May 24, 2008

Hey, Too Many Jims is still monitoring the cruel neutrality.

I thought he'd given up. Even took him off the blog rolls. But he's all geared up now. The best way to see how the monitoring is going is to check the "labels" in the sidebar. Here are the significant ones:
Clinton Negative (3)
Clinton Neutral (25)
Clinton Positive (2)
McCain Neutral (6)
McCain Positive (1)
Obama negative (6)
Obama neutral (31)
Obama Positive (1)
See? Cruel neutrality it is!

And here's the original post where I take my vow of cruel neutrality and point to Monitoring the Cruel Neutrality.

19 comments:

UN Observer said...

Ann's definition of neutral:

Obama negative (6)
Obama positive (1)

Thank you for the clarification.

Ann Althouse said...

You forgot:

Obama neutral (31)

Trooper York said...

Photos of flowers 36
Photos of food 12
Videos of rock groups 6
Photos of strange trees 4
Photos of dogs urinating 136

EnigmatiCore said...

Oh crud, I've fallen behind on my job.

/meaning I never did jack after the first day

knoxwhirled said...

I'm enjoying your campaign blogging, but your posts on Kerry in the 04 race were classics--it's what first brought me to this blog. I hope you will let your views--whichever way they lean--be known after the conventions.

Roost on the Moon said...

Negative Posts on

Democratic Candidates (9)
Republican Candidates (0)

Just sayin'.

rhhardin said...

Photos of dogs urinating

tasteful form

John K. said...

I predict that Ann will vote for Obama over McCain. That's the way I read her posts as leaning.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Does this mean that 'cruel neutrality' can be on the masthead again?

vbspurs said...

I predict that Ann will vote for Obama over McCain. That's the way I read her posts as leaning.

I don't see it. In the primaries, yes.

But I don't see her being for the nothingness of Obama.

Cheers,
Victoria de Beauvoir

lurker2209 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lurker2209 said...

Roost on the Moon-

To be fair, Postive comments on:

Dems: 3

Repubs: 1

The sample size of positive and negative comments is 13. True neutrality would then be 2.1 positive and negative comments for each candidate. But when you factor in the fact that there's probably twice as many interesting things to say about the Democrats (who are still running against each other) than about McCain, then it comes to about 1.3 positive and negative comments for McCain and 2.6 positive and negative comments for the Dems.

At first glance it seems there are a significantly higher than expected number of negative Obama comments, but if you calculated the variance for the same, it's 4.3, so even Obama's high number of negatives is less than the expected number plus the variance for the sample.

In short the sample size of positive and negative answers is too small for the distinctions to be statistically significant.

Whether the 20 minutes it took me to prove that was worthwhile or not I'll leave for you to judge ;)

lurker2209 said...

Sorry, somewhere in the cutting and pasting sample got turned into same.

Trooper York said...

Hey the Yankees won four in a row and the summer is not even here yet. Where are all my Yankee haters?

A-rod is back. Jorge is on his way, Joba is going in the rotation and even Kennedy did ok. The Moose pitched great today and already has seven wins. It might get tight but I think we are on our way.

Trooper York said...

When asked about Willie Randolph's job status, Omar Minaya said: "It's too early in the year to think about changes. But we want Willie to take a break to fly some supplies to China for those earthquake victims. Hey what airline did Roberto Clemente use..."

It was later determined that the Mets were using Hillary Clinton's publicist.
(SNY New York Mets Postgame)

Eli Blake said...

Well, we can quantify the score this way (maintaining alphabetical order, to keep in tune with neutrality):

If a positive post is +1, a neutral post is 0 and a negative post is -1, then we have a total for Clinton of -1, for McCain of +1, and for Obama of -5.

If we divide each number by the number of posts then the average score for Clinton is -0.033, for McCain it is +0.143, and for Obama, it is -0.132; Given that the extremes of this type of measurement are +1 (for example, Keith Olbermann on Obama) and -1 (Rush Limbaugh on Obama) we can see that Ann's degree of separation between McCain (the positive end of her scale) and Obama (the negative end of her scale) is .275; That is to say about 1/8th as biased (non-neutral) as the RNC pressroom or the DNC pressroom (in reverse) could be expected to be.

If Too Many Jims makes a project out of this I could probably find some examples of statistical tests for ordered categorical data and run a full statistical analysis on it, which might be entertaining.

blake said...

What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?
--Zapp Brannigan, Futurama

Glab: I can think of no better place for this centre of diplomacy than here in orbit around the Neutral Planet. [She turns to the grey man.] What are your thoughts on this momentous occasion, Your Neutralness?

Neutral President: I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
--Futurama

Neutral President's Aide: Your Neutralness, it's a beige alert.

Neutral President: If I don't survive, tell my wife, "Hello".
--Futurama

Fen said...

Nice breakdown Eli. You should bill Ann. ;)

Too many jims said...

Just a couple of notes to this point. I am trying to catch up. (I had taken a hiatus from paying attention to almost all things blogospheric for a considerable time.)

At this point I have only looked at the period from March 4 (when Prof. Althouse made her declaration of cruel neutrality) until March 24. During that time there were at least 66 posts mentioning the candidates (I skipped over a few where the mention of the candidates was in passing).

It is not terribly surprising to me that there were substantially more posts about Obama and Clinton than there were about McCain. The pledge of cruel neutrality was taken shortly after the Ohio/Texas primary (wait was there was a caucus there too?). At that point McCain had it wrapped up. Meanwhile, Obama and Clinton were generating more bloggable items. The period also covers the first wave of the Wright controversy, for what that is worth.

Finally, while just looking at the labels is helpful (and fun for all ages) it does have its limits which may become more evident as the race develops. The candidates all have there negative issues. Obama, for instance, has the Wright issue which detracts from the narrative he is attempting to create about a "post-racial" or transcendent candidacy. McCain, on the other hand, has had issues with lobbyists and his campaign which runs counter to some of the narrative he is trying to create. So what happens if Prof. Althouse has a lot of "neutral" posts about Obama's negative issues and few (or no) posts about McCain's negative issues.

It would be like if there were two contestants on American Idol (not that she could make a commitment of neutrality in that race) who both had warts. If she were to say: "Singer X has warts on her face. I am just saying." That on it's face is neutral. But if she never mentions the wart on singer Y's face is she really being neutral about singer X (or Y)?

But here is where the analogy falls flat. Prof. Althouse blogs about what she wants to blog about. My sense is that she is interested in the intersection of race, religion and politics. So the Wright story might really interest her. She might not (I haven't gotten to the April and May remember) find the lobbyist angle very interesting. She can't blog about McCain kerfuffles just because stories are circulating. She can't blog about them just because a pro-Obama commenter or blogger suggests she should. What do to with that? Beats the hell out of me.

P.S. to Enigmaticore: I'd suggest you find one nice handy place to mock, ridicule or otherwise needle me. The pace that Prof. Althouse keeps is fricking insane.

P.P.S. to Trooper: I noted (in my head) your request for me to keep track of "photos of dogs urinating" but I have not seen any yet. There will be a separate label if and when she does.