Tag Archives: Statistics

Online Dating Study

AKIE BERMISS: We’re all very sensitive about what makes us attractive, aren’t we? As a pretty average looking guy (or less-than, depending who you ask!) I’ve always been pretty curious about what an attractive woman could possibly be seeing that would make her want to be with me. Especially with so many better-dressed, better-shaped, better-acting candidates available. I suppose there are all sorts of prickly issues there if you’re talking about male attractiveness in our patriarchal society with a heteronormative bias. Nevertheless, I manage to find admirers somehow. Yet a recent article on Jezebel.com has me reconsidering what I may or may not have been doing right. The article uses female pictures on a popular online dating sight to create an algorithm that correlates levels of beauty to levels of interest from men. And the results are kind of weird.

ZOË RICE: Good gracious, OK Cupid Blog. Do you know how long it took for me to be able to look at a photo of myself and think, “Hey, that’s cute”? “Cute” was that lofty goal throughout my adolescent years and even my blossoming early 20′s. And then I got there. I got to cute! And now you’re telling me that’s not good enough? OK Cupid, are you trying to make us all neurotic freaks?
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The Value of Baseball Statistics

SAM BORDEN: As a sort of tangent off the discussion on Derek Jeter and 3,000 hits, a debate arose over the true value of baseball statistics – which, in and of itself, probably is sort of pointless because baseball statistics clearly have at least SOME value (without them, what would we look at on the scoreboard?) In this case, though, the argument stemmed from a comparison of Jeter to Babe Ruth.

As someone who has covered the game for a (somewhat) long time, I’ve never quite understood the fascination baseball (and, I guess, its fans) have with their milestone numbers. At this point, 3,000 hits (and 500 HR) just don’t mean the same thing that they did before and that’s OK — neither does 1,000 yards rushing or 300 yards passing in football. Getting to 300 wins for a pitcher has lost some value, too, but in the other direction; philosophies have shifted so much that it’s significantly less possible, as opposed to significantly more. The games change, right along with the players.

ERIC NUSBAUM: There are indeed a million reasons that statistics are flawed. But they are also, aside from film clips and newspaper columns, basically all we have to go on. And whether or not we enjoy — or even fully understand — all of the new statistics, we must at least acknowledge the miraculous things they are doing. Stats are the key to furthering our understanding of the game.

What is it with baseball purist’s fascination with statistics? Even before the steroid era went and muddled the apparent real numbers from the inflated ones fans of the game were brooding over the numbers like an obsessive accountant. While baseball statistics help us put players and their performances into some sort of context, they shouldn’t come between the fan and the entertainment of the game, and they certainly shouldn’t be adhered to as a measuring stick among the generations, steroid-era or not. Continue reading

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