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Thread: Meet William Spearman, Liverpool’s secret weapon

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    There's a huge difference in the use cases though, sc.

    When selling cat food your objective function is to maximise the amount of cat food sold. You're incentivised to massage the data to portray that brand as a really good one. E.g. you give those cats the choice between your cat food and... er... I dunno... something cats don't like. Frozen dog piss maybe? You manipulate the customer into buying one of the options, maximising the value of your objective function.

    What would be your incentive to present one player as better than another? There your objective function is (let's say for the sake of simplicity) derived from the team's performance on the pitch. You recommending the wrong choice to the customer directly makes the team perform worse, thereby lowering the value of the exact objective function you want to maximise. And eventually getting you fired, like it did with Commoli.

    I fully accept your point that presenting data in a certain way can be used to manipulate your audience into believing something that isn't strictly speaking true. But how does that in this particular case make any sense, short of some absurd conspiracy theory that you're an enemy spy?
    My answer is why do these people continue in highly paid employment

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steveo View Post
    It's a fair point Bali.
    Think the whole dislike of stats comes from TV pundits and lazy journos talking about them. And when it comes to maths, most of them are thick as bricks. "Oh, bUt THiAgo Got zErO aSSiSts LaSt YeAr, sO He'S nOt rEaLly aN uPgrAdE".

    They don't look at enough stats and they don't understand how those stats work together. It's like looking at the Mona Lisa from two miles. You think it portrays a dog licking its bollocks. And then grumpy people come out and say "seeing is overrated, it's crazy, your eyes can be used to trick you into thinking whatever the man wants, wake up, sheeple! Only trust touch". Well... no... you're just doing it wrong.

    /rant


    This isn't directed at you btw, Steveo, just a general grievance I have.
    Last edited by Balinkay; 16th September 2020 at 06:10 PM.
    Etiamsi omnes, ego non

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientificred View Post
    My answer is why do these people continue in highly paid employment
    If you mean cat food salesmen, it's because their work performance hinges on convincing people that a concrete given option A is better than all the other options {B, C, ... , Z}. Not on finding some optimal option among {A, B, ... , Z}. Those are two completely different sutuations.

    In the former case it's exactly as you describe. In the latter, I don't think it is.
    Etiamsi omnes, ego non

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    Think the whole dislike of stats comes from TV pundits and lazy journos talking about them. And when it comes to maths, most of them are thick as bricks. "Oh, bUt He Got zErO aSSiSts LaSt YeAr, sO THiAgo'S nOt rEaLly aN uPgrAdE".

    They don't look at enough stats and they don't understand how those stats work together. It's like looking at the Mona Lisa from two miles. You think it portrays a dog licking its bollocks. And then grumpy people come out and say "seeing is overrated, it's crazy, your eyes can be used to trick you into thinking whatever the man wants, wake up, sheeple! Only trust touch". Well... no... you're just doing it wrong.

    /rant


    This isn't directed at you btw, Steveo, just a general grievance I have.
    Last night on BBC 5live was Micah Richards.
    The subject turned to Gareth Bale.
    He said that Gareth Bale was the hardest player he ever had to mark.
    The presenter then pulled up a stat that said Gareth Bale (from some backroom chat in 2012?) thought that Micah Richards was the hardest defender he ever faced (or something like that).
    Are those unusual off-the-cuff stats worthy of being valid stats?

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    If you mean cat food salesmen, it's because their work performance hinges on convincing people that a concrete given option A is better than all the other options {B, C, ... , Z}. Not on finding some optimal option among {A, B, ... , Z}. Those are two completely different sutuations.

    In the former case it's exactly as you describe. In the latter, I don't think it is.
    Was it not just a great slogan that many people maybe still aspire to regardless of whether it is factually true?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    Think the whole dislike of stats comes from TV pundits and lazy journos talking about them. And when it comes to maths, most of them are thick as bricks. "Oh, bUt THiAgo Got zErO aSSiSts LaSt YeAr, sO He'S nOt rEaLly aN uPgrAdE".

    They don't look at enough stats and they don't understand how those stats work together. It's like looking at the Mona Lisa from two miles. You think it portrays a dog licking its bollocks. And then grumpy people come out and say "seeing is overrated, it's crazy, your eyes can be used to trick you into thinking whatever the man wants, wake up, sheeple! Only trust touch". Well... no... you're just doing it wrong.

    /rant


    This isn't directed at you btw, Steveo, just a general grievance I have.
    Surely nobody dislikes stats in and of themselves? I mean that would be sheer stupidity. There are however many people who begrudge
    a perceived over reliance on stats for the sake of stats. As if they will tell us all we need to know...We can close our eyes and lose all sense of the game now and hand it over to statisticians and those who would analyse numbers..

    Personally I am all for analysis - just don’t believe it is nearly as effective as current wisdom dictates - and largely due to the same old human flaws.
    Last edited by Steveo; 16th September 2020 at 06:28 PM.

  7. #27
    The lazy British journos covering the World Cup in USA 94 were scornful of the American love of sports stats but assists and % possession and number of corners are part and parcel now.

    It's not just laziness it's good old British fear of anything new, like zonal marking

  8. #28
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    Is he happy to play back up to Mo,Bobby and Sadio ?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianlfc View Post
    Is he happy to play back up to Mo,Bobby and Sadio ?
    Hahaa... Good one... All depends on whether the data stacks up.

    He (Diego) might be more of an analysis freak than we thought - he might be working out the likeliness of injury to our front 3 - then factoring in his own potential and working out if it’s worth tha gamble
    Last edited by Steveo; 16th September 2020 at 06:39 PM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientificred View Post
    Last night on BBC 5live was Micah Richards.
    The subject turned to Gareth Bale.
    He said that Gareth Bale was the hardest player he ever had to mark.
    The presenter then pulled up a stat that said Gareth Bale (from some backroom chat in 2012?) thought that Micah Richards was the hardest defender he ever faced (or something like that).
    Are those unusual off-the-cuff stats worthy of being valid stats?
    Define valid? I operate under the assumption (for simplicity's sake) that all the stats presented in those panels are factually correct. It's the conclusions drawn from them that are the problem. E.g. asserting that because Bale said that once Richards was a better defender than say Juanfran or Dani Alves. That would be daft.

    Quote Originally Posted by scientificred View Post
    Was it not just a great slogan that many people maybe still aspire to regardless of whether it is factually true?
    From what I know it is factually true under the definitions used in the advertisement (which are probably somewhere in some legal document). Just like it's factually true to say that ... I dunno... Steven Gerrard was a bad CM in comparison to Sergi Roberto*.

    * provided you measure the quality of a player solely on the number of trophies they've won

    And in any case, whether or not the claim is clever or even accurate is immaterial. The question is whether or not it's rational to willingly manipulate your customers into making a benefitial for you choice and whether or not that would be to their own detriment. In the transfer stat guy's case I can't see any reason to do so. In the cat food dude's I do.
    Etiamsi omnes, ego non

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