Tag Archives | Sportz

Moneyball: Sports, Markets, and Statistics

I’m not exactly early to the party on this one. Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball, came out in 2003. I’m a bit of a Michael Lewis fan but I ignored Moneyball for years because I’m not really much of a baseball fan. The bottom line is that you don’t need to be a baseball fan to get something (I would argue a lot) out of this book. If you like baseball, you’ll probably like Moneyball, if you like math/stats/science you’ll probably like Moneyball, if you like business you’ll probably like Moneyball.

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Watch American Soccer: Save the World?

I imagine that many readers of this blog and listeners of Science… sort of wished the US played better with others when it came to foreign affairs. This can probably only happen when this country starts to have more respect for other countries and care about the things they care about; I’m not talking about socialized medicine or vegemite, so relax. I happen to think that if more Americans cared just a little about soccer than we would have a better understanding of world politics.

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Randomness

You’re on a road trip with your buddies and your iPod is the one churning out the tunes, when a Captain and Tenille song comes on.  The guy riding shot gun shoots you a look and skips to the next song.  After that one finishes, there they are again, “Do that to Me One More Time” is killing the good vibes in the car. Skip.  Then, of all things, “Muskrat Love” comes on? “Dude, how much Captain and Tennille do you have on your iPod?”  Turns out you only have a greatest hits album and you have something like 8 days worth of other music on that Jobsian box.  Clearly the iPod can’t generate a random playlist worth a damn.

Noise, chance, whatever you want to call it.  Often times people misunderstand what randomness actually is.   Randomness is a sequence of things such that there is no intelligible pattern or combination.  The problem is we expect that random means that things will be equally spaced out or that there will be “no coincidences.”    In fact, one of the ways you know your are looking at randomness is that there will be repetition or related items in the list.
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