Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spot the geologists

Back when the minerals boom was booming, I and many other geologists had stories of being approached for employment in unusual circumstances. For example, in July of 2007, my Managing Director and I were buying groceries for a field expedition in a Mt. Isa supermarket. A random guy walking down the aisle greeted us, allowed us to introduce ourselves, and then asked me if I wanted to come work for him. This was despite the fact that I had just introduced the MD as my boss, and he was standing right there.

I don’t know how he identified me as a geologist. A theoretician might be able to derive a geologist spotting formula (GSF) from the laws of thermodynamics, but I’m an experimentalist. So I will experiment. The following link is my public facebook page.

Note! Updated methodology!

If you, the reader, are on facebook, you will be able to click through to my friend list. Don't do this! Friend lists can contain information that may bias your picture analysis.
Instead, view the selection of 8 random friends of mine who will be apparent in the public page. In order to participate in this geologist spotting experiment, all you have to do is the following:

1. Look at the sidebar of this blog to determine my blogular email address, and compose an email to me.
2. Look at the pictures of some of my friends.
3. Cut and paste their names into your email, followed by a YES if you think they are a geologist, or a NO if you think they are not.
4. If you know the person, please say KNOWN instead of typing yes or no.

If you're really bored you can go through my whole friend list, but a few dozen per person ought to be plenty. Clicking the reload/refresh button on your browser will change the 8 people shown on the public page. So just reload a few times until you feel you've sampled a representative number of people, or until you get bored.

In order to give some vague semblance of privacy to all the friends of mine whom I have just turned into an online viewing gallery, please don’t post any names in comments. Use email instead (comment moderation is now on, just in case). I’ll post statistical spotting results devoid of personal identifiers as data come in.

So don’t be shy, don’t lurk, and please participate in this geologist spotting experiment. Otherwise, we’ll have to defer to the theorists for possible explanations. Statistics on how many of my friends I piss off by doing this may or may not be collected.


Dr. Lemming said...

OK folks,
So far y'all are batting exactly .500

If you want to include some information about yourself when you email me, that would be great. For example, I can then compare whether geologists are better or worse at geospotting than other professions are at spotting us.

McMoots said...

What you need is to make this a Facebook app.

"5 people think you are a geologist! Click here to see which of YOUR friends is a geologist."

C W Magee said...

Once I have at least three responses, I'll let people know how well they did, if they ask.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, "but you don't look like a geologist". I've decided that from now on when anyone says that, I'll make them give me a dollar.

I'm really curious whether or not I get pegged.

Dr. Lemming said...

OK, so far y'all are batting .483 overall.

For female friends, y'all are picking at .500 while male friends are being picked at .464. But with only 58 total guesses, that difference is not statistically significant.

I can't break it down on by gender gender of the reader, as so far only women have been game enough to guess.

A number of people have complained that facebook pictures are not much to go on. They have a point. For example, on facebook, no-one can see your shoes.

EliRabett said...

When we go to conferences, Ms. Rabett plays spot the nerd on the street. She is too good at it.