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Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 5:40 PM

Out of curiosity, I wanted to know where the average CR4 member is from. It would have been a bit much to analyze every individual, so I took data from the list of member countries. I've taken just a few liberties with how I crunched the numbers ; Location has been taken as the capital for each country. Longitude and Latitude have been rounded up. Since the earth is somewhat inconveniently flattened, I've treated it as a sphere.

First off, you can't simply average the longitudes – for instance, people in Siberia and Canada would end up averaged as living on about 0 degree longitude. Hence I've extrapolated the locations into Cartesian form. The origin is the centre of the Earth, X is Eastward, Y is Northward, and Z is towards zero latitude and zero longitude.

To reflect the number within each country, I've weighted the co-ordinates. In effect working out the 'centre of gravity' (not that there's much gravity in this subject yet….).

My end results (columns I,J,K) would seem to place the average person in Mali.

If there are any glaring errors in country locations or members/numbers, I'll adjust it. For now, can anyone see a better way of finding the average location ?

Before you interpret this as confirmation that I've completely taken leave of my senses, I'll tease you a little. Since the largest groupings are America and India, I may develop this to find out where the 2 highest concentrations of members are. Think of it like drawing a contour map of member density. Ultimately, it's not really about where CR4 members are. More to do with finding clusters on a sphere. I may elaborate on that later. For now, I'd just like to see what folk think of how the data has been analyzed. Is it fair/representative as an 'average'.

Not sure if that table is clear enough, but the final weighted XYZ values are ; 0.20947947,0.306286, 0.274203. End result ; Latitude 20.63123, Longitude -0.-3381.That's somewhere in Mali.

(note - the final co-ordinates are within the Earth, so some Pythagorean juggling is needed to extrapolate onto the Earths 'spherical' surface as latitude/longitude)

I shall run and hide whilst the onslaught begins................

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#1

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 5:54 PM

Have much spare time?

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#2

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 6:02 PM

I'd say that the final co-ordinates are correct because the Earth sucks. (I'm so down, everything looks like UP TO ME.)

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 6:05 PM

We've all come to that conclusion way back. Don't tell him I said so.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 6:34 PM

I'll tease you a little.......More to do with finding clusters on a sphere. I may elaborate on that later......

At some stage I shall be disposing of half the globe, though I haven't decided which. You will, in due course, be pancaked. I'd give you an evil smiley, but this computer ain't working :( Prepare yourself for hemispherical distortion. If I'm feeling nice, I'll tell you why.......

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#5

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 8:53 PM

Kris, I think you've gathered the stray needles of CR4 and bundled us into a haystack.. am I right?

PS. in the interest of ambient temperature increase, I shall strive towards the CR4 "average" position from now on.

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#6

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/20/2009 9:59 PM

Hmmm. Average... Reminds me of the dude that had his head in the oven and his feet in the refrigerator and said: "On the average I feel pretty comfortable."

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#7

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 2:45 AM

I could get some meaning full data from your list. Here are top 10 Subscribing nations.

USA 128

India 64

Canada 30

UK 20

Australia 19

New Zealand 11

south Africa 9

Belgium 6

Egypt 6

Pakistan 5

Philippines 5

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 3:48 AM

I'm glad you could read it, although the data has changed slightly since I collected it from here India is now 65, and there are possibly others. No matter, it doesn't affect the overall result significantly. A few anomalies are actually 'beneficial' if I decide to revise the input data. The countries that only have one or two members are equally useful in this respect.

Where would you place the average, and why ? If the answer is good, I may even crunch the numbers for you.

Consider a sphere with a lot of dots on it. How would you attempt to describe the location of the average ?

As you can see from the data you've read, there are 2 main concentrations - USA and India. Would the data be better summarized as two (or more) global focal points, and more importantly - where should they be ? Would you assign other nations to India or the USA ? Perhaps each of the locations would have to shift slightly to incorporate the other countries assigned to them......

The problem is not really about where CR4 members live. That's just a convenient way of introducing a specific problem. I want to see how people from different science/engineering backgrounds tackle it.

'Thinking outside the box' is a much used phrase, and I want to see if anyone here can really do so. Anybody who can see a real-life application would be able to claim that they can think outside the box, as would anybody who can come up with an alternative method to the one I have in mind. Crunching the numbers doesn't matter - it's the method I'd like to hear about.

It's too early to suggest nobody can think outside the box (much as I dislike the yucky phrase, it's reasonably descriptive). I've described the problem in 'Micky Mouse' terms so as to solicit opinion from a diversity of disciplines. The essence of the problem has been described, and I await he or she who can think outside the box'.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 3:51 AM

That's not far off being a good analogy ! You are slightly warmer than anyone else so far...........

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#10

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 4:01 AM

Let us look at the data (sorry can not look, I don't know from where you ferreted it out.

Do ferrets ferret squirrel ? Then how squireele ferrets out it ?

But the data looks to be statistical (ie cooked)

You know the best thing about statistics ? you can give any information and say it is statistical (we have seen being done so many things ) The important part is it should be practical ie believable.

Now look at the practicality.

0 deg longitude is through greenwich ? so one side is USA the other India and china (almost equi distant) so the population of CR4 balanced on either side

0 deg latitude is unbalanced- upper half is heavily populated, lower half is Aus and NZ with S America.

With sparkstation out nobody to scare away take care of the furry ones.

So the half balance will be between equator and the tropic, So I would have put it some where around 30 deg N or more. (USA centered at 38N and India at 28N China at about US level, and the furry ones at about 50N)

So here there is a bit of non-commonsense statistics .

BTW: I didn't know you were vitalstatistically oriented

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#11
In reply to #2

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 4:02 AM

LOL ! Unfortunately, you've got to remain on the surface of the earth for this one.

Since it doesn't affect the real question, I had a little bit of fun in locating all you Americans......not quite where you might expect.

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#12

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 4:08 AM

Are you going to factor in number of posts?
If so I think the average user is somewhere between Etherville and Harlow, which could accout for the number of accidents on the M11.

Excellent work my squirrelly chum, no wonder the KrisDelTM accounts are in such a mess fine state.
Del

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 4:09 AM

Ha ! It also illustrates why you can't average longitudes. If only the dude in the kitchen had understood the question here......In a way, he has to decide how his balls feel. Trouble is, he's got to apportion them between oven and fridge. I'm giving too much away.

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#14
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 4:13 AM

PMSL - If only I'd had ready access to the data for other countries ! Now I think about it, the end result would have been a foregone conclusion. Deciding who's posts we get to claim would be the 'meaty' part.

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#15
In reply to #8

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 7:46 AM

um.. would that be Erwin Schroedinger's box, by any chance?

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 8:13 AM

he he he.....to early to say, but I couldn't possibly abuse Del that way. It just wouldn't be cricket.

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#17

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 8:22 AM

THERE ARE NO "AVERAGE" CR4 MEMBERS!!!!!

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 8:30 AM

The presence of an unknown number of females does somewhat mess up that analysis. Perhaps I should downsize the Texas weighting in order to reflect reality

Nobody has noticed where I put Americans yet

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#19

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 8:30 AM

All above average? Or just outside the norm?

Apropos of nothing, most of my recent statistical work has been actually automating the identification of the clusters you started with so the question is sort of backwards to my thinking of late.

Were you planning a party with all of us as invitees and you wanted to minimize travel, a more suitable measure might be the geographical mean or median - weighting for population - and so a fairly standard logistics application of your data.

The mechanicals of imposing the data on a globe is another interesting aspect of the problem.....the average of one member on each pole could be anywhere on the entire globe.....

Hmmmm

But I sympathetically submit you have too much time on your hands.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 8:41 AM

Perhaps I should downsize the Texas weighting in order to reflect reality

What's your concept of reality?

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#21

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 8:58 AM

Some other creative individuals with too much time on their hands!

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#22
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:04 AM

No tea and cucumber sandwiches . Can you elaborate on what method you'd use to derive some meaningful summary of the data ? Treating it as dots of <whatever> on a sphere is fine. Number and location of dots as detailed. Is there a standard methodology you know of to identify and quantify cluster(s) on a sphere ? All the locations must be taken into account.

The real world application I have in mind is nothing new, I just want to see how people from different backgrounds might approach it. There are probably people working in different fields, using completely different approaches to handle what is essentially the same problem. I don't necessarily mean this particular one, but in general. Most people probably leave University or wherever with a fairly blinkered view point. Inter-disciplinary study might help grease the wheels of innovation. As someone once said to me, we start off knowing ***-all about a lot, and end up knowing a lot about ****-all (at least to the outside world). Advances in knowledge make it harder for colleges to find time to teach students beyond their chosen field. Good engineers/scientist become so through experience and awareness of the bigger picture. We all get tunnel-vision, so occasionally pausing to see what others do is no bad thing. Part of the reason why CR4 works so well is that members have an interest in all spheres of science and engineering.

Strewth, I'm rambling ! It's just a fun way of seeing how folk approach finding the 'average' location of places on a sphere. I added the number of members to cut down on the number crunching - it doesn't affect the general principle of the problem.

It's taken me longer to paste the question in, and look at the replies, than it did to do the initial analysis. I'll keep popping back to see how it's brewing

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:08 AM

Bizaaaaare !

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:17 AM

If you don't understand the question, you could either ask or just ignore it. Don't tax your brain on that, it seems to be already in deficit.

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#25
In reply to #12

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:26 AM

I would rather like to hunt the cat(average postition) for off topics, Any guess where it could be?

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#26
In reply to #16

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:42 AM

ah yes, hem. I myself am a supporter of the Society for the prevention of cruelty to hypothetical animals...

of course, when the true significance of your mathematical musings are known, they may be using some other small mammal as the next big hypothetical one ... or perhaps they'll name you a particle... the squirrelon ?

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#27
In reply to #24

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:45 AM

If you don't understand the question, you could either ask or just ignore it.

Is that a nice way of saying "if you don't have anything useful to contribute then just shut up."?

Don't tax your brain on that, it seems to be already in deficit.

You have no idea. Though I have got a lot of empty space up there that I am trying to fill. I'm thinking that if CR4 can't educate me a bit more, I may start renting out some of that space to you big brains who have sooooo much knowledge and nowhere to keep it. I see it falling out onto the posts all the time.

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#28
In reply to #9

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:48 AM

could this be possible argument for shifting CR4 HQ to Timbuktu?

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 9:53 AM

I hope you all remember its Saturday evening, lets not spoil.

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 10:54 AM

Just my deadpan humour

I have many pearls of wisdom; Don't smoke whilst your neighbour is mowing his lawn. It'll blow your ear wax out, then you have to use the straws in your nose to muffle the noise.......The sun is out for once, and some arse had got a bloody chain saw going next door

As it happens, edignan has fiendishly hinted at a solution (at least the one I have in mind). Best not say more until I know where he's running with it. I seriously don't want to have to make good on crunching the numbers with it.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 10:59 AM

We haven't got Saturday evening yet, you evil *(&^^"** !! The only consolation is that we can be having a good time while the Australians have got a hangover. Having said that, it's 3am here, so they're probaly still on Friday night drinks.

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#32
In reply to #26

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 11:04 AM

Hey, I wonder if CERN are short of ideas. It's not fair that Del should get all the publicity.......

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 11:09 AM

I seriously don't want to have to make good on crunching the numbers with it.

Lazy git.

Simple problem in topology - z axis = spheroid

yeah, OK - I don't want to either

I've never actually been too happy with the system of lat/lon

radians are not much better.

May translate better in polars....hmmm

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 11:21 AM

Lazy git

My admiration for your perception grows by the minute !

It'd take a sodding big spreadsheet to do it the way I think you hinted at. A fairly simple computer program could churn it out. It all depends how sprightly I'm feeling tomorrow morning. I can possibly dig out a tease picture if anybody would like.

Back later

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#35
In reply to #31

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 11:21 AM

By the time you start I may finish,

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#36
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 11:25 AM

My pain is getting worse - I have to visit the Mother-in-Law this year !

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#37
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 12:26 PM

Kris Now I realise why you have such a low %age of good answers, off topics are so good,

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 1:57 PM

I got a good result tomorrow Mrs Cat and Cat Daught' are going to visit Mil for a girlie Mother's day lunch... I've got off for good behaviour

So I can sit around in my pants scratching my arse and eating pizza.
Del

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#39
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 2:16 PM

Score!

My congrats!

I have to take jobs on the road to get to fart n scratch!

OK, truly shouldn't impune my much better half - she thinks it is funny when I fart (newlyweds).

But I do catch up on projects...

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#40

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/21/2009 11:37 PM

Thanks for initiative make a human network , I agree with you and initial activity.

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#41

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 1:37 AM

You can get an average of CR4 members but as stated prior, None of us are average, [or we would not be here].

I stand corrected we have a poster who is average:

The infamous guest who in the same thread can be genius, an blithering idiot, slow, interesting, non responding, flaming angry(thinks guest is a badge to hide behind) and all in all average.

So how do you average in the infamous guest.

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#42

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 2:14 AM

Kris project is the one in correct direction.

I remember long back read an Asimov story - where the computer selects a man or a woman above 18 and decides that he is average and hence representing the whole CR4 human world. And then the total President or Director or whatever the name of the post is will be selected just by one vote.

Such a great project. I hope this will be a great thorn cog in tomorrows wheel.

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#43
In reply to #10

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 2:52 AM

0 deg longitude is through greenwich ? so one side is USA the other India and china (almost equi distant) so the population of CR4 balanced on either side

Roughly true, though trying to average longitudes will end in tears . They could all get lumped together in Mali, or maybe 2 poles (not plumbers/waiters/builders) would be better........

The above pancake pictures are not related data. 2 poles are strangely looking like 4.

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#44
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 3:11 AM

Averaging circular values given as vectors is a familiar problem for meteorologists trying to average wind directions. One solution is to convert the measured wind vectors into pairs of cartesian coordinates, averaging the pairs and convering the pair of averages back into a vector. There are other, less intuitive methods.

you could use this accepted trick using both longitude and latitude, weighing by the number of memebers per location.

Some members helpfuly give both latitude and longitude of their location. If not, Google Earth is very helpful.

Still, I can't forget the medical statistician who said that a certain disease hits people in their 40's. His data were a 2 year old child an his 78 year old grandfather... They say that he drowned in a lake with a 1 inch average depth.

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#45
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:01 AM

Thanks dovy,

It might not be clear from the initial picture given, but I have locations listed in Cartesian form. Locations were snapped off google earth (to the nearest whole degree). A weighting has been applied to the x,y,z values, although that isn't where I'm going with this. It's just a sort of introduction method, to hopefully simplify understanding of what I shall post later.

Meteorology is one area that hadn't crossed my mind (Doh !), so I shall look into it. The suggestion is exactly what I'm interested in - how different disciplines approach similar problems. I suspect that many people use mapping/modelling techniques, unaware that other have tackled similar problems - possibly with a better method. Another related (though not unconnected) area of study might be marine biology - distribution of algae etc. Weather models are highly complex, but I wonder how many conclusions applied to other field of study rely on vague summaries of where some particular phenomena is located. Academia is not geared toward cross-disciplinary knowledge.

More explanation will appear later.........When I do so, I'm hoping that others will trash it by suggesting better methods. I'm holding back to see what suggestions emerge first. The raw data (member numbers, location given, spherical Earth assumption) presented is enough for people to consider the nature of the problem. The average location of CR4 members is not my real interest, it just serves as a convenient set of data.

Thanks for your input

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#46
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:36 AM

You seenk zey are in Cartesian form...zerefore zey are n'est ce pas?

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#47
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:47 AM

Or as they say in Latin: "Coito ergo sum". Yes, there seems to be a "g" missing...

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#48
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:47 AM

Oh gawd.......

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#49
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:50 AM

That reminds me.......

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#50
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:56 AM

Kris,

You could compare 3 different weight functions:

  • number of responses
  • number of GAs
  • 1/(number of GAs +1)

You may obtain 3 different centres of gravity. I wonder what they would signify?

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#51
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 5:05 AM

Is that for the original data set, or just within this thread ?

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#52
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 5:21 AM

For the whole set - in order to characterise centres of enthousiasm versus centres of competence versus centres of laziness.

For the restricted set - in order to characterise space-dependent response to vague tasks. But, I'm afraid you won't have a sufficient sample.

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#53
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 5:36 AM

Now I understand why you still have no GA's

But it gives a way better explication of our existence.

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#54

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 6:02 AM

Being trained in simple decent statistics I have to inform you that you somehow abused the data you had.

You should never have replaced the planar location with 3D locations.

Within a band of -400m to + 9000m we all live on the surface ot the earth. As long as you don't take the height above sea level of our capitals just don't do anything with it.

Just work with the Longitude and Latitude and assume someone living west of Greenwich living more than 180° east of it.

Just make the average of the two figures and the result is again a location on the sphere.

Now we can discuss wheter our capital is a good reference for our average location, for my little country I agree (Brussels is only 40km from here), but using Washington DC as the location for our average US friends is perhaps a few miles of the reality. (a good portion of our subscribers reside in CA which is a few hours drive from DC)

It would be great if we could add files to the threads and each do our own Minitap analysis.

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#55

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 6:07 AM

Kris,

If you are to analyse the CR4 subset re geographical location should you not weight (or derate) the population according to the natural population of each member country. It is only natual that say, India, USA and maybe China CR4 membership will have a larger population simply because the country populations are larger.

If the CR4 membership was representative of normal country population you would be determining the "centroid co-ordinates" of world population. In fact that would be an interesting exercise, where lies the co-ordinates of the world population ?

And then, if you want to find the inverse - http://www.ubasics.com/dighole/

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#56
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 6:24 AM

Mea culpa maxima

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#57
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:37 AM

Just work with the Longitude and Latitude and assume someone living west of Greenwich living more than 180° east of it.

Just make the average of the two figures and the result is again a location on the sphere

hmmm...Suppose you have only the equator to deal with. A population at 45o East, and a population at 315o East (ie 45o West). Your proposition would average them out to a location of 180o. Not quite true, methinks. You cannot use a reference grid on the sphere surface that has a zero start point and 360 (or whatever) at the other end. x,y,z is the way to go, though it's better to define direction cosines to each axis. More on that later.

My centre of gravity approach was intended as an analogy for people to visualize the problem. The result would inevitably end up somewhere pretty absurd (perhaps I should say 'hellish'), though it's a reasonable first method. If the populations were considered as point weights on the inside of a spherical surface, the sphere would roll so that Mali was lowest. In a somewhat dubious way, it represents the location that most of the members (that I used) are closest to.

Hight above sea level is not considered at all, neither is the oblateness of Earth. I'm simply using CR4's membership of country data as input for analysis of data points on the surface of a sphere. To cut down the data for anyone mad enough to contest my final results, I've made generalizations. The capital city is use for each country, although I felt it more amusing to use Troy, NY, for our American chums (stops the Texans from screaming for my blood to loudly)

I'll remedy any gross mistakes in my tabulation of city locations, though any change in numbers who sport their national flag is insignificant to the overall problem.

Fear not, I intend to impose a large amount of international mixing in the final analysis. Whether America moves towards Europe, or the other way around, remains to be seen. Tempting as it is, I shall ignore the fact that we have Obama visiting early next month.

I shall leave a very ambiguous clue as to the nature of the real problem. (Enjoy, Del !)

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#58
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:42 AM

Patience, dovy......patience......

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#59
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:42 AM

Let's meet this afternoon in the bar near the CR4 center of gravity and discuss this over a pint.

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#60
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:46 AM

I might have to invert the the Southern Hemisphere to get the beer at a reasonable temperature

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#61

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:47 AM

Hi Kris, after all a nice presentation on how to get lost in data.

But never forget: a statistician drowns in a river with an average depth of only 1m.

Which you have nicely proven.

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#62
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:55 AM

The only problem will be: you will not get beer served near you're center, another good reason to tweak the data seriously.

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#63

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 7:58 AM

I discovered the reason for world over recession!!!

Engineers are not working,

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#64
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:00 AM

Hi AussieBob,

It would be fairer to do so, but involve a lot more work (I hate inputting data, and just 36 countries was more than enough). The stated thread title is bit diversionary. There are 36 countries used and 355 members in total. The 355 members are more significant to my goal, and assigning them to one city in each country is a short cut to my goal. I'm being very slippery about what it is, but have explained why within the thread (maximize input from different people). The end result will be a reasonably good answer to the question as posed. It will become clearer in due course.

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#65
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:06 AM

Nope, marketing and production can't handle the real work load we can produce so from time to time we have to prioritize and give them a possibility to catch up.

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#66
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:10 AM

If I extend a line thru the c.o.g. I might........

I mentioned using direction cosines in a Cartesian reference system. Think more along the lines (so to speak) of the angle between two points on a sphere......I won't be inverting the Southern Hemisphere, the thought of a bigger EU is downright scary.

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#67

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:41 AM

Greetings.

Now if you squeezed all of the continents together the center of land mass would be the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

If that is center how does it run out?

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#68

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:42 AM

A little reminder: Boston, Massachusetts is the center of the universe:

http://www.universalhub.com/glossary/hub.html

Just ask anybody that lives there.

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#69

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:42 AM

it seems like you are working for big brother and invading what little privacy and dignity we have left.

I am sure your handlers requested this information to conspire against the countries haven't the most engineers, as it is not fair to the 3rd world countries with less.

Perchance, your ultimate nefarious scheme is to force engineers from The US and India to these emerging countries.

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#70

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:45 AM

Hi Kris,

It is good analysis but not a true picture of location of Engineers in the globe. Reason being many nations do not speak English, such as Europe, China, Thailand,Russia etc.so they are not members of this forum.So it is summary of English speaking Engineers.

Suresh.Sharma.

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#71
In reply to #68

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 9:02 AM

I hope you haven't attempted to revaeal this to the good people of Texas

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#72

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 9:02 AM

I am sure that we are somewhere in the middle of the Indian...............er Pacific...................or was that the Atlantic ocean..............no...........its the Strait of Hormuz..............on the good ship "Venus".............better watch out out for those bloody Yankee subs though, or we'll all be in shit sea!!!!!!!!

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#73
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 9:09 AM

As you'll see, so far I've focussed everybody into Mali. In a way that might be quite a good thing !

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#74
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 9:24 AM

That's very true, suresh sharmer.

If I had the language skills, I'd love to read some sites run by/for non English speaking engineers. I'm sure there must be some good ones out there. It would be equally true to suggest that many CR4 members don't' wish to have a national flag alongside their avatar picture, or to give a location. However, the lack of that information does not interfere with what is a generalized statistical problem using a data set that happened to be readily available.

As I recall, CR4 Admin are very open to request from anybody who would like to see their national flag available under the user groups. If anybody is in the position of wanting a user group for their country, a message to Admin would probably result in a positive response (I urge anybody doing so to first check if their country is represented within the 'User Group' listing on the right of screen). Registered members can subscribe to an existing User Group by following the screen menu.

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#75
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 9:37 AM

Ah so, after this past winter here in PA, Mali sounds wonderful.

Thanks for the link, now to pack for travel to a new gig somewhere in the world.

Later.

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#76
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 10:18 AM

Read this and you will realize that there is no discernible "center of the universe". Thusly, Boston does not actually exist, sorry Bricktop.

Where is the centre of the universe?

There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a "Big Bang" about 14 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion. It is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualised as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space. The whole universe itself is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.

In 1929 Edwin Hubble announced that he had measured the speed of galaxies at different distances away and had discovered that the further they were away from us the faster they were receding. This seems to suggest that we are at the centre of the expanding universe, but it must be remembered that motion is relative. If the universe is expanding uniformly according to Hubble's law it will appear to do so from any galaxy.

If we see a galaxy B moving away from us at 10,000 km/s, an alien in galaxy B will see our galaxy A moving away from it at 10,000 km/s in the opposite direction. If there is another galaxy C twice us far away in the same direction as B we will see it moving at 20,000 km/s and the alien will see it moving at 10,000 km/s.

A B C from A 0km/s 10,000km/s 20,000km/s from B -10,000km/s 0km/s 10,000km/s

So, from the point of view of the alien at B everything is expanding away from it, which ever direction it looks in, just the same as it does for us.

The Famous Balloon Analogy.

A good way to help visualise the expanding universe is to compare space with the surface of an expanding balloon. This analogy was used by Arthur Eddington as early as 1933 in his book The Expanding Universe. It was also used by Fred Hoyle in the 1960 edition of his popular book The Nature of the Universe. Hoyle wrote, "My non-mathematical friends often tell me that they find it difficult to picture this expansion. Short of using a lot of mathematics I cannot do better than use the analogy of a balloon with a large number of dots marked on its surface. If the balloon is blown up the distances between the dots increase in the same way as the distances between the galaxies."

The balloon analogy is very good but needs to be understood properly otherwise it can cause more confusion. As Hoyle said "There are several important respects in which it is definitely misleading." It is important to appreciate that three dimensional space is to be compared with the two dimensional surface of the balloon. The surface is homogeneous with no point which should be picked out as the centre. The centre of the balloon itself is not on the surface and should not be thought of as the centre of the universe. If it helps you can think of the radial direction in the balloon as time. This was what Hoyle suggested, but it can also be confusing. It is better to regard points off the surface as the balloon as not being part of the universe at all. As Gauss discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, properties of space such as curvature can be described in terms of intrinsic quantities which can be measured without needing to think about what it is curving in. So space can be curved without there being any other dimensions outside. Gauss even tried to determine the curvature of space by measuring the angles of a large triangle between three hill tops.

When thinking about the balloon analogy you must remember that. . .

  • The 2-dimensional surface of the balloon is analogous to the 3 dimensions of space.
  • The 3-dimensional space in which the balloon is embedded is not analogous to any higher dimensional physical space.
  • The centre of the balloon does not correspond to anything physical.
  • The universe may be finite in size and growing like the surface of an expanding balloon but it could also be infinite.
  • Galaxies move apart like points on the expanding balloon but the galaxies themselves do not expand because they are gravitationally bound.

... but if the Big Bang was an explosion

In a conventional explosion material expands out from a central point. A short moment after the explosion starts the centre will be the hottest point. Later there will be a spherical shell of material expanding away from the centre until gravity brings it back down to Earth. The Big Bang as far as we understand it was not an explosion like that at all. It was an explosion of space, not an explosion in space. According to the standard models there was no space and time before the big bang. There was not even a "before" to speak of. So, the Big Bang was very different from any explosion we are accustomed to and it does not need to have a central point.

If the big bang were an ordinary explosion in an already existing space we would be able to look out and see the expanding edge of the explosion with empty space beyond. Instead we see back towards the big bang itself and detect a faint background glow from the hot primordial gases of the early universe. This Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is uniform in all directions. This tells us that it is not matter which is expanding out wards from a point but rather, it is space itself which expands evenly.

It is important to stress that other observations support the view that there is no centre to the universe, at least in so far as observations can reach. The fact that the universe is expanding uniformly would not rule out the possibility that there is some denser, hotter place that might be called the centre, but careful studies of the distribution and motion of galaxies confirm that it is homogeneous on the largest scales we can see, with no sign of a special point to call the centre.

The cosmological principle

The idea that the universe should be uniform (homogeneous and isotropic) over very large scales was introduced as the "cosmological principle" by Arthur Milne in 1933. Not long before that, it had been argued by some astronomers that the universe consisted of just our galaxy and the centre of the Milky Way would have been the centre of the universe. Hubble put an end to that debate in 1924 when he showed that other galaxies exist outside our own. Despite the discovery of a great deal of structure in the distribution of the galaxies most cosmologists still hold to the cosmological principle either for philosophical reasons or because it is a useful working hypothesis which no observation has contradicted. Nevertheless, our view of the universe is limited by the speed of light and the finite time since the big bang. The observable part is very large but it is probably very small compared to the whole universe, which may even be infinite. We have no way of knowing what the shape of the universe is beyond the observable horizon and no way of knowing whether the cosmological principle has any validity on the largest distance scales possible.

In 1927 Georges Lemaître found solutions of Einstein's equations of general relativity in which space expands. He went on to propose the big bang theory with those solutions as a model of the expanding universe. The best known class of solutions that Lemaître looked at were the homogeneous solutions now known as the Friedman-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) models. (Friedmann found the solutions first but did not think of them as reasonable physical models). It is less well known that Lemaître found a more general class of solutions which describe a spherically symmetrical expanding universe. These solutions, now known as Lemaître-Tolman-Bondi (LTB) models describe possible forms for the universe which could have a centre. Since the FLWR models are actually a special limiting case of the LTB models we have no sure way of knowing that the LTB models are not correct. The FLWR models may just be good approximations which work well within the limits of the observable universe but not beyond.

Of course there are many other even less uniform shapes the universe could have with or without an identifiable centre. If it turned out to have a centre on some scale beyond the observable universe that might turn out to be just one of many centres on much larger scales, just as the centre of our galaxy did before.

In other words; although the standard big bang models describe an expanding universe with no centre, and this is consistent with all observations, there is still a possibility that these models are not accurate on scales larger than we can observe. Our ignorance about the real answer to the question "Where is the centre of the universe?" is complete.

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 12:10 PM

I hate to tell you (not really), not so smart:, but the page I looked at said "copyright" in red letters at the top.

oh-oh .......Might be best to go confess any sins to Admin. I'm not saying anything to them, but they tend to notice these things. Might be better to plead temporary insanity to Mr Leonard before he puts you in the naughty chair . It'll play a whole lot better if you let him know yourself and plead for forgiveness. He's not gonna like his Sunday being interupted........

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#78
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Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 12:27 PM

but it wasn't temporary insanity, I'm always this way!

I never claimed that I wrote it, just borrowed it for a sec.

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#79
In reply to #8

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 1:30 PM

Kris-

I find it difficult to accept the concept of averaging a surface effect over the volume of the entire sphere. Furthermore, you seem to have ignored those geopolitical areas with no participation at all. And what about areas like Myanmar or Vietnam, where one might encounter participants were it not for government censorship? Should you not provide "negative" scores for these?

I do not have as much spare time as you, so it is difficult for me to develop an appropriate surface distribution model on the sphere. But, then, one also needs to address the issue that the earth is not a perfect sphere (those of you in the Northern and Southern hemispheres reportedly are a lot closer to the center than those of us located nearer the equator).

It would appear that your analysis has oversimplified the situation, resulting in answers of questionable value...Please do not make any major modifications to the geometry of the earth until you have had time to review the issues I have raised...

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#80
In reply to #45

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 1:35 PM

Another thought- use polar coordinates instead of cartesian. That way, you hold R constant and analyse the distribution of the two angles for each location...

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#81

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 1:50 PM

Kris,

I think you have too much spare time too..

You've made a hard work, but it reminds me the classical statistics joke: Statistics is the science which demonstrates that when I eat a roasted chicken and you eat nothing, we both have eaten an average of half roasted chicken!!!

The study doesn't reflects "where the average CR4 member is from", that doesn't need to take into account any coordinates, just countries or cities. You've calculate just the geographical place whose average distance to the CR4 members home is minimum. Quite different thing.

Very interesting and funny anyway

Kind regards

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#82

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 2:37 PM

Kris,

Joining CR4 in March 2007, in 2 years you are averaging more than 11 posts a day and you want to hide from the onslaught?

You can not. I diagnose you with CR4 fever, a welcome one

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#83
In reply to #71

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 3:28 PM

Oh ya, Texas. I know how to get there, it's 2 exits past Neptune, on the left.

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#84

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 3:34 PM

Without knowing the true and final intent of the analysis, I would refuse to perform any calculations, unless you are paying me by the hour. I can't understand why you would choose to group averages by city, and without knowing the purpose, that will lead to a skewed result. Average location does not necessarily have anything to do with capital cities, or political definitions of any kind.

I tend to agree with Gwen, in leaving the map flat. I don't see much value in the spherical representation.. again, there are potential distortions either way, that can't be resolved unless you know what the purpose is. Accuracy is dependent upon the answer being sought, as the methods and structuring of the data are driven by relevant conditions.

Chris

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#85
In reply to #76

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 3:38 PM

Just another conspiracy theory, probably dreamed up at Princeton.

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#86

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 3:48 PM

Boredom can come in various forms.

You seem to be mathematically adept, could you not use the resources you have for some thing useful? Maybe teaching high school slow learners who are struggling with math?

I tried really hard but could not figure out the purpose of your exercise.

By the way , you missed my country on your listing.

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#87
In reply to #86

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 4:11 PM

Entertainment comes in many forms, and it's not for you to decide what another man enjoys.

Many are glued in front of the boob tube today watching mindless sit-coms. Today is also a big day if your into college basketball. Do you consider that a more worthwhile pursuit?

Actually using your brain for whatever you find interesting, will keep you from drooling in your sneaker for a few more years anyway.

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#88

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:47 PM

What????????????????

Timbuktu? Huh?

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#89

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 8:57 PM

So you put us on the map physically.

Can you also make a table where we are located mentally?

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#90

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 10:22 PM

Hi Kris,

WELL, you are a busy guy, but I LIKE IT . Despite the comments to the contrary, to me it looks more like ENTERTAINMENT ... I find myself doing this kind of 'stuff' all the time ... some proves useful, some nonsense, but all is (for me) interesting, AND it keeps me from falling asleep in the brief intervals between interruptions, phone calls, and real work. (and, before anyone laughs, this 'playing' has netted a couple of patents and a lot of design tools / software over the years, so I encourage it in my staff.)

For me, however, this data would be more interesting if it netted some geographic information that could overlay other industrial, economic, or population data. For instance, if there seemed to be a CR4 'hotspot', and that coincided with some form of R&D 'hotspot', that might be interesting. Or if the data seemed consistent with regions of population density, or economic density, or political stability (or, or, or), that, too, might be interesting.

We've all see these types of maps for Olympic Games, Political Elections, Population Density, etc. It might be interesting to see the same for CR4 members, or CR4 contributions, or even CR4 Good Answers. Not sure what it would actually tell us, BUT, seeing 'white zones' might actually promote others to 'join' to 'tilt the map' a little. Who knows?

Anyway, Kris ... I like the idea of knowing who's where

Kind regards ....

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#91

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 11:04 PM

OK, for another approach:

Imagine you are a ham radio operator. You own a station with a beam antenna (aerial, to you Brits) that you can rotate to talk with other hams all around the world. You have logged thousands of contacts. One day, while going through your log books, you begin to wonder if all of your contacts could be averaged by location.

You get an azimuthal equidistant map of based on your location. You mark the location of every contact, then draw a vector from your location to each contact. Then you average all the vectors.

Of course, this takes days. You don't have time for regular meals, so you resort to a diet of nuts. To seek relief from the mental stress, you sign up for a membership on an interesting website, CR4. You choose a picture of a squirrel as your avatar, for that best expresses how you see yourself.

Then you get to wondering about that bathtub you smashed up. Does the distribution of the pieces resemble the distribution of your contacts?

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#92

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/22/2009 11:22 PM

I just figured out what Kris is doing. A real estate search for the location of the CR4 assisted living home. Won't that be fun? All of us together in one supervised facility.

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/23/2009 1:11 AM

Fun for whom? Not the Supervisors. But heaven for us!

Semi controlled experiments of rubber vs aluminum bullets, repeating crossbow darts, low friction boccie ball games, invention of the week, Tesla's cabal, subscription to all the major scientific journals (staff will try to fake reading those), the area of dead languages, gearhead garage, CR4 senate et al publishings, Beowulf cluster hacks. etc.

Like I said heaven.

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#94
In reply to #93

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/23/2009 2:37 AM

And me in all those gadgets , It will be fun for CL.

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#95

How does CR4 track location?

03/23/2009 3:12 AM

So, how does CR4 track location? I just went to the location here "South Africa" and noticed that I was not listed. In my user profile I have my location as "Cape Town, South Africa". There is no other way to indicate location in the Edit Profile page. Are there format rules for enter one's location? From what I have discovered, there may be many more users whose location is not flagged in your survey.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: How does CR4 track location?

03/23/2009 3:20 AM

OK. I just discovered that to be affiliated to a country one needs to join that country's User Group. So I'll go ahead and do that...

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#97

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/23/2009 3:37 AM

Hi Kris,

It seems reactions are quite hot and comical too.But do not worry I appreciate your efforts and data gathered, some one may not like the findings but some one can make use of it.Probably CR4 Admin can use it. I had been recommending my friends in India to be members and acquire sea of technical knowledge from this Forum.

Suresh Sharma.

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#98
In reply to #78

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/23/2009 3:52 AM

'borrowed' ? I usually apply the term 'liberated'

Are you sitting down ?........well......I was just having a bit of fun......seeing if I could get you to go knock on the Headmasters office......."Please, Sir......Ever so sorry.........I bought some gum into school........one of the other boys told me it was naughty........is it true about the cane?..... please....didn't know.. I I " "What the crap are you blabbering on about, nss ? Can't you see I'm enjoying my doughnuts. Bugger off you pillock. They've all got gum, and I know it damn well. I've half a mind to give to give you a damn good thrashing, just for falling into that one. For Gods sake, learn to hide it like the others do"

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#99
In reply to #86

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/23/2009 4:03 AM

I'd love to indulge you, djacob. As far as I know, "Caribbean" doesn't' count as a country. If you were of a mind to request a new member country, complete with flag, I'd be happy to include it in any further analysis. You need to apply here.

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#100
In reply to #80

Re: Is the average CR4 member in Timbuktu ?

03/23/2009 4:11 AM

That is exactly what I meant with keep the location on the globe.

(Latitude and longitude are a polar coordinate system)

As soon as you start working in a carthesian system the center of our activities will move to the middle of the earth.

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