Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Is life a random walk? And Oldham's fortunes...

Yesterday, in his first Clarendon Lecture in the Economics Department at the University of Oxford, Peter Phillips suggested that a time series could provide the conclusion that life is a random walk. Well, I guess given he talked about estimating numbers for models on particular data series and questioned what these numbers mean, that in fact he wasn't really trying to substantiate in any way the claim that life is a random walk.

Of course he's fitting an econometric model to the world, and that doesn't necessarily shed any light at all on the true underlying data generating process. It was data on the number of species in exitence, going back 600 million years. Of course I don't think that life is a random walk, I don't for one moment believe that the various underlying processes generating this 600 million year data set really suggest everything is random.

Nevertheless, that's what people who deny the existence of God are forced to believe - it's all random. However, through the existence of a man who lived 2000 odd years ago we have God's revelation to a disbelieving world, captured in a book that's internally consistent as to exactly what this Jesus chap was up to. God isn't random, He has a plan, and He's made it known to His world. Will you take a look? Check out here if you want to.

On to Oldham Athletic. I was dissatisfied with my model, and applied an ad hoc solution, contrary to how I believe econometric modelling should take place, although consistent with the idea that the best ways to do econometrics are not the best ways to forecast. Originally the forecast was about 5,700, but with a variable to capture the visit of local rivals, the forecast was raised to 6,179, which I still thoughts too low. However, the model was giving forecasts in the right ball-park, whereas I was way out: the actual attendance was 6,001. Again much lower than I'd have expected, but continuing the trend this season.

But Oldham won 2-0 against local rivals, continuing their good form in the league now to 1 defeat in 12 matches, and 7 wins along the way. Surely soon, if this form continues, attendances will rise?

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