Reading and Thinking Football

Football, including books thereon and idiosyncratic thinking thereabout

On “Analytics”

with 3 comments

Three quotes.

Jon Lauck, in The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History, p.47 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2013): “[Allan] Bogue and other Prairie Historians expanded on this tradition of economic history by promoting the broader use of statistical and quantitative methods. Bogue said statistics were ‘like drug addiction. I realize that I am hooked, regret it periodically, but keep coming back.'” (footnotes omitted)

Richard Feynman:

When we go to investigate it, we shouldn’t pre-decide what it is we’re trying to do, except to find out more about it. I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about. But I don’t have to know an answer, I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell possible.

From Daniel Kahneman, as quoted in Freeman Dyson’s review of Mario Livio’s Brilliant Blunders in the March 6, 2014 New York Review of Books: “We can’t live in a state of perpetual doubt, so we make up the best story possible and we live as if the story were true.”

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Written by Tom Gower

March 8, 2014 at 17:17

Posted in Quote of the Day

3 Responses

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  1. […] what had previously been analyzed largely through anecdata, is even a useful example for us analytics types. Unfortunately, the book is as much hagiography as biography, though. In Coram’s […]

  2. […] Conclusion-Type Things Will Delanie Walker stave off age for another season? Will Craig Stevens and/or Taylor Thompson ever see the ball thrown in their direction? I wish I knew the answers to those and other questions, but I really don’t. I’m expecting continued reasonable usage for Walker and slightly greater usage for Stevens and Thompson in the passing game, but it’s August and there’s still a lot of uncertainty in my mind in terms of what we’re going to see in 2014. All I have are still approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things…. […]

  3. […] my taste. Bonus points to Gleick for ending with approximately the same Feynman quote I used in my On “Analytics” post. The big question is now whether I understand Godelian incompleteness or quantum mechanics; […]


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