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02 March 2016

NBA heat maps, FICO vs Facebook, and peer review.

Curry-heatmap

Curry-heatmap2016

1. Resistance is futile. You must watch Steph Curry.
The Golden State Warriors grow more irresistible every year, in large part because of Curry’s shooting. With sports data analytics from Basketball-Reference.com, these heat maps illustrate his shift to 3-pointers (and leave no doubt why Curry was called the Babyfaced Assassin; now of course he’s simply MVP).

2. Facebook vs FICO.
Fintech startups are exploring new business models, such as peer-to-peer lending (Lending Club). Another big idea is replacing traditional credit scores with rankings derived from social media profiles and other data: Just 3 months ago, Affirm and others were touted in Fortune’s Why Facebook Profiles are Replacing Credit Scores. But now the Wall Street Journal says those decisions are falling out of favor, in Facebook Isn’t So Good at Judging Your Credit After All. Turns out, regulations and data-sharing policies are interfering. Besides, executives with startups like ZestFinance find social-media lending “creepy”.

3. How to fix science journals.
Harvard Med School’s Jeffrey Flier wrote an excellent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, How to Keep Bad Science from Getting into Print [paywall]. Key issues: anonymous peer reviewers, and lack of transparent post-publishing dialogue with authors (@PubPeer being a notable exception). Flier says we need a science about how to publish science. Amen to that.

4. Longing for civil, evidence-based discourse?
ProCon.org publishes balanced coverage of controversial issues, presenting side-by-side pros and cons supported by evidence. The nonprofit’s site is ideal for schoolteachers, or anyone wanting a quick glance at important findings.

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