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December 5, 2007

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Selling Out, Quantified

You know I love pop-culture equations! Here’s one from the Washington Post, by way of The Moby Quotient. Excellent visual treatment.

Posted December 5, 2007 at 10:17 | Comments (1) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Music


Major complaint: why lambda over pi? That's stupid. They should just use an arbitrary constant like 3 and admit that it's arbitrary.

Minor complaint: why Greek letters? Answer: just for the fun of making it seem more like real math, which I can dig but it is a little ridiculous.

Suggestion: a better equation would be the "Impact of Selling Out". Input your original reputation parameters and the sellout parameters and output your new (presumably negatively affected unless you have magic Bono sellout powers that invert/reverse the equation) reputation.

Visual treatment: I'm not too impressed. It's flashy. Color treatment is unhelpful. The embellished presentation of the numbers for the example cases is unhelpful. Bar graphs of single numbers is excessive generally speaking. And this specific treatment is unhelpful since it doesn't distinguish numbers in the numerator from numbers in the denominator.

A more useful treatment would combine all the artist specific parameters and just show, for each example, the client parameter, song parameter, and combined artist parameter. Then you would get a clearer idea of how the equation actually works. Graphs of how the quotient changes depending on the various parameters would be most informative, but probably overboard, plus would probably expose the incoherence of the end cases.

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