Sunday, February 12, 2006

A 3:25 Mile?

An Australian mathematician with waaaay too much time on his hands used something called "non-linear trend analysis," a branch of statistics commonly used in economic forecasting, to predict that athletes could someday run the mile 18 seconds faster than the current record.

As I understand the statistical technique, it involves plotting a bunch of data points and drawing a trend line through 'em. Thus is proven once again the maxim that an economic theory (or an economist) is usually involved whenever you get an obviously stupid answer to a very simple question.

2 comments:

nancytoby said...

Interesting! I'm waiting for the sub-2-hour marathon, myself. That seems insane, but ... they're not far from doing it, since they're well under 60 for the half now.

Comm's said...

well duh! As it took over 5o years to break the 4 minute mile and now there well well below that, who thinks it won't get 18 seconds lower.

Just heard that a $415 million dollar study of 48,000 woman over 8 years showed that a low fat diet did not decrease the chance of cancer or heart desease. No crud Sherlock, its not about just decreasing fat, its about overall calories and exercise.