Small Data Can Still Be Pretty Cool

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Sure it’s nice to be able to take data sets of 1000 variables and 100,000 observations and do meaningful calculations, but that doesn’t mean finding interesting information is solely the domain of complex algorithms. These are plots that are generated from nothing more than the season’s worth of league results (minus one week and one […]

Balls

First, I hate myself for having done this. But sometime after the Patriots were first caught deflating their balls, Sharp Football Analysis released a trilogy (also here and here) of pieces about the statistical (un)likelihood of how (in)frequently the Patriots fumbled the football. The presupposition being that an underinflated ball is easier to hold on […]

Goldman Sachs Might Be Dumber Than Your Friends

Goldman Sachs’ World Cup predictions were pretty terrible. On the one hand, they correctly predicted three of the four semi-finalists. On the other hand, that’s about the only measure by which they weren’t completely awful. And it doesn’t take a cadre of geniuses to say, “I think the winningest team in the history of the […]

Bin Laden and the 1998 World Cup

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I did a piece for the current issue of Howler about an attempted attack by Osama Bin Laden on the 1998 World Cup in France. I recommend picking up a copy not just because I wrote something in it, but because Howler is impeccably done. Each issue almost seems like a collectible. It’s also the […]