Thursday, January 28, 2010

Future of The Thread: More Comments

Following the recent embarrassing trouncing of my once-bold-seeming prediction by that darn reality, I hesitate to prognosticate again.

And yet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Omnibus Thread Everlasting Update

These archives are no longer updated. New new updates are here

Monday, January 25, 2010

This title expresses approval of the post linked

This sentence links to a typically incendiary blog post by Chris Clarke.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

word o' the day


Metathreadual analysis

With the 20K and 1 y stumbling blocks milestones approaching, a first stab at some comparative subThread-level trends.

First, subThread duration:

Clearly, despite some wide variation in the early going, subThreads are getting shorter in duration; of the last 6 subThreads, none has lasted even 10 d, and the last 9 were terminated ere e'en a fortnight was pass'd. It will be interesting to see if this infernal stimulus for increasingly frequent updates will persist.

Now on to subThreadwise commenting rates:

Very interesting. The illustrated upward trend (dashed line; simple linear regression) is due almost entirely to the high rates of commenting in the last four subThreads, i.e. post-anastomosation (red slash). Before Teh CO's eldritch experiment, a remarkably consistent rate of about 80 comments/day had obtained for five sequential subThreads. Can the ridiculous current rates, approaching 200/d, be sustained?

stay tuned

Friday, January 22, 2010

Animal taxonomy

A reasonably current synopsis:

Monday, January 18, 2010




is better, yes?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

On the Anastomosation of Comment Threads

Presumably you know what I'm talking about already; if not this is unlikely to be of interest.

Teh Cephalopodian Overlord of Pharyngula conducted a fiendish and cruel experiment on January 8, 2010: two active comment threads were brute-force/microsurgically combined, an unnatural procedure jargonously known as anastomosis.

Quoth Teh CO at the time:
So there I am, holding two tubes on the internet that are pulsing and spewing, ready to cut both off…and what is any scientist's natural inclination in such circumstances? Why, to take the severed ends and suture them together and see what happens! That is this new thread, an anastomosis between two, count 'em, two old threads. I wonder…will it explode?
and, in alt-text:
Multiple threads fused into one gigantic monstrosity! Chaos reigns!

We now have sufficient data for a preliminary investigation of the early results from Dr. Myers' (if that is his real name) malicious "experiment".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heroes # 9, is it?

for Cat's Cradle alone, but so much more too.

for Sometimes a Great Notion alone, but so much more too.

one more Kesey shot:

20K in 1 y

Having deployed sophisticated computer modelling techniques, I am now prepared to formally predict that Teh Thread Everlasting will exceed 20,000 comments before its first anniversary on Feb. 24 2010.**
This prediction is based on conservative projections from current temporal commenting trends, as illustrated here:

(click to enlarge)
The pink dashed line is a best-fit 3rd-order polynomial calculated from the comment/time data shown in black, and forecast into the future. Note that this underestimates the effect (if any, Professor) of the recent anastomosation.*
The red line is the minimum rate needed to satisfy the prediction.

As far as I am aware, this is only the second example of a quantitative prediction in the history of the discipline of Blogospherical Science.

*UPDATE 1/17: it seems that anastomisation did have a positive effect on commenting rate, and that the Day of 20K is therefore likely to arrive even sooner than predicted above.

**UPDATE 1/27: This prediction turned out to be laughably conservative. People started commenting at ridiculous rates.
Data here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My favorite zoology vids

Sir David Attenborough’s Tree of Life (please start here!)
(a little animal/vertebrate-centric but otherwise beautiful)

many more follow

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is where one quotes Mark Twain

A comment from Dania on The Thread Everlasting tapped into an interesting period in the history of The Thread when its death was prematurely predicted, and even requested, by a number of otherwise enthusiastic Threadizens. Here follow some laughably FAIL quotes, nostalgically evoking a simpler, less complicated, somehow more innocent time of days long gone by. Little could we have known at the time (March-April 2009) what glorious heights The Thread would soon reach. Is this Irony? I forget.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Breast cancer trends

(click to enlarge)
Annual breast-cancer death rates
squares: "black" women
triangles: "white" women
curves are quadratic

Data source: National Cancer Center SEER database
"US Mortality Files, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 US Std Population (19 age groups - Census P25-1130)."