Mar. 30th, 2017

mtbc: maze A (black-white)
NHS Digital today published their latest Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet for England. Regarding adult physical activity it includes the interesting finding,
People who are long term unemployed or have never worked were most likely to be inactive (37%). Those in managerial, administrative and professional occupations were the least likely to be inactive (17%).
I would not have expected this: depending on professional those kinds of occupations tend to be time-consuming and sedentary. Whereas, I might think that the unemployed would have found time for habitual recreational exercise.

I do not know if the explanation is that these unemployed are actually busy parents and suchlike or if they are simply broadly unmotivated in many spheres of life, perhaps not unconnectedly: depression over unemployment could spread to general lack of purposeful activity? I may be missing the obvious.
mtbc: maze G (black-magenta)
BBC Four shows a good variety of documentaries. Earlier this month they showed The Secret Science of Pop from which my impression now is that from the past few decades of popular music in the UK they were somewhat successful in doing some kind of feature extraction and weighting then using that data to derive a statistically predictive measure of success in the sales charts. They however failed to extend this to be able to adjust a given song to make it more likely to succeed commercially.

One discovery was that in terms of the extracted features the more successful songs tend to be those closest to the current mainstream. Today it occurred to me that the algorithmic research could be monetized without being able to adjust a given song to increase its likelihood of success. Instead, select songs that were not much successful and were some considerable distance from the mainstream at the time that they were released, but that are close to the current mainstream, then rerelease some version of them. After all, it is hardly unprecedented for an artist to have a hit with a song that had been released years earlier to considerably less fanfare.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

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