Playing favorites (1 Viewer)

I have a feeling that the results were more representative of those who have read all or most all of Buk's books back when the count was around 50 or 100. I've a feeling that many of the votes subsequent to about the first 100 or so are from folks who may have only read a handful of his books.

I realize that this would appear to contradict the concept of statistical sample size, but the word "sample" is just as important as "size." Ideally the sample would represent those who have read all of his works so an even representation of each book would be possible. So, it's my feeling that the best sample was when the size was much smaller than ~300.

Just my $0.02.


"The law is wrong; I am right"
Good point, PS! - For instance, if a person only have read three of the poetry collections, he can only vote for one of them to be the best poetry book.


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Any conclusions about who voted are speculation, since we don't know who they are. Ideally, yes, you would have to have read all the books to cast a valid vote and create a valid ranking. But that kind of survey is impossible. How could you verify someone actually has read them all? Make them pass a test? You would have to take their word for it, which doesn't give you any more concrete results than you get now.

I could add a pre-vote question, "Have you read all of the books in these lists?" and tally the results of that. I suspect that most people would have to answer 'no' to that though. Even among the first 50 voters. Of course it is just a vote for "favorites," so even if you've only read three Bukowski poetry books, you can still have a favorite. Of that three. ;)

It's just a trivial web site gimmick anyway. Not rocket surgery.

But it reminds me of an article I read yesterday about research and surveys that demonstrates how one set of results can be interpreted in completely different ways.
Of course what you say is correct, but I find it impossible to look at a set of statistics (even basic stats such as percentages of votes) without dissecting and analyzing said data for representativeness, variance, relevance, reliability, and a few other esoteric things that might only be of interest to a hunk of germanium.

But your link is good too; reminds me of the classic stats issue regarding US Presidential election projections from 1932 or somewhere around there. A very large telephone survey was conducted by a newspaper, and the results were landslide conclusive. Problem was, only about 15-20% of households owned a telephone back then.

You can guess the rest.


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I just happened to look at the book ranking results and 1000 votes have been cast. Not bad. We're almost in Gallup territory there. ;)

And my favorite novel and poetry collection rank dead last. Ha.


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Nice to see Absence Of The Hero clocking in with 4 votes months before its publication. ;)

...if a person only have read three of the poetry collections, he can only vote for one of them to be the best poetry book.
That's an interesting thought, but it would break the voting into two steps (1: choose the books you've read, 2: choose favorites from that pool), and complicating the poll would decrease the participation.

But it could be done.


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Oh, that.

Um, I'm not sure why it was left out. I would like to say there was a reason, or come up with a good excuse, but I have none. Oh wait! Sometimes the secretary gets bored and just types in whatever she wants to. How's that?

I will add it. That really stacks the odds against it, so if you like it, root for it! The underdog!


Later that same day...

Fixed. And a couple of little errors in the checklist were fixed too.
did you hire her from john martin when he shut down black sparrow??? ;);)

oh, and since i've already voted, i can't vote again...i am a fan of Notes though...


Founding member
Because some people just click when they see checkboxes. They can't help themselves. They don't care what the checkboxes are for.

It could be made more accurate, but it would be a lot of work, and it's only meant to be a...I don't know what. Ha. A reasonable approximation of people's preferences. How about that.

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