berticus's Sift Talk Posts


Here is the link to the raw data:

Below are some descriptive statistics for you. When I have time I might do some funkier statistics. Of course, anyone else is welcome to -- the data are there, go crazy! Note that I am going to assume (probably quite wrongly) that the survey sample is representative of the entire sift audience.

  • AGE: About 60% of sifters are aged between 26-35. The most common age group is 31-35. The oldest sifters are around 60. The youngest sifters are under 15.
  • GENDER: 91% of sifters identify as male. 8% as female. 2% as other.
  • RELATIONSHIPS: Awww, the most common status (40%) is foreveralone.jpg, "single." But, this is followed closely (31%) by "married" and "long term relationship" (18%). 3 respondents are in a relationship with another sifter. I'm taking that to mean either 1) a threesome, or 2) someone has a delusion.
  • COUNTRY: Over half of the sift live in the USofA. The next largest group is Canada (13%), then Germany (6%), Australia (5%), and the UK (5%).
  • TIME: About 40% of us are on the sift for less than half an hour each day. Another 30% are here between half an hour and an hour. 4 respondents reported 5+ hours spent at the sift on average each day. Fucking junkies.
  • AREA: Over half of the sift spend the majority of their time on the front page / sifted zone. Top 15 is the next hot spot, then Unsifted.
  • EDUCATION: We're an educated bunch. Over half of us have, at least, an undergraduate degree. 13% have a Masters, and about 3.5% have a PhD! Nerds...
  • FOOD: Italian > Japanese > Mexican > Chinese > Indian > Thai. (Although, technically, "Other" was the favourite option.)
  • SPAWNLINGS: Over 3/4 of us are currently barren. 1 respondent has >5 children. Please stop reproducing.
  • RELIGIOSITY: Approximately 2/3 of us are atheists. About 16% are undecided (or other). We have a handful of Christians. We have no muslims.
  • DISABILITIES: 90% report no disabilities. Of those who do, they range from physical through mental, and include one of my favourite responses, "I am allergic to bitches like you."
  • OCCUPATIONS: Lots of people in IT, lots of students, some unemployed, and then a bunch of others.
  • DRUGS: 90% of us have tried alcohol, 63% marijuana, 62% tobacco, 35% mushrooms, 31% LSD, 27% cocaine, 24% ecstasy, 23% amphetamine, 12% methamphetamine, and 22% other illicit substances.
  • CHANNELS: *comedy is the clear favourite (34%), followed by *geek (9%) and *politics (8%). (30% of us have a favourite channel that was not one of the ones listed.)
  • SEXUALITY: About two thirds of the sift are exclusively heterosexual. Almost a quarter are predominantly heterosexual and only incidentally homosexual. Every other category is between 0-4%.


♥ Ladies and Gentlemen! ♥

You are invited to take part in the inaugural SIFTER SURVEY. I thought it would be fun to collect and analyse data on our motley crew, so I've haphazardly cobbled together a brief survey.

It is entirely anonymous, in the hopes that anonymity will maximise participation rates and honesty of responses1.

Here is the link, my good fellows:


1 Anonymity might result in troll responses. Please, don't be a troll!

Videosift survey

I think it would be fun to do a Sifter survey. It would be anonymous to maximise participation and honesty in responses. I can happily set the survey up, and make the data publicly available for analysis, and I can do some of the analyses myself (though I am certainly not a statistician).

But what questions would you like to see on the survey? Keep in mind that the survey shouldn't be too long, otherwise no one will do it... so we'll have to cherry pick what we think are the best questions.

Here's some I'd like to see:

- Age
- Sex
- Relationship status
- Country of residence
- Average time spent on the sift per day
- Most visited area of the sift (front page, top 15, unsifted, top comments, sift talk,... other?)
- Level of education (Did not finish high school, high school graduate, undergraduate degree, masters, phd)

(inspired by a survey on reddit... which was just about sex. I guess we could do a sifter sex survey if you want...)

getting around region blocked content with chrome

want to watch region blocked content but don't want to use firefox with modify headers?

get modheader, enable Experimental Extension APIs in chrome://flags and add HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR with some value that will work for the site you're browsing (maybe, or use nslookup on a state university.. or whatever).

don't know if this is old news but i've been waiting for a chrome equiv for a while and hadn't heard of one until now.

here, have some science

Progressive Taxation and the Subjective Well-Being of Nations
by Oishi, S., Schimmack, U., Diener, E.
Using data from the Gallup World Poll, we examined whether progressive taxation is associated with increased levels of subjective well-being. Consistent with Rawls’s theory of justice, our results showed that progressive taxation was positively associated with the subjective well-being of nations. However, the overall tax rate and government spending were not associated with the subjective well-being of nations. Furthermore, controlling for the wealth of nations and income inequality, we found that respondents living in a nation with more-progressive taxation evaluated their lives as closer to the best possible life and reported having more positive and less negative daily experiences than did respondents living in a nation with less-progressive taxation. Finally, we found that the association between more-progressive taxation and higher levels of subjective well-being was mediated by citizens’ satisfaction with public goods, such as education and public transportation.

The Misperception of Sexual Interest
by Perilloux, C., Easton, J. A., Buss, D. M.
In the current study (N = 199), we utilized a speed-meeting methodology to investigate misperceptions of sexual interest. This method allowed us to evaluate the magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest, to examine whether and how women misperceive men’s sexual interest, and to assess individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception. We found strong support for the prediction that women would underestimate men’s sexual interest. Men who were more oriented toward short-term mating strategies or who rated themselves more attractive were more likely to overperceive women’s sexual interest. The magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest was predicted by the women’s physical attractiveness. We discuss implications of gender differences and within-sex individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception.

Religiosity, Social Self-Esteem, and Psychological Adjustment: On the Cross-Cultural Specificity of the Psychological Benefits of Religiosity
by Gebauer, J. E., Sedikides, C., Neberich, W.
The religiosity-as-social-value hypothesis posits that the psychological benefits of religiosity (benefits to social self-esteem and psychological adjustment) are culturally specific: They should be stronger in countries that tend to value religiosity more. Data from more than 180,000 individuals across 11 countries were consistent with this prediction. Overall, believers claimed greater social self-esteem and psychological adjustment than nonbelievers did. However, culture qualified this effect. Believers enjoyed psychological benefits in countries that tended to value religiosity, but did not differ from nonbelievers in countries that did not tend to value religiosity. Replication of this pattern with non-selfreport data would be desirable. Regardless, the results suggest that religiosity, albeit a potent force, confers benefits by riding on cultural values.

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact
by Hodson, G., Busseri, M. A.
Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

Confessions That Corrupt: Evidence From the DNA Exoneration Case Files
by Kassin, S. M., Bogart, D., Kerner, J.
Basic psychology research suggests the possibility that confessions—a potent form of incrimination—may taint other evidence, thereby creating an appearance of corroboration. To determine if this laboratory-based phenomenon is supported in the high-stakes world of actual cases, we conducted an archival analysis of DNA exoneration cases from the Innocence Project case files. Results were consistent with the corruption hypothesis: Multiple evidence errors were significantly more likely to exist in false-confession cases than in eyewitness cases; in order of frequency, false confessions were accompanied by invalid or improper forensic science, eyewitness identifications, and snitches and informants; and in cases containing multiple errors, confessions were most likely to have been obtained first. We believe that these findings underestimate the problem and have important implications for the law concerning pretrial corroboration requirements and the principle of "harmless error" on appeal.

I think there's been a mistake.

Videosift's advertising is broken:

"Meet Girls in Chat Rooms
Flirty girls are fixing dates in chatrooms now. Meet a pretty cutie!"

Besides being amusing... WTF? REALLY? I mean, whatever helps pay the bills, I guess...

The religion paradox

"The religion paradox: If religion makes people happy, why are so many dropping out?
by Diener, Ed; Tay, Louis; Myers, David G.
As we estimate here, 68% of human beings—4.6 billion people—would say that religion is important in their daily lives. Past studies have found that the religious, on average, have higher subjective well-being (SWB). Yet, people are rapidly leaving organized religion in economically developed nations where religious freedom is high. Why would people leave religion if it enhances their happiness? After controlling for circumstances in both the United States and world samples, we found that religiosity is associated with slightly higher SWB, and similarly so across four major world religions. The associations of religiosity and SWB were mediated by social support, feeling respected, and purpose or meaning in life. However, there was an interaction underlying the general trend such that the association of religion and well-being is conditional on societal circumstances. Nations and states with more difficult life conditions (e.g., widespread hunger and low life expectancy) were much more likely to be highly religious. In these nations, religiosity was associated with greater social support, respect, purpose or meaning, and all three types of SWB. In societies with more favorable circumstances, religiosity is less prevalent and religious and nonreligious individuals experience similar levels of SWB. There was also a person–culture fit effect such that religious people had higher SWB in religious nations but not in nonreligious nations. Thus, it appears that the benefits of religion for social relationships and SWB depend on the characteristics of the society. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)"


Let's share some of what we've been listening to lately!


Hi sifters,

One of New Zealand's cities (Christchurch) suffered a major earthquake yesterday. There are various places you can find out more information (,,,,, but if you would like to make a donation to help, you can do so very easily here:


10 reasons why gay marriage is wrong

01) Being gay is not natural. We should always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people should not be allowed to marry.
07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid widows, widowers, or any single parent to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

old. not mine. still lolz.

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