Skip to content

Hunger Games survival analysis

Phil points to this post by Brett Keller and writes:

I [Phil] haven’t seen Hunger Games or read the book(s?).

It’s sort of nice that people do this kind of thing but might be even nicer if they dedicated this sort of amateur data analysis to real-world problems.

I dunno. I think it’s always good to get practice. Analyzing a book/movie is like doing sports statistics; it can keep you in shape.


  1. Brett Keller says:

    Thanks for linking. Other than amusing people, part of what I was trying to do (which may come through for those who read the post, but maybe not) was to illustrate concepts from statistics, epidemiology, and economics for folks who wouldn’t otherwise get them. Have already had a couple people send me notes or leave comments saying it helped them think about data / survival analysis because it uses something that’s fun. And I work on real-world problems too, of course.

    • K? O'Rourke says:

      Just like one cannot write a grammatically correct statement that prevents someone from finding meaning in it, one cannot carry out a modeling/representational exercise (no matter how remedial) and prevent someone from getting a better insight into modeling (semiology or the process of representing).

      Even the zombie posts including my zombie plots.

      I would guess it is even more effective than serious work until someone is really ready to be serious. I believe one of the best things in my career development is that I first encountered the scientific process – critically – the analysis of literature, art and culture (i.e. anthropology). It’s much “vauger” and harder there and much less obvious to seem obvious.

      I do remember giving a talk in my Biostats school about playing Russian roulette by varying the number of bullets over a series of plays to represent various hazard (individual and group) functions we were entertaining in modeling survival data. When I had some difficulty rigorously answering a question about integration (something in between Stieltjes and Lebesgue) the group disbanded saying I had wasted their time. I guess I did, but I got something out of it.

      • Phil says:

        Brett, K?, and Andrew are all right, and I’m wrong, as far as suggesting that it’d be better if Brett had worked on something more important. In fact if he had done so I would never have noticed or mentioned it to Andrew, whereas this way people will read Brett’s stuff and learn something from it, just as they hopefully did with my silly sports wagering article. And there’s nothing wrong with doing something just because it’s fun, even if it had no educational value at all.

  2. Phil says:

    I once wrote a magazine article about sports wagering, so I am not really one to talk.

  3. […] folks are actually reading it and not just looking at the pretty pictures. It was picked up by Andrew Gelman and Jezebel (a Venn diagram with only this in the middle, I bet) and everyone from Stata to […]

Where can you find the best CBD products? CBD gummies made with vegan ingredients and CBD oils that are lab tested and 100% organic? Click here.