At Casual Connect, Nicholas Berry from DataGenetics gave a really fascinating lecture on data mining and inference. The most interesting part was on names, using proper data to back up exactly the implications names give in fiction. (My words, not his.) Although, he did use charts and graphs to prove that people are called Ethel and Florence are old, and people called Madison and Jordann are tweens.
A day or so after that, I was chatting with someone about the DataGenetics talk. As alwaysm I dutifully turned up to mixers and networkers to nervously trade business cards, but ended up having my best conference chats waiting for the elevator, in line for coffee or sharing cabs.
“My wife’s best friend,” this fellow told me, after a short discussion of online privacy, “Is called Esther. Now, there aren’t a lot of young, hip Esthers, and she gets endless mail scams, obviously preying on the elderly.”
“My college roommate,” I said, almost choking with giggles, “Was called Esther, but she changed it. So your wife’s friend is defintely the only Esther under 60.”