Posts Tagged: Algorithms
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When Will The Machines Start Predicting Bestsellers?

In November, Knopf bought a 900-page debut novel by Garth Risk Hallberg for almost $2 million. It’s a tremendous gamble, regardless of the book’s quality, if one that many publishers were happy to make: more than 10 houses bid more than $1 million, according to the Times. Predicting a novel’s fate in the commercial or critical marketplace is a fool’s gambit, as indicated both by works like the first Harry Potter novel, which was repeatedly rejected before becoming, well, Harry Potter, and by expensive flops like Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons. The novelist Curtis Sittenfeld said, "People think publishing is a business, but it’s a casino."

But what if publishers [...]

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Moment Teachable

"An article on Thursday about a settlement between the asset management company BlackRock and the New York attorney general in which BlackRock agreed to stop surveying Wall Street analysts to get advance clues about their views on companies misstated, in some copies, the way in which BlackRock used the information it gathered. The information was fed into trading algorithms, not into logarithms. (An algorithm is a computer science term for a procedure to calculate an answer; a logarithm is a mathematical operation that simplifies certain complicated multiplication and division calculations.)"