Alex Olteanu
Apr 21, 2017 · 2 min read

That is a really nice suggestion. I will try to see how can I actually do that when I will have the time (I’ve just started working on another project).

For me, the tomatometer was quite problematic for two reasons:

  1. It was difficult to integrate it in the framework of my analysis (bad-average-good).
  2. It is vague.

When I researched for the article, I read that the tomatometer represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film.

I found the term “positive” vague, so I researched more, without much success.

On the contrary, my opinion was reinforced by scenarios like these, where two identical ratings are interpreted as positive or negative:

2/5 => positive
2/5 => negative

Now, addressing another issue. I don’t know what you actually understand by “biased”, but to me it sounds a bit harsh for what I’ve done in the article. I’ve made two assumptions:

  1. Movie ratings should reflect movie quality.
  2. Most people experience most movies as being of an average quality.

For 2), the other two main options were:

  • Most people experience most movies as being of a low/high quality.

These other two options seemed really unlikely for me. Plus, for the first one I could actually provide one argument: my own experience.

So the main idea is that I chose to an assumption over another. I wouldn’t call it biased.

This kind of thing happens a lot in science, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to call it a biased approach. For example:

  • In cosmology, when you construct your theoretical model, you may need to pick between these two assumptions: the universe is infinite/finite. You cannot prove true or false neither, so you’ll have to pick one and build a model.
  • In all sciences, it assumed that all phenomena have a cause — sometimes, you observe a phenomenon, and you start searching for its cause, assuming thus that the phenomenon has a cause. You have no proof that that particular phenomenon has a cause, you just assume it does, by induction. It could be that we live in a supernatural world where not all phenomena have a cause — this is the alternative assumption.

I wouldn’t call these approaches biased. For me, “biased” is always associated with something negative. And I tried to do something positive, constructive in this article.

However, if you enlarge the domain of the term’s reference, I guess you can call these approaches biased, as well as my analysis.

    Alex Olteanu

    Written by

    I write data science courses at

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