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Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Supercrunchers is a book about statistics.  The main premise is that human beings who rely on their judgment can make serious errors simply because we are blind to our own bias.  It's the old story of numbers don't lie.

Ian Ayres discusses projects and marketing research that have used statistics to come to conclusions.   He goes over some surprising places that they are used from web design, serving up pages in real time and adjusting to whichever pages get the best responses to statistics programs that can choose winning movie scripts.  Personally I'm skeptical of the last.  If statistics can solve the Napoleon Dynamite problem then I'll be on board. Just for the record I love Napoleon Dynamite, hated I Heart Huckabees and was neutral about Lost in Translation.

When I read this book a couple weeks ago I was completely thrilled about it, I blew through it in a couple of days, even staying up a bit late to read it.  Now that time has passed though I'm not so sure it was worth the time.  I guess I'm just getting burnt on pop-econ and need to give this genre a rest for a while.

What genre is leaving you the most unfulfilled lately?

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Hey I appreciate you leaving your thoughts behind! Be well my friend.