Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stats make something else interesting (golf)

Along the same lines as my previous post regarding fashion, statistics are making golf interesting.

Slate's "Moneygolf" series
Seven million shots
How golf really works
The dark art of putting

FYI - "Moneygolf" is a reference to Michael M. Lewis' book "Moneyball", which talks about the field of Sabermetrics (statistics applied to baseball).

FYI2 - After recently watching "The Blind Side" (an emotional drama), I was very surprised at first to find out that it was based on a book by Michael Lewis ("an American contemporary non-fiction author and financial journalist"). However, after finding out that there were two story lines in the book - one about the evolution of NFL offensive strategy and one about Michael Oher - I am once again reminded of the changes that occur when a book is transformed into a movie.

Monday, August 9, 2010

But will it make you happy?

Article at the New York Times

New studies of consumption and happiness show, for instance, that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses.

New phrase of the week - "hedonic adaptation"

The website mentioned in the article is most likely:
100 Thing Challenge

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Data can make ANYTHING interesting

Even fashion, which every person who knows a modicum about me would say is something I show extremely little interest in.

Article at the Wall Street Journal

Online retailers, in particular, see every click we make. They know which brands we've peeked at, how long we pondered, and what we actually purchased. They know the time of day and the days of the week that we shop. They know—and record—our color choices, sizes and tastes so that they can recommend clothes that are in tune with our yearnings.

Some of the data confirm regional stereotypes. Southerners bought more white, green, and pink than other regions' residents, for instance, according to data from private-sale site, which caters to young, urban professional women. Now I know, too, why I feel like such a loner wearing brown in Los Angeles, where black, white and gray are preferred.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The value of authenticity

Article at

If I had access to a secret stash of iPhone knockoffs — a phone that worked identically to the real iPhone, but was a bootleg made of inauthentic parts — how much could I charge? Could I sell them for $10 less than the purchase price of a real iPhone? What about 25 percent off? How much is authenticity worth?

This is a great summary line:

There are many blankets in the world. But there is only one blankie. The best brands are blankies.