article Sport

When Underdogs Break the Rules

Malcolm Gladwell’s interesting article, How David Beats Goliath is about how underdogs, when playing by their own strategies, can beat out the favorite much more often than one would suspect.

Eurisko was an underdog. The other gamers were people steeped in military strategy and history. They were the sort who could tell you how Wellington had outfoxed Napoleon at Waterloo, or what exactly happened at Antietam. They had been raised on Dungeons and Dragons. They were insiders. Eurisko, on the other hand, knew nothing but the rule book. It had no common sense. As Lenat points out, a human being understands the meaning of the sentences “Johnny robbed a bank. He is now serving twenty years in prison,” but Eurisko could not, because as a computer it was perfectly literal; it could not fill in the missing step-“Johnny was caught, tried, and convicted.” Eurisko was an outsider. But it was precisely that outsiderness that led to Eurisko’s victory: not knowing the conventions of the game turned out to be an advantage.

Gladwell responds to a couple of criticisms aimed at the section dealing with Rick Pitino and college basketball.


Through the Legs

Chris Paul throws it through Jason Terry’s legs and dishes to Rasual Butler for the dunk.

Sport Statistics

NBA Team Heat Maps

Heating up or cooling down? graphs NBA teams by their last five years of stats. This appears, at first glance, to be a pretty good indication of how the teams will do this year.

NBA Teams stats 2003-2008

psychology Sport

Test Your Awareness

How many passes does the team in white make? An experiment in awareness.

[Test your awareness – YouTube]

life Photography Sport

Basketball Dunking

Jeff DunkingBy way of a little self indulgence, here is a photo my brother took of me dunking the basketball last weekend. Does my long hair and beard remind anyone else of Teen Wolf?