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Data Analyst Spoils the World's Biggest Song Vote 165

Posted by timothy
from the nate-silver-watch-out dept.
littlekorea writes "A data analyst has successfully predicted the top ten songs of the world's biggest song contest — the Triple J Hottest 100 — by extrapolating voting intentions fans had posted on Twitter and Facebook. Nick Drewe's Warmest 100 list closely mimicked the Hottest 100 results, predicting the top three in correct order and predicting 92 of the most popular 100 songs."
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Data Analyst Spoils the World's Biggest Song Vote

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  • by TWX (665546) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @08:59PM (#42704629)
    That's like saying that Nate Silver or Andrew Tanenbaum spoiled the presidential election... Just because they looked at the signs and figured out how others were going to vote doesn't mean that they spoiled anything.

    Let's talk about this again if statisticians end up actually influencing the vote through their data analysis. Otherwise, let it go.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:08PM (#42704685)

      That's like saying that Nate Silver or Andrew Tanenbaum spoiled the presidential election... Just because they looked at the signs and figured out how others were going to vote doesn't mean that they spoiled anything.

      Let's talk about this again if statisticians end up actually influencing the vote through their data analysis. Otherwise, let it go.

      Have you considered that maybe Nate Silver made his predictions and then God rearranged the Universe to make it so? Thus, Nate Silver spoiled the election (or is God).

      • by TWX (665546) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:14PM (#42704703)

        Have you considered that maybe Nate Silver made his predictions and then God rearranged the Universe to make it so? Thus, Nate Silver spoiled the election (or is God).

        If his prediction was important enough to warrant rearranging the universe, then perhaps the Republican fielded a worse candidate than we could have possibly feared...

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Godwin-ing this shit now: God didn't rearrange the universe to avoid HITLER's election.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            How do you know He didn't? Hitler never won a majority vote until he outlawed the other parties. It was alliances with the other parties that allowed him to become Chancellor. The election prior to passing the Enabling Act his party only won 44% of the vote. The Enabling Act required a 2/3rds vote (it passed with 83%). The cowardice of the other parties to stand up to Hitler is a major reason he was able to get so much absolute power so quickly.

            • by Smauler (915644)

              Hate to break it to you, but I don't even know the last time any party in the UK won 44% of the vote. This is how most of the world works - only the US has quite such an exclusive 2 party system.

              Just found some stats here [politicsresources.net]. Last time a party got more than 44% was 1970, then only just.

              Note that this page also shows how flawed first past the post is. In the '83 election, the percentages of the top 3 party's vote were 42, 27, 25. The respective percentage shares of seats in the house of commons were 61, 32,

            • I miss the old Slashdot trolls. Trolling, as long as it's not disruptive, leads to interesting discussions such as this.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            He let his own son slowly die on a cross.... Killing his chosen people wouldn't exactly be unprecedented....

          • by mrsquid0 (1335303)

            Perhaps things would have been much worse without Hitler. Stephen Fry wrote an amusing book based on this idea.

            • Perhaps things would have been much worse without Hitler.

              Of course things would have been much worse - if ww2 didn't happen my grandmother would have married the first person she was engaged to rather than my grandfather, and I would never have been born.

              A world without me would suck the big one!

              • by Jmc23 (2353706)
                Ah, so you're the one currently sucking the big one so the world doesn't have to.

                Thanks.

            • by AK Marc (707885)
              I've not read that book, but I had postulated the same thing many times. But Hitler is a cog, not a driving force. The hardship caused by WWI caused WWII. I'd be interested in seeing what would have happened if WWI never happened. That was the senseless one. WWII was caused by WWI. Much like a bit of the trouble in the middle east was caused by the ending of WWII. So what would have happened if WWI didn't happen, or the ending was different? It would be interesting to see, though I'd never write a b
              • by iserlohn (49556)

                WWI happened mainly because of colonialism an it doesn't stop there; we can recurse into this until the neolithic.

                • by AK Marc (707885)
                  I thought it was old treaties and perhaps byproducts of colonialism, but it wasn't caused by colonialism as a primary cause. The colonial world war was Vietnam. US vs USSR in SE Asia, based on French colonialism.

                  But the only way colonialism was a cause of WWI was treaties and alliances made when splitting up the world that didn't work for more domestic conflicts. The way you can be sure that there wasn't some underlying greater cause is that the US took longer to enter (like WWII) and the side wasn't e
      • by nabsltd (1313397) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:41PM (#42704847)

        Have you considered that maybe Nate Silver made his predictions and then God rearranged the Universe to make it so? Thus, Nate Silver spoiled the election (or is God).

        When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

      • by adolf (21054)

        Have you considered that maybe Nate Silver made his predictions and then God rearranged the Universe to make it so? Thus, Nate Silver spoiled the election (or is God).

        Impossible. The only reason we had an election to begin with, or a Nate Silver to discuss the results before they happen, is because Morgan Freeman narrated it in advance [youtube.com].

    • by osu-neko (2604)

      That's like saying that Nate Silver or Andrew Tanenbaum spoiled the presidential election... Just because they looked at the signs and figured out how others were going to vote doesn't mean that they spoiled anything.

      Actually, it does.

      Let's talk about this again if statisticians end up actually influencing the vote through their data analysis. Otherwise, let it go.

      What would influencing the vote have to do with it? I think you're misreading what it meant by "spoil" in this context: to reveal the ending early, which is exactly what they did.

      • by DRJlaw (946416)

        What would influencing the vote have to do with it? I think you're misreading what it meant by "spoil" in this context: to reveal the ending early, which is exactly what they did.

        Another weapon for the AGW arsenal... climate scientists are 'spoiling' the future!

    • by Vylen (800165)
      I don't think the results were spoiled as such. More that the 'fun' of betting on who would top the list was spoiled - especially given that some betting outlets halted bets on the list as a consequence of the analysis.
    • by AdamWill (604569)

      I think we're talking 'spoiled' in the sense of 'spoilers follow!', not in the sense of 'ruined'.

    • Actually, statistical predictions CAN influence voting results considerably. Independent of the system used, for different reasons.

      Especially first-past-the-post systems are prone to influence from predictions. If the statistics tell that candidate A is leading with 90%, a lot of people might consider not going to the polls, considering their vote is moot either way, whether they like him or not. Not too long ago, election predictions foretold a landslide victory for a certain party over here which nearly t

    • Nope - it's like saying someone spoiled American Idol or Eurovision by crunching social media data.

      Difference here is that the social media implementation was designed to share votes with Facebook friends only and the analysis involved 'hacking' the URLs ...

  • k... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:02PM (#42704645)

    did you even look at the page?

    He goes very much out of his way not to spoil it, but giving you half a dozen very large warnings.

  • Asking people how they're going to vote determined to have predictive value in how they will vote, says latest Slashdot article. Please tag with #obvious and #slownewsday. :/

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      How about another look at it, The hottest 100, a vote that has been carried out for more than 20 years has for the first time been accurately predicted due to the proliferation of social media the the facility from Triple J to have a one click button to upload your votes to {insert social network here}.

      This actually IS news. Walk around the streets and ask people what they voted for (if they remember at all) would have given you such a statistically insignificant result you would have trouble predicting the

  • I've never even heard of any of the top 25, and none of the top 66 are in my Google Music playlists. I guess that makes me old.

    • That's because this is a list from Australia. It demonstrates how much control the regional record industries have over what people "want" to hear.

      • Re:subject (Score:5, Informative)

        by jonwil (467024) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:02PM (#42704917)

        I am an Aussie and love good Aussie music and I haven't heard of any of the songs in the top 20.

        In saying that, I should point out to the foreigners here that Triple J isn't exactly mainstream (Triple J started out as a station to play all the artists that commercial radio was ignoring and still does so today in some cases)

        • What?

          - Thrift Shop (the #1 song) has been played on Aussie radio for 3 months and was #1 in the ARIA charts a few weeks ago
          - Little Talks was #7 and is still #14 now
          - Sweet Nothing peaked at #2
          - I Love it peaked at #3
          - Feel the Love peaked at #3

          And Same Love is the current #1 single, so make that at least 6 songs!

          So at least 30% have been Top 10 songs and you haven't heard any of them???

        • I'm a Canadian and I listen to Triple J *because* it isn't exactly mainstream. I've been listening for about 10 years, and it's really coloured my musical tastes.

          Oddly enough, they play Canadian artists who don't even get airplay in Canada. (Commercial radio here is garbage.)

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I've never even heard of any of the top 25, and none of the top 66 are in my Google Music playlists.

      From this comment, can we infer that #67, a track entitled "On Top" by musical artist "Flume" (featuring guest artist "T-Shirt") is on your playlist?

    • This surprises me with the number of people saying the same ... and assuming most are US-based.

      Just looking at the top 10:
      Mackelmore was #1 Billboard Hot 100
      Of Monster and Men hit #25 ( and #1 on the alternative charts)
      Mumford & Sons have been all over the charts / awards
      Tame Impala won Rolling Stone album of the year
      Frank Ocean has 6 Grammy nominations on the go

      Then there are other 'mainstream' artists:
      - Calvin Harris
      - The Black Keys
      - Skrillex

      I suspect it is less about age and more about:
      - American mus

  • Anyone ever heard of it, it's only like all of Europe (and Russia, and much of the middle east)

    • by jamesh (87723)

      Anyone ever heard of it, it's only like all of Europe (and Russia, and much of the middle east)

      Never heard of it.

      TripleJ Hottest 100 is actually a poll to vote in the top 100 songs of the year. I think the Eurovision is a different thing. If TFS was written by someone with the slightest bit of competence we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    • Seriously. When I read the title, it was obvious it meant Eurovision. But oddly, it doesn't. Eurovision must get at least 250M votes, right? Possibly even a billion.

    • Heard of it?- yes, but only because I am from Australia. (BTW, I am highly suspicious of how some artists get airtime on this government funded station. Getting your stuff played means a lot commercially here, as the station is hugely popular and can be heard pretty much anywhere on the continent. There is no equivalent of this station in the US).

      Having said all of that, there is no way that this is the "World Biggest Song Vote".

      Just my $AU 0.02c worth

  • You'll be able to predict your children's future. And safely give up the sociopaths for adoption.
    • by MrKaos (858439)

      You'll be able to predict your children's future. And safely give up the sociopaths for adoption.

      So you're saying you believe the children are our future let them lead and let them show the way show them all the beauty they possess inside?

  • by jamesh (87723) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:10PM (#42704941)

    Whilst listening to the countdown yesterday I was pondering the idea that the warmest 100 is flawed because it only takes into account the votes from people who think the rest of the world cares about their every thought. Turns out I was wrong... I guess I'm a bit older than the Triple J target demographic these days - I wasn't 20 years ago though dammit!

    Next year i'm posting my votes on facebook, just to throw it out a little bit :)

    • by Elijha (2805781)
      Well that's just it though isn't it, the voters are people who think other need to know what they think is cool and want to influence the list. Doesn't that make them likely to proper-gate their votes online to influence others and to make themselves 'look cool' when the songs they voted for do well'. Isn't this similar to people who put vote for X signs on their lawns?
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Whilst listening to the countdown yesterday I was pondering the idea that the warmest 100 is flawed because it only takes into account the votes from people who think the rest of the world cares about their every thought. Turns out I was wrong...

      No you were right. The only thing you got wrong is the assumptions about how many people will click a "share" button on a website. The fact twitter exists at all, and that everyone from a gangsta rapper, to the pope, and ages between a 10 year old girl and a grandma use the service should be an indication of just how much people like to share their pointless lives.

      Way more than half of twitter users are over the age of 35.

  • The votes are in! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:20PM (#42704995)

    And the winner [youtube.com] is ....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When most songs and music is now generated by "artists' directed by agents telling them what to do and sing based on analytics, is it that surprising that analytics predicts the outcome of analytics produced crap???

  • But a a few months ago there were ads asking me to vote for
    "One Man, One Woman"
    sp I guess there must have been a "Favorite song by ABBA" poll on at that time.
    I still preferred Fernando

  • You have to scroll down the length of an encyclopedia just to get to the various lists of entries all the while the site is telling you that you probably shouldn't ruin it for yourself. It's not like the guys who screamed "Dumbledore's dead!" at midnight book releases.

    • Dumbledore's dead. Damn you, I was just getting ready to start reading book three.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Dumbledore's dead. Damn you, I was just getting ready to start reading book three.

        *FALSE SPOILER ALERT*

        Just wait til you get the last book and it turns out the whole series has been a dream in the head of a gay Asperger's kid in Ohio.

  • next year. Watch the fake "intended votes" flood in.

    That is, if Triple J don't take an entirely different route ....
  • by diodegod (70255) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:53AM (#42705709) Homepage

    For a slightly more detailed comparison of Warmest 100 vs. Hottest 100, here's a chart a mate did which includes some commentary:

    http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/WarmesttoHottest1002012/Dashboard [tableausoftware.com]

  • His website contained spoilers. It warned you every 10 songs that you were going to spoil the hottest 100. Between number 11 and 10 it warned you several times, 3 full vertical screen heights of warnings are given.

    The only people who spoiled the worlds biggest song vote are those who read the results, oh and the shithouse media who ran what number one was going to be in the first line of an article.

  • Surely can't beat the Eurovision in terms of biggest song contest ?

    • Not a song contest which is a vote on a small number of contestants ... It is a music poll based on music released on the last 12 months.

      Eurovision and every TV talent contest would have more votes - but that is not what is being discussed.

  • by justin.warren (14556) <daedalus&eigenmagic,com> on Sunday January 27, 2013 @08:56AM (#42706677) Homepage

    So yeah. Hi.

    I wrote some more detailed commentary on my blog, if you want more details than would fit in a short news article.

    http://www.eigenmagic.com/2013/01/24/will-the-warmest-100-prove-a-scorcher/ [eigenmagic.com] and http://www.eigenmagic.com/2013/01/26/warmest-100-updates/ [eigenmagic.com]

    It's nearly midnight here, but if I get a chance in the morning, I'll post up some more info including the code I used to replicate the Warmest 100's methods, and some scatterplots showing how the accuracy of the predictions got better the closer things got to number one, similar to the tableau link from diodegod.

    Statistics is the new black. :)

  • ... because you can bet on this vote. He has won tens of thousands of dollars, beating the bookies every year for the last few years. He thought this whole thing was pretty funny but hopes it doesn't affect his chances next year.

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