Showing posts with label esoteric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label esoteric. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2022

Partial List of Best Last Meals

Perhaps which one you choose says a lot about you. Perhaps what I list and the order I choose says a lot about me. 

I leave it up to the reader to consider why it is your last meal; be it choice (yours or someone else's) or unexpected circumstance.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Advice to a Recent Graduate (and everyone else too)

As it is currently graduation season, I was recently asked on-the-spot to provide some advice to a recent graduate. Below is what I came up with. I think it is decent advice for all of us at all stages of life's graduations.
    1. Take in lots of diverse information.
    2. Be willing to change your mind.
    3. Gracefully stand up for what you believe in.

    Sunday, April 24, 2022

    If you've ever handled a penny, the government's got your DNA.

    File this under: Wanted: new conspiracy theories—all ours came true.

    When DNA testing and genomic profiling was first rolling out as a mass-market product, I remember hearing people objecting to it saying things like, "I don’t want them to have my DNA". 

    These worries were summarily dismissed by science-supporting elites as paranoia on the part of anti-science or antisocial bumpkins. 

    It turns out an ounce of caution here was warranted

    And then COVID happened . . .

    And now 23andMe has come full circle:

    Wojcicki says that’s just not going to happen. “We’re not evil,” she says. “Our brand is being direct-to-consumer and affordable.” For the time being she’s focused on the long, painful process of drug development. She’d like to think she’s earned some trust, but she hasn’t come this far on faith.
    Caution continues to be warranted by at least some elites (Macron refuses Russian COVID test), and I don't blame them--be sure to click through to the Atlantic story about the lengths to which the White House goes to protect the president's DNA. 

    I understand Macron and the White House taking extreme precautions in this area. I also do not think it is highly likely that anything bad would come of genetic data gathering in general. In fact I tend to be supportive of the secondary (or ulterior) uses that genetic data could provide--provided there are adequate disclosures on the front end and transparency throughout the process. Trust but verify is the right approach.

    The level of trust is inversely proportional to the extent to which people's fears get realized even if they are only partially realized. In other words the level of trust is directly proportional to the degree of proven trustworthiness.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2022

    Biden's Transformation Into a 1970s President

    It seems clear that President Biden is well on his way to achieving his obvious goal of becoming a redux of a 1970s American president. This would be some combination of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

    Consider the checklist below:
    • Stumble repeatedly ✔
    • Misspeak and garble words ✔✔✔
    • Inflation ✔✔
    • Malaise 
    • Disastrously bungled Asian/Middle Eastern war retreat ✔✔
    • Extreme tensions with Russia involving their invasion of a neighboring country 
    • High oil prices 
    • Olympic boycott ✔

    Still waiting on:


    Thursday, March 31, 2022

    The Meaning of Opposite

    Opposite is a loaded term. The meaning of it grows more ambiguous as the dimensions of the object to which it refers grow. 

    A no-dimensional object (a point) has no opposite aside from absence (not a point). A one-dimensional object (the line A—B) has its pure reversal (B—A) as its opposite. 

    Consider a higher order "object" such as driving in America. What is the opposite? It could be said that driving in England is the opposite of driving in America since Americans drive on the right while the English drive on the left. This would be true in the limited sense from the perspective of the perpendicular plane relative to the driver’s general direction, forward, through time—also forward. 

    But one could also say that driving sideways is the opposite of driving as we know it. How about rather than driving through scenery that the car passes through that the car stands still and the scenery moves passing by the car was the opposite? Still another could be driving whereby you leave from your destination and arrive at your departure point. There certainly are more.

    What is the point of this thought process? It is a hint at how difficult and convoluted and simply fraught any attempt to draw sharp distinctions can be. This is especially true in the realms of human action. Counterfactuals are not only challenging to find. They are nearly impossible to properly define.

    Sunday, January 23, 2022

    Ranking College Football Programs - Discounted Win Percentage

    [tl;dr - It is Ohio State, Alabama, and Oklahoma in the top 3 just about any way you cut it]

    As the spring semester starts so too does the off season for college football. Inevitably this brings lots of prognostication for what is to come in the fall but also for a look back to assess the past--recent and long ago. With this are a million arguments about what are the greatest college football programs and who among the elite can claim Blue Blood status.

    The website College Football News (CFN) says the best of them all is the Oklahoma Sooners. As much as I love that idea, I can see reasonable minds disagreeing. Undoubtedly any such lists will imply some hair-splitting considerations. What I really like about their approach is that it has a definitive methodology to it. It is not just some "experts" giving us their feel for the answers as if they could divine the truth free from bias. 

    Of course all approaches will have bias. This would come in two varieties: assumption based and disposition based. One can create a formal algorithm (that is what I have done below) or one can derive a list from an informal algorithm weighing factors mysteriously within one's mind. While any method can be logically sound, generally speaking the less formal the process is, the more subject to bad reasoning or bad facts it will be. Assumption-based bias would be something like assigning too much weight to a certain factor. Disposition-based bias would be something like favoring a team for a reason not meaningful to the ranking itself.

    Many attempts at this barstool debate are prone to bad math such as overcounting a metric since there will naturally be high correlation between commonly used measures (e.g., national championships and winning percentage). To prevent this, simpler is better if a simple approach can yield the desired effect. 

    Back to CFN's approach, they use a very common and logical method, the inverse of the final AP Top 25 Poll each year to score teams. A first-place team would receive 25 points all the way through #25 receiving 1 point. Summing all the points by team creates the list in order. I do not disagree with their top 3 teams (OU, Alabama, and Ohio State), but the list can be criticized for its obvious shortcomings. For example, leaving out teams' scores when they finish just outside of the top 25 creates artificial distortion making it look like there is more separation within the list than actually exists. Of course there is no easy way to fix this. Additionally the AP poll is not itself without bias as some teams, especially those not typically perceived as being elite, may be systematically underrated. All of this makes this list, like so many others, subject to folly as one works down the list. Technically speaking our confidence in the outcome diminishes by an increasing degree from the top working down.

    The CFN ranking is the "greatest programs of all time". As interesting as that is, it isn't necessarily what we commonly are thinking about when we seek to rank programs. Specifically, when we talk about the so-called "Blue Bloods", we are thinking of the best programs with emphasis to one degree or another on where they stand today. This opens up one additional criticism that this list and basically all lists like it suffer from: reverse-recency bias. Maybe we would term it "old-timer bias". This is the fact that these lists give equal weight to success in the distant past as they give to recent outcomes. And this is true whether they are derived from algorithms (assumption based) or expert opinion (disposition based). Of course many expert opinions can have the traditional recency bias problem (favoring the recent over the past), but often it is the traditional teams that get more love than they might deserve--I'm looking right at you Texas A&M and Michigan.

    To get around this problem, I have created the model below. Borrowing from the foundational concepts of asset valuation where future cash flows are discounted back to present day (a dollar of earnings in ten years is worth less than a dollar today), I have created a model that gives more weight to recent performance than the same performance achieved in the past. 


    I believe the most straight-forward way to evaluate teams is the win-loss record. The only enhancement to this might be to include margin of victory*--a technique I have used and will update soon in an additional post. 

    My model looks at each team's winning percentage by year and then discounts it by a factor for each year back it falls. So a win% in a given year would be worth less and less in the past the longer and longer ago it happened. Notice that I am using winning percentage so that basically there is no impact from the fact that teams play and have played a different number of games within a year and throughout the years--typically more games recently. 

    I also have included a starting-year cutoff to stop counting results that are past a certain date, which is a changeable variable in the model (see below for the link). Even though a discount factor makes the past less and less valuable in assessing a total score, it might be that football changed so fundamentally we don't want any results before a certain date and the discount factor necessary to otherwise achieve this would be too big--it would make results fade away from importance too quickly.

    For me the discount factor I settled on was 4% with a cutoff date of 1946. My reasoning was at a 4% discount rate a 100% win percentage season 18 years ago would be worth only about 50% today--the factor cuts it in half. 18 years is the typical age of an incoming college freshman football player--so there is some relevance, maybe, to the people playing the game.

    My starting-year cutoff is 1946, which has historically been marked as a beginning point of college football. However, as I've said before, I am not sure how valid that is. One-platoon football was the rule in most of the 1950s and into the 1960s. Furthermore, racial integration into college football did not meaningfully arrive until the 1970s. 

    These choices of discount factor and starting-year cutoff are both very arbitrary, but you see there is some logic to them. Importantly, the results do not seem to be sensitive to reasonable changes in either the discount rate or the starting-year cutoff date--the top three remain the same no matter what reasonable parameters are used.

    One additional limitation this model has is that I did not look at all college football teams in creating it. Yet this is not the problem it may seem to be at least at the top end of the list (yes, this is of the same type of criticism I made of the CFN list above). Because I had to calculate from raw data the annual winning percentages of each team in the database, I limited it to the top 30 teams in winning percentage over the past 50 years (1972-2021). So, to be sure there are teams that with certain discount factors used (high ones) would find themselves otherwise in the list but are excluded. But this is quite limited to the very bottom of the list. Sorry Oklahoma State, your recent success would not get you very high in this ranking even if you had been good enough to make the list (OkState is 31st in win% over the 1972-2021 timespan for teams that were in D I-A (now FBS) football the entire time). Which brings up another team excluded, Boise State. They have had phenomenal winning teams since joining top-level college football in 1996. I made the decision to disallow them because of this limited time in the sample (the strength of their historic schedule might be another reason). 

    Some Results

    Using a discount factor of 4% and a starting year of 1946:

    Using a discount factor of 4% and a starting year of 1972 (last 50 years):

    Using a discount factor of 4% and no starting-year cutoff (all years included):

    Using a discount factor of 0% 
    and no starting-year cutoff (all years included):

    Check out the model for yourself including changing the parameters as you see fit. Here are some of the results given a few parameter choices. 

    *MoV isn't completely stable over time, a potential criticism of that model, but since it has tended to increase in the past 50 years, I believe there is some natural recency premium built into that model. Regardless, it would be interesting to add into it a discounting factor, which I will do before publishing the updated results.

    Sunday, May 30, 2021

    WWCF: First Contact

    Which will come first?

    Aliens Contact Us


    We Contact Aliens

    How quickly you dismiss this question on its very premises is interesting in itself. Let's start with the basic assumption that there have been, are, or will be aliens (intelligent life with origins beyond Earth). Now that we have that out of the way . . .

    Where are you on the Fermi Paradox and The Great Filter? For this question to have meaning we have to additionally assume it is actionable because there will be a determination of contact made. So . . . 

    Here are the terms:

    Aliens contacting us would include the obvious spaceship lands on the White House lawn, but also signals deliberately sent that we detect/decipher even if they are not aimed directly for us. Add to this discoveries of artifacts here on Earth of past alien civilizations if those were exploratory or communicative in nature. So a deliberate message sent by aliens and received by us through passive discovery or active looking by us is the first condition met.

    The second condition, that we make first contact, seemingly has a lot of hurdle to it. We have to discover aliens keeping to themselves to the extent they don't find us and make contact or we see one of their signals sent out prospectively, and then we make the first engaging move. Yet there is another way. If our signals we have been sending out unintentionally/sloppily since the time we have been aware that we've been transmitting to the cosmos or sending out deliberately to "is there anybody out there?" are received by aliens, then we have made first contact. Another feather in the cap of us first is what qualifies as "intelligent" life. While I am open to revision, right now I would allow anything at or above the minimum threshold of animal cognition. So Martian mice count, but Martian bacteria do not. As impressive as space monkeys would be, there is no chance they contact us first.

    Robin Hanson has already been putting in the heavy lifting on this one. And don't tell me that it is already settled--dis ain't ova

    My prediction: Perhaps I allow the Fermi Paradox to overly influence me or perhaps I'm too optimistic in regards to The Great Filter. Nevertheless, I come down on the side of the second case, we contact aliens first. To this I will assign a respectable but still negotiable 65% probability.

    Thursday, May 20, 2021

    Two Short, Partial Lists . . . More or Less

    We don't just have wants; we have wants about our wants. 
                        -- The philosophy of Harry G. Frankfurt as channeled by Russ Roberts

    Things I would like to like less: 
    • Football
    • Running errands
    • Donuts
    • Saving and salvaging old stuff
    • DIY
    • Collecting
    • Piddling around the garden
    Things I would like to like more: 
    • Baseball
    • Exercise
    • Tea
    • Live concerts
    • Playing golf
    • Attending church
    • Math
    This is a very partial partial list. I could go on and on. And it changes over time, but these items are fairly constant. 

    One might say that I am yearning to be someone else, and that would be partly true. Such a yearning can be a healthy aspiration or a smothering burden. I don't think I'm deluding myself to believe I keep it on the healthy side. 

    And this is more about how I wish I ticked rather than how I wish I acted. Any good economist rightfully responds to the statement "I want to have X" (where X is a new job, a Ferrari, more time to travel, etc.) with the terse reply "Obviously, no you don't."

    While these are not desires I can completely bring about, I can work on them. Perhaps I should/will, but perhaps I'm partial to leaving aspirations as they are.

    Monday, May 10, 2021

    WWCF: Sensors in Football or AI Calling Balls/Strikes in Baseball?

    Which will come first?

    Sensors in the NFL (determining touchdowns, etc.)


    Artificial Intelligence Calling Balls & Strikes in the MLB

    Basically, which of these two professional leagues will first adopt a replacement for human officiating judgement? The Hawk-Eye system has been finding wide adoption in many sports with tennis being the most substantial example to date.

    For decades now we have had greater and greater use of replay review. NBA basketball is perhaps the most developed version of this even if it is imperfect. And despite the old-fashioned nostalgia and general complaints ("they still don't get it right!" . . . "it takes too long to be worth it" . . . et al. ad nauseam), I don't think the trend of trying to get it right with the help of technology is reversing.

    You don't have to look far for examples of meaningful mistakes in both sports all of which are painful for fans and damaging to the brand. But vested interests (unions and fans who fear change, to name just two) hold back improvement*--slowing us down from where we are otherwise going. 

    Here are the terms: 
    • Football - in the least having sensors used to determine touchdowns when the officials on the field are in doubt. It would qualified if these are used to overrule upon challenge or if the officials can use them similar to how every score is reviewed by rule.
    • Baseball - in the least the calling of balls and strikes by an autonomous system. To be clear this is not overruling the umpire but autonomously determining in the first place. 
    Baseball would seem to have the clear lead in this evolution. However, football would be less disruptive since this would only be employed at critical plays like scoring (the criterion for this WWCF) as well as potentially first downs and out of bounds. 

    My prediction: The MLB has more to gain as that sport is much more at risk of losing fan share. It also has obviously been making more moves in this direction. Therefore, they will opt to make a leap out of a greater sense of urgency thus being the first mover.

    *One could argue that there is some art involved in catchers framing pitches as well as potentially some game improvement by umps having degrees of freedom in the strike zone. However, the spirit of the game is probably not in how sly a player can deceive, and it takes ~25 umpire "improvements" to negate one obviously blown at bat. Likewise in football I fail to see anything desirable about referee mistake.

    Friday, May 7, 2021

    Fighting Words

    This is a partial list and probably just a glimpse of the many ways in which I am unelectable as a U.S. Presidential candidate. I feel like I am part of a small minority advocating that the world is round in the midst of a powerful and vocal majority who dismissively says "No, quite obviously, it's flat".

    • If you support government schools, you are part of the problem. Do whatever you can to get your kids out as well as help others to get out as well--especially the most needy, inner-city kids and others. Starve the beast. It does not serve its customers, children and their families.
    • Social Security and Medicare = Welfare. And it is unsustainable welfare at that.
    • (Related to the above) Baby Boomers need Millennials and immigrants (especially illegal immigrants) to bail them out of their financial peril. 
    • Most news is entertainment and most of that is proverbial porn. Watching and reading popular news sources is entertainment with negative intellectual value--it is making you dumber.
    • Support for the Pledge of Allegiance is virtue signaling, and recitation of it is an activity of un-American obedience.
    • The national anthem being played before sporting events is state worship of dubious origin, and the rationale given for its continuance is awkward at best. 
    • You don't own "your" culture. You are a part of a greater human culture and many, many subcultures. Hopefully you are contributing to them, and hopefully you are finding where they are and how they are changing beneficial to you. Regardless, to claim ownership is nonsensical
    • The push for National service is motivated in large part on resentment. People resent how good life is for the young, and how bright and relatively easy their prospects are; therefore, they want to instill hardship on them, and they believe the only way for them to develop character is for them to be placed into a form of involuntary servitude. 

    P.S. For those scoring at home, that is 2.5 points for Bryan Caplan as a fellow traveller reference. Perhaps I should formally outsource my thinking to him? Hopefully I have not subconsciously done so.

    Saturday, December 26, 2020

    Three Characters From Bewitched Have Taken Over America

    I know this is a hopelessly-dated allusion, but it is important that we remember the great works of fiction and see how they are commentary on real life. 

    Although Bewitched first aired a bit before my time, it was in afternoon reruns when I was in my formative grade school years. In addition to the pure entertainment value of this sitcom, it was good for a young kid to learn from some of the characters in this show. Notably, the caricatures of the Larry Tate, Gladys Kravitz, and Endora.

    For those who don't know exactly what I'm talking about, let me explain. 

    Larry Tate is the boss of the show's main male character, Darrin Stephens. Larry is a rudderless client yes-man obviously willing to do anything and everything a client asks no matter the cost. He will turn on a dime to agree with a client even if it awkwardly and obviously makes him contradicts himself. It is not that the customer is always right. It is that he doesn't really care about the customer's needs. He only wants the customer's business. This means he would gladly let a client make a mistake as long as it meant Larry gets the business. 

    Larry Tate is seen today in all those who so willingly and easily succumb to the demands and desires of those in power and authority. Read this how you like, but I see it in those who would wear a mask in the shower if Dr. Fauci so commanded along with those who would believe aliens (space or illegals) voted repeatedly, fraudulently for Joe Biden. 

    Gladys Kravitz is the nosey neighbor who thinks everyone else's business is her business. She freaks out about other people and the goings on around her on a regular basis. 

    Mrs. Kravitz is seen today in every so-called Karen and other busybody who so much wants to patrol, police, and protect other people's lives. Less someone point out the gaslighting that poor Kravitz endured, I will admit that She Was Right! in her observations at least. But she was not right to be minding other people's concerns. Adults should be allowed to make their own mistakes, and we should defer to others with respect to their own choices. We likely do not know best for other people. Whether she is on the local zoning board or guiding health policy (be it for cocaine and vaccines or for social distancing and ruling business essentialness), Gladys Kravitz doesn't see it this way. 

    Endora is the mother of the main character, Samantha Stephens. Endora believes herself to be quite superior to mortals. She would be quite happy to control and command all of her daughter's life as well as any others who got in her way. She wasn't always harsh about it instead using charm and seduction more often than brute force.

    Endora is seen today as always in government at so many levels. She will steamroll over the lives and desires of Samantha and Darrin (people everywhere) if it serves her. She seduces the Larry Tates of the world and uses the Gladys Kravitzes of the world preying upon their respective weaknesses. The effect of government is Endora, but the composition of government is individuals. Those individuals are not fully Endora by themselves, but when good intentions are combined with poor incentives and weak principles, the outcome is Endora.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020

    List of Ambivalence

     Partial list of things I am ambivalent about:
    • Chick-fil-e’s Sunday Policy -- I am disappointed from the point of view as a customer; I am very much in support of their ability to choose to do this and I am impressed by the choice.
    • The Trump Presidency -- not Trump himself, who I find quite objectionable. There are just some things to like and some things to very much dislike. I had the same appraisal of Obama, Bush, Clinton, . . . 
    • Deplatforming by social media, other tech companies, and financial processing firms/networks -- It is certainly within their rights in almost all cases, but I am fairly sure it is not good ethically or pragmatically in all but the most isolated cases.
    • Hunting -- I am not sure it is always morally objectionable, but it is often enough. 
    • The National Anthem before sporting events -- Notice how we don’t see this practiced at high brow events like the philharmonic, etc.
    • Separating activities, clubs, etc. by boys and girls and by men and women (e.g., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Men’s Grill, Lady’s Auxillary, etc.) -- Is this socially healthy? Is it logical? I think in some cases it certainly is, but there is a slippery slope. 
    • Roundabouts (aka, circle, traffic circle, road circle, rotary, rotunda, and island) -- These are unfairly criticized in many cases, but they are also irresponsibly used and often inappropriately built.

    Sunday, October 11, 2020

    The Electoral College by Private Land Mass

    One of the ways voting used to be limited was property ownership. Specifically, there were property qualifications where only property owners with sufficient holdings (along with other qualifiers like race and sex--i.e., white males) could vote. 

    This got me thinking: what if the U.S. Constitution's provisions for the composition of the House of Representatives and thus that portion of the Electoral College had been designed around private land ownership rather than population?

    Sooo.... I created a model for how that might look today given the amount of private land ownership by state. Now, this would have created the strong incentive to maximize private land ownership resulting in a much different picture than that below. But working with the lay of the land today, the crazy result would obviously be a huge boon to large western states and residents in them. Notice how Alaska doesn’t get a big lift and Nevada actually shrinks as a result of how much of each state is owned by the government. 

    To further the thought experiment, I applied Eli Dourado's election model to see how the current Presidential election might be affected. Spoiler alert: This looks very good for Republicans.

    This is a rough model—so I very well may have made mistakes. (Sources are in the linked spreadsheet.)

    Saturday, July 18, 2020

    The Wisdom of a Small Child

    From about the time he was five years old, my son Max had four favorite sayings/shouted responses: 
    He always has said them emphatically and authoritatively. And he doesn't back down. 

    I have had this post in my notes for years (he will soon be 11). Although I am late in posting it, it remains true and relevant today. He has added to his repertoire
    • No, Dad, that's not how it works.
    • Look, just let me do it.
    He has a point in each case that I really can't argue with. In fact, these are probably phrases we should all employ more often, if only with a bit less volume. Let me explain.

    It doesn't matter - this is true for most everything. I don't mean so in an extreme philosophical sense of if you take a long enough perspective, it all fades into meaninglessness. But I do mean that a longer-run and bigger-picture perspective is the right approach. Most things in the here and now just don't matter too much. Go with the flow of life. If almost every problem is essentially small, the proper response is generally essentially modest. 

    Quit rushing me - this relates to most things not mattering. What is the hurry? Rushing introduces added risk of error. How often are we neglecting this cost for some illusory goal of doing it faster? If it matters, it can wait. If it needs haste, speed will naturally follow. Perhaps we who realize a particular need for urgency need to inform others who are unaware or impress upon ourselves this demand, but the slip from alert to panic is a quick one. Almost nothing is actually on fire.

    Quit wasting my time - time is our most precious asset. In a sense it is essentially the true unit of account. How much time a given action or inaction requires is a very underappreciated cost. And we only vaguely are aware of the value of our own time much less the value of someone else's. Our tolerance for wasting another's time or another wasting our own should be quite low. Our tolerance and appreciation for someone guarding preciously their own time should be quite high. Be polite, but don't let time be wasted.

    Is that really necessary? - If it doesn't matter (usually to a large degree) and we shouldn't be rushed and we should not waste time, this question becomes imperative. So many times were these phrases shouted back to me as I struggled to get him to put his shoes on (among so many other similar trivialities). Getting the shoes on was necessary but . . . it kinda didn't matter, I didn't need to rush him, yelling at him do it rather than helping him wasted everyone's time, and none of that was really necessary.

    No, Dad, that's not how it works & Look, just let me do it - I'm glad he is outspoken and very eager to try things for himself. He will make many, MANY mistakes in this journey. But I owe it to him to allow him this dignity. 

    Sunday, June 28, 2020

    A Parable On Perspective

    "I saw a terrible, just tragic sight, last night at Chez Paul. A couple couldn't afford the wine pairing with the chef's tasting menu. I heard him lament something about his job at DrillRock. You know they've been one of the worst hit by the industry downturn. I can only imagine their worries... 'Do we sell the lake house--it was just in Architectural Digest!?! Will the kids have to go to public schools? At what point do I downgrade to a social membership at Bushwood?...' It all makes me question my own good fortune and if I am blissfully ignorant of how precariously close I actually am to a dramatic scaling back in my life."

    "Oh! And while the valet was getting the car we saw paramedics assisting a homeless man ... heard a bystander say something about him passing out and hitting his head. He looked downright skeletal. That was sad too."

    Friday, June 5, 2020

    Bargains Not Available

    Just a little exercise in futile thinking (aren’t we all doing a bit of that nowadays?). I would swap these if I could

    My rough rules on these were that they have to be relatively equal in stature and be games that I experienced—either agony of defeat or thrill of victory. 

    I would lose this . . .                                                        To win this . . .
    OU vs KU 1995                                                                  OU vs KU 1988
    OU vs OSU 1988                                                                OU vs Boise State 2007
    OU vs Texas 2018                                                              OU vs Georgia 2017
    OU vs Texas 1996                                                              OU vs Texas 1984
    OU vs Nebraska 2010 & OU vs Alabama 2014                      OU vs Florida 2009*
    OU vs Auburn 2017 & OU vs Texas 1993                              OU vs LSU 2003*

    *As they all could be argued, I would admit these are the most arguable as unfair trades.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2020

    Partial List of Meaningless, Vague Phrases

    I like foreign films. 
    I am listening to the experts.
    I want to work for a non profit. 
    I support worthy causes. 
    Failure is not an option. 
    The cost going forward doesn't matter because if we retreat now, we will give up everything we have fought for up to this point. 
    The team had the "momentum". 
    I support sustainability.
    This is no time to panic. 
    My country right or wrong.
    It is what it is.
    Rules are rules.
    Those who have been successful should give back to society.
    We are prepared to do whatever it takes.
    I buy American-made goods. 
    This time is different. 
    We've been here before. 
    We should listen to the science. 
    If it saves just one life...

    Saturday, May 2, 2020

    Partial List of The Best Ways to Die

    Perhaps apropos in a time of pandemic. Meant not to discourage or disparage. We all will do this eventually.

    • As a martyr
    • In a noble sacrifice
    • For a crime one didn’t commit
    • By plunging into a black hole
    • In vain fighting for a great cause
    • During a peaceful sleep after a life well lived

    Wednesday, April 1, 2020

    Optimal Way to Experience Major Sports

    I miss sports. All we have for the time being are reruns, what if fantasies, and arguing. Here is fodder perhaps for that third category:

    • Football and to a lesser degree soccer and hockey are best viewed in person since so much of what is happening is beyond the televised field of view. For those moments where you would like to have a different view, most all modern experiences have enormous screens and multiple cameras to accommodate.
    • Golf and Olympic sports reverse this by nearly requiring TV to be the medium as only television can capture the simultaneous action as well as the location changing (hole to hole for golf, event to event for Olympics).
    • Basketball, tennis, and combat sports are made for viewing on TV since the screen can capture all the very fast-paced action without moving the camera and at a reasonable, constant zoom level. Additional angles can supplement easily when needed. 
    • Baseball is made for radio and secondarily for TV since all the action can be described in sync with the game itself. I know this could be construed as a slight on baseball, but it really just speaks to the uniqueness and nuance of that game. How many fans in person or watching on TV would really know that a pitch was an outside slider for example?

    Sunday, February 9, 2020

    Dialing It Down a Bit

    Partial list of things we need less of: 
    • generational labeling and other generalizations masquerading as arguments
    • homework--kids get enough busywork at school; time at home should be devoted to learning
    • tribalism
    • protectionism--in occupations at home and in trade abroad
    • nostalgia for the way things are or were [especially the way things are imagined to have been]
    • access to other people's money
    • superhero movies
    • outrage at past sins
    • factory farming