Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, December 11, 2019
While watching Wheel of Fortune, nine-year-old DaughterGeeding walks in with a bewilder face and asks, “Where’s Pat?” We explained he missed the show because of surgery and Vanna is filling in. She retorted with, “And why didn’t you tell me about this?”
In The Surprising Breadth of Harbingers of Failure (Sci-Hub mirror), a trio of economists and business-school profs build on a 2015 Journal of Marketing Research paper that claimed that some households’ purchasing preferences are a reliable indicator of which products will fail — that is, if households in a certain ZIP code like a product, it will probably not succeed. The original paper calls these “harbinger households.”
Last year, Dallas’ police and fire departments teamed up with Parkland Hospital to rethink how they responded to 911 calls involving mental health crises. They placed a social worker inside the dispatch center to triage calls and sent out a special team staffed with a mental health professional whenever possible. They targeted South Central Dallas, the area with the highest concentration of mental health-related calls. The hope was that social workers could handle these cases without relying on the city’s overcrowded emergency rooms and jails.
Take note that we attempted to judge the shows in question on their own independent merits; while many of us have read the books these shows are based on, we didn’t base our decisions on fidelity to, or creativity of departure from, the original text. We just wanted to pick the best television experiences.