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Paul Bridger
Attended University of Otago
Lives in Bucharest, Romania
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Paul Bridger

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Anyone else into boardgames? It looks like our favourite space sim might soon also be an awesome massively-multiplayer 3D board game.

Have previous games tried this kind of crowd-sourced decision making before? (Besides twitch-plays-pokemon).

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Justin Bale originally shared:
 
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Classic!
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Absolutely spectacular essay on levels of abstraction. If you have any pretensions whatsoever of being technical, read the hell out of this:

http://worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstraction/
Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction. A Systematic Approach to Interactive Visualization. Bret Victor / October, 2011. "In science, if you know what you are doing, you should not be doing it. In...
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Indeed, mind-blowing stuff. This article pretty much ruined the internet for me for a day or so - everything else was weak by comparison.
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Paul Allen originally shared:
 
Google+ To Pass 10,000,000 Users Tomorrow (on 7/12)

As I promised on Saturday night, I have finished updating my Google+ membership model with new data and re-estimated the Google+ user base.

My surname-based analysis shows that the number of Google+ users worldwide reached 7.3 million yesterday (July 10) – up from 1.7 million users on July 4th. That is a 350% increase in six days. The userbase is growing so quickly that it is challenging for me to keep up, since the number of users of any given surname (even the rare ones I am tracking) seems to be climbing every day.

More impressive than last week's growth is the astonishing growth in users from yesterday at mid-day to tonight -- a 30% jump. My latest estimate tonight shows approximately 9.5 million users. This suggests that 2.2 million people have joined Google+ in the past 32-34 hours.

I project that Google will easily pass 10 million users tomorrow and could reach 20 million user by this coming weekend if they keep the Invite Button available. As one G+ user put it, it is easy to underestimate the power of exponential growth.

My model is simple. I start with US Census Bureau data about surname popularity in the U.S., and compare it to the number of Google+ users with each surname. I split the U.S. users from the non-U.S. users. By using a sample of 100-200 surnames, I am able to accurately estimate the total percentage of the U.S. population that has signed up for Google+. Then I use that number and a calculated ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users to generate my worldwide estimates. My ratio is 1 US user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users. That ratio was calculated on July 4th through a laborious effort, and I haven't updated it since. That is definitely a weakness in my model that I hope to address soon. The ratio will likely change over time.

Since I have been tracking this same cohort of surnames from my first day, I am able to accurately measure growth over time.

I am not claiming perfect accuracy, but I do think the model is sound. A quant has suggested a mathematical formula that I can use to calculate a range of Google users with a 99% level of accuracy, and one of my employees is working on that math now. I hope to include that in future models.

Here is one way to look at my model. Imagine the U.S. government in 2020 has no money left. I know that's hard to imagine, but stay with me. Imagine they wanted to conduct a 2020 census and subsequent decennial censuses with a degree of accuracy (let's say 95%) and to do it on a shoestring budget.

They had complete data for 2010 - the population and growth rates for every city and town in the country. To do 2020, they could just take a random sampling of 100 cities and towns across the U.S. that were representative and conduct the census JUST for those cities every 10 years. If those 100 cities averaged the same growth rates as the rest of the country, then their decennial censuses would be fairly accurate but very inexpensive. (Obviously the US example won't work and shouldn't be tried, since the purpose of the U.S. census is in part to determine Congressional representation - so a complete census must be done in the entire country.)

But my project is like that - a low-budget sampling. I have randomly selected 100 uncommon U.S. surnames and I am tracking the number of Google+ users with those names - updating my counts every 2-3 days. I am assuming that the growth in G+ users with those surnames is similar to the growth in G+ users with the other 150,000 or so surnames in the U.S. If I had resources to include 500 or 1,000 surnames in my sample, then I believe my model would be more accurate. But my time and budget available for this project are small, so it is what it is. And then I take the 2.12 - 1 non-US to US ratio to complete the calculations.

I'm not sure how many more times I'll update this. I do believe it is quite accurate. Much more accurate than a guess. It is based on sound starting data, but some of my assumptions may not be perfect. I look forward to Google announcing actual user numbers, so I can stop working on this in all my spare time. Or, perhaps, someone will discover an advanced query that actually works - that returns unique user profile pages but no pages that contain posts. People keep suggesting queries will work, but so far, I have found that none of them is accurate for user counts.

For reference, here are my earlier posts on this subject:

4.5 million estimate on 7/9 (actually 12:15ish on 7/10)
https://plus.google.com/117388252776312694644/posts/1k85ZNPCu1A

1.7 million estimate on 7/4
https://plus.google.com/117388252776312694644/posts/VuKTMZm9xWy
Google+ is Growing Like Crazy. Report Coming Monday. Probably More than 4.5 Million Users Already On Monday morning I plan to publish my…
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And yet, still no notification. What is your Skype username?
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Sun setting over the Royal Palace. Warsaw.
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I wish I could do this - y'know, without having to put in the effort to learn how.

Glass harp-Toccata and fugue in D minor-Bach-BWV 565
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yeah i still expect that half of the features won't work - haven't had a chance to test yet though
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Fantastic TED talk on the increasing importance and impact of algorithms.

For my money this is how serious AI will (continue) to come into the world: not as code that acts like a person, but as code that acts like a force of nature.

But for the most part it will arise to serve the usual human motives, increased wealth, efficiency and comfort.
TED Talks Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer progr...
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Imaginative. So the methods by which we use to solve intractable problems in the world eventually start to conquer us. Asimov needs to rewrite his rules.
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Just called in a traffic accident. Car hit the centre divider and flipped on it's side. The driver seems to have climbed out and looks okay. I rushed to call rather than running down. It felt like a long time before anyone tried to help, but quite a group of helpful citizens now. :)
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Yeah I kinda knew you were back in Singapore, but your wanderings are often very mysterious. I'm still not sure I believe you! As for me I'm sitting inside my house, listening to the lashings of wind and rain that Wellington loves, soon to descend into the wetness. I'm working at MOH by the way - I'll say hi to your mum. :)
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In his circles
93 people
Have him in circles
600 people
Daz Bradbury's profile photo
Rene Hernandez's profile photo
Benjamin Hogg's profile photo
Giovanni Lanzani's profile photo
Ashu dwivedi's profile photo
Bob Ross's profile photo
Steve Streeting's profile photo
kyle lau's profile photo
Dan Wills's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Programmer
Employment
  • Programmer, present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Bucharest, Romania
Previously
Sofia, Bulgaria - Singapore - Wellington, New Zealand - New Zealand, Sydney, Singapore - Istanbul, Turkey - Sydney, Australia
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Introduction
I make new things.
Bragging rights
Wrote an entire computer game: everything from graphics to AI to physics. Worked for an investment bank. Created a few products/small businesses.
Education
  • University of Otago
    Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, 1997 - 2000
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Gender
Male
Paul Bridger's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Superb burger, cool crowd.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
5 reviews
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