Personal

Empirical Bayes to Estimate NBA Treys

All sports statistics are imperfect measures of a player’s performance. At best, they show relative differences in how well athletes shoot, steal, and rebound. At worst, they are marred by rule changes and outside factors that either exaggerate or handicap certain subgroups of players. The NBA’s measure for three-point accuracy is one of worst kinds of the latter. Between 1995 and 1997, the NBA changed the distance of the three-point line, biasing all future comparisons between generations of players.

What the Critics Got Wrong About Star Wars

A friend recently emailed a group of us to say that his opinion is indeed backed up by data: Star Wars Episode 3, “Revenge of the Sith”, is better than Episode 6, “Return of the Jedi.” Like most right-headed people, I disagree. While I am cautiously optimistic about Episode 7, I have not truly loved a Star Wars movie since the originals. And as it turns out, many of the millions of people on Rotten Tomatoes agree:

The most-viewed non-music YouTube videos

Randal Olson just posted a terrific explanation of the storage significance of Psy’s massive view count along with a chart of the top YouTube videos, which prompted a popular comment from u/promyy: “I’d love to see a chart of most viewed, non-music videos on YouTube.”

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I didn’t have a special coding solution for this; Instead, I just went through a list linked from the Wikipedia article and copy-pasted videos that I felt qualified.

The Political and Public Opinion of Same-Sex Marriage, by State

According to polling data, this is a current map of popular support for same-sex marriage: It is important to note that this map shows where people say they support same-sex marriage, but each state also contains a significant proportion of voters who are either indifferent or unsure. Compare that map to this one of political support in congress and the governor’s office: As you would expect, political support is correlated to public opinion, but not perfectly.