Hypothetical Automatic Bone Generator   (+6, -5)  [vote for, against]
an excuse for unexplained bones

Ever wonder why your halfbaked idea was boned when there was no anno to explain it?

The Hypothetical Automatic Bone Generator doesn’t apply a random Bone to occasional halfbaked ideas, it simply provides an excuse for unannoed Bones. No more wringing one’s hands in consternation, no more sleepless nights wondering if some aggrieved halfbaker has it out for you because you once boned their anno – the Hypothetical Automatic Bone Generator did it!
-- nuclear hobo, Apr 28 2007

hypothetical Automatic Bone Generator thy name is Autoboner!
-- jhomrighaus, Apr 28 2007

Heck, it could just write in "Violates laws of physics" and be right 80%+ of the time.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 28 2007

(-) The post explains the meaning of the word "autoboner" that occasionally gets tossed around in the site. I don't think that joke gets better if it gets explained or repeated.
-- jutta, Apr 28 2007

The anno by [jhomrighaus] explains *that*. This is not an Autoboner as the Hypothetical Automatic Bone Generator does nothing except exist as an excuse for those mysterious, anonymous bones ...
-- nuclear hobo, Apr 28 2007

The autoboner has a known explanation. There is at least one long-time bakery denizen who uses negative votes to remove ideas from their main reading view that they never want to see again. Thus, if this person decides your idea is uninteresting at first glance, you get autoboned and they never have to see it again, no matter how many times the idea gets cycled.

One might argue that if this person has said opinion about your idea, then a negative vote is appropriate. My personal opinion is that this person is completely misusing jutta's view system.
-- krelnik, Apr 29 2007

//this person is completely misusing jutta's view system//

Burn the heretic! (Seriously)

Hello [krelnik], welcome back - you should have a large cheque to pick up for royalties from your HB help page...
-- Jinbish, Apr 29 2007

krelnik: *this* long-time HB denizen uses the voting system to vote for ideas he likes, and against ideas he doesn't. Sometimes he feels the need to comment, sometimes he doesn't have anything interesting to say (not that that always stops him from commenting, of course!). Since, in most cases, he doesn't feel the need to comment further on ideas he has voted against, his default filter is set to exclude ides he has voted against. He feels that this is a perfectly appropriate use of a) the voting system; b) comments; c) filters.

So this long-time HB denizen thinks it's entirely reasonable for the person you cite to use the system that way.

But I also believe the Autoboner does not actually exist, and is merely a cumulative artefact of the way people interact with web sites. I recall another rating site where only 1 in 20 people voted on the things they saw, and only 1 in 10 of the voters left a comment. I suspect that something similar is at work here: it is easier to vote and pass on than to come up with something to say, so a lot of people will do that, whichever way they are voting.

No one complains, after all, about an Autobunner, yet I know I frequently vote for an idea and move on without comment. (For the record, my current voting record is 4440+/2600-, not counting votes lost in various disk and/or account crashes.)
-- DrCurry, Apr 29 2007


There he is! Burn the heretic!
<runs to get pitchfork>
-- Jinbish, Apr 29 2007

I have to agree with [DrCurry] here. I often have nothing more to say than an electronic shake of my head, or occasionally a grimace of disgust, or a wince at the tortured logic. I don't feel a need to spend MORE time composing an annotation than the poster appeared to put into the original idea. Especially when a google on a couple of key phrases would quicky show the error of their thinking, or a basic understanding of the laws of physics.

These get a bone and a move on.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 29 2007

Who says I don't exist?

--Otto Bownau, Apr 29 2007

-- coprocephalous, Apr 29 2007

I think that as long as printed discourse remains civil, bones, buns, filters and views do not matter.

Now, everyone halfbake nicely together.
-- bungston, Apr 29 2007

Autoboner or not, if you ask a large number of people for their ratings on anything, some significant fraction of them - not half, but not just individuals either - let's say three percent - are going to rate things as if they were completely, utterly, insane, waaay off to one end of the scale. Similarly, if you put almost anything to a public vote, you'll get about three percent voting for the guy in the clown suit who wants to set all the portapotties on fire.

This is normal, and no reason to hunt these people down or increase the amount of arson in your political program. If you have some sort of randomish distribution, there are going to be outliers.

That's why people rely on majorities - not to make sure everybody has the same opinion, but to gauge where the overall interest lies in the presence of noise. I'm merely making the mistake of displaying the noise, which lets people obsess about it.


The "autoboner" explanation is used for two different things: early negative votes, and lone negative votes. Krelnik's model "explains" the early negative votes, but not the lone negative votes - someone like DrCurry is usually going to be in the majority with his value judgements.
-- jutta, Apr 29 2007

//you'll get about three percent voting for the guy in the clown suit who wants to set all the portapotties on fire.//

What party?
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 29 2007

The one lit by the flames of burning portapotties. Bring hard liquor and your rubber nose.
-- bungston, Apr 29 2007

Ah, so a regular thursday night.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 29 2007

Didn't Peter Parker post a link to a photograph he took of The Autoboner a while back? Or has my medication worn off again?

Maybe that's why I keep hearing a hand dryer turning on and off as I browse the HB.
-- Canuck, Apr 29 2007

You can tell when it's the "Real" autoboner by enlarging the fish symbol, if they get in there first. With the Real autoboner, the fish's "eye" only has one white pixel.
-- xenzag, Apr 29 2007

//Krelnik's model "explains" the early negative votes, but not the lone negative votes//

It does if you assume that person's criteria for filtering is something different than their criteria for voting. "I really like or dislike this idea" is not the same thing as "I don't want to see this idea pop up again". The latter might be chosen on a "boring" idea that otherwise would not merit a vote.
-- krelnik, May 02 2007

krelnik: I think the real problem is that you don't trust other people to vote "correctly," whatever that means. In which case, why are you paying any attention to the voting at all?
-- DrCurry, May 02 2007

Yeah, I guess I think "boring" is part of the negative spectrum. It's not going to kill an idea completely, but not being boring is part of what keeps aggressive and depressed people from voting against it, or even ridiculing it explicitly for being dull.

Again, groups are different. At any one point in time, some percentage of halfbakery users is having a bad day. It's not a single person, it's usually not the idea's fault, and there's no point in chasing after it.
-- jutta, May 02 2007

//I think "boring" is part of the negative spectrum//

You have a good point there.

Apropos of nothing in particular, I usually find that if someone is quite vehement in protesting their innocence, usually there is some grain of truth in the original accusation. Just my observation, your mileage may vary.
-- krelnik, May 02 2007

krlenik: ah, yes, as amply demonstrated by Shakespeare in Othello. (Funny how many people quote that play, entirely forgetting that Desdemona *was* entirely innocent and blamefree.)

P.S. If you are referring to me, I have been protesting your bigotry, not my innocence. But I am not the Autoboner - the Autoboner does not exist.
-- DrCurry, May 02 2007

random, halfbakery