The Closet Moderate: Is Hollywood predictable?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is Hollywood predictable?

I am loathe to write about the movies or about math, especially since so many of my fellow bloggards are better at high-level math than I, but this post on Nate Silver's 538.com intrigued me. He predicted that the Tampa Bay Rays would win 90 games, and he got the electoral vote count last year closer than anyone else. But the Oscars? Hollywood isn't just irrational, it's anti-rational. Can such behaviors be predicted? I didn't think anyone with an Oscar vote worked according to any system that can be represented by a formula. We shall see. By which I mean: I may read the results on Wikipedia the next day.

On a related note: does anyone out there recall how I can figure out a triangle's angles when I know the lengths of the sides? I'm building a bookcase into a room with a sloped roof, and I'd rather not do it by eye if possible.