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The Michael Method

Postby ore » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:33 am

One weakness of this method is that the people you know are not a random sample of the US population. For example, the people you know may (or may not) be disproportionately Utahn, college-educated, within about 10 years of your age, etc. If Michaels are more common in those groups, then a higher proportion of people you know are likely to be named Michael.
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Re: The Michael Method

Postby Neel Mehta » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:00 pm

Context: this blog post from Ken.

It's important to have context, especially when chatbots and people performing random Internet search queries (i.e. "George Michael rhythm method") reply to this thread 8 years later.
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Re: The Michael Method

Postby Ken Jennings » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:31 pm

Great point! More discussion at this new post.
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Re: The Michael Method

Postby grodney » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:35 am

Ken Jennings wrote:Great point! More discussion at this new post.

where Ken wrote:

Suggestions welcome if you know a good way to estimate the result these intervening effects would have on my non-Latino, Gen-X numbers.

The following helps a tiny bit with the generation-ality of Michael: has a lot of "baby name" statistics. Michael was in the Top 5 boy names from 1949 to 2010:

You can also see number of Michaels per decade:
1990s 462K rank #1
1980s 660K #1
1970s 707K #1
1960s 833K #1
1950s 836K rank #2
1940s 336K rank #9 example: ... 1940s.html
and so on

You can also do rank by year here:

Note that Michael, Micheal, and Mike are all separate entries, and are all in the Top 1000. In fact Mike ranks in the top 40 in the 1950s.

Also note that "Micahel" for females has ranked as high as 373rd most popular girl name, in the trippy 1975. That number is probably insignificant, unless you have a female Michael on your phone list, or if you're a female named Michael.

(Ed. Note: Years ago, I estimated the total people I had known through high school at 800 (by breaking them down into manageable estimate-able categories). I was too lazy to extend it past that.)
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