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Boaty and the internet
Old 05-08-2016, 11:16 AM   #1
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Boaty and the internet

For those that haven't heard. The UK is building a new polar research ship, and someone had the great idea to sponsor an internet poll to find a name.

The entry with the most votes was Boaty McBoatface, almost 4 times more than the next most popular suggestion. Strangely, they chose a different name.
The UK's new polar research ship is to be named RRS Sir David Attenborough, despite the title "Boaty McBoatface" previously topping a public vote. A website inviting name suggestions had attracted huge interest, with Boaty McBoatface the runaway favourite. But Science Minister Jo Johnson said there were "more suitable" names.
'Boaty McBoatface' polar ship named after Attenborough - BBC News

I think they should have gone with Boaty. It has character.

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Old 05-08-2016, 12:10 PM   #2
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Those scientists need to lighten up and have a sense of humor. Boaty would have been better. And definitely more memorable.

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Old 05-08-2016, 01:36 PM   #3
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In five years, who in the broad public will remember Attenborough? Right.

Boaty McBoatface, the whole world would know. It's what we call a missed opportunity.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:50 PM   #4
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I spend time on boating forums so I watched the whole naming process as it developed. They did use the name, but not for the mother ship, instead one of its remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty McBoatface in recognition of the vote. I am not surprised the still somewhat "stiff upper lip" Brits relished Boaty McBoatface to an Attenborough sub in the end.

Just goes to show once again how questionable public polls can be, especially in today's hyper connected online world. I've seen several Chicagoland best restaurant polls that resulted in "winners" that locals knew were crazy - obviously the result of an (casually) organized campaign to skew the results. Harry Carey's restaurant won an overall best restaurant award years ago with way way,way more total votes than any other restaurant. It's a decent restaurant, but not the best by any definition. Most locals knew it was a hoax - but the source published it as if it was legit.

Unfortunately, quite a few out of towners and special occasion diners were probably misled by the hoaxes.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:55 AM   #5
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Yeah, I think they totally blew it. I mean, sure - when I first saw it I thought it was completely funny and ridiculous. However, it took on a life of its own and would pretty much be the most famous boat on the planet. Great and fantastic publicity for U.K. research. Kids would all want to be taken to see Boaty McBoatface. I'd want to captain the thing!

Now - who gives a crap.
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Old 05-09-2016, 05:11 AM   #6
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If they were not going to use the name, they should not have held the competition. Now nobody will believe them.
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Old 05-09-2016, 05:56 AM   #7
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Idiocracy, here we come.

All is not lost--apparently there is a move to change Sir Attenborough's name to Boaty.

ETA: further research (please someone give me a life) reveals that among Attenborough's accomplishments,

He commissioned Monty Python's Flying Circus, a cult sketch show which made stars out of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam. The show was a global phenomenon, inspiring generations of comedians around the world. In Britain, Python became part of the nation's cultural DNA, encapsulating a recognisably British eccentricity and spawning popular catchphrases and figures of speech.
(source BBC)
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:31 AM   #8
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Naming the ship Attenborough was a great idea. This choice had many votes, too. One of its drones will be named Boaty.

I think the Falcon 9 drone ship was named by a poll: Of course, I still love you. SpaceX webcasts are cute because that phrase gets interjected from time to time.
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:24 PM   #9
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So, will it be called "Bomby McBomberface?"

Air Force Global Strike Command > Library > Name the B-21 Bomber

You KNOW that had to be one of the entries!

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Old 05-10-2016, 05:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I think the Falcon 9 drone ship was named by a poll: Of course, I still love you. SpaceX webcasts are cute because that phrase gets interjected from time to time.
That name actually is a sci-fi reference. Iain Banks the culture series.

So it's actually very much on topic
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:05 AM   #11
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Holding online polls for something like this in 2016 is dumb. "This is why we can't have nice things" because, the internet. Polls online are so easily manipulated that one can't simply hold up the results and go "well this is what people want" because it's rarely true. Groups arrange to bot vote and spam the heck out of things to skew results all the time. A well organized reddit or 4chan push can pretty much take over anything.

That said, given the head of the committee for naming the boat is Boris Johnson's brother, I can't say I'm all that surprised...

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