## Base rate and mean reversion structure

One decision making suggestion is to start with the base rate, to find a set of comparable circumstances and ask, ‘what typically happens?’ In investing it is to find the price of, say Amazon, and ask how often a company of those characteristics grew at an expected percentage. Rather than start with the idea that… Continue reading Base rate and mean reversion structure

## Three star recruits

The success equation notes that results are combinations of skill and luck. Some parts of life have a larger luck outcome than others. So, to improve, we look at the skill slice. Poker’s appeal is this idea. Play more hands with positive expected value. But not every sport is as clean as poker. Football, for… Continue reading Three star recruits

## Hurdling past covid

One way to think about “adoption” is as series of hurdles. If something is “adopted” it has succeeded by crossing the set of hurdles. There are few food bacteria “adoptions” because of hurdle technology: hot, cold, salt, and acid all make the process harder for food bacteria to survive. Another metaphor for this approach is… Continue reading Hurdling past covid

## Football ’21 favorites or field?

“Between the Chiefs, Bucs, Packers and Bills there’s a fifty percent chance of one of those four teams winning the Super Bowl. In other words, you can have those four teams or the other twenty-eight in the league.” – Cade Massey, Wharton Moneyball, August 2021 Take the other twenty-eight! This idea holds in both sports… Continue reading Football ’21 favorites or field?

## A confusing life expectancy calculation

“Statisticians are sometimes dismissed as bean counters. The sneering term is misleading as well as unfair. Most of the concepts that matter in policy are not like beans; they are not merely difficult to count, but difficult to define…the truth is more subtle yet in some ways easier: our confusion often lies less in numbers… Continue reading A confusing life expectancy calculation

## A confusing life expectancy calculation

“Statisticians are sometimes dismissed as bean counters. The sneering term is misleading as well as unfair. Most of the concepts that matter in policy are not like beans; they are not merely difficult to count, but difficult to define…the truth is more subtle yet in some ways easier: our confusion often lies less in numbers… Continue reading A confusing life expectancy calculation

## Alpha erosion and hot dogs?

Wharton Moneyball is a great podcast. The intersection of sports and business doesn’t do justice to the topics covered. Two events Moneyball does not overlook are the Kentucky Derby and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. During the July 2021 episode, co-host Shane Jensen asked if it’s Joey Chestnut’s technique or some god-given gift that allows… Continue reading Alpha erosion and hot dogs?

## Will there be another “2020”?

Probably. “The fact is we are a more interconnected world. The two main drivers of new pandemics are the two things that are being debated about the origin of this one: animal-human interface and dangerous laboratory work.” – @DrTomFrieden, Wharton Moneyball But let’s consider the case for why there won’t be another 2020. Tyler Cowen writes… Continue reading Will there be another “2020”?

## 3 prompts to being Bayesian

How much should new information matter? Or, is this time different? Because sometimes it’s not. “Merlin (Heidemanns) said that essentially the polls gain more weight. It’s not that we construct a model and weight the polls. We don’t take a weighted average of the polls, we estimate latent parameters and the polls are data. That… Continue reading 3 prompts to being Bayesian

## How to complete next year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball bracket

A quarantine activity in my sister-in-law’s family is buying stocks. Stonks. Gamestonks? Each week, each kid, gets five dollars. They invest in whatever they want. The best returns, to date, are from my niece. She’s 8. Her name begins with ‘T’ so her stock choices begin with ‘T’. She owns Tesla. My three nieces and… Continue reading How to complete next year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball bracket