Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday afternoon data dump

Here are some more posts I should probably get around to one of these days:

There is nothing so distinctly middle-brow as the fear of being middle-brow -- yet another TNR edition.

In this excellent NPR piece, advocates claim this test can identify psychopaths but the researcher who developed the test isn't comfortable with the way it has been used. Lots of interesting stat questions here.

I always feel nervous when I disagree with Felix Salmon's analysis of a business model but Kaiser Fung made me feel a little better about this one.

Also from Gelman: If I can find the time, I'd like like to delve into this story about perennial nut-case Satoshi Kanazawa; I'd also like to join in the discussion of this Tyler Cowen post.

I wonder if this TNR writer knows that this practice goes back at least to Hearst (and was the basis for the Hitler allusion in Citizen Kane).

More reasons from Ebert to hate 3D.*

When a rocket scientist I know (this is LA, they're all over the place) heard an interview with James Surowiecki about the Wisdom of Crowds, he commented "wow, they've just discovered standard error." Perhaps now people are starting to realize some of the limitations. There's just not a lot of there there.

*update: Ebert has another post up on the search for the next big thing. His thoughts on the changing economics of the industry are particularly relevant.
Time will tell. What depresses me is that mainstream Hollywood seems to be experiencing a crisis of confidence. For decades there was the faith that if you released a good movie, people might very well buy tickets to it. The traditional pattern was to open it slowly, hope for good reviews, and then "roll it out" more widely.

The economics of television advertising put an end to the theory that an audience might find a movie. Now the movies must find an audience. Big new releases open everywhere at once, and everybody knows they will be available before long on DVD or On Demand . Theaters offer 3D as something you can't get at home (apart from "3D television," about which I am unpersuaded). Now we get rocking and rolling D-Box seats.

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