Dust or Magic, Tuesday, January 13 2009

Good/Baad: a State-of-the-World-o-Meter for our times

::The human condition to 1 decimal place, updated every second, on your home-page or desktop, via RSS::

My son, Joel, has just launched "Good Baad": a website that invites you to vote on anything you like, aggregating everybody's votes about everything into a simple pie-chart: the State of the World at a glance!


When I looked just now, the world was 57.3% Good: up by nearly 0.5% from yesterday evening! Not Baad, eh!

This may seem a rather optimistic assessment - but this is a bottom-up (thing-by-thing) way of rating the world which (as Robert Louis Stevenson says):

"... is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

YOU CAN VOTE ON ANYTHING you like as long as there is a reference to it in Freebase; if there isn't, you can add one, I believe; and he is adding new databases.

:: Marmite Good; Poverty Bad ::

Actually, you cannot yet vote on Poverty (the human condition of that name) only on the film, book, CD etc. Hope this is fixed soon. But Marmite is 100% Good. The worst things in the world are Sarah Palin (still), the Daily Mail, iPhones, Cats, and the Credit Crunch.

I find it a pleasant relief to be constrained to a simple, Good/Bad judgement for a change. Much of my life is otherwise dominated by the struggle adequately to express _how much_ and _in what precise way_ I loathe and detest (for example) The Right Hon Phil Woolas MP, and capitalism, and the way you can't get into my Apple Powerbook without 3 different screwdrivers and a panic attack.

(Capitalism is 66.6% Baad, by the way. Nice to have that settled!)

I feel that the scope for this is really quite enormous. Joel has plans for allowing people to mine the data in lots of different ways; using tags to allow categorization and imaginative exploration of trends; and RSS feeds of course.

There is a blog; and there are plans for a podcast (including, I hope, contributions from Joel's old friend Jack Mellor the Middle-Class Plumber).

Joel is keen to get feedback, so please have a go, and tell him what you think.

So have fun! And may 2009 be Gooder to you, and bring far less Baadth, than other state-of-the-world sources suggest.

Posted by Bob Hughes on Tuesday, January 13 2009

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