Monday, December 28, 2009

three words to describe 2009: an analysis

I was looking at Richard Wiseman's* blog, and noticed these two posts where he asked male and female commenters to post three words that describe 2009 for them.  I'm sure he's going to do some kind of analysis on it eventually, but because I am supposed to be writing a paper, I couldn't resist downloading the posts and checking out the differences.  I haven't run my grep-awk-uniq-count magic on it yet, but it's interesting that right off the bat the women-post mentions "stress" 26 times while the man-post mentions it 7 times.

Men's post:  If you are male, read this!

Women's post: If you are female, read this!

*Note: It is not really clear to me who this guy is.

Edit:  I calculated word frequencies.  I made a half-assed attempt to get rid of non-applicable text in the page.  This is probably inaccurate but gives a general gist.


15 love
13 stressful
11 sad
11 hope
11 fun
10 stress
10 new
10 busy
9 change
8 growth
8 frustrating
8 friends
7 challenging
6 work
6 sex
6 life
6 fast
6 family


31 change
18 love
15 hope
11 work
11 fun
8 happy
7 science
6 unemployed
6 stress
6 friends
6 death
5 travel
5 success
5 struggle
5 obama
5 climate
5 busy
4 words
4 twitter

Edit 2: I should so be working instead of mucking around with this.

Edit 3: Comments were broken on my blog? Thanks niniane for telling me!  Should be all fixed.  Comment away.

Edit 4:  Dude.  At least I called tolower() in my half-assed attempt to clean things up.  The original author's generated word clouds.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I am supposed to be working on my master's thesis proposal. So of course instead, I am reading twitter (among other completely wasteful things), and in addition to seeing rumors that Google might buy Yelp, I saw that Groupon was valued at 250 million dollars.

Um, holy crap.  This company is a year old!  And apparently they are making money hand over fist!  This is brilliant in so many ways.  First, it plays off people's irrational desire to buy something just because it's a deal.  Then, it works on our instinct to grab something because it's expiring soon.  Finally, it takes advantage of our laziness, because what percentage of people actually go redeem the thing they pre-bought?  And does Groupon get to keep that money if they don't go redeem the coupon?  Cause I have a page sitting on my desk that's supposed to get me a year long pass to the Brattle ($30 for a $104 value!) which has been sitting here for over a month.  And will definitely be sitting here for at least another 3 weeks.  If I were them I would play like the airplanes and oversell a deal a little in anticipation that some people will never go redeem it.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

music i've been listening to over and over

This Matt and Kim song

This Fischerspooner song

It is really weirdly 67 degrees in Cambridge right now. 2 days ago it was in the 30s.

Edit: Embedded objects disappeared? Replaced with Grooveshark links.