Texas outline

Best. Comment. Ever.

29 May 2009
So this morning I threw a new load of data collection experiments up on Mechanical Turk. Among other things, I'm giving people long lists of pairs of words (i.e. "apple/fruit") and asking them to rank how typical the first word is among members of the second. In my instructions I give an example, using religion:

For example, you might rate 'Christianity/Religion' as a 7, because Christianity is a very typical religion, 'Humanism/Religion' as a 3, because Humanism is a somewhat unlikely religion, and 'Pastafarianism/Religion' as a 1, because Pastafarianism isn't like other religions at all.
This afternoon I recieved the following angry email:

Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

An Amazon Mechanical Turk user is contacting you from the Amazon
Mechanical Turk website.  Please review the message below and respond to
the message as you see fit.

Amazon Mechanical Turk
1200 12TH AVE South, SUITE 1200
SEATTLE, WA 98144-2734 USA
Message from Susan XXXXXX (XXXXXXXXXXXX@msn.com)
 I cannot in good conscience work on your hits, although I am one of the higher educated 
monkeys around here with a high acceptance %.

 Who are you to decide Pastafarianism rates a 1 on the religion scale? That is bordering 
on blasphemy, and showing extreme bias against His Noodly Appendage. May he forgive 
you. Ramen.
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