Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Statistics, Predictions, and Celebrity Marriages

In today's Science Times, the New York Times' weekly science section, John Tierney writes of updating the formula he and statistician Garth Sundem developed to predict the likely lifespan of celebrity marriages. They have now crunched five years of data, and refined the measure to take account of mentions in the New York Times relative to mentions in The National Enquirer. They also include months of dating before marriage, relative ages of the couple, and something they call the image (how many images of the woman scantily clad appear on the web).

This article is perhaps not as sublime as Marta Siberio's guest post yesterday about strategic planning, but it is far from preposterous. The descriptions are clear, the results defensible. Whether finding the answer is worth taking the trouble is another question - one that's addressed in the NY Times comments.

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