Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Omnibus Thread Everlasting Update

These archives are no longer updated.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

LAST UPDATED 3/30/2010 @ 37754 comments
The ECO has pulled out all the stops in messing with me and has instituted a de facto triple-anastomosation, despite explicit requests to forbear resist the (admittedly intensely awesome) temptation to do so. So there you have it, more green appendages. Pretty soon teh Thread will look like Swamp Thing.
[click to enlarge]
As always, the vertical blue threadmarkers represent each new blogpost that has been created specifically and explicitly to continue the comment thread started on the "Science of Watchmen" thread at the end of February 2009. The first Threadiversary is denoted by the pink threadmarker.

Oh, that weird green shit? That's on account of the Evil Cephalopodian Overlord of Pharyngula amusing hisself by anastomosing two or even three threads into one (at the red threadmarkers), effectively saddling The Thread wih some kind of withered, vestigial-looking appendages for no good reason other than pure sadistic malice as far as I can tell. But anyway there they are, the bastard subthreads of the Frankensteinian amalgamation. I don't see why they should affect the Count, however. So they don't.
[If you feel differently, go ahead and add in the comments on your own time; data below.]

For the record record, the Pharyngula-thread-length record-setting comment (#2527; red datum) was this one.
The 10K-comment milestone was reached here.
20K here.
30K here.
Last post of the first year was the last post in the linked subThread.
I started counting on 8 April 2009 at 2183 comments.
These are teh rulez.

Back issues of the International Journal for Thread Studies
1/13/10: A bold quantitative prediction of the Future of The Thread! [ok, with perfect 20-20 hindsight in retrospect, it doesn't look so bold any more...]
1/17/10: Preliminary results of the anastomosation experiment reported.
1/24/10: Preliminary metathreadual analysis.
1/28/2010: newer, even bolder predictions.
2/26/2010: The gala special-issue Threadiversary Retrospective.

History of The Thread:

The Saga of The Thread, Prologue & Ch. I, by Owlmirror, OM

Some alternative Origin hypotheses
Teach teh Controversy!

1. Science of Watchmen [1381 comments; 36.05 days]

2. I have no idea what this thread is about anymore [1452 comments; 46.73 d]
[includes some amusingly premature reports of The Thread's imminent demise]

3. I have no idea what this thread is about anymore, reloaded [1023 comments; 12.72 d]

4. The thread that will not die [1014 comments; 15.19 d]

5. Bride of The Thread That Will Not Die [1031 comments; 10.37 d]

6. Son of the Bride of The Thread that Will Not Die [1029 comments; 20.34 d]

7. Revenge of the Son of the Bride of The Thread that Will Not Die [1007 comments; 58.22 d]

8. Curse of the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of The Thread that Will Not Die [1018 comments; 4.43 d]

9. Thread 9 from Outer Space! [1086 comments; 12.56 d]

10. The Horror Express [1012 comments; 19.44 d]

11. The cursed undead heart of the vengeful bride of the son of The Thread that will not die! [1063 comments; 26.82 d]

12. Escape from the planet of the cursed etc. [1021 comments; 12.01 d]

13. The pie made from the cursed undead heart etc. [1045 comments; 12.99 d]

14. The lost skeleton of the mad bride of the son of the Thread from Mars that will not die! [1014 comments; 13.02 d]

15. The huge evergrowing pulsating brain that rules at the center of the Pharyngula ultraworld [715 comments, 8.70 d]

16. The Monolith Monsters are taking over the world! [662 comments; 8.62 d]

17. The anastomosing thread that never ends! [778 comments; 4.20 d]

18. Phaynguloids from the deep! Endless swarms of rampaging pharynguloids! [686 comments; 4.89 d]

19. Hairy horde marches on [699 comments; 3.69 d]

20. The never-ending bull session of the red-eyed undead hordes continues! [716 comments; 3.53 d]

21. The mellow, groovy cosmic thread that goes on and on, man [972 comments; 3.53 d]

22. One thing will never end, the endless thread goes on [1065 comments; 2.99 d]

23. This is the thread that you're probably going to stuff full of chatter while I'm in Ireland [953 comments; 4.33 d]

24. Oh, no, I'm full of Guinness, you've filled up the old thread, and you expect me to come up with a creative title? [705 comments; 3.57 d]

25. Nothing will stop the never-ending thread! Nothing! [677 comments; 3.02 d]

26. Open thread again. We'll be here for all eternity, try the calamari [744 comments; 2.28 d]

27. Never-ending thread reset because no one gives enough props to Mrs Emma Peel [690 comments; 2.45 d]

28. While my inner fish protests at being vertical rather than horizontal, the endless thread continues [720 comments; 2.04 d]

29. It grows like a fungus [753 comments; 1.96 d]

30. A Date with Pharyngula [870 comments; 2.23 d]

31. William Shatner has some advice for you thread-stuffin' Pharynguloids [648 comments; 2.39 d]

32. Happy Threadiversary! [703 comments; 3.52 d]

33. Episode XXXIII: The cock-and-bull story continues [694 comments; 2.91 d]

34. Episode XXXIV: You can say that on the internet [669 comments; 1.37 d; that's 487 comments/d!]

35. Episode XXXV: Under the underpinnings of Pharyngula, you find…underwear [676 comments 1.79 d]

36. Episode XXXVI: The predictable descent [693 comments; 2.02 d]

37. Episode XXVII [sic]: Rumors of my birthday are premature [981 comments; 3.73 d]

38. Episode XXXVIII: Distracted in Oz [903 comments; 2.46 d]

39. Episode XXXIX: Play ‘Spot the Moron!’ [715 comments; 3.10 d]

40. Episode XL: An Australian romance [689 comments; 3.29 d]

41. Episode XLI: Aloft and offline and still babbling [735 comments; 2.44 d]

42. Episode XLII: It's growing! It's enormous! [696 comments; 2.97 d]

43. Episode XLIII: Fierce predators in motion! [674 comments; 3.14 d]

44. Episode XLIV: Oooh, look! Sniny numbers! [current subThread]

and that's as far as I took this project. Subsequent subThreads can be linked sequentially forward from ep 44 (linked above) or backward from the current subThread. Apologies for the inconvenience.

{and, for completists, the unofficial Prelude to The Thread: Titanoboa! [912 comments; 20.35 d]***
Some have even claimed that the origins of the Thread can be traced back to a single comment that started it all.}

*this is like the Lanthanoid series of the Periodic Table or something, but here are the bastard subthreads that got anastomosed into The Thread on Jan. 8 2010:
A reply to Carl Wieland
TSTKTS [1872 comments; 38.34 d; combined]

**Aaaaaand the Actinoids of the notorious 3/29/2010 double anastomosation:
Sins of omission [813 comments; 24.66 d]

These guys are dangerous nuts
The Graeme Bird Memorial Thread [1194 comments (172 of them Bird's); 2.43 d; combined]

***{and, for ultracompletists, an unofficial bastard spawn of the unofficial Prelude: This photo is incomplete [197 comments; about a day and a half but who gives a shit](h/t eddie in comments)}


qbsmd said...

To the International Journal for Thread Studies: your methods for prediction are far too ad-hoc to be considered scientific or to make accurate predictions.
My own hypothesis is that each sub-thread converges exponentially to something like a linear trend (b + m t - Exp[-r t]). I do not believe the rates can be predicted; I believe the rate r is determined by how prominent the new thread is on the main page: does it contain an interesting video, is it on the main page for a long time, or is it quickly pushed to the next page by new posts, etc. I believe the constant m to be a good proxy for the amount of wrongness and stupidity on the internet in the vicinity of Pharyngula that needs to be corrected at the time each sub-thread is started.

Chas Peterson said...

More sophisticated models are certainly both possible and too nerdy even for me.

Submissions to the International Journal are, of course, solicited, but authors should attempt some testing of hypotheses rather than just top-o-the-head braindroppings.

The Editors are particularly keen to publish content analysis alongside the kind of quantitative meta-bullshit that seems to float the boat of our only author so far.

qbsmd said...

It sounds like you want me to do actual work. Like what I'm usually avoiding when I'm online.
Although, since you asked:
from the image you displayed, it appears that there were about 8000 comments from Jan 2010 to mid Feb (5300 comments/month) compared to 6000 comments between late Sept and the end of the year (2000 comments/month).
This change correlates with the time when PZ changed from ending threads at ~1000 comments to ~700 comments. I believe this to be the cause of the change in rate.
Also, from looking at the graph qualitatively, one can see a rapid rise after each new thread which quickly levels out. For the past few months, the threads have followed one another so quickly that the rate hasn't leveled out nearly as much as earlier.
I predict that if PZ allows each thread to run to 1000 comments, the slope will resume the 2000 comment/month level. I further predict that the rapid slope following each thread is a limiting factor in how quickly the thread can grow. The raw data used to produce the graph could be used to determine this rate.

Chas Peterson said...

qbsmd: You are of course probably correct. Prediction is a fool's game and I'm out of the business for good. I've addressed a few of your probably correct points in the Retrospective post.

Basically PZ ran a completely uncontrolled experiment and without further, carefully designed, surgical-strike-precision experiments, we will never be able to tease out the various factors that influence commenting rates. Another problem is that (as is clear from the Retrospective graphs, but not addressed therein) commenting rates and subThread durations were already trending up and down respectively before the top-down change of portcullis-limit. I don't know what, if anything, this means.