May 4, 2009

According to Time, The World's Most Influential Person Is...

time 2009 influential.JPG

You don't know who moot is?  Moot is the red pill.

From the issue:


It should be obvious that the poll was rigged: moot got his followers to vote him up.  Even if that isn't obvious, a search on "Time influential people" gives up half a dozen articles explaining precisely how the poll was rigged.

Why would Time leave the poll up-- let alone publish it in the print edition long after it is known the poll was rigged?

moot denial.JPGDoes this mean they know, or don't know, the poll was rigged?


If this is an online poll, can one actually argue that the results are invalid?   It's based on votes, and more people voted for moot.  More people were influenced by moot enough to vote for him.  Right?

This is just like a medical study, which is why so many people misinterpret medical studies.  The poll does not measure who is influential.  It measures who people believe is influential. So did the poll accurately measure what it was supposed to?  Yes.  So does it matter that you don't like the results?


But it wasn't so simple as moot running the best campaign.  moot and his friends hacked the voting so that people could vote multiple times (for moot).  So no, it wasn't a valid poll. 

So back to question one: if it isn't valid, why does Time still decide to publish it?  Or did they really not know?


Ok, let's everybody settle down.  Time published it because it knows readers will be smart enough to ignore moot at #1, and just look through the rest of the poll. Right?

Time knows Americans are smart.  No, no, no, not the Americans more than 200 miles inwards from the coasts-- they're all idiots, of course.  I'm talking about the real Americans, the urban post-nationalist Americans who know we are eventually going to have a one world government, like on Star Trek, if we can just get global warming under control.  They know Rick Warren isn't more influential than Angela Merkel, obviously.  The point is to use the poll to discuss what's wrong with the landlocked Americans that they think Rick Warren is more influential than Angela Merkel.  And what does that say for our (read: not their) society? 

The debate that will ensue will confirm for them that they are deeply interested in the world, that they are intelligent, that they have valuable and valid opinions.  That they know better.

Time published the poll precisely so we could look down on it, "that's who those idiots picked as most influential?"


All this would be would be fine for Time if it was just the #1 spot that was rigged, not the entire poll:


"Marblecake Also The Game."  Don't worry about what it means.  Just realize 4chan's people  voted simply to make it spell out "marble cake also the game."  In other words, Rick Warren is more influential than Angela Merkel because they needed an R before they needed an A.


So the question stands: does Time not know, or not care?  Not know would be awesome, and by awesome I mean absolutely terrifying, that a major international news magazine with their own journalists would not be aware of... the internet...

Not care would be amazing, and by amazing I mean (again) absolutely terrifying-- that a major magazine would be so contemptuous of its readers that it would not cancel the poll, or at least explain what happened.  Because the poll, as it stands now, is now who 4chan-- not anyone else-- thinks is influential.

But they don't care.  Not at all.  They still might not actually know, either-- but they clearly do not care.  They do not care because the poll actually isn't about who people think is influential; the poll is actually a tool for Time to tell you who is influential and who isn't.   They already know who is influential and who is not.  They decide, they have already decided.  Because they are smarter than you.  They will tell you who is influential and who is not; they will tell you what is good and what is not; and they will not tell you anything that you don't need to know, e.g. reality.

It doesn't matter if the poll was hacked or not, all that matters is that any 100 names appear in some order so that Time can then say, "see?  This poll is wrong, whatever it says.  Here's what's right."

That's why none of the pictures that lead this story

not moot picture.JPG
actually are of moot.  Or anyone in the poll, for that matter.