Urban legends and cocktail conversation

I’ve had an idea to analyse some of the many topics that come up in conversation time and time again. Chances of winning the lotto, FNB’s Million a Month account, randomness of the iPod shuffle to name a few. I’ll try to get hold of some interesting datasets and perform some basic analysis. My aim?

  1. To find out whether any of the often-claimed techniques might actually work
  2. And so discover what sort of randomness is hidden within these events
  3. And also see which of these datasets I can easily get my hands on. Any thoughts on my chances of getting FNB to chat to me about how they select winners?

Anybody have some data they’d like me to look at? Any more questions to add to this list? I’ve been away from blogging for a while, so let me know when your office Christmas party is so I can prepare your answers in time!

Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

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2 Comments

  1. Great idea, but I imagine you have better chances of a tsunami of the karoo than on getting any data out of FNB. Interesting to see how that develops.

    Slightly related, but have a look at netflix prize for a large dataset to play around with.

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