Back to school linkdump

  • Fellow O’s fan Tom Scocca explains why the Red Sox are the new Grateful Dead in the Boston Globe. (Previously on Quomodocumque:  why the Red Sox are John McCain.)
  • David Carlton is moving to Playdom to work for Steve Meretsky.  Steve Meretsky!  The guy who wrote Planetfall!
  • From Baseball Reference:  on August 18. 1998, the Braves got nine hits against the Giants, all doubles.  Will this feat ever be repeated?  About 20% of hits are doubles.  let’s say that for some ballparks, or some batting lineups, the chance a hit will be a double goes up to 1/4.  Then you might figure the chance of nine hits all being doubles would be (1/4)^9, about one in a quarter-million.  (If the chance of a double is 1 in 5, this goes down to one in two million.)  From that point of view, it’s not so shocking; there have been about three hundred thousand MLB games played this century, so why not?  Two problems.  1.  Doubles used to be a lot less common then they are now.  2.  If you hit nine doubles off a team’s pitching staff, it probably means they’re having a terrible day, and it probably means at some point you’re going to hit a home run.  I think a much better way to assess whether another team’s likely to match the Braves is to check how many times a team has managed eight doubles without a hit.  And nobody has.  Not seven, either, or six. And just five teams have had 5 doubles in a game with no other hits.  I think the Braves are safe here.   And I think this is a good example of a question where just looking at the data gives you a much more robust answer than a half-assed probability calculation.
  • Not a link:  based on the response to my question, tons of people follow the new postings on the arXiv. But hardly anyone follows it, as I do, in Google Reader — according to their stats, the RSS feed for math.AG has only 98 subscribers and math.NT just 83.
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4 thoughts on “Back to school linkdump

  1. Michael Lugo says:

    I just checked Google Reader for arXiv RSS feeds I follow: math.PR has 36 followers, math.CO has 47.

  2. Tyler Lawson says:

    And AT has 62, and KT has just 28. One of the annoyances I have is that Google Reader is misparsing the authors, which makes it harder to scan the new postings.

  3. JSE says:

    What does “misparsing the authors” mean?

  4. Tyler Lawson says:

    Misparsing is the wrong word. They are full of HTML tags.

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