would be something you could cross-reference to other genres though, since, presumably, this wouldn't be exclusive to SciFi.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:35 pm UTC

I was kinda curious how many famous classics are rated even lower or at the same level than twilight (3.56) (And yes that doesn't really say anything, classics are old - the language differences alone can account for low rating and of course classic doesn't mean quality either, but not even beating twilight is a weak showing for a famous book. And classics have often countless editions, a downvote could be for a shitty translation or something.)
Spoiler:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/153747.Moby_Dick_or_The_Whale
Moby Dick with 3.42
Lord of the flies is slightly higher with 3.61
The Scarlett letter is pretty shitty with 3.34
For Shakespeare works it's hard to say whether just a particular version of a story is unpopular
The two gentleman or verona for instance is on 3.4
and Love's Labour's Lost is at 3.54.
Beowulf is at 3.39
Gulliver's Travels at 3.53
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/269 ... bury_Tales
The Canterbury Tales 3.47 a version in middle english so that might be the reason.


But curiosity aside. Looking at the graph about the nominations I noticed one thing. Barely any nominees or winners are above 4.2. Only one winner is significantly above 4.3. And here are 400 works on goodreads with rating 4.5 and above so ratings above 4.2 or 4.3 are hardly unheard of. (Though maybe just scifi doesn't get high ratings.) By the goodreads quality standard I would say that the nominees and the winners never had outstanding quality.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:50 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:But curiosity aside. Looking at the graph about the nominations I noticed one thing. Barely any nominees or winners are above 4.2. Only one winner is significantly above 4.3. And here are 400 works on goodreads with rating 4.5 and above so ratings above 4.2 or 4.3 are hardly unheard of. (Though maybe just scifi doesn't get high ratings.) By the goodreads quality standard I would say that the nominees and the winners never had outstanding quality.


Given that the Hugo's include fantasy too (although there's probably a bias towards sci fi - I don't really know TBH) every one of the first 9 books on that list would be eligible for something. Something funny is going on there. It could be that the qualities required for a high Goodreads rating and the qualities required for a Hugo nomination just don't overlap very much (after all, no-one is pretending that either of them capture all the aspects of a book's quality).

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:00 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:But curiosity aside. Looking at the graph about the nominations I noticed one thing. Barely any nominees or winners are above 4.2. Only one winner is significantly above 4.3. And here are 400 works on goodreads with rating 4.5 and above so ratings above 4.2 or 4.3 are hardly unheard of. (Though maybe just scifi doesn't get high ratings.) By the goodreads quality standard I would say that the nominees and the winners never had outstanding quality.

As someone who looks at amazon and goodreads reviews relatively often when choosing books, my observations are that a rating over 4.0 might be a bad sign and any rating over 4.5 makes me seriously reconsider whether I want to waste my time with the book. Of course, there is no way to objectively measure the quality of a book and trying to distill it down to a single number is even worse but the only books that overwhelmingly get 5 star reviews are ones with a rabid fanbase that new readers rarely stumble upon and unpublished works (Seriously, Winds of Winter already has over 1500 review and GRRM hasn't even finished writing it yet). It is also true of virtually any series that the average rating increases with each consecutive book (at least in the first few), often being a full point higher by book 3 or 4. Obviously, this is due to the people with poor or mixed impressions not reading further installments.

Essentially what I am getting at is that the average goodreads rating is a poor way to measure a book's likelihood of getting the Hugo and I expect getting a Hugo has serious effects on it's rating going forward.

commodorejohn wrote:Seems like there's nothing that can't be turned into some kind of shit-slinging festival between opposing hordes of assholes.
While I am sure neither side is comprised entirely of long-suffering saints, it is disappointing that you automatically assume both sides are equally in the wrong here without knowing much about the events at all.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:06 pm UTC

Re: The classics I think a lot of english-lit people view many of them through rose tinted glasses.
Some, if published for the first time today, would deserve those low ratings.
Some of the classics are terribly written and a chore to read compared to some more modern works.
They also tend to suffer from cultural and language changes. What would have been witty jokes about contemporary events become white noise while the motivations become more and more alien to modern readers.

One of the side effects of training machines to grade english SA's in exams is that you can feed them the classics to see what they think of them, they don't tend to fare well.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/bl ... ens-austen

Also, again, there's going to be some confounding for books that many people are forced to read against their will.

shit-slinging festival between opposing hordes of assholes.


I've become a little more familiar with the issues and while I'm pretty sure both sides have some genuine points that deserve consideration that's also not a bad summary of what it became.
Which is sad because there's some good discussion which could have been had.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:15 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:One of the side effects of training machines to grade english SA's in exams is that you can feed them the classics to see what they think of them, they don't tend to fare well.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/bl ... ens-austen

I can't quite decide if you are continuing the heavy sarcasm of that Guardian article, or are merely not noticing it.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:17 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:Which is sad because there's some good discussion which could have been had.
Honestly, that was never likely once Vox Day got involved.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:29 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:I can't quite decide if you are continuing the heavy sarcasm of that Guardian article, or are merely not noticing it.


I notice it but there's also a reason why the classics don't fare well when judged by someone/something that doesn't automatically regard them with awe.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:48 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
Quercus wrote:I can't quite decide if you are continuing the heavy sarcasm of that Guardian article, or are merely not noticing it.


I notice it but there's also a reason why the classics don't fare well when judged by someone/something that doesn't automatically regard them with awe.


The classics are a mixed bag, as is pretty much everything else, and of course people like different stuff, and that's fine. I never got along much with Dickens, Hemingway or Tolstoy (in translation), but I find Melville (at least Moby Dick), Coleridge, Steinbeck and most of the Shakespeare that I know to be utterly sublime, for example. Shakespeare can be hard work due to the cultural reference stuff you mention, but I'm never averse to learning a bit of history, so it doesn't bother me.


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