Porcupyn's Blog

June 29, 2011

Keys to the match (or IBM Stat Fail!)

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 10:28 am

Who won?!! 😦

A picture is worth a thousand stats!

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June 28, 2011

In battle of OVAs, IBM delivers a big goose egg

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 11:32 am

I was reading an article the other day about how IBM was mining player statistics to come up with their keys to a match-winning performance. It does not appear to work all the time. Check out this picture.

Kvitova vs. Pironkova

IBM Stats - Fail!

Focus on these keys to the match for Kvitova:

– win fewer than 3% of points at net

Here is where blindly following some weird lifelong stats for a player and dumping it into their Wimbledon coverage gets IBM in trouble. Think for a minute, why would you want to intentionally win fewer of your points at the net? Makes sense if you are a baseliner, makes sense if you are on clay or hard courts, but if you are on grass, surely this stat should be out the window!

– win fewer than 8% of points won with a winner

But wait, now it gets more harebrained. Winning fewer than 8% of points with a winner? Maybe she is historically the Rahul Dravid* of Tennis, i.e., merely sits and waits for her opponent to commit a mistake. Even then, fewer than 8% of points with winners? Sounds unreal any day! However, again, this is Wimbledon, where one can hit winners much more easily than at, say, the French Open where, for instance, the ball will tend to sit up on drop shots.

* = this is not meant to insult or slight Rahul Dravid, who is the Indian cricket team’s rock of Gibralter!

June 21, 2011

How well educated are you?

Filed under: Humour,Parenting — Porcupyn @ 10:08 am

Or, should I say, what has education got to do with it?

A minute later, there was an announcement asking all passengers to please not use profanity on the train, ‘especially those people who went to Harvard or Yale or are from Westport.’

The great Saint Kabir once wrote (or said, I don’t know which, as I was not around back then):

जात न पूछो साध का,
पूछ लीजिये ग्यान।
मोल करो तलवार का,
पड़ा रहन दो म्यान।।

Quick meaning: Appearances can be deceptive!

Long form of meaning: Don’t ask a sadhu/saint/hermit what his antecedents are, i.e., who his parents are, what his caste is, what his lineage/pedigree is; rather, sound him out for the knowledge that he possesses (and seek some for yourself as well). Just as when/if you were in the market for a sword, you ought to check out its worth/attributes (sharpness, length, warranty, etc 😉 rather than that of its scabbard.

However, when Kabir refers to knowledge, I doubt very much that he is talking about how well educated the sadhu is (or you are)! Actions always speak the loudest. Don’t forget what Rahim has said:

बड़े बड़ाई ना करें
बड़े न बोलें बोल।
रहिमन हीरा कब कहा
लाख टका मेरा मोल।।

Those who are classy (classier) do not flaunt their classiness, just like (Rahim points out that) the diamond never touts that it is worth a hundred thousand Takas/Rupees/Dollars/Shekels/Yuans/Yens/Drachmas!

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