Monday, May 07, 2007

Quotes from Moneyball

I know it took me too long to do it, but I finally have read through Moneyball and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are several quotes from it that I thought captures aspects of the data mining attitude I think should be adopted.

On a personal note, I suppose my fascination with data analysis started when I was playing baseball in Farm League, and later with playing Strat-o-matic baseball. I received all the 1972 teams, and proceeded to try to play every team's complete schedule--needless to say, I didn't get too far. But more than playing the games, what I enjoyed most of all was computing the statistics and listing the leaders in the hitting and pitching categories. Once a nerd, always a nerd...

Here is the first quote:

Intelligence about baseball statistics had become equated in the public mind with the ability to recite arcane baseball stats. What [Bill] James's wider audience had failed to understand was that the statistics were beside the point. The point was understanding; the point was to make life on earth just a bit more intelligible; and that point, somehow, had been lost. 'I wonder,' James wrote, 'if we haven't become so numbed by all these numbers that we are no longer capable of truly assimilating any knowledge which might result from them.'


James Taylor said...

He is a great presenter and there is certainly much to learn about data mining, and how to put it to work, in his material. I blogged about his presentation here.

Dean Abbott said...

I agree that he is a good presenter (he was the keynote speaker at the 2005 SPSS Users' Conference). I don't think he really undestands the analytics, he's just a proponent of the findings (and frankly, we need more folks like that!)