Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Fourteen points for a Q? But what about equity value?
Some boffins have been looking at Scrabble tiles and working out what they SHOULD be worth. As Stefan Fatsis points out in Slate, the thing this shows is just how great the original game design was. (I recommend Word Freak, his book on Scrabble, by the way.)
Sure, the numbers don't exactly relate to lexical reality, but knowing the market inefficiencies and so on is part of the skill of the game - every good game has better and worse strategies. It's a game, with luck, not just a simple test of anagram skill, and that makes it better. Also, I love the use of sports-stat terminology, such as a tile's VORT (Value Over Replacement Tile).
Further on Te'o. There's loads of stuff everywhere. Probably none better than this, by Chuck Klosterman and Malcolm Gladwell at Grantland. I like it for lots of reasons. I think the root one is that my PhD was about how people keep telling themselves the same stories in the same language even when the facts change.
This week I am going to be interviewed for Open Book. This is excellent news for everyone who wants The Dazzle to be discussed on Open Book.