Annual Survey Griping Post
Ten duplicate entries.
Respondent 117 (now deleted) gave FUCK YOU as an answer to about half the questions.
One person not giving a random number for the "Is the tallest redwood tree taller or shorter than your randomly generated number" question, but still declaring that the tree was shorter.
Two people started the survey before it was open, even though it said in huge letters "DO NOT START SURVEY, IT IS NOT OPEN YET" and even though the first question on the survey was "Do you understand the survey is not yet open and that you should not take it?" One of these people had IQ 140. He ticked "Yes" to the "Do you understand..." question.
Two people refused to answer any question denominated in "feet" because they claimed not to know what feet were or how they converted to meters. If only there was some sort of globe-spanning computer network that might be able to offer this information!
One person gave their home country as "Australia Germ"
On the "how long have you been in this community, please give your answer in months" question, four people answered in years (I know because they put the word "years" after their answer). About 50 people put the word "months" after their answer, even though I said SO MANY TIMES not to do that, forcing me to go through and delete before the stats program would think of it as a number. A bunch of people tried to write in "less than...", which got cut off because I only put a few characters in that text box BECAUSE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO PUT A NUMBER.
Also, one person said they'd been in the community "15 minutes". Even if that's true, can't you phrase it as .0003 months?
Also, someone either spent 2010 months in the community or didn't read the question. "Why does my mean length of time in community keep coming out so h...oh, yes, that makes sense."
It's hilarious to answer question asking for a number with "9000" or "9001". Please, keep doing it. The statistics program knows that it's a joke and doesn't actually try to work that number into the mean at all.
If I ask for the average amount of time per day you spend doing something, please don't put 10-30. That's not an average, that's a range. The average of 10-30 is 20. This number also has the advantage of being machine-readable without getting evaluated to negative 20 or making me go back and change it by hand.
Average minutes per day: "Five, but it varies". OF COURSE IT VARIES THAT IS WHY I ASKED YOU FOR AN AVERAGE NOW THE COMPUTER CANNOT READ YOUR ANSWER.
You know what sort of entity I can do statistics on? Numbers! "very little" IS NOT A NUMBER!
Numbers given in the "In what year will the Singularity happen?" question: 10000, 34000000000, "2030-2150", "if possible 2500 to", "don't have sufficien". You may have noticed that the last three were not, technically, numbers. If so, give yourself a pat on the back as you are smarter than my survey respondents.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?: "I don't write". This would be what we mathematically gifted people call "0".
How many hours a day do you spend writing?: "5/10/2012." I admit this contains numbers, but I think you can aspire to do even better.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?: "6/7/2012." Huh. I can't imagine two people would answer with dates. Maybe if you write 6/7, Google autocompletes it to be a date during this year? Well, serves you right for not just putting 6.5.
Number of languages: "Two". Okay, you caught me, I should have put "numeral of languages".
Number of languages: "0". This person doesn't even have a clue what he's reading, and he still managed to follow instructions better than the bilingual guy above (though to be fair, the person above never claimed one of his languages was English).
Number of languages: "Hebrew". Okay, let me put this in terms you can understand:
עברית היא לא מספר מזוין !!!
How much do you give to charity: "dont". THERE IS A NUMBER FOR THAT!
I soooo fail to understand this program's logic in making Political Compass Left/Right a number but Political Compass Authoritarian/Libertarian a string. Unless...wait, someone gave a reasonable answer for the first, but "W" for the second. Okay. "On a scale of one to ten, how do you..." "W! The answer is W!"
Binning websites (for the "what website first referred you to Less Wrong?" question) is no fun. Program counts tvtropes, TVTropes, TvTropes, TvTropes.org, www.tvtropes.org, http://tvtropes.org, and so on as all being different websites until I tell it not to. And that doesn't even get around to the people who think they can write "That one site with the funny stuff about TV shows". Also, "xkcd forums" vs. "xkcd fora".
Apparently Less Wrong referred 3 people to itself? Some sort of Moebius hyperlink?
Just to check if everyone understood how to do the percent questions correctly, I had a question "Have you read the instructions?" The two answers were "Yes, I understand I should answer in percentages between 0 and 100" and "No, I don't read instructions and am going to ruin the survey results for everyone." 1138 people (96.2%) chose the first option, and 12 people (1%) the second. That sort of puts those "X% of people believe Obama is secretly a Muslim" polls in a different light, at least to me.
So even though there was an "Unfriendly AI" checkbox, you had to ignore it so you could write in "Unempathetic AI". Annnnd one guy put "Natural aging process" as the disaster most likely to destroy the human race, which is so close to being a legitimate alternative reading of the question that I'm almost not annoyed. Almost.
YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE IS NOT "SILENCE"!
...gah, this is a site where the average IQ is like 130 to 140, brilliant people in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, and yet I still find myself wishing some of these people were monolingual silence speakers.