Workout notes: walked to the gym; ran 2 miles on the treadmill (21 minutes), then ran 2 more on the track: 16:18 (8:24, 7:53) Ok, the second mile was 1 second slower than last week, though the overall time was 10 seconds faster. (this equates to about a 26:08 5K, but I did this run solo). I then walked .5 miles and ran 2.5 more (10:30 pace)
Then I went outside to walk 3 more miles to get to 10 total.
I am enjoying the Olympic boxing matches.
However, these are scored differently from the professional matches that I currently watch and used to watch.
In a recent light heavyweight boxing match, US boxer Marcus Browne had a lead going into the final round, but was overcome in the last round to lose 13-11 to Australian Damien Hooper.
The Olympic matches are NOT scored on a round by round basis. Basically, when the five judges think that a scoring blow has been landed, they click a button for the boxer. Then at the end of the round, the “3 similar” scores are tabulated and averaged and that is the score at the end of the round. If no 3 scores are “similar”, then the high and low scores are discarded and the middle 3 are averaged and rounded.
In other words, individual punches are what are scored.
On the other hand, the professional matches are currently scored on a “10 point must” system; that is, the winner of a round gets 10 points and the loser gets 9 or fewer (ties are allowed). Typically, 3 judges score the fight round by round in this manner and typically, if there is a knockdown (or standing 8 count), the judges will score the round 10-8. Or, if one boxer is unusually dominant in a round (say, has the other boxer in serious trouble), then the round might be scored 10-8.
So which system is “more fair”?
We’ll lets see. Suppose we have a professional system and the blue boxer barely wins the first two rounds, only to see the red boxer dominate in round 3..but fail to score a knock down. Then under professional rules, the blue boxer wins 29-28; the extra dominance of the red boxer in the third round could not overcome the first two rounds.
On the other hand, in the Olympic system, the blue boxer won the first 2 rounds by, say, 3-2 each and therefore had a 6-4 lead going into round 3. But then the red boxer dominates and wins the last round 4-1; that gives the red boxer a well deserved 8-7 win.
On the other hand: Suppose red and blue are tied going into the final round. Then during the round, the blue boxer lands 4 decent but unspectacular jabs. The red boxer lands, say, 2 jabs but then lands a crushing hook which drops the blue boxer but doesn’t knock him out.
Under Olympic rules, the blue boxer wins the last round 4-3 and wins the fight. But under professional rules, the red boxer wins the round 10-8, which means a 29-27 victory (assuming it was 19-19 going into the 3’rd round). The professional outcome is clearly more fair in this case.
So which system is better, or is there a perfect system?
The answer is….neither is better than there is no perfect system!
The statement about there being no “perfect system” is not a “common sense” observation but a consequence of what is known as Arrow’s Theorem in mathematics. Arrow’s Theorem says, informally, that in situations are aren’t a simple “head to head” one time contest (say, runner A runs against runner B and we see who wins) there is no perfect way to obtain a “fairest” ranking from a ballot that allows for 3 or more choices.
How does this apply to boxing? Well, in boxing you are really trying to add up results on a ballot that includes rounds of varying degree of dominance or punches of a varying degree of effect; hence here, the ballots really consist of ordered pairs (c, d) where c is the color and “d” is the degree of dominance of either the round, or the punch.
Oh sure, I was raised in the usual way, and the Very Serious People (apologies to Paul Krugman) in my life (mostly English teachers) assured me that “The Holy Bible is the Greatest Book Every Written”.
Sure, I think that it is influential and that many of our current sayings and aphorisms come from it (“turn the other cheek”, “writing on the wall”, “enough faith to move mountains”, “throw the first stone”, etc.). Yes, I know that many mainstream religions view the Bible as a sort of scrap book of “what people used to believe and think”.
But here, I am talking about the claim that the Bible is “great literature”.
Frankly, the ratio of “the tedious, the nonsensical and the immoral” to “good stuff” ratio approaches infinity.
If you don’t think the Bible is mind numbingly boring, try reading the Book of Numbers in its entirety.
If you don’t think that the Bible is mind numbingly stupid: (Genesis 30)
Jacob’s Flocks Increase
25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”
27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household? ”
31 “What shall I give you?” he asked.
“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen. ”
34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” 35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. 41 Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches, 42 but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. 43 In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
If you don’t think the Bible is grossly immoral, read the entire book of Joshua, or even just the story of Samson.
If you don’t think that the Bible is inconsistent, read Judges 1:
19 The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron.
Wow. If this deity couldn’t handle IRON CHARIOTS what would have it done had the opposition had B-52s?
How grown people take such nonsense seriously is beyond me…..
Ok, no one I know is advocating for this. But when it comes to basic algebra (the “solve for x” kind of algebra), well:
A TYPICAL American school day finds some six million high school students and two million college freshmen struggling with algebra. In both high school and college, all too many students are expected to fail. Why do we subject American students to this ordeal? I’ve found myself moving toward the strong view that we shouldn’t.
Go ahead and read the rest of the article; it is full of the usual “well people aren’t going to use the quadratic formula in real life”, blah, blah, blah.
Fortunately, the reader recommended comments are good.
So, why should algebra remain part of the curriculum? Here is my opinion:
while algebra is a huge human intellectual achievement, it is also a gateway to things like calculus, economics, statistics, chemistry, physical science and other subjects. NOT requiring algebra will intellectually cripple thousands of students right off the bat.
Of course, I disagree with algebra being used as a “capstone” type course in its current form; its current form makes it into a gateway type of course.
One could devise some sort of capstone type algebra course if one wanted to, but it would be different than the preparatory course.
Interestingly enough, when this subject comes up, I usually hear comments of the following type: “well, *I* am very, very smart but I struggled with it, therefore it is unnecessary”….and usually the sole credential for the person’s intellectual ability is, well, their own opinion of said ability. 🙂
I’ll get some work done…but want to see the boxing matches later.
Workout notes: weights plus 2200 swimming; I did 20 x 100 on the 2 (had to take 2:05 for the first 5, then walked it back on reps 10-15 and then finished the whole set under 40 minutes). This came after weights: same old, though I used the machines for the military and didn’t do the incline. Pull-ups: easier. Bench press: harder. 10 x 135, 4 x 180, 3 x 180, 1 x 180 (felt bad), 7 x 165. This wasn’t my best.
I did a few back bends and some Camel Pose.
Track and field hasn’t started but that has some promise:
To see more:
(watch the HD version)
Workout notes 4 mile walk, prior to going to the Field Museum.
The walk: the piriformis hurt a bit (not very painful).
This is what we saw yesterday.
Today: the Field Museum was excellent, as usual. We saw the Genghis Khan exhibit.
Also, there was some interesting presentations in other areas; this was one of them: Green Porno (this segment was the duck “forced copulation” segment and the defenses that the female duck has):
I did some side spurs (8 minutes worth) to get 5 miles. This was from the Schaumburg Marriott to the Busse Bike path (Martingale across Higgins then under I-290.
Now I am watching the Olympics with my family in the hotel room. The standard NBC coverage is terrible. Fortunately I’ll have access to other channels where I can watch more sports instead of this BS coverage.
But there are some still photos from Women’s Beach Volleyball:
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