gone parabolic (UNCLASSIFIED)
Mullins, Bill AMRDEC
Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Thu Dec 2 20:23:37 UTC 2010
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE
Obviously, one could curve-fit the data to various functions and find
the residuals and minimize them for various curves. But I don't think
that is what you, the WSJ, or I am trying to do here . . .
I see a graph that goes (more or less) from 50 to 100 in 6 months (11/09
to 5/10) and from 100 to 200 in the next 6 months (5/10 to 11/10). If
it were linear, it would be gaining $50 per 6 months, and would have
gone from 100 to 150 from 5/10 to 11/10 -- that is what linear does.
If it doubles every six months (which is what it appears to do: $50 to
$100, then $100 to $200), then that is the definition of an exponential
growth -- not linear.
Am I misunderstanding what you are saying?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
Behalf Of
> Victor Steinbok
> Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:13 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: gone parabolic (UNCLASSIFIED)
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
----------------------
> -
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: gone parabolic (UNCLASSIFIED)
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
> -
>
> I have no idea about the other two claims--we are just speculating
> here--but as far as the nature of the graph is concerned, if you
follow
> my link and simply click "1y" under the chart, you will see a very
> linear looking graph. Of course, it is not entirely that--the initial
> price (48) doubled by late May (100), then kept rising a while longer,
> but skipped back down to 100 by August, then doubled again in the
> remaining 4 months. If it were not for the period from May to August,
it
> would indeed look exponential--doubling every 4 months or so. As it
it,
> however, there is nothing this obvious. And, of course, there has been
> some profit-taking in the last couple of days, so cresting 200 was
> indeed the high point so far.
>
> VS-)
>
> On 12/2/2010 10:49 AM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
> > ----------------------
> >> -
> >> Sender: American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Poster: Victor Steinbok<aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> >> Subject: gone parabolic
> >>
> >
------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ------
> >> -
> >>
> >> An odd line in a WSJ blog post on the Netflix stock success:
> >>
> >> http://goo.gl/lDRff
> >>> The chart on Netflix has truly /gone parabolic/ since late January
2010.
> >> Take a look at NFLX stock charts and see for yourself if there is
> >> anything "parabolic" about them.
> > The writer, Matt Phillips, probably vaguely remembered the phrase
"gone
> > ballistic" (which would be more appropriate, though still not
accurate)
> > and wrote "gone parabolic" by mistake.
> >
> >> http://goo.gl/yRpTz
> >>
> >> Although the stock price has been rising fairly steadily over the
past
> >> 11 months (starting from a 1-year low on Jan. 2), the rise has been
> >> fairly close to linear (with some daily and weekly fluctuations, of
> > The rise is only "fairly close to linear" if you are looking at in
on a
> > chart the vertical axis of which is logarithmic:
> >
> > http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=NFLX&t=2y&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=
> >
> > If you look at the history on a chart with a linear vertical axis:
> >
> > http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=NFLX&t=2y&l=off&z=l&q=l&c=
> >
> > the rise is not linear, but exponential.
> >
> >
> >
> >> course, e.g., a small drop today). But looking at 3-yr and 5-yr
charts
> >> shows that the price had been fairly flat for a long time through
> >> October of 2008, then crept up slowly to the end of 2009 (from high
> >> 10s-low 20s to about $50), and rose much more rapidly in 2010 ($50
to
> >> $209, having hit $100 in May and August, August being the last
"dip").
> >> There is little doubt that one could fit a parabola to the data,
but
> >> that does not necessarily make the chart "parabolic" (of course,
one
> >> could "fit" a parabola to /any/ chart, with different degrees of
> >> accuracy). Besides, the claim is not that the chart is parabolic
over
> >> the last 3-5 years, but over the last 11 months, when the growth
can
> >> best be described as linear!
> >>
> >> The question I have is whether this may represent simply an attempt
to
> >> communicate a pattern of sharper increases over shorter periods of
time
> (which, I suspect, most investors would not understand--and is not
true for
> the specifically mentioned period) or if the term "parabolic" has
> >> simply gone hyperbolic, like the much belabored "exponential" (with
the
> difference being a question of degree--and I don't mean that to be the
> >> degree of a polynomial). What throws me off is the use of "truly"
in the
> quoted sentence, but, of course, this may not truly mean "truly" (see,
> >> for example, all the past threads on "literally" in ADS-L
archives). I
> >> am generally fascinated by odd usage of fairly well-defined
mathematical
> terms, so this one grabbed me right away.
> > I think you are giving the writer credit for more precision and
> > sophistication in his language than he deserves. The simplest
> > explanation is that Phillips doesn't know how to use mathematical
terms
> > properly (which is not at all unusual for a journalist).
> >
> >
> > Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> > Caveats: NONE
> >
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> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
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