Who cares?  Not sure why this is worthy of the news, but….

What is admirable is what he said about it in his tweets afterwards:

Yes I was pulled over for speeding, going too fast, luckily the police were on the job. Wasn’t going that fast the entire time obviously but wrong is wrong, gotta face the music just like anyone else:(

….

Much Respect to the police officers who pulled me over! I will lead better on the road now as well as on & off the field!!!

Like any guy with a sports car that goes fast, he likes the feel of speed and got the car going.  Maybe he was testing out the max speed but got busted before reaching the max.  Maybe he was cruising at 80 mph but stopped paying attention to speed and let it get faster.  Does it matter in the grand scheme of things?  He admitted he did wrong and will shoulder up to the consequences of his actions.  That’s refreshing to see.

Letter and Spirit

April 16, 2012

First, a link to the Yahoo news piece:

A 17-year-old varsity baseball player in suburban Cleveland is being banned from walking at his own graduation for racking up two too many unexcused absences. While those circumstances might be considered the fault of the athlete in most cases, Carrollton (Ohio) High senior Austin Fisher’s case is a rather extraordinary one: His absences were all brought on by time he spent caring for his mother, who has spent the past six years battling breast cancer.

Notice that actions have consequences.  Having been through the public school system myself, administrators are fairly good at annoying the student about every absence and also pointing out excessive absences.  At some point, I’d guess before the 12th or 13th absence, Fisher was told that 14 was the most he could have and be permitted to walk for graduation.  I am very confident that at some level he was aware that missing an X amount of days from school would have severe, negative consequences.  He made the choice instead to care for his mother.  He now lives with the consequences of his actions.  That how life works.

But there’s no reason to stop there.  Most people would agree that he made the right choice.  I certainly think so.  Even though he has no control over the fact that his mother is not married (be it some reason so frivolous as “I didn’t love him anymore” or something so serious as his father died tragically) and therefore does not have a partner for emotional, physical, and financial support, he stepped up to fulfill needed roles to the best of his ability.  I believe he made the right choice given his circumstances.  Family is more important than walking down the aisle with your graduating classmates.  While many people may say this, he actually had the courage to do this.

This brings us to the matter of the rules.  The rules state that missing more than 14 days of classes (unexcused) means a student will not walk on graduation night.  This rule seems very lenient (14 days–that’s 8% of the school year!) and is meant to keep bad, lazy students from being perceived as good, industrious students.  While this rule alone will not insure that this happens, it can at least weed out the fringes, one would hope.

But this breaks down, like many other rules which regulate intentions.  This is not some moral law or some variation of a moral law, rather, this rule is made to codify actions with intentions and penalize the presumed intentions.  However, if the intentions are different than what the actions normally would signal, the rules violate their very spirit and thus become illegitimate.  This is not to argue against rule of law, but to argue against law of rules.

Rules are made to provide a mechanism for good to occur in specific situations.  Unlike Laws (by this I mean Laws based on morality and ethics), rules are good or bad depending on the situation and the underlying morals.  While rules may function well in 99% of the situations, in the !5 of situations they do not they should be recognized for what they are: regulations which failed in guardianship of their intentions.

So why all the rage still?

 

And the follow-up:

 

Many game truths in these vids, too.

Sloppiness Makes a Good Story

February 23, 2012

I am usually suspicious when a journalist writes about statistics and studies conducted by social scientists.  Here’s a good example of why.

The flaws in this study can be quickly pointed out.  First, sleep-deprived is defined as having less sleep than other people.  This is a horrible definition, as some people can naturally function on less sleep than others and may be inclined to choose certain professions.  There are other possible reasons as to why the people in certain professions get less sleep but may be better-rested.

Second, the differences in time sleeping are so slight in percentage terms that claiming there is a significant statistical difference between any of the “top ten sleep-deprived jobs” would require an absurdly large sample size from the population at large.  27,157 people were sampled out of 300,000,000.  This does not strike me as being enough to really allow the standard error to be large enough so that these differences can be attributed to something other than chance.

Third, the jobs with most sleep (“well-rested”) also tend to do the most physical labor, so their bodies would need more sleep to be just as rested as other people.  This means that sleeping 23 minutes more than home health aides may not indicate which is more sleep-deprived.  I know from personal experience that when I am highly active during the day, I need at least seven hours of sleep, as opposed to the days when I do little or no activity and can get by on six hours of sleep and feel just as rested.

But maybe the erroneous conclusions about sleep-deprivation can be chalked up completely to the journalist who hasn’t a clue about how statistics work.  The headline is unwarranted by the data.  The amount of rest people have is not (on the whole) caused by the amount of sleep they get.  Working a more physical job does not mean one gets more rested–maybe it means less rested.

Overall, this bit of journalism is sloppy and a nice story to generate debate in the comments section.  Typical.

Newt Schrute

February 16, 2012

This should be good for a laugh:

Who's your daddy, Dwight?

I think “Newt Schrute” has a nice ring to it.

Urinalysis

February 9, 2012

Good point…

It’s interesting that the same people who talk about fairness say that drug testing welfare recipients is unfair.  It’s also ironic that pro-welfare people say drug-testing is unconstitutional, as if they are concerned about correctly interpreting a “living document.”

Furious Pete” explains how a man in pretty good shape can post some pretty dramatic “before and after” pics.

Language aside, the four minute video is strong evidence of what few people have suspected: The whole advertising for “miracle” diets are shams.

Discipline about eating and exercising is the main ingredient of health and fitness.  Diets are worthless if not strictly adhered to 24/7.  Exercise programs are worthless if a day’s workout can is skipped on a whim.  Pictures that “prove” otherwise are deceptive.