Friday, November 03, 2017

Astros World Series parade angers college professor

Astros World Series parade angers college professor

“Classes are cancelled tomorrow to celebrate the fact that Houston-based athletes smacked a ball with a piece of wood (and caught and through balls) better than LA-based athletes. I will be reflecting on our nation’s values.”

The great irony - his own teacher obviously must have cancelled spelling class to celebrate a sports victory.

6 comments:

  1. Criticizing somebody for spelling is a fairly weak criticism I think. Apparently about 40% of the words in the English Language are adopted from other languages so there really is no logic or consistent set of rules to the spelling of words.

    If this professor isn't a baseball fan, it doesn't necessarily surprise me he doesn't think of the spelling of the word 'threw' off the top of his head.

    The most classic example of the absurdity of spelling in the English language is that 'Ghoti' can be pronounced as 'fish.'

    (The 1960s T.V show Batman did a scene with that that is available on Youtube. I don't know if the show originated that example or not.)


    The valid criticism to me in regards to grammar is that 'the fact that' is a completely unnecessary addition to the sentence. The sentence would have the exact same meaning if he had written "Classes are cancelled tomorrow to celebrate that Houston based athletes..."

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    1. Not a criticism. Just a joke.

      And the delicious twist of him considering instruction so very sacred now that he's as a teacher, when he obviously did not feel the same reverence as a student. The only thing that would make it better is if he played hooky during spelling class so he could play baseball.

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  2. Of course, the more serious criticism of this professor is the idea that classes be cancelled to celebrate the win of a sporting team says anything about a nation's values at all.

    As a 'math Nazi' what grates on me is the apparent lack of understanding from this professor of the concept of 'equilibrium.' Which is to say that taking a bit of time to celebrate something arguably unimportant isn't that big a deal as long as people also attend to their priorities. Or even, that if they don't attend to their priorities, that they would if they weren't focusing on things that are arguably unimportant, which isn't certain at all.

    This is a somewhat bizarre sketch from a great program from the 1980s that aired on PBS that tried to explain mathematics concepts to young people called "8% of my love."

    I'm not actually 100% certain myself what point the writers of this sketch were trying to make, but they certainly touch on the concept of finding equilibrium. (Or, 'life balance.')

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDqrW85RECE

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    1. In the first paragraph it should say 'that classes being cancelled...'

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  3. "Or even, that if they don't attend to their priorities, that they would if they weren't focusing on things that are arguably unimportant, which isn't certain at all."

    In case this isn't clear, and it reads a bit garbled to me (and I wrote it) the most famous example of this at present, I think, is the statistician (and global warming denying enabler) Bjorn Lomborg, who frequently rails against the efforts of environmentalists and governments who spend money to address global warming by claiming 'If this money is being spent to alleviate the harm caused by global warming in third world countries (developing nations) it would be a lot better spent on alleviating their other problems.'

    Leaving aside whether that is actually true or not, the problem with his argument (and the point I think I was garbled in trying to make) is that there is no reason to believe that if that money wasn't spent on addressing global warming, that it would be spent on addressing other problems in developing nations, as opposed to going to tax cuts or what have you.

    Lomborg's argument is a logical fallacy, though I forget what it is called, and the professor may be arguing his case on the basis of that same logical fallacy.

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    1. According to the wonderfully snarky RationalWiki, Lomborg's logical fallacy is a form of the false dichotomy, though RationalWiki refers to it themselves as the 'Lomborg Fallacy.'

      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg

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