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### Distribution of Levels and Writeups

by jZed (Prior)
 on Sep 29, 2004 at 15:09 UTC Need Help??

Using http://tinymicros.com/pm/index.php?goto=OverallStats
one letter = 1%
A = saints
B = pontiffs, bishops, abotts, and friars
C = monks and scribes
D = acolytes and novices
E = initiates

REGISTERED USERS          WRITEUPS
 A A BBB AAA CCCCC AAAAA DDDDDDD AAAAAAA EEEEEEEEE AAAAAAAAA EEEEEEEEEEE AAAAAAAAAAA EEEEEEEEEEEEE AAABBBBBBBAAA EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BBBBBBBBBBBBBBB EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE CBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBC EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE CCDDEEEEEEEEEEEDDCC

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
•Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by merlyn (Sage) on Sep 29, 2004 at 16:02 UTC
And you're the noisest of us all , excluding the NodeReaper and Anonymous Monk :-D

TStanley
--------
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

It's the harps they gave us. Nothing like the din of a few hundred harps.

--
Damon Allen Davison
http://www.allolex.net

Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by meredith (Friar) on Sep 29, 2004 at 15:25 UTC

Looks good, it's exactly what I expected. Also, because i'm a curious person... code?

mhoward - at - hattmoward.org
Well, you can drum me out of perlmonks for this, but I calculated the percentages in a spreadsheet and colorized the pyramids with search and replace in emacs :-).

Darn. Well, I'll give you extra cool points for running EMACS as your operating system. ;)

mhoward - at - hattmoward.org
Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Sep 29, 2004 at 17:15 UTC

So . . . your pyramid shows that perlmonks is some sort of Illuminati front group? fnord Or Freemasons control CPAN? Does Batboy enter into the picture anywhere?

(And of course by posting this I further shift the balance towards the A's . . . Bwahahahahaha.)

That would only be the case if my series went up to the letter "i". :-) We all know that the "i" in the pyramid is a Masonic plot. Let's all gang up on autarch, he must be behind it.
Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by graff (Chancellor) on Oct 01, 2004 at 05:46 UTC
There is a basic flaw in your tally of write-ups per group, and you probably don't have sufficient data to fix it.

You have taken the total number of posts by someone who is now a "saint", and added that to the sum of "posts created by saints". But you don't know how many of this person's posts were submitted before he or she became a saint.

To summarize the proportion of nodes from non-saints "in general", you'd need to do extra work on each person who is not an initiate, to determine how many nodes they wrote at each of the levels they passed through, and distribute those numbers properly among the various levels.

Of course, another factor in the "imbalance" is the "graduated" scaling of the XP thresholds. The trip from Initiate to Monk involves steps of 20, 50, 100 and 200 XP. If an average non-clueless node yields about 5 XP, Initiates don't get to post more than 4 nodes or so before they cease to be Initiates; and with another just 10 nodes or so (not to mention XP derived from voting), they cease to be Novices. This tends to limit the total node contribution from these groups; the stats page shows about 25K initiates with about 33K posts among them, which is probably close to the limit of how many nodes can be owned by that many initiates at any one time.

And frankly, I think the coded pyramid layout, while eye-catching and portentous, gives a misleading sense of proportion when two groups of roughly equal size dominate the distribution. In the write-ups picture, it seems like the A's have a vast dominance over the lowly B's. It takes some time to count all those letters and realize its a difference of 42% vs. 37%, which isn't nearly as big a difference as it appears to be in the diagram.

Suppose you had just two groups of 50% each arranged in this sort of pyramid. Whichever group you put on top would occupy 7 full rows plus one cell in the eigth row, while the other group would occupy just the three bottom rows (minus the one cell taken by the top group). Show that picture to any casual observer and ask "Do you think there are more letters in one group than the other? If so, which group has more letters?"

With display techniques like this, it's no wonder that the phrase "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics" is so well known.

Thanks for your comments here and the many other posts you've made helping the rest of us start to understand statistics - I very much value your contributions.

If I had claimed some particular conclusion that could be drawn from these pictures, you'd be right that that conclusion wouldn't be very valid. And you're right that the pyramids (like any form of expression) foreground some things and background others. An even worse flaw is that the levels *are based on* the writeups so that obviously there will be more at the top - how could acolytes ever accumulate a large number of writeups? As soon as the poor Sisyphusian accolytes made a large number of posts (assuming non-zero XP on those posts) they would no longer be accolytes.

And agreed, the pyramids are not at all good for fine-level distinctions. What they show, and show very clearly is the general relationship of readers of PM to writers of PM: that about 4% of the registered users contribute close to 80% of the writeups (regardless of what level they were when they made the posts). As for the comparison of saints to the four groups below them - what my eye tells me is that they have roughly the same number of writeups but that there are three times as many in the friars-through-pontiffs group as there are saints.

Does my post represent anything more than eye-candy? Probably not, but hopefully a few people enjoyed it.

I don't see where you are reading that the statistics are supposed to be counted based on the level of the monk at the time of node creation. I think you just assumed this interpretation and then complained about the data not matching your assumption.

I noticed the bias in the triangular display. Thanks for commenting on it.

- tye

Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by Grygonos (Chaplain) on Sep 29, 2004 at 15:36 UTC

Personally what I'm really interested in seeing is relation of writeups to level.. say .. friar with more writeups than a saint... stuff like that..

Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Sep 29, 2004 at 15:18 UTC
Pretty pictures! :-)

Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

Pretty pictures! :-)

Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

I'm sorry, but I feel compelled to comment on the fact that your two words are swamped by your 91-word, 2-paragraph essay. Do you really need to included that on the bottom of every single one of your nodes?

I realize that the site offers a "sig" feature but that doesn't mean that the feature was the best idea.

Even if I customize my CSS to completely hide your signature (which I'm unlikely to do since I find completely hiding things from myself is a bad idea, at least on systems that I'm supposed to have some responsibility for -- though I do force signatures to be small-fonted and uncolored already), long signatures make it harder to Super Search.

I appreciate that you've specified <font size="-2"> to reduce the size taken up, but now you've got nearly-unreadable text. Wouldn't those words fit nicely on your home node? Then they could even be of a legible size.

Yes, there are other quite long signatures about. I've complained about some of them. Some I haven't complained about specifically (yet, anyway), though I often roll my eyes at them.

- tye

90% of the time, my nodes are at least 20-40 lines long. In those cases, does my 6 line signature really cause issues?

I personally like the 4 lines that BrowserUk used as a kind response to somthing stupid I said. I probably will remove the last line, because it doesn't add anything. *shrugs* I don't know. This is a vi vs. emacs kind of debate. You're not the first to comment on this, and you won't be the last.

An interesting note - PM is the only place I actually have a signature. I don't even use one at work.

Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

Even if I customize my CSS to completely hide your signature

Here is the css-

div.pmsig-85580 { display: none; }

which I'm unlikely to do since I find completely hiding things from myself is a bad idea

I couldn't agree more but this node was just too much for me :) I'd have prefered to replace the signature with text that said "signature hidden" or somesuch but even if it is possible my CSS skills aren't up to the job. Is there some sane way to limit signatures at a site level?

--
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought. -Basho

I like it.

Examine what is said, not who speaks.
"Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
"Think for yourself!" - Abigail
"Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon
Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by muba (Priest) on Sep 29, 2004 at 21:04 UTC
What - in the name of anything sacred - is the use of this?
Anyway, you made me look like a dumbass with a silly big smile on my face. Nice work! ++

"2b"||!"2b";\$\$_="the question"
Besides that, my code is untested unless stated otherwise.
One more: please review the article about regular expressions (do's and don'ts) I'm working on.
Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by belg4mit (Prior) on Sep 29, 2004 at 21:38 UTC
So there should be a restriction on the number of nodes you can post per day that is inversely proportional to your XP? We're talking so much that nobody hears the poor initiates speak and they run away. :-P

--
I'm not belgian but I play one on TV.

Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 29, 2004 at 23:40 UTC

Do you exclude inactive accounts in some way? Presumably a lot of people don't hang around for any significant amount of time.

No, this includes only registered users without differentiating. Many of them, as you say, are inactive. It also doesn't include anonymous monks who contribute many writeups. It also doesn't account for users like one who shall remain nameless who has close to 500 writeups and is still an initiate :-). This is all just food for thought, I'm not trying to make any particular point. People who just stop by to read or to say a few words in the chatterbox without posting are still members of this community. We all owe a big thanks to the prolific monks, but that doesn't imply that the non-prolific ones have not also contributed.

.oO(they told me not to use double negatives, but didn't mention triple ones).

Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by periapt (Hermit) on Sep 30, 2004 at 12:47 UTC

Sort of makes it apparent why they are saints, doesn't it?

PJ
##### use strict; use warnings; use diagnostics;
Yeah -- it's because they all have too much free time on their hands (or at least they seem to believe so)... =)
Re: Distribution of Levels and Writeups
by opqdonut (Acolyte) on Sep 30, 2004 at 16:02 UTC

Take a look at the link, I wonder who that level 0 guy with -1002961 XP is ;)

Update: seems he is antivroom, he's got only two posts, i wonder why he's got so little XP, praps he was nuked 'cause of his name...

J

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