23 September 2008

Finding (more) good philosophy in unexpected places

In August I wrote briefly about a bit of good philosophy, gleaned from a cooking show. Well, i continue to find nuggets of wisdom in unusual places. Maybe it shows that a good writer is a good writer, no matter the subject. Anyway, today's episode features one of the best baseball blogs out there, U.S.S. Mariner. While they're nominally a team-specific blog for the Seattle Mariners, the writers are very intelligent, and really seem to understand baseball. In one of today's posts, they showed a chart displaying how far off different writers were in their preseason win total predictions, vs. a prediction of 81-81 record for every team*. Near the bottom of the post, Dave offers up this nugget of wisdom:

People who think that their positions entitle them to have their opinions respected are likely not worth listening to. If they actually had something of value to share, they wouldn’t have to lean on their employment status, but could stand on their track records instead.

I'm not sure what I can add to that. This is exctly what I want to say to people who tell me I'm unpatriotic for criticizing our monkey president/governor/government in general. Essentially, respect is earned, not given, and is based on actions and content, not a title. What do you think, internet? Is there some inherent wisdom in the words of those in charge? Is their lofty position indicative of some natural wisdom or authority? Or are they just as full of shit as the rest of us?

*shockingly, only 2 of the national baseball writers they compared scored higher than this arbitrary guess. 2! And surprise, surprise, it was the two "Sabermetrics" guys, Keith Law and Rob Neyer. Remind me to write a post some time on the value of modern statistics in evaluating baseball players/teams, and the ridiculous backlash from those that don't understand them. I might even make a connection to conservatives!

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