Ben Folds Five + Fraggles: Reminding Me of the Virtues of a Large Sample Size

I have a soft spot for Muppets and for the Ben Folds Five. The Muppets require no explanation. Ben Folds Five might do1.

The Ben Folds Five played the “Last Day of Classes” event at Duke University my freshman year (1998)2. I was having a good day (was named captain of the rugby team) and they rocked. At the time, the combination of good music and sun dresses convinced me that the “Last Day of Classes” was a day of eternal magic. Being a mere freshman, I had not yet learned that music selections by university entertainment committees are almost universally horrible3. The choice of Ben Folds Five was a statistical aberration that gave me an inaccurate expectation for the next year’s festivities due to the small sample size.

Looking back, the next three years of disappointment were well worth it to have that statistical lesson tattooed on my soul.

1. For the metaphorical Philistines amongst you.
2. Having been college, these dates may or may not be accurate.
3. They also managed to bring in Kevin Nealon to do stand-up comedy when I visited the campus as a high school senior – an event that certainly influenced my choice of higher education institution. Vanderbilt’s dean of admissions mocking Nashville’s storied country music history may have also helped.

Author: Josh Witten

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: