Corona-Superspreading or just “Wiesn-flu”? Should the Oktoberfest be cancelled again?


The Oktoberfest in Munich, also called “Wiesn” in the local Bavarian dialect, is the world’s largest Volksfest. It had been cancelled for the last two years due to COVID-19. Stakes are running high whether it should be cancelled again this year. To get some perspective, read on!
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Please Subscribe to My New (German) Data Science YouTube Channel!


I am in the middle of creating a new German YouTube channel that is centered around data science and R! I put a lot of effort into it to serve the interests of the community.

If you want to be a part of the process, watch interesting videos with data-based analyses and look behind the scenes, please consider subscribing to the channel!

The number of subscriptions is also vital for the YouTube algorithm to recommend the videos to other viewers on the platform!
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The Success Paradox: Why even a little Bit of Luck often beats Skill


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!
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How long would you live if you were immortal?


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!
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COVID-19: The Incredible Shrinking Boost of the Booster Shot


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!
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The Most Dangerous Equation, or Why Small is Not Beautiful!


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!
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The Pólya Urn Model: A simple Simulation of “The Rich get Richer”


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!
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The “Youth Bulge” of Afghanistan: The Hidden Force behind Political Instability


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!
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Fame: Is Becoming a Star Written in the Stars?


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!
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Recidivism: Identifying the Most Important Predictors for Re-offending with OneR


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!
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