75 thoughts on “Okay, Well, That’s Nice to Know

  1. Are you sure it means you, John? There’s a John Scalzi down in Cali who volunteers at children’s hospitals, gives internet geeks free energy drinks and sings in an A Capella group.

  2. Audrey Hepburn gets a 99.7% positive, and that’s good, but on the other hand, Adolf Hitler gets a 54.4% positive, so I’m not sure I’d put this thing on a resume.

  3. I have to say that I think their methodology is EXTREMELY flawed.

    Seeing as we already had our host (who I think makes a good example of positive for the Internet) I decided to see what happened if I put in something that I would expect the Internet to be very negative about; namely the Nazi Party. (Hard to think of anything more evil.)

    Results:
    Negative: 4.3%
    Positive: 95.7%
    Neutral: 0%

    Something sure smells rotten in the state of their search engine….

  4. Try ‘Romney’ if you want to see negative territory, and ‘NRA’ for levels that I thought would be hard to achieve.

  5. I got 100% positive, but there’s a porn star called Liz Williams (I know her: she is a delightful woman) and it could be that….

    So I tried my name + science fiction and I broke it.

    We’ll never know.

  6. For the record: this is better than Batman (34.9 negative/63.9 positive) but not as good as Neil Gaiman (0.2% negative / a whopping 99.6% positive).

    And I searched “nazis” and got 93.6% negative; is it possible that including “party” in “Nazi party” makes it look for “parties” as well? Because everyone loves parties.

  7. Argon,
    “NRA” has an approval rating in the mid-50s while “President Obama” has an approval rating in the mid-40s. You can’t infer true approval ratings from an internet webpage.

    But why’d you have to go and bring politics into this?

  8. Sorry, I should clarify. Those approval ratings were from actual pollsters who do this for a living. Many who actually called the election in November.

  9. Scorpius:

    “But why’d you have to go and bring politics into this?”

    ::mind explodes::

    And, no, not “junior.” My full name is John Michael Scalzi, II. On the birth certificate and everything. Spared me a lifetime of junior jokes.

  10. @Scorpius: interestingly, I got vastly different responses when I entered “NRA” (in the vicinity of 98% negative) vs “National Rifle Association” (73.3% positive). “President Obama” got a result of 85% positive; “Barack Obama”, on the other hand, was 76.2% negative.

    I am not sure that I’d trust whatdoestheinternetthink as a gauge of public opinion, but it looks like it might be a fascinating tool to explore differences in the language used by people with different sets of beliefs!

  11. Yes, but you should see what the internet thinks about “Your Momma”. Whoo-Boy! It’s not good.

  12. Powered by Bing. Pfft.

    I like the idea though. I would totally sell results and resell again and again for higher and higher payoffs and punish my enemies and be fickle with my friends . . . ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaa!

    Seems to be honest accurate though. Bing got 60.1 negative and Google got 73.4 positive.

  13. My blog caused an error message, which I think means it does not exist. In my bleaker moments, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that all this effort has been pointless. Now I have proof. I need a cookie.

  14. My theory is that this insidious piece of technology only pretends to poll the internet. What it actually does is search its extensive database of information collected about you–from site cookies, browsing habits, browser cache, etc., and then compares it with the phrase you type in to guess what you’re basic belief system might be… then it returns a number that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

  15. Senator (as in 1 senator) got 97.4% positive, but senators (as in 2 or more senators) got 98.9% negative… I think this means the internet broke Congress. Also salamanders? 94.4% positive! Squee!!

  16. Godzilla has you beat with a 92.2% positive.
    Otoh, Hitler has a higher positive score (59.8 %) than the Beatles (58.8%) or Great Cthulhu* (52.5%), so I think I don’t trust it’s methods.

    *Cthulhu gets a 65.5 % score, which is also kinda weird.

  17. I like kittens. I hate slime mold. A human can tell which of these opinions are positive and which are negative. But I’m not sure how someone would go about programming an AI to tell which web articles praise the President and which articles criticize him.

  18. I was curious, and looked up both of RSHD’s names.(and RSHD just to be complete)
    no data
    Apparently, the internet doesn’t think of him at all…

  19. scorpius says: … something.
    Dude, who takes this rating widget seriously?

    Argon, thank you, you made my day.

    Unfortunately many of my lower-level statistics students (usually social “scientists” and business majors) do take widgets like this seriously.

  20. Hmmmm……Thought I would try “school teacher”, since I am one, and it returned a result of 99.5% NEGATIVE. Good heavens, I hadn’t realized we had become so reviled. However, entering “God” returns a positive result of 96.6%. I would have thought the result on that one would have been more mixed.
    As an aside: I’ve been lurking on the blog for many months now and greatly enjoy it, Mr. Scalzi. Recently read Old Man’s War and plan on burning my way through the series when summer recess frees up a big chunk of reading time. Best to you and yours.

  21. And hours of my life officially gone. Interwebs and statistics, two beautiful things married into a simple clean interface.

  22. Water gets 72.7% positive and 21.6% negative.

    Sheesh… Buncha water-haters.

    Also, ‘Earth’ gets 57.1% negative. Guess people want a different planet to live on (not Mars, though, that also gets about 57% negative. Some people you just can’t please).

  23. The interwebs hate college girls (-99.7%) and like the Pope (+60.1%). I’m not sure what to ake of these two data points.

  24. @John,

    ::mind explodes::

    You see? You need me around to keep your mind active. If I wasn’t here challenging and frustrating you your mind would turn into a mental Honey boo-boo, getting fat and flabby off of dipping crispy bacon into Biscoff spread.

  25. I was hoping for “10.3% of the Internet MUST BE PUNISHED! BWHAHAHAHA.” I guess that’s more of a Twitter thing.

    Personally, I’d take “junior” jokes over living with “J.J.”

  26. So far the highest negative I’ve been able to pull up is for “Westboro Baptist.” (98.8 with more than 27k hits)

    But I think they may have paid for that result.

  27. Well, “cannibalism” yields only 74.5% positive, so you can safely say you are slightly more popular than eating human flesh. Time to update your resume.

  28. “And, no, not “junior.” My full name is John Michael Scalzi, II. On the birth certificate and everything. Spared me a lifetime of junior jokes.”

    And opened up the possibility of people calling you “Deuce” and given the other thing that is called a “deuce” opportunities for lots of infantile humor from people who are not, technically, infants.

  29. Barack Obama + 23.5%, – 76.2%
    President Obama +85.4%, -13.8%
    Barack Hussein Obama +0.3%, 99.7%

    Concept ontology and lexical disambiguation, anyone?

  30. There are several hundred of me in the US according to Howmanyofme.

    We have a positive of better than 96%. Go us!

    Surely John is well enough known that a large fraction of the hits about John Scalzi really are about the individual named John Michael Scalzi, II. It seemed reasonable to me that of no one can be well known without making someone unhappy. Surely anyone well known will have more negatives.

    So I tried John Smith. What did those 45,583 guys do to generate a 29.2% negative reaction?

    Then I read these comments. Are they just using using a hashing function to generate a random score from the letters.

  31. The Internet loved my breakfast today: yogurt (+97.9%) and granola (+99.6%!!!) with homemade latté (+98.9%).

  32. I also tried Kittens. Who would have thought. I also tried “united airlines” if that was positive, I was going give it no further thought.

  33. Well, I put in “bunnies,” and got only a 60% approval rating, so you could say you’re even more popular than bunnies! Except that the site pulled in over 21 thousand hits for bunnies. I think we need more funny Youtube videos of you playing music or doing tricks.

  34. You have similar results as “clubbing seals” but you are still way less popular than “Zombie attack” (which is, so far, the only one I have found with a 100% approval rating).

  35. @ Dave Robinson

    Seeing as we already had our host (who I think makes a good example of positive for the Internet) I decided to see what happened if I put in something that I would expect the Internet to be very negative about; namely the Nazi Party. (Hard to think of anything more evil.)

    It can’t be all bad, it’s got party in the name!

    Incidentally, Pure Evil returned:

    Negative = 45.9&
    Positive = 54.1%
    Indifferent = 0%

    Conclusion: The internet is positive about pure evil.

  36. I think I have found the most positive one so far: Terry Pratchett – 99.9% positive, 0.1% negative, 0% indifferent.

  37. The internet is very positive about Orson Scott Card and positive about Windows 8.

    I’m going to call “bullshit”.

    OTOH, it looks like the internet is “absolutely positive” about optimisim. Like optimism really needed the boost.

  38. Fun engine. But measuring up against others provides entertainment.

    Himself is just about as popular on the internet as Beyonce. Though Alicia Keys blows Himself out of the water. Very exciting to note, however, that Himself absolutely CRUSHES Wil Wheaton. Nice.

  39. Hmmm, the internets seem to like “Star Wars” More than “Star Trek”

    Star Wars

    Neg – 0.246
    Pos – 0.62
    Ind – 0.131

    Star Trek

    Neg – 0.461
    Pos – 0.528
    Ind – 0.011

    But they seem to like Captain Kirk more than Han Solo:

    Han Solo

    Neg – 0.18
    Pos – 0.82
    Ind – 0.0

    Captain Kirk

    Neg – 0.058
    Pos – 0.942
    Ind – 0.0

    What gives?

  40. Wait, wait, wait wait wait wait wait.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Captain Kirk. Captain Kirk is awesome. But…

    I’ve flown all over this universe, kid, and I’ve seen a lot of strange things, but I’ve never seen anything to convince me that James Tiberius Kirk is more awesome than Han Wookie Solo.

  41. East Coast Girls: results not yet indexed
    Southern Girls: 55.6% negative, 44.4% positive
    Midwest Farmers’ Daughters: results not yet indexed
    Northern Girls: results not yet indexed

    California Girls: 71.1% negative, 20.3% positive, 8.5% indifferent

    Conclusion: Brian Wilson does not control the internet.

  42. Have Fun: 54.6% negative, 45.1% positive, 0.3% indifferent
    Wang Chung: 0.3% negative, 99.7% positive

    Conclusion: everybody Wang Chung tonight!

  43. Robert Enders, the Google Autocompletion for “my, that’s a yummy” is “my, that’s a yummy slime mold”, for reasons that make sense to old net hackers.

  44. Holy gives a respectable boost to both Guacamole and Shit.

    Time gets panned, but Hammer Time Does better than Sex.

    At long last, the we have discovered the Oracle of Embarcadero Delphi.
    Let’s pack it in world; it’s all down hill after this.

  45. Apparently the internet is VERY negative when it comes to Fuckers and motherfuckers (over 99%) but only 74% against child molesters.

    The internet is a sad place.

  46. For what it’s worth (very little), JS gets clobbered in popularity by Asimov and Heinlein but beats out Clarke in a fairly close race.

  47. Evil Overlord: 99.7% positive.
    Evil Genius: 92% positive.
    People like evil!

    Satan: 41.7% positive, 56.9% negative.
    Lucifer: 91.9% positive, 7.2% negative.
    What’s in a name? Apparently, quite a bit.

  48. Ohio State Buckeyes: 1.9% positive, 98.1% negative
    Michigan Wolverines: 1.6% positive, 98.4% negative

    Should be a tough game tonight.

  49. John Scalzi the second? shouldn’t that be John Scalzi the minute?
    Apparently the internet doesn’t know that most of us look down on him!

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