The Deluge

You probably won't be able to find last weeks (27.2.10 - 5.3.10) edition of The Economist in print, but you can still get the digital version of all articles featured in the special report of managing information at their website. The articles are all really well thought out and clearly show how information management should be a topic on almost everyone's mind. I mean this is way beyond issues of privacy, and moves into what is really so interesting about all that information. Like did you know the Royal Shakespeare Company used data mining to increase subscription rates?

For instance, in the internet companies article, they highlight how Google has developed the most advanced spell-check (which Microsoft had previously spend countless millions) by analyzing misspelled search queries and the links which people follow. Also voice recognition is not about trying to understand what the person is saying but having a ginormous database which allows an algorithm to determine the statistical probability of what you just said. In other words:
"'Understanding' turns out to be overrated, and statistical analysis goes a lot of the way."


Dust off your R manuals, people.

I see no reason why smaller companies with proprietary information (info about subscribers or visitors to film festivals, teatres. Customers at car garages, etc., etc.) can do the same thing. The thing is once you have enough information you're statistical power is already quite good. You don't need a tetrabyte-sized database. It depends on what you want to extract from that information and the know-how to do it.

My completely unreasonable statistics book recommendation is the completely unreasonably priced Fundamental of Biostatistics:

Apparently there's a new edition due this year, which will also be insanely expensive. But other than the price, this book has just about the clearest explanation of fundamental statistical problems I've ever read. By which I mean to say it's actually enjoyable to read. Don't mind that it's biostatistics, you can use the information in any variety of situations.

Get if from your library and start analyzing your own data, kids!



What do you do when you're obsessing about somebody that that gives you mixed signals? Someone who is driving you mad with zero communication? You listen to this song by The Whitest Boy Alive and get over it. That's what you do.

Rollercoaster Ride

It's better that I believe
That it's over,
Waiting everyday for a line,
For a sign from you.

It's a rollercoaster ride
Of emotion
Paralyzing me,
Paralyzing me.

It's better that we build
On the dreams in our own world,
Than a bridge in between the two
That could never hold our weight,
That could never hold our weight,
That could never hold our weight.


Free Audio Books

Lit2Go is a project from Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse. I have no idea what that means but I do know that you can get a massive amount of free audio books, basically all kindergarten to grade 12 for free. Check out the iTunes site for complete books from Dickens, Twain, Montgomery, Wilde, plus tons of fairy and folk tales (Japanese, Slavonic, Western). I discovered this jem of a story from Aesop:
The Kingdom of the Lion

The beasts of the field and forest had a Lion as their king. He was neither wrathful, cruel, nor tyrannical, but just and gentle as a king could be. During his reign he made a royal proclamation for a general assembly of all the birds and beasts, and drew up conditions for a universal league, in which the Wolf and the Lamb, the Panther and the Kid, the Tiger and the Stag, the Dog and the Hare, should live together in perfect peace and amity. The Hare said, "Oh, how I have longed to see this day, in which the weak shall take their place with impunity by the side of the strong." And after the Hare said this, he ran for his life.