William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

This Week In Doom: Utopia Or Death (Baseball’s and Yours)

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I For One Welcome Our New Robot Masters

Computerized Umpire Calls Shots At San Rafael Pacifics Baseball Game

The San Rafael Pacifics are no strangers to promotions, but a computerized umpire being showcased Tuesday could offer a glimpse into the future of baseball.

The Pacifics hosted the first professional game played with a computer calling balls and strikes.

Home plate umpire Dean Poteet didn’t move much during the game. He called fair and foul balls, but not balls or strikes.

“They told me to stick my thumb in my belt loop so that I didn’t call strikes,” Poteet said.

The robotic umpire is designed to determine each player’s strike zone, and make the call.

Former Oakland A’s player Eric Byrnes announced the robotic umpire’s calls.

“This is something down the road that will change the game of baseball forever,” Byrnes said.

Brynes is right. It’s only progressives who think “change” is always good. Computerized umpires were the natural “progression” from instant replay review. The itch to make things perfect can never be scratched. Nothing is ever enough.

Look: we don’t even have to play the games. Why should we? Players make mistakes! Don’t you know how important these games are? Money is involved. Why don’t we quantitatively assess players’ abilities, and then design an algorithm which matches teams and shows us which side would have won? We could play entire seasons in seconds! Think of the tremendous savings! After all, who doesn’t want to get it right?

Dead Languages

Bias-Free Language Guide claims the word ‘American’ is ‘problematic’

“American,” “illegal alien,” “foreigners,” “mothering,” and “fathering” are just a handful of words deemed “problematic” by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.

According to the university’s website, the guide “is meant to invite inclusive excellence in [the] campus community.”

Terms also considered problematic include: “elders,” “senior citizen,” “overweight,” “speech impediment,” “dumb,” “sexual preference,” “manpower,” “freshmen,” “mailman,” and “chairman,” in addition to many others.

The guide defines words such as “homosexual” as “problematic,” offering “Same Gender Loving” as a more inclusive substitute. Similarly, a lack of gender-neutral bathrooms is, according to the university, “ciscentrism.”

The university defines “ciscentrism” as “[a] pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ‘other’ category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people.”

Words exist to express bias. If we remove the ability of words to do this, we lose the ability to think. It is a bias to call the tart pulpy red-skinned fruit that drops from a tree an apple and not a Buick. It is a bias to call a man without legs disabled; it is nonsense of the first order to call him differently abled because, obviously, he is not “abled.” It would be better to call him handicapped, or even crippled, for that is the best expression of the truth.

That we now see truth as “hurtful” is an symptom of our insanity. To think that some people, like those who created the asinine guide, make a living promulgating such preposterousities (if they can make up words, so can I) to a cowering populace. Maybe we ought to create our own guide and market it to supine college administrators.

Science is one of the causalities. The guide says, “Problematic/Outdated: Biological/Genetic/Natal/ ‘normal’ sex”. Recommendation? “Preferred: Assigned Sex”. How long before some lunatic, say a man pretending to be a woman, sues a gynecologist for refusing to treat him? I’d put my money on the lunatic. He might wind up with Anthony Kennedy as a judge.

Given that our government is staffed by folks who have been thoroughly propagandized, how long is it before these kinds of non-words are made official? Don’t laugh. Some enterprising Democrats have already introduced a bill to eliminate “husband” and “wife” from the language. And it’s already happened in other countries.

All this is the quite natural consequence of supposing the “truth” is what we decide.

Survey Says

Poll Commissioned by Planned Parenthood Says Planned Parenthood Is Popular. (Somebody sent this to me, but I cannot rediscover who. My apologies—and thanks.)

Planned Parenthood hired a Democratic polling firm to find out if taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is still popular, and found out that 64 percent of voters still want federal funding for the organization. Here’s the question that voters were asked:

Some Republicans in Congress say that because of the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, there should be an immediate vote to end all government funding for Planned Parenthood, including for services Planned Parenthood provides, such as cancer screenings and family planning. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the Republicans who say Congress should vote immediately vote to end all government funding for Planned Parenthood, including for services Planned Parenthood provides, such as cancer screenings and family planning?

Say, they forgot to ask about butchering babies and selling the pieces to the highest bidder. Could this be why nobody trusts statistics?

Incidentally, our guess that supporters of killing the lives inside mothers would either disparage the videos because of editing (even though the full unedited versions are also available) or would ignore them hoping they would go away was right on the money. John Nolte discovered that the legacy media covered the hunting of some dumb beast more in one day than in Planned Parenthood in two weeks.

Powers & Principalities

Video captures unveiling of satanic statue in Detroit

My prediction that the secret location of the unveiling (in my hometown) would be ex-mayor Coleman Young’s residence turned out to be wrong. Win some, lose some.

We All Need A Little Solace

25 Comments

  1. We deem the University of New Hampshire to be problematic. If excellence is problematic, we certainly do not need that University. Close it down. It’s problematic. (More important, stop paying for this university to indoctrinate your children. Makes you look stupid.)

    I believe the objective here is to lose the ability to think and know the truth. However, people keep right on paying to lose this ability. You can’t fix stupid.

    I repeat, again, that people PAY for this indoctrination. If people are so incredibly lazy or stupid or whatever that they pay to be turned into vegetables, you can’t fix stupid and not usually lazy either (that’s what nature is for—if you either hunt or starve, well….). This is what people want and value. It is now something to be proud of that you can mate and pop out a baby just like the dog next door. It is now something to be valued to be stupid. It’s what people want.

    This will kill many in the long run, but so far as I can tell, parents care nothing about their children or grandchildren and will not take action to stop this. Where my husband works, a person of a specific gender that cannot be named of course wanted to use a paragraph on safety regulations because “she liked that paragraph better”. The regulation had nothing to do with what was being inspected and she did not care. She like the paragraph better. One of the workers involved refused to sign off on this and refused to ever again participate in any safety inspection. Note: This is a high-pressure oil field vessel and people can die because she “liked the paragraph better”.)

    I’m actually surprised only 64% agreed on PP. I’d have thought closer to 90% with the impartial questioning.

  2. Someday everyone will recognize that calling a rose by a different name still is a rose but I’m not holding my breath while waiting.

    Some people just think in words and not concepts. At one time it was “kinder” to say someone was “slow” instead of “stupid” but eventually even the “slow” ones caught on to the fact “slow” meant “stupid”. So then it became “kinder” to say “retarded” instead of “slow” (nudge nudge wink wink) but alas the “retarded” eventually learned “retarded” means “stupid”. So the cycle continues.

    Frankly, I think those who believe creeping euphemisms change things are the mentally challenged ones.

  3. Oh Good Lord that unveiling of the Baphomet statue (sic) was awful. Why oh why couldn’t they have at least practiced unveiling the statue a few times before inflicting that upon the public? Even the kiss was awkwardly handled.

  4. ” How long before some lunatic, say a man pretending to be a woman, sues a gynecologist for refusing to treat him?”
    Too late. Already happened. Man went to his doctor. Demanded a cervical smear. Doctor refuses. Doctor disciplined by medical council.

  5. Rich: Yes. There have been multiple pregnant “men” (aftermarket hermaphrodites in many cases) around the world. Usually genealogists are also obstetricians, so they are already treating pregnant “men”. This is the ultimate stupidity calling a “man” pregnant. Men do not have uteruses. Only hermaphrodites and after-market hermaphrodites can do this because they are playing both male and female. The ultimate having your cake and eating too. A complete and utter lie that we are told we must believe.

  6. Now wait just a minute. One of these things (in your piece) is not like the others.

    In fact, a ‘strike’ is a well-defined concept, and thus is by definition inherently capable of objective measurement. A ‘strike’ is a pitch that is a) in ‘The Strike Zone’, which b) at some point in its path crosses home plate. (Meaning that the pitch can cross only a part of the plate, or curve across the plate, and still be a ‘strike’).

    Rule 2.00: The Strike Zone

    The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

    So-called baseball traditionalists end up arguing that more inaccurate, subjective, even provably biased*, calling of balls and strikes is part of the ‘flavor of the game’ or something like that.

    But isn’t that kind of thing exactly what you rail against, via the other examples in this piece?

    Unless the true message of this piece is “get off my lawn,” the robot umpire – that is, the lede and the headline of this piece – is no example of its point.

    *(Bias in calling of balls and strikes: it’s been shown, e.g., that a) individual umpires differ in their calls of balls and strikes; b) within umpires, ‘balls’ and ‘strikes’ change meaning depending on the game situation; c) individual catchers are better or worse at ‘framing’ pitches so that an umpire will call the same identical pitch a strike instead of a ball. SIDEBAR: And how were these biases identified? By thousands of objective measurements of the flight of the ball, and comparing these to the outcomes provided by the umpires and players involved. In fact, MLB even now measures each umpire’s pitch-calling accuracy in exactly this way.)

  7. JohnK: I think the point here was that baseball is a human activity and putting a robot in robs the game of its humanity in part. (just as the instant replay did)

  8. Leo Katzenstein

    August 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    “Words exist to express bias.”

    I’d disagree. Words express meaning.
    Bias, especially as used in “bias free language” is a synonym for prejudice. My preference is to reject the label, and not take the guide at face value. Telling other people how to express themselves is an attempt at control, and done (1) to let the would-be controllers feel morally superior, and (2) give them the thrill of ordering others around.

    Calling accurate language ‘biased’ is not benign.

  9. Milton Hathaway

    August 1, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Bias-free language -> STFU. I react accordingly.

    Sheri – I agree, after seeing the wording of the polling question, the result took on a whole different meaning for me.

    On polling in general, it seems to me that one of the worst ways to find out how people really feel about something is to ask them. I think politicians realize this on some level, which explains why they are so much more responsive to constituents who put forth the effort to ‘get in their face’ about an issue, despite polls indicating that the majority of their constituents feel the opposite. Squeaky wheels, you know.

    If you have a player piano, Scott Joplin’s “Solace” is a must-have; a recording can’t do it justice.

  10. Is the point of Matt’s piece that at least in some cases an actual truth exists, and further, that there can be an objective — even a necessary and inevitable — discrimination between truth and falsehood? If so, then appealing to “the human element” (or whatever) in a matter that is and can be objectively and rather precisely defined — what is and what is not a ‘strike’ — does not help make that point.

    For it’s not about ‘robots’ vs ‘the human element’. Baseball umps came into being precisely to create an objective, public standard, apart from the biases introduced by competitors, so that the human beings that matter in baseball — the players — can get on with baseball, free and clear. The umps exist because we believe them to be less biased and more accurate than the competitors could be. Also, they resolve disputes that otherwise could be endless or interminable, so that everybody can get on with the important thing — the game.

    I just don’t get what Matt and/or Sheri are saying. We chalk lines on the baseball diamond so that it’s easier to tell when a ball is hit fair or foul. Would it add to the ‘charm’ of professional baseball if we made the foul lines imaginary, so ‘the human element’ could have more play? Wouldn’t it be even more baseball fun if the umpires would be forced to make fair or foul calls on the basis of imaginary foul lines?

    Or would it be better (as one of the commenters in this thread implies) if there were no ‘real’ balls or strikes, because eliminating such ‘discrimination’ would at last be truly ‘objective’ and ‘unbiased, and we could finally think well of ourselves? Would that be nice?

    It’s not about ‘robots’. If you read the accounts of the games, you will see two things:

    a) a human being (in fact a former professional baseball player), not a robot, called balls and strikes — on the basis of the more accurate information provided by the technology. And in fact the former player commented more than once on how he personally would have mis-called a pitch, that the monitor clearly revealed to be a strike or a ball.

    b) And this is the important one. Both teams accepted this standard as the objective standard of the truth of balls and strikes in the game. They implicitly accepted that far from removing “the human element”, applying a standard equally to all players gave all the human beings playing baseball in that game the best opportunity to play baseball to the best of their ability.

    So, Matt and/or Sheri, I can’t even disagree with what you’re saying, since I simply don’t understand it.

  11. Of course, who cares about the truth that Plan Parenthood doesn’t sell but donate the tissue to research, so that other people can live.

    Who cares that the research saved countless of lives by using these tissue and cure some illnesses.

  12. I’m reminded of the book, ” Scorecating” , by Thomas Moskowitz and John Wertheim. According to them, most of the home field advantage, (In pro basketball the home team wins about 60% of the time, in pro football about 57% of the time, and in pro baseball about 55% of the time) is caused NOT by tiring road trips or home team familiarity with the facilities, but by subconscious referee bias due to cheers or boos from the home fans. If that’s correct, the home field advantage in robot refereed sports would be greatly reduced or eliminating, making the games more fair. I’m all in favor of robot umps!
    l

  13. Sylvain: So you’re good with the Nazi’s eugenics research because it might have had something to do with today’s cures? It’s okay to kill things as long as we learn from them? The ends justifies the means? Hitler had it right, it seems. (Oh, and by the way, the UNEDITED version of the exchanges does not back up your assertion that there was no selling of the parts.)

    As far as viable goes for those blobs of tissue, babies now live when born at 23 or 24 weeks weighing a pound.

    JohnK: Chalking lines is not the same as replacing the umpire with a robot. How about we replace the runner with a robot? The pitcher? Why have real people at all? We play baseball on Wii. We play chess with computers. Who needs real people anyway?

    Maybe if you watched the movie “The Sandlot”. At one time, it was about fun and sports were a way of bonding between people. Then we got professional sports and it became about money. As noted, if it’s about money, why even use human beings. Dueling computer programmers.

    Briggs noted he was out of computer range. This is my answer. If you don’t understand it, that’s okay. You’ll do fine with the robots.

  14. Bill James, pioneer of SABRmetrics advises the Red Sox. Their likely last place finish this year, making it 3 out of 4 years, kind of puts statistical analysis of player performance and skill in the trashcan. Computerized baseball might suffer the same fate if you can factor in the foolishness of fanboy ownership. But baseball has been ruined already. Too many coddled players, greedy owners, and pink-hat fans (for non-New Englanders that means casual fans). Too expensive to attend a game; takes too long to finish; no longer fun.

  15. Sheri,

    Hitler had no intention to curing anything. Abortion was not a choice for the women but forced upon them.

    The earliest fetus to be brought to life are at 21 weeks. But they come with lifelong health problem. They are part of you call takers.

  16. Tangentially related:

    From a piece about that lion: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/the-lion-sleeps-tonight?

  17. Blockquote worked on wrong segment. This is pull quote:

    First, Chesterton says that if there is one thing worse than the modern weakening of major morals, it is the modern strengthening of minor morals. This explains why abortion is legal, but smoking a cigar in a public park is illegal. This explains why the modern world is more upset about the killing of one lion than the slaughter of millions of babies. It explains why their veins pop from their necks that a game hunter would stalk a wild animal in order to stuff it as a trophy, but they ignore the systematic dismemberment of live babies extracted from their mother’s wombs so as to save the best parts for resale. It is something of an understatement to say that their major morals are weak and their minor morals are strong, but that is still the essence of it.

  18. Sylvain, your statements are not correct (to put it politely). There were fees paid, as the videos show. Name one disease that has been cured by fetal tissue research. Adult stem cell research has been much more fruitful. Again, for the liberal, feelings triumph over knowledge.

  19. Sylvain, even if the research were useful, does this justify crushing a baby’s head, a baby that can live as a human being? It amazes me, that liberals, who are supposed to be advocates for those who have no voice, are so inhuman with regard to abortion, pandering to the feminists who have no soul.

  20. Katie: Good information. There is most definitely an increase in minor morals and a decrease in major ones. You see it everywhere.

    Sylvain: So let’s just kill any baby that might take too much care. Then let’s kill the ones no one wants. Next, move up to toddlers. Nasty little sick things using resources someone else could better use. Then just kill the annoying ones. Maybe we stop at kindergarten, may not. Why put up with sick people at all? Kill anyone who gets sick and uses up resources. After all, they have expensive problems–and voila! The death squads of Obamacare, brought to you by Sylvain. Another useful effect of Sylvain’s ideology is why wait for the terminally ill to die? Harvest organs now while the organs are viable. Why let someone die for NOTHING. Kill them early and reap the benefits.
    (Bob: You know full well Sylvain did not watch the tapes and only knows what the media reported. He has no idea what’s really on the videos.)

  21. Sheri,

    That was the views of the Nazis to kill those with weaker genes. Women had no say wether or not they were getting aborted.

    I prefer to leave the entire choice to each women. You don’t want to get an abortion then don’t, but don’t impose your belief that a fetus is alive (this is not a fact but a belief)or a person on the vast majority of people that don’t agree with you, and let them make their own choice.

    A fetus as no counciesness, no knowledge of being alive because he is not. Once the firsth breath is taken then it is alive and conscious.

    You realize that what you are advocating for is a dictatorship that tell the women who are pregnant you have no right anymore because the supposed life in your womb is more important than yours. While there why not send the women who have miscarriage to prison since they killed the supposed person inside them. They must have taken or done something to cause the miscarriage.

    Again A FETUS IS NOT ALIVE AND NOT A PERSON. You cannot kill something that is not alive.

    It would be very nice to see the religious zealot have the same compation or sympathy for people that are actually alive than they have for a thing that is not.

    Bob said:

    “It amazes me, that liberals, who are supposed to be advocates for those who have no voice, are so inhuman with regard to abortion, pandering to the feminists who have no soul.”

    It amazes me that conservatives who are so inhumane toward people who are actually alive. Instead they prefer to call these people lazy, smoochers, takers. The poor are demonized for getting poorer after bringing children to life and demonize if they don’t. That is when anti-abortionist don’t ask their mistress to abort after getting them pregnant.

    I’m really not afraid of what god think of my humatnity than yours since I live my life much more in line with than any of you do on here.

  22. Sylvain, you know nothing, nothing of Catholic organizations such as “Feed The Poor”, “Cross-Catholic”. I believe nothing you say, since you argue from ignorance of what is actually in the world.

  23. Bob,

    Yes, many religious organizations have charity program, and it’s not because that some catholic are charitable that all catholic are charitable.

    Another example is that catholic are supposed to live in poverty while the Vatican sits on billions of dollars in gold, and palaces. At least pope Francis seems to live accordingly to his own words.

    You have the right to not believe me. You also have the right to be wrong.

  24. I, for one, welcome our robot umpires. The umpire is an adjudicator and only exists to allow for fair play by the humans playing the game. Games work because of the constraints placed on the human players. The umpire is not integral to the game.

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