Finally had time to read "The Signal and the Noise" by Nate Silver. Few excerpts I liked from the chapter on baseball. On the "fear" that analysts would be taking jobs from scouts: Beane told me the Aâ€™s scouting budget is now much higher than it has ever been. Moreover, he said it was the Aâ€™s fascination with statistical analysis that led them to increase it. As weâ€™ve seen, baseball players do not become free agents until after six full seasons, which is usually not until theyâ€™re at least thirty. As Bill Jamesâ€™s analysis of the aging curve revealed, this often leads clubs to overspend on free agentsâ€”after all, their best years are usually behind them. But there is a flip side to this:*before*a player is thirty, he can provide tremendous value to his club. Moreover, baseballâ€™s economics are structured such that younger players can often be had for pennies on the dollar On objective analysis vs. gut-feel decisions: â€œFrom our standpoint in Oakland, weâ€™re sort of forced into making objective decisions versus gut-feel decisions. If we in Oakland happen to be right on a gut-feel decision one time, my guess is it would be random. And weâ€™re not in a position to be making random decisions and hope we get lucky. If weâ€™re playing blackjack, and the dealerâ€™s showing a four and we have a six, hitting on the sixteen just doesnâ€™t make sense for us.â€ On the decision-making process: The key to making a good forecast, as we observed in chapter 2, is not in limiting yourself to quantitative information. Rather, itâ€™s having a good process for weighing the information appropriately. This is the essence of Beaneâ€™s philosophy: collect as much information as possible, but then be as rigorous and disciplined as possible when analyzing it. On categorization: When we canâ€™t fit a square peg into a round hole, weâ€™ll usually blame the pegâ€”when sometimes itâ€™s the rigidity of our thinking that accounts for our failure to accommodate it. Our first instinct is to place information into categoriesâ€”usually a relatively small number of categories since theyâ€™ll be easier to keep track of. This might work well enough most of the time. But when we have trouble categorizing something, weâ€™ll often overlook it or misjudge it. This is one of the reasons that Beane avoids what he calls â€œgut-feelâ€ decisions. If he relies too heavily on his first impressions, heâ€™ll let potentially valuable prospects slip through the cracksâ€”and he canâ€™t afford that with a payroll like Oaklandâ€™s.