New Blog

Though this blog is no longer being updated, I am now writing on political science and information visualization at

For the record

Point projection: Obama’s percent of the nationwide two-party vote:


Even more quiet

See here. It’s going to be even more quiet around here than usual. Thanks to everyone for reading and contributing your ideas.

Assigning credit to Team USA

During the NBA Finals, I made an effort to estimate player contributions to the final score, using Model-Estimated value, and a metric which I unimaginatively called “Credit.” MEV is a linear-weighting player productivity measure (read about it here), and Credit (which I’ve modified somewhat since the Finals coverage), attempts to divide credit (or blame) for a team’s success among individual players:

Player Credit = Player MEV / Team Total MEV * (Team Points / (Team Points + Opponent Points))

This way, total Credit for all players on both teams sums to one in every game, and players on teams that win by a lot are allocated more Credit to divide amongst themselves, whereas in tight games, each team has closer to 0.50 Credits to attribute. In the spirit of the upcoming Olympic Games, I hope to return to semi-regular coverage, though not necessarily in the form of any actual posting. Rather, I will endeavor to update, after each game leading up to and played in Beijing, MEV and Credit statistics for each member of Team USA. Each game’s statistics, as well as cumulative stats can be found here:

I hope you find it useful and insightful over the next few weeks.

Change of venue

Folks, starting today, I’ll be writing a weekly post on Thursdays, over at Hardwood Paroxysm. I’m likely to continue posting here, although frequency might drop a little bit. If you would like to continue subscribing to The Arbitrarian’s RSS feed, but would also like to read my posts at HP, I’ve put together a joint feed in Yahoo! Pipes that will do just that. Thanks for all of your support, readership, and insight–having readers makes blogging fun.

Here’s the feed: Abitrarian Everywhere