Monday, December 17, 2007

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Well, I am still "scribbling" on the Mitchell Report. I have now evaluated the "Executive Summary" (plug in your favorite jokes about executives), and suspect it will be indicative of the main body of the Report. It is not so much that anything asserted (with one whopping exception) is wrong as it is that everything, virtually everything, is slanted. The bias may not be drastic in any one instance, but the cumulative effect is highly persuasive--persuasive of a fallacious view, that is. You'd almost think the thing had been writen by lawyers . . .

The crucial error is the implicit assumption--the unspoken axiom, as it were--that use of steroids in fact confers some great advantage. But the reality is that it does not. If one believes that it does, one has a whole range of spurious concerns of the sort manifested almost everywhere today, from sportswriters (God help us all) to the poor fans who rely on those pillocks for real information. If one examines the evidence, and the several careful, technical studies that have been done on that evidence, and thus does not believe the Unspoken Axiom, one reaches a whole other set of conclusions.

Owing to the continuing time press while I review the Report, I have only one other note today: a Newsweek article draws attention to what has been simmering on the back burner for years, if not decades: the seriously defective way in which we vote in elections. Not, that is, who but how--the sheer mechanical process of selecting a winner. The topic quickly gets heavy with mathematics, but of course this article doesn't delve into them. Still, it's important reading if you are unaware of the issue.

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