Going on hiatus… and why it’s a good thing
November 16, 2014
Posted by on
I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I love using statistics to solve problems and make predictions… but I’m not a statistician. Not really, anyway. I took a basic statistics class in high school and again in college. I have a good knowledge of basic statistical concepts… but when it comes to using data to make predictions, my knowledge is limited. I know how to do linear regression and logistic regression – which is a start.
The statistical approaches I’ve tried on this blog haven’t really been “statistics” as much as they’ve been “playing around with numbers until I come up with something that makes sense.” Much of what I’ve done would be described by Michael Lewis as “doing violence to the laws of statistics.”
I recently found a series of videos and a free textbook by Stanford University professors Rob Tibshirani and Trevor Hastie about using statistical learning approaches (such as regression) to make predictions. It includes a lot of methods I’ve heard about but never learned… and I think it’s time to learn those methods and apply them to my UFC research.
Now, last week I decided to make myself well-informed about all of the fighters set to compete on UFC 180. In practice, that meant watching a lot of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. While I was watching those fights, all I could think to myself was that I could be learning about statistics instead. In other words, that the time I was spending watching those fights was really being wasted. It probably didn’t help that I was watching fighters like Marco Beltran and Humberto Brown, who so obviously don’t belong in the UFC.
So I have two choices. Either I could continue making predictions and write-ups for every UFC card, leaving scarce time for statistical research, or I could dive into statistical research and come back later with a more advanced and sophisticated approach. I’ve chosen to do the latter. I don’t want to keep doing write-ups when I feel like my current methods aren’t good enough.
That means I’m going on a hiatus. In particular, I’m taking a hiatus from writing prediction pieces and doing degenerate gambling. I won’t be completely silent – I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and besides that, I’ve promised a rant about how the UFC has declined, and trust me when I say that rant is coming.
As always, I appreciate the continued support. Think of this as Luke Skywalker going back to Yoda to finish his training…