New site: BestThing.info

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New site: BestThing.info

Postby xkcd » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:18 am UTC

We've started another side project. It's inspired by this Livejournal community's quest to find the Best Thing Ever via majority vote.

http://BestThing.info/

It uses some statistics to work out what's best, and keeps a constantly-updated list. It should scale nicely, with some twerking, so submit and vote to your hearts' content!

Thanks as always for davean's freakish dedication to any project that keeps him from getting enough sleep.
Last edited by xkcd on Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:41 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Shoofle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:27 am UTC

It's best-things-a-riffic!
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Postby judas » Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:24 am UTC

Damn that's addicting. I just spent entirely too long making value judgments, and some of them were heart-wrenching.

I considered lobbying for a method to nominate pairs for "Best Juxtaposition" or something along those lines, as I got some phenomenal ones... but by the time this post manifested itself I couldn't recall even one example. The interface is brutally simple and effective as it is anyways so fuck it, no need to get all meta about things.
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Postby Aspa » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:27 pm UTC

I got magic vs Lambda Calculus. Had to report it as a duplicate, of course.
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Postby Gozer » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:32 pm UTC

I just did something similar, but then realized "Report as a Duplicate" means it's a duplicate entry, not that you think theire tied in bestness.
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Postby cheesehound » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:25 pm UTC

There came a point where I had to choose between cookie dough and desktop GUIs. In despair at the difficulty of my choice, I screamed "COOKIE DOOOOUGH" and clicked what my heart told me to. Irony.
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Postby Nicolas Bourbaki » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:46 pm UTC

In addition to the "report as duplicate" button, there should be a "report as retarded" button under each item. 40-50% of the stuff that comes up is lamer than a one legged dog.

edit:
Also, it would be nice if there were a way to copy/paste the text of some of the longer items for comparison... even alt-text or something for the buttons? This might also improve the accessibility for blind/handicapped people, but I'm not sure if that consideration is important anymore on the internet.
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Postby xkcd » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:14 pm UTC

In addition to the "report as duplicate" button, there should be a "report as retarded" button under each item. 40-50% of the stuff that comes up is lamer than a one legged dog.


Don't worry, we planned for this. There's pruning in place so that the stuff that sinks to the bottom gets dropped out of the database and doesn't get shown as options, and we've pruned a lot of junk. But right now we're sort of waiting to see how it evolves to figure out what level of pruning would be best before we automate it.
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Yaaaaaaay!

Postby squinky » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:02 am UTC

I got nothing done at work today! Thanks, xkcd!
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Re: Yaaaaaaay!

Postby davean » Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:51 am UTC

squinky wrote:I got nothing done at work today! Thanks, xkcd!


Your welcome. We are glad to contribute to the overall lower productivity of the species. Now, I'm going to go add new features to bestthing.info.
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Postby ArbiterOne » Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:57 am UTC

This is an awesome idea.
Things that bestthings.info could use:
- a list of the top 100/top n instead of/in addition to the top 10
- a list of the recently added things
- a list of the trends over time (perhaps the Top 10 could be reset every week, but the overall statistics could be retained)
- I also second the 'mark as great comparison' button
This is really addicting, by the way.
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Postby paige42 » Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:37 am UTC

I second the "top n" list and third the "best juxtapositions" option.
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Postby Penguin » Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:38 am UTC

A "worst 10" or "worst n" list would be cool, too, but I guess if you're going to prune it then... nevermind.
<3!
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Postby NMcCoy » Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:30 pm UTC

Whoa. </keanu>
I just got "Science Fiction" vs. "Magic Realism". I $ORDINAL the vote for "awesome pairing".

Also, "Putting your underwear in the microwave" vs "Nudity".

Also also, someone put "losethegame.com" as an option, causing me to lose twenty dollars and my self respect. This is my official announcement of such. Curse you!
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Postby RealGrouchy » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:02 pm UTC

judas wrote:Damn that's addicting.


Thanks for the warning!

- RG>
Jack Saladin wrote:etc., lock'd
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:At least he has the decency to REMOVE THE GAP BETWEEN HIS QUOTES....
Sungura wrote:I don't really miss him. At all. He was pretty grouchy.
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Postby NMcCoy » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:07 pm UTC

If I keep watching this topic I'm going to lose again whenever someone replies.
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Postby xkcd » Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:06 pm UTC

Things that bestthings.info could use:
- a list of the top 100/top n instead of/in addition to the top 10

But then where's your incentive to vote obsessively? :)

- a list of the recently added things

That might be a good idea. Though, do you know how many of those things are "MY COCK!#" or variants? Perhaps a list of recent submissions that haven't been immediately voted down. We'll see!

- a list of the trends over time (perhaps the Top 10 could be reset every week, but the overall statistics could be retained)

I'm not sure what you mean -- The Top 10 (20) is never reset, things just keep overtaking each other. 'resetting' isn't that meaningful here as the system is set up so old stuff doesn't have much of a bias over new stuff.
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Postby Tropylium » Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:17 pm UTC

(Doh, how did I manage to miss this thread's existence the last time?)

xkcd wrote:
Things that bestthings.info could use:
- a list of the top 100/top n instead of/in addition to the top 10

But then where's your incentive to vote obsessively? :)


A top 100 might indeed wreck that. But how about listing the top 5% or so instead of the top #X, as the number of entries gro's? Or is the system set so that it will stabilize at a certain size?
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Postby The DL » Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:05 am UTC

I registered just to say that I too would really like to see more than a top 20. Perhaps even a way to see each things score. I'm sorry I basically want this to be more like the regret index.
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Postby Shoofle » Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:03 pm UTC

What I think would be kind of cool would be if the top 20 were formatted sort of with three columns, and the middle column would be the top 20, and the first column would be the last thing voted better than the item, and the third column would be the last thing voted not as good.
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Postby twenty10 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:01 am UTC

I'd really be interesting in seeing that alogorithm, unless it's private..

I'm starting to realize how much I really love statistics and genetic algorithms...
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Postby xkcd » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:30 pm UTC

You can check out http://xkcd.com/date/algorithms.html. However, when we go to improve things, we're probably going to take the MAM approach, which is a lot more efficient and well-defined in the literature for this particular situation than my simulated annealing hack.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximize_Affirmed_Majorities
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Postby narpas » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:56 am UTC

I don't mean to be a grumpy old curmudgeon, but the top twenty list has, like, four "I found money I didn't know I had!" and "I had really good sex!" things. Like, those things are nice, and all, but they sorta mess up the "Aww, that's so cute!" factor of the list, and while I don't argue that those things don't need to be on the list, they're just hardcore duplicating. Think about it... it's like letting money and sex weed out the warm fuzzys. Yeah, just a little more trimming than the "Report duplicate pair" can handle.

Edit: Also, is "Being the only person awake in the house" and "Waking up to find that everyone else has suddenly disappeared, and surving on tinned food and off the land as wilderness slowly encroaches the city" the same thing?
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Postby davean » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:54 pm UTC

narpas wrote:Edit: Also, is "Being the only person awake in the house" and "Waking up to find that everyone else has suddenly disappeared, and surving on tinned food and off the land as wilderness slowly encroaches the city" the same thing?



Not even remotely similar.
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Postby Ephphatha » Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:41 am UTC

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! v Killing an annoying fly.


...That can't be a coincidence.

Edit: Stepping out of your shoes and onto the sand v Choreographing your own lightsaber duel.
No contest.

EditEdit: The bastille v Putting cardboard tubes on a cats legs so they walk like a robot.
I'll take option B, Eddie.
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Postby narpas » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:23 am UTC

davean wrote:Not even remotely similar.


I know. :-P
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Postby mewyn » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:29 am UTC

I got one I cannot answer! They are both equally as good in my book:
"Waking up in the morning realizing you're perfectly comfy and being able to enjoy it for as long as you want" or "enthusiastic, intelligent conversation about the things you love"

Decisisions.... decisions....

Oh, and I think it may be wise to have a "report this option". I've gotten several garbage options, nonsensical options, and just lame options. To keep it fun I think it'd be a good idea to keep it clean from things that make no sense what-so-ever.
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Postby twenty10 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:46 am UTC

operation tetris
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Postby davean » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:51 pm UTC

mewyn wrote:Oh, and I think it may be wise to have a "report this option". I've gotten several garbage options, nonsensical options, and just lame options. To keep it fun I think it'd be a good idea to keep it clean from things that make no sense what-so-ever.


Your reports would be less useful then what it already does.
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Seriously Needs a Tie option

Postby ZenBearClaw » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:58 pm UTC

I know this is obvious but you shoudl really tell people that refreshing is the acrefree way to exercise your right not to choose. I mean really who could choose between
pile of kittens
&
Obfuscation Via Verbing

both are things that would be valid grounds for suicide if they ever stopped existing.



P.S. the comic touches me in those geeky unshowered places.
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