Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part II

In late June, I wrote the first in a series of essays outlining the evolution of the methods I use to rank my favorite tracks (a term I prefer to “songs”), beginning with my first-ever mix cassette tape in August 1981. In the interim, however, moving to a new apartment, the ongoing search for a … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part II

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part 1

I recently updated a data-based discussion of my cinematic “guilty pleasures,” adding a comparison of “most-acclaimed” and “my favorite” films from a given year or years. In so doing, though, I side-stepped the question of determining with something approaching academic rigor just what my favorite films are, relying solely on my gut to select a … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part 1

Updating the Doctors: 13 is not a lucky number for Jodie Whittaker

One of the first data-driven essays to appear on this website was a three-part assessment of every episode of Doctor Who following its revival in March 2005. You may find those three essays—as well as a, frankly, much better written July 2018 update—here; you will also find a much longer essay I wrote demonstrating the … Continue reading Updating the Doctors: 13 is not a lucky number for Jodie Whittaker

Rituals and obsessions: a brief personal history

It started with “Taxman” by The Beatles. Its distorted vocal opening had gotten stuck in my head despite my stated antipathy toward the band—really more pose than position, in retrospect. Whenever I run a bath, I like to be in the tub while the faucet(s) run. Until quite recently,[1] when the tub was nearly full, … Continue reading Rituals and obsessions: a brief personal history

Organizing by themes V: Popular music

This site benefits/suffers/both from consisting of posts about a wide range of topics, all linked under the amorphous heading "data-driven storytelling." In an attempt to impose some coherent structure, I am organizing related posts both chronologically and thematically. While I have told many stories from my life (and those of my ancestors), I rarely discuss … Continue reading Organizing by themes V: Popular music