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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Whirlpool.net.au - The Statistics of Aura

Well, I finally decided - mainly because I like statistics and data analysis as well as studying language and human interaction to do some analysis of the new Aura system on the Broadband community site.

I also figured, that it would be my chance to show how screwed the system was.

Well in a word... I was wrong, the system is far from all pervasive and you really need to make an impact to alter it. Whilst doing the analysis, I came up with some interesting observations.

Out of the sample of over 30,000 user ids, the majority of users are just Plain Regulars or Participants.

Invalid 3.00%
In the penalty box 1.57%
I'm new here, please be nice 3.88%
Participant 18.05%
Forum Regular 70.19%
ISP Staff 0.18%
Whirlpool Enthusiast 2.26%
Whirlpool Forums Addict 0.87%

In addition, the all pervasive Aura which has brought much critisicm (including from me), is a small speck of impact on the whole. The following demonstrates how few members are affected.

Indeterminate 94.55%
Low 2.12%
Normal 0.87%
Light 1.24%
Bright 0.77%
Luminescent 0.32%
Incandescent 0.13%

Notice that 95% of Whirlpool is entirely unnaffected by Aura, and 98% are not 'adversely' affected by Aura. Not also the larger slice that 'Low' has got due to the politically correct dropping of the 'Dark' and 'Dim' Auras.

The following further divides those members with Aura by the 'strength' of the vote. It seems that whilst it is easy to annoy a few people, it's a pure talent (a talent I have it seems), to annoy enough people to actually become pervasively anything. Notice also that the easy at which you move from Tentative, through Normal to Pervasive seems somewhat independent of the aura you are on.

I thought it would also be a bit of fun to see where the boorish brutes live, and where the enlightened few live. Well, it's official, Darwin is the home of the lowest over all Aura, and the city with the highest proportion of Low aura people. Canberra has the highest overall aura, but Perth boasts the highest proportion of very enlightened persons. This table includes only persons with a valid aura (not Indeterminate).

Adelaide 34.90% 20.13% 22.15% 15.44% 4.03% 3.36% 2.4
Brisbane 35.03% 18.37% 21.09% 15.99% 6.46% 3.06% 2.5
Canberra 32.65% 6.12% 32.65% 12.24% 14.29% 2.04% 2.8
Darwin 45.45% 9.09% 45.45% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 2.0
Hobart 39.29% 21.43% 21.43% 10.71% 7.14% 0.00% 2.3
Melbourne 40.83% 13.96% 25.00% 13.13% 5.63% 1.46% 2.3
Perth 36.97% 15.76% 20.61% 12.12% 6.67% 7.88% 2.6
Sydney 41.45% 16.58% 20.21% 15.03% 5.35% 1.38% 2.3

The final bit of statistics for now debunks the long held belief that people with high post counts, generate low auras. Well, I analysed the posts/day for all the persons with a valid aura (not indeterminite), and low and behold .... it isn't how much you say, it's what you say. The values are calculated based on the number of posts divided by the number of days from joining to last activity (the best I could come up with).


The following graph (added 27th September 2006), has a little bit of a disturbing future in its lines:

The information is a little busy, but fundamentally the red lines (and red axis) are numbers of members and the green lines are average durations of a members stay (before they leave for the long run). Now obviously, as the graph gets to the end, distinguishing between members that have left for good, and those away for a month is somewhat difficult. However, the over all trend is that Whirlpool is becoming less of a community and more of a news site (like news.com etc). The red lines demonstrate this significantly, whilst more and more people are joining, more and more of them are joining for very short durations and moving on. The rest of the graph, I'll leave for your digestion.

If there is any more information, or particular stats you would like to see, e-mail me by clicking on the contact me button up top, I will be adding to this page as time goes on (there is another 10 or more graphs/tables I have in the pipeline).

Posted by Christopher Burke at 6:10 AM
Categories: Professional, Projects

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Waste of the Human Mind

Welcome to my Nightmare

I figure that my first entry should introduce me, explain a little about my self - and really try and make you understand my motivations for this blog.

I was born in Bathurst, Australia (home of that big car race) - and moved various places around the east coast until I ended up in Brisbane, Australia (where I am now).

I've done school, university, been married, been divorced, worked in government, education and in private enterprise. I've done large projects, small project, Windows projects, Unix projects, programmed, administered, planned, designed, analysed and basically touched on every feild of computing.

To be honest - the IT industry today is fast become the new accountancy.

So I'm branching out - whilst still earning money in the field of computers, developing my own websites, I've decided to branch out into something that is actually important.

I've started photography, an interest in films - and an interest in changing the world.

'Change the world' I hear you mutter, yes - at the spritely age of 43 - I've decided to introduce some of my radical conservative ideas onto the world.

Whilst the world has become obsessed with absolutes, Republican or Democrat, Right or Wrong, Legal or Illegal, Moslem or Christian, Black or White - my posts here will be about solutions to some of these problems.

Now - I realise that these thoughts and aspirations will probably be ignored, rarely viewed - but maybe they will be googled and in 50 years someone might say, why don't we do what this guy said to do 50 years ago.

Anyway - my first real entry, coming up soon - will be about issues with the current system of invention and patent, and a way I have worked out to solve it - and what I'm doing about it.

This blog was intially written in three parts (February 5th 2006 to May 7th 2006)


I've learnt something from 20 years out in the wild of commercial and government enterprise, and it's that human beings - like old computers - are discarded at an alarming rate. I don't mean sacked, or made redundant, I mean thrown on the dust heap with the used papers.

I'm not about to rant about this, rather to explain to you my thoughts on how people work and why success is not guaranteed in this world of ours.

The Elements of Success

Listen to your average Dr Phil, or Oprah Winfrey show and you might thing that the only thing that stands in the way of you and success is your own willpower. Well they are absolutely wrong, and are just soundbytes telling us what we want to hear.

How often does a fortune teller say you are going to die ? Never. Dr Phil and Oprah are not about to tell us bad things, they will lose viewers.

There is in fact, three elements of success:

  • Yourself : Yes a large part is yourself (so Dr Phil wasn't totally out)
  • Other People : You need other people - success doesn't come alone
  • Environment : You need an environment allowing success, including money, education

If anyone thinks a starving child in Ethiopia just needs willpower to become the boss of a large software corporation - has more than a screw loose. The simple fact is, that everyone depends on those three things to gain success.

Look at acceptance speeches by famous actors, biographies of large company CEOs - all of them had a stroke of luck, which they took advantage of and friends and family to depend on at the start.

What Dr Phil and his cohorts really should be saying, is that you can't get anywhere unless you want to - because that is true.

Elements of Yourself

I want to concentrate of the individual for a moment.

Have you ever wondered what drives you, how you do things and why you may seem less than someone else. Well the good news guys is that it is all an illusion, everyone has something to offer - the problem isn't with you.

Here is why.

People have three driving forces in what they do:

  • Thinking - How well you think, this is your ideas and creativity and working things out
  • Wanting - What you want that you don't have, what you would really like to do
  • Doing - What you are really good at doing, your skills and abilities.

In case you are lost, I'm going to get personal here and tell you some of my driving forces in each of these three areas.

  • Thinking - I've got a complete novel in my head called 'Craznar Millenium' which I thought of in 1987, it's still in my head and not on paper. I've also worked out a mechanism to allow computer understanding of western type languages.
  • Wanting - I really want to be a film director, I'd just love to be a film director
  • Doing - I'm a very good system analyst and computer systems developer.

Ok, you might ask - why isn't my novel written - and why aren't I a film director. And why am I still doing what I am good at. Well that is the question.

That, and the reason why this is such a loss to the individual and to society I'm covering in my next blog.

So, we have established that success relies on a person, other people and their environment and a person's responsibility for success is their thoughts, wishes and skills.

Now that this is established, I'm going to simplify it a little.

The Elements of Success

  • Idea (what you think, your imagination)
  • Will (what you really want to do)
  • Ability (what are good at)
  • Resourcing (things or people you need)

This basically puts everything in one basket from the previous entry.

Now - no matter who you are, or what you intend to achieve - all of these components are required. If you are missing some of them, you need to fill them in with other people (friends, employees etc) by getting them to do it, or getting them to teach you to do it.

As a hint ... other people can generally only provide extra ability ... the idea and will normally need to be yours.

Only once all those components are in place are you going to succeed.

Accept Your Failure and Move On

The important thing you have to remember, is that accepting failure is a positive movement towards future success. Ignoring or forgetting failure and you are doomed to repeat. Dwelling in failure and you are doomed to stagnate.

So when all the soundbyte regurgitators tell you that failure is a negative thing, and then tell you that it's your fault that you failed - change channels.

Describing My Failure - The Novel

I'm going to go through the details of a large failure to succeed in my life, and follow through the reasons for the failure.

I have a complete short story in my head, from start to finish - all the characters, places and events. It's called "Craznar Millenium" and it popped into my head in 1987.

After almost 20 years - it's still in my head, it's not a novel, not a movie - no one will ever read it.

Well, I had the idea - it's a very good idea, it would make a great movie even. I can imagine Peter Woodward as the leading actor. The idea wasn't the problem.

I can tell you right now, that initially I had the will to make a book, or a movie out of it. The willpower initially wasn't a problem, however it eventually waned.

The third requirement. Skill. Well - I am a hopeless writer, I did courses and could never understand why I couldn't write. Then I was diagnosed with Alexathymia and that's why I couldn't write (apart from technicals documents).

So I hunted around for other people to fill in the gaps in my abiity, but of course no one is interested. They were not interested because they didn't have the will to do it, nor did I have the money to pay them.

So, in short form - I failed because of my lack of talent, the lack of resources to continue it and after 18 years the loss of the will to proceed with it.

Was it my fault - no. Was it someone elses fault - no. It was noones fault, it just was. Just as it is noones fault that gravity pulls objects to the ground.

Where to Go After Failure

A few things to do after failure.

  • Firstly - don't blame yourself, don't blame anyone and don't blame the universe. Blame is a negative thing that reenforces future failure. If you blame yourself, you will be more likely to lake the will in your next endevour. The more you blame others - the more you will depend on others for the parts you can provide. And if you blame the universe, you are likely to hide in a box or jump off a bridge.
  • Secondly - look at why you failed, realisticaly - look at the components. Was your idea silly (like taking a trip to the moon), did you really have the will to do it (the olympic games needs ALOT of will), and did you have the ability to do it, or other people to do it ?
  • Lastly - very quickly start anew, very quickly find another idea ... get stuck into something again - quickly.

Why does this matter ? Why is it important to society, to the people in it and more in the next blogs.

We have established the three personal components of success (idea, will and ability) and the external requirements of resourcing.

I have given some ideas on how this affects the individual, and why it's important to know.

Well that's not where it stops. Why should the world care about a bunch of failures that have added nothing to society.

The Resource Wasted

Society goes to great lengths to extract minerals from the ground, to farm plants and animals in the most efficient way possible.

That same society creates incredible lengths to build amazing structures, devices and systems - each created with efficient use of the resources at hand.

Then why is it that over half the world's population can barely feed itself, and 99% of the rest sit mindlessly in front of the Television watching reality TV.

No, it's not because people love being hungry, or bored, or lonely. It's not because they want to be like that ... it's because society as it stands drains hope, drains will and leads people to death and starvation of either body or mind.

The ideas and skills, both developed and never realised of 99% of the world's population - thrown away, wasted.

All because of some mistaken idea that people are soley responsible for their own destiny. What an arrogant point of view that is, that sort of delusion belongs in the 15th Century when we thought the earth was the centre of the universe, and that praying would solve any ill.

The truth of the matter is that society as a whole is both responsible for, and the largest loser of the individualist approach to the human resource.

Individualism Gone Wrong

When a person is successful, they seem to think it was all their own doing and immediately assume other's that fail do so through their own action or inaction.

The mass media is full of people like this, who spread the word that failure is unwelcome, and discard those who can't contribute.

Individual rights were meant to protect those from people with more power, but recently it is being used to attack those same people.

The attacks come directly in the form of speakers telling us we have failed, or indirectly via reality TV shows which glue you to your chair to get some small taste of that success so often denied.

There is a solution, it's not complex and it will benefit individuals and society as a whole. It will benefit large corporations and their profits, and eventually (I hope) benefit those in physical stagnation as well.

Posted by Christopher Burke at 6:00 PM
Edited on: Friday, March 26, 2010 7:11 AM
Categories: Philosophy