The skill-vs-luck debate never ceases to fascinate. Is it mainly skill, experience, hard work, and the “right” mindset that determines who is becoming successful, rich, or famous, or is it largely luck and fortunate circumstances?
In this post, we will conduct an illuminating simulation to show that even a small amount of luck can make all the difference! If you want to learn about the success paradox, read on!
Continue reading “The Success Paradox: Why even a little Bit of Luck often beats Skill”
Imagine a world without diseases and no biological limit to how long you could live. Still, there could be accidents that kill you, murder, and suicides.
If you want to get an estimate of your life expectancy under those circumstances, read on!
Continue reading “How long would you live if you were immortal?”
With COVID-19 after the vaccination is before the vaccination. Now that most people in the developed countries have been vaccinated the question arises of how much boost is in the booster shot. We are here to help you understand the real power (or lack thereof) of the booster, so read on!
Continue reading “COVID-19: The Incredible Shrinking Boost of the Booster Shot”
Over one billion dollars have been spent in the US to split up big schools into smaller ones because small schools regularly show up in rankings as top performers.
In this post, I will show you why that money was wasted because of a widespread (but not so well known) statistical artifact, so read on!
Continue reading “The Most Dangerous Equation, or Why Small is Not Beautiful!”
What is the “opposite” of sampling without replacement? In a classical urn model sampling without replacement means that you don’t replace the ball that you have drawn. Therefore the probability of drawing that colour becomes smaller. How about the opposite, i.e. that the probability becomes bigger? Then you have a so-called Pólya urn model!
Many real-world processes have this self-reinforcing property, e.g. leading to the distribution of wealth or the number of followers on social media. If you want to learn how to simulate such a process with R and encounter some surprising results, read on!
Continue reading “The Pólya Urn Model: A simple Simulation of “The Rich get Richer””
In view of the current dramatic events in Afghanistan many wonder why the extensive international efforts to bring some stability to the country have failed so miserably.
In this post, we will present and analytically examine a fascinating theory that seems to be able to explain political (in-)stability almost mono-causally, so read on!
Continue reading “The “Youth Bulge” of Afghanistan: The Hidden Force behind Political Instability”
I sometimes joke that as an Aries I don’t believe in zodiac signs. But could there still be some pattern, e.g. in the sense that people born in spring are more prone to success than those born during the winter months?
In this post, we will provide a definitive answer with one of the most fascinating datasets I have ever encountered, so read on!
Continue reading “Fame: Is Becoming a Star Written in the Stars?”
In 2018 the renowned scientific journal science broke a story that researchers had re-engineered the commercial criminal risk assessment software COMPAS with a simple logistic regression (Science: The accuracy, fairness, and limits of predicting recidivism).
According to this article, COMPAS uses 137 features, the authors just used two. In this post, I will up the ante by showing you how to achieve similar results using just one simple rule based on only one feature which is found automatically in no-time by the
OneR package, so read on!
Continue reading “Recidivism: Identifying the Most Important Predictors for Re-offending with OneR”
During our little break, Valentine’s Day was celebrated. Yet for many, it was a depressing day because they are single and are looking for love.
Speed dating is a popular format (in times of Covid-19 also in virtual form) to meet many different potential soul mates in a short period of time. If you want to learn which factors determine “getting to the next round”, read on!
Continue reading “Cupid’s Arrow: How to Boost your Chances at Speed Dating!”
When you ask successful people for their advice on how to become successful you will often hear that you have to take risks, often huge risks.
In this post we will examine whether this is good advice with a simple multi-agent simulation, so read on!
Continue reading “How to be Successful! The Role of Risk-taking: A Simulation Study”