In an attempt to quell growing fan unrest over the job being done by its replacement officials, the NFL today announced a new promotion it expects to increase public engagement with the national pastime. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the YOU MAKE THE CALL! contest will randomly select nine lucky fans to officiate Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
The contest hearkens back to the old You Make the Call series, where the TV audience was presented with an actual game situation and asked to decide the correct call. Read more
On Feb. 10, Wufnik posted an analysis entitled “Surrounded by people ‘educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.’” I followed up four days later with “Why America has more education and less to show for it than ever before.” The thrust of these posts was that Americans today have more schooling, but at the same time have lost the ability to think critically. More data, less wisdom.
Then, on Friday, I did an article entitled “Target to require retinal scans and DNA samples of all in-store customers.” As is customary around here, we submitted this piece to a few social networks and news aggregators. If you surf the Diggs and Reddits and Currents and StumbleUpons of the online world, you know to come armed with low expectations for community aptitude. Still, some of these folks are thicker than others. Read more
Props, yo. (And thanks to Wendy Redal for passing it along….)
I’ve been thinking about how modern society explains various phenomena, everything from simple everyday questions to the grand complexities that vex the lay thinker’s ability to make sense of a confusing world. More and more, it’s become clear that we’re relying on Fuckem’s Razor, the little-known Medieval principle of implausibility. I’d like to take a moment to explain this theory for those who haven’t encountered it before.
Wait, you say – don’t you mean Occam’s Razor?
No, but thanks for raising that. Occam’s Razor, in Newton’s formulation, says that “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.” Put more directly, this means that when trying to understand things, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Occam’s Razor is credited to 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Read more
Ah, the redemptive power of football…
We’re not sure who wrote this, but we sure do respect their courage in standing up to the Red Menace. Please print out the following, sign it, and return it to us as soon as possible:
I, ________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:
I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.
I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public. Read more
I’ve been following the New Yorker/Obama cartoon dustup that my colleague, JS O’Brien, wrote about earlier today. In addition to the official and media reactions that have littered our news channels, I’ve also been tracking the heated debates raging across Left Blogistan with a mix of bewilderment and anger. I certainly empathize with JS and his “Archie Bunker” analysis – I grew up in the same kind of household he did and knew people who thought Archie was a true American hero. And there’s no doubt that the Manhattanite view of the world JS describes often lacks any meaningful grasp of what life is like on this side of the Hudson.
That said, there are some points where I think I disagree with JS – or perhaps it’s simply massive frustration masquerading as disagreement. Let’s work through it and see. Read more