Tuesday, December 30, 2014

YouTube: the 1% sweet spot in ratings

Many reasons may lead you to watch a video on YouTube. Maybe you're a frequent YouTube user like I am and you're subscribed to 200 channels. Or maybe you're arguing with someone who told you to watch that one ultimate video that supposedly puts the debate to rest with rock-solid arguments.

YouTube lets viewers rate the video by giving it a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down". From my observation, and it's just a hint of the video's quality you can expect based on the ratings, the sweet spot of a really good video is: 1% downvotes against 99% upvotes.

There are exceptions of course, and there are social dynamics that may affect the rating of a video. Imagine for instance that an interest group, an online community, decides to "raid" the video of an opposing group! The rating will go down, down, down. But this kind of raid generally has effects limited in time. So over the years, more viewers are likely to come by and vote sincerely, without the bias of the raid, and balance the ratings, thereby reducing the bias caused by the raid. But raids are not entirely negative ; though YouTube viewers may be somewhat representative of society at large (but a bit more progressive in average), the "active" viewers likely to take part in such raids may be more learned than the average. Which is why YouTube ratings are generally favorable to progressive scientific ideas and unfavorable to bigoted ones.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Xmas

No real article. Just a topical image and a wish of happy end of year to you, dear visitor.

Monday, December 8, 2014

To be in love, and to love

This is inspired by a conversation I had a few months back with a couple of friends. The question was: "what's to love? and what's to be in love?".

Obviously, the question is about what it's like to have a love relationship with someone, at the beginning of the relationship and late into the relationship. Drawing upon my personal experience, I have proposed that being in love (early relationship) is selfish and narcissistic. You are attracted to the other person for a combination of reasons: beauty, intelligence, tenderness, humor, admiration, but it boils down to winning this person over, to owning her or her assent in some way, so it's pretty much about ourselves, seeking validation, fulfilling our desires or urges, and comforting ourselves with regards to our power of seduction which has somewhat become a social pressure.

Loving, on the other hand, after a relationship has matured enough, is (in my fallible opinion) about looking out for the other person's satisfaction, needs, and comfort. The self quiets down and becomes more of a vigilant caretaker. We still need regular tokens of validation from our partner, but feeling more secure than when we're single. As we get to know each other better, we can anticipate more or empathize more with the other person.
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