OK, so some mathy dudes have gotten together and developed a (highly subjective) ranking system that quantifies a thing’s overall quality in terms of its fans awfulness. Their chart, Ruined By Its Fans, covers a wide variety of activities, bands, directors, hobbies, events, and other pop culture elements. For example, the work of Stanley Kubrick they’ve rated 9.17 (out of 10) with the level of awfulness displayed by Kubrick fans at only 4.0, lending the director’s oeuvre a final score of 5.17 (and creating a degree of ruin of almost 44%). So Kubrick gets off fairly easy in this system, because the work is rated so highly while the fans are not entirely obnoxious. Less positively ranked were fans of the Grateful Dead and yoga (both 8.0),with veganism and Sublime fans dissed at 9.33.
Worst fans of all, though? Bicycling at 10. Hmm. They’ve rated bicycling 8.83 on the quality scale, which means fans of the activity ruin it by 113%. This score also gives it the highest “tragedy” score on the list: 49.3 (the lowest tragedy score of 26.85 goes to Family Guy, which evidently means it has both the lowest quality relative to its terrible quality of fans—so not much of a tragedy that it’s ruined.) These dudes evidently know some TERRIBLE bike advocates. I’d put Burning Man fans at 10 instead (I feel Burners got off too easy at 8.67; see ex-roommate who owes me $600). However, I just watched Premium Rush, a truly terrible movie that opens with a bike messenger’s voiceover “I like to ride. Fixed gear, steel frame, no brakes. The bike cannot coast. The pedals never stop turning. Can’t stop. Don’t want to either.” Ugh, nooo, you did not just say that, Hollywood movie, 7 years after the fixie fad started auuuughghhgh. I have an idea about where these dudes got their 10 rating, is what I’m saying.
Maybe the raters got stuck in traffic because of a Critical Mass rides. I fricking hate those rides, as I vividly remember just trying to get home after working late but having to wait while the parade of attention whores (many of whom looked a lot like vegan Burners) slowly passed by. And because I was on a bike, they called out “join us, join us!” NOPE; I am a grownup. I am 100% pro-bicycle and 100% anti-attention-whoring. See also: the always hilarious and candid BikeSnob NYC for extensive thoughts about who is obnoxious in the bicycle world and precisely how and to what extent.
I have to admit, the first thing I checked the list for was Firefly, and was relieved to see its absence. I know Firefly fans can be obnoxious in their enthusiasm, but I do love it so! The discussion about this rating system over at The Hairpin highlights the ruiner-ness of the raters themselves: if you love something, why not try to share it with one and all? This rating system is kind of ruining enthusiasm. At any rate, here’s the underpinnings of the rating system.
For those of us who prefer to spend our days enjoying things, it is a fact of life: Lots of disagreeable people like things that might otherwise be pretty cool. In early 2012, Tag, David, and I, using nothing but a Google doc and our combined grade-school knowledge of mathematics, attempted to quantify the ways in which these madding crowds might be messing up our lives. Then, because we are men with (as has been established) lives, we let the data sit for awhile.
What we ended up with, though, is the group of criteria what you’re seein’ here:
- Name: The items used in this survey are from a big list we created that, as far as I can remember, consisted of things we thought might have particularly objectionable fans, or things we thought might have a high disparity between actual quality and fan quality.
- Average Quality: The three of us each rated our opinion of the thing’s quality, independent from the quality of its fans, from one to ten. This is the average of those numbers.
- Fan Quality: See above, except this is gleaned from our rating the quality of the fans, independent from the quality of the thing.
- Final Quality: The average quality minus the fan quality. Simply put: This is the overall percieved quality of the thing, assuming the fans’ opinions are weighted equally with the quality of the thing itself.
- Degree Of Ruin: Finding out what percentage of the Average Quality the Final Quality is and subtracting it from a hundred. Simply put: The percentage of the thing’s innate quality that its awful fans knock off.
- Level of Tragedy: The result of the following equation:(Average Quality*5) + (Degree Of Ruin/22)This weights the Average Quality and Degree Of Ruin to a maximum of 50 points apiece, for a potential total of 100. The higher the original quality, and the higher the degree to which the thing is ruined by its fans, the bigger a tragedy it is. Simply put: The numerical amount, from one to 100, from which a thing’s fans detract from our perception of it.