Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics, or, Living on the Edge

Funny. But completely wrong. And here’s why.

Standard Bell Curve

The bell curve is a fine model for various things. However, it fails as a model for dating/marriage for several, crucially important reasons.

First, the bell curve has no lower limit. Repeat. There is no lower age limit. If you can’t see the problem with this then GO AWAY! Second, the wide range. Simply not the way it goes. The list goes on, but gets increasingly boring.

A far better fit for this cartoon would have been the Boltzmann distribution, developed by this dude.

Boltzmann Distribution

Ignore the labels on the axes and what-not. Obviously the first, most important point, is that it just looks so much cooler. Well, that and the fact that there is an absolute lower limit. Now, that obviously has to be about age. But above that, I think, the label for the independent axis would change just to “uniqueness,” or maybe "strangeness." But then we'd get into a discussion on relativity, as perspective is everything with both of those terms. So maybe it's just the inverse of normalcy, or, "1/normalcy."

Now, I realize this last bit is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as I really am posting about how a Boltzmann distribution better describes marriageability than a standard bell curve, thus pushing myself WAY over to the right, but it’s truth, and if you actually know me, this shouldn’t surprise you in the least. But I think it fits the general population better, too.

So anyway, somewhere, way up in the tail of the Boltzmann Distribution, is the girl for me. That's what it should've said.


Sayaka said...

haha i read xkcd all the time. if you like graphs and relational thinking, i also like in fact maybe you should date the girl who administrates that blog.

peetie said...

Yeah, both of those are in my google reader. I like, too. Are there others you frequent?

Adam and Tiffany said...

Bryce, this is seriously brilliant!

You know, it's the crap you pull like this that made me realize "way back when" that I needed to be friends with you.

As a side note, I received a wedding invitation this weekend with a return address in Bountiful for a Peterson....and the first thing I thought was "no, it can't be,"........and it wasn't.

peetie said...

re: the mail, you know me too well, Adam. It's going to take a lot of time, and maybe a doctor's note, to find that girl way out on the edge of the curve. Well, hopefully it's not the kind of doctor's note that says, "It's a boy!" But, I suppose we could save money on postage and just mail those announcements along with the wedding invite.

Sayaka said...

i was just browsing the other day and found the guy just started it this month and i don't know if he'll keep it up but it looks pretty promising.