Monday, October 29, 2012

The Game's Up

I love those useless facts that get trotted out from time to time which make you think for about thirty seconds before you carry on pondering the meaning of life etc.

Back in the 1980's one of the commentator Brian Moore's favourites was that Liverpool never lost when Ian Rush scored, that was of course until they lost to Arsenal in the Littlewoods Carling Milk Cup Final, or whatever it was called at the time. Last week during the Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid match the Sky commentator happened to say that Real Madrid hadn't lost a Champions League group match when CR7 had scored, that record went just over 50 minutes later.

The most recent, and it has to be said an excellent example of two unrelated facts finding themselves in bed with one another, is that the Democrat candidate in the U.S Presidential Elections since 1960 wins whenever the Formula One Drivers Champion is British.

Well as neither Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button can now win that title, unless of course Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus drivers all fall foul of a plague of locusts, it's possibly to think that the game is up for the 44th President.

In similar vein I did like the item on the news last night (Sky) that a computer has predicted that President Obama will win between 60 and 70% of the vote. That came just hours after another computer had predicted a win for his opponent and a Gallup poll that predicted a draw.


A Northern Bloke said...

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

The market research company for whom I sometimes work will not touch political opinion polls.

The reason they give is that they believe that forecasting election outcomes is almost impossible to do with any credible degree of accuracy.

Paul said...

They are probably right, you often here people say they will lie to any question asked on the street.

A Northern Bloke said...

The other surveys that are notoriously inaccurate are those concerning sexual behaviour.

Another interesting "snippet" I heard came out at the Uni while I was working there. A bloke from a spread betting company came along and gave a talk about the maths etc behind sports betting. He talked about a few sports but never mentioned cricket. When asked why he'd never talked about this noble game he replied his company never touched it because it was "too corrupt".

Politics, sex and cricket : three things statisticians won't touch! :-)

Paul said...

Yes there's always a problem with surveys and sexual behaviour especially if teenagers are the age group being asked.

Span Ows said...

I seem to be being plagued by ghost posts of your Paul! Sure I checked in a few times and there were no 'newbies'.

Re this (and stats) new IPSS data proves that new weather extremes are 11 to 20% more likely to occur and at the same time 40 and 60% less likely to occur (or some such gobbledegook!)

Politics, sex and cricket : three things statisticians won't touch!

yep, in Venezuela Capriles won if the exit polls were to be believed! :-/

and all boys had sex that lasted for hours when they were 15

Paul said...

Perhaps it's the time difference!

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