The Washington Post reported that the School Nutrition Association “has done an about face” on the First Lady’s school nutrition program because children throw away too much of the healthy stuff, wasting lots of money.
I learned this three years ago when McDonald’s offered a healthier Happy Meal.
Spain discovered in the 2010 World Cup that a quick passing game was a successful strategy. Ever since, teams around the world have been adopting it. Like the crane maneuver in The Karate Kid, it seemed indefensible when executed properly.
Until today. Has the Netherlands figured out how to beat it?
The Netherlands put more people back on defense and sent long-balls toward the goal with incredible (maybe too incredible) bursts of speed from their strikers.
We shall see.
I’m eagerly awaiting new, detailed images of the mapped universe. I suspect that it may look like this:
Criticism of Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule. From it:
…a study published last May in the journal of Intelligence by Hambrick and colleagues suggested that practice explains only about a third of success among musician and chess masters.
No duh. I have a couple thoughts. First, these studies are usually based on backward-looking estimates of time spent in ‘deliberate’ practice, which may not be accurate.
Second, what’s ‘deliberate’ practice? Seems like that could mean a lot of things and one person’s ‘deliberate’ practice may look much different from someone else’s.
Of course, other factors come into play also. After reading about the 10,000 hour rule, I didn’t think I could become Bill Gates or Michael Jordan simply by putting in my 10,000 hours, but it certainly put a different perspective on their success.
A study linked in the above article claims that we should look at factors other than amount of deliberate practice to explain the difference between professional and non-professional soccer players, like the amount of good coaching they received at a young age.
No duh. For the signal vs. causes tag, it seems like the amount of good coaching they received at a young age could be function of the ability the players were showing at that age.
In my experience, even with players at young ages, coaches interested in winning records recruit the best players, so it’s no surprise that they received what appears to be good coaching at a young age, but I’m not convinced that’s the true difference maker.
Certainly, I think good coaches can have an effect, but when you are already a good player and you get on a team with good players, you’re going to have a lot more good deliberate practice and experience on your side.
I realized that quip to describe the phenomenon where someone of the opposite sex looks attractive from a distance, but less so the closer you get to them, also applies to the poor and needy.
Deserving from afar, far from deserving?
I’ve noticed that the folks who tend to be strong advocates for the generic needy (the needy from afar), become less so the closer they get to specific needy people and to their own wallets.
I, again, recall a conversation with a friend who owned a car lot. He was a strong advocate for the deserving and faceless “minimum wage worker,”, because they were powerless against employers. But, apparently the car salesmen on his lot weren’t deserving of that treatment since he treated them as contractors so he wouldn’t have to be locked into paying them minimum wage.
Health insurance is another example. The faceless uninsured was used to garner support for Obamacare because everyone ‘deserves access to health care’. But, put faces on some of the uninsured and look at some of the choices they’ve made — like paying for an expensive cell phone plan, instead of buying insurance — and the ‘deserving’ moniker starts to make less sense.
This exposes a good tactic to use in conversations with people who have the ‘deserving from a far, but far from deserving’ affliction. First, put some faces on those who they think are deserving.
Their next argument will be that those are only a few abusers or outliers and ‘that should be fixed, but doesn’t take away from the vast majority of the other (faceless) deserving.’
To which, a good response is, “How do you know? Are you guessing?”
From John Goodman’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, A Costly Failed Experiment (emphasis added):
With Sunday marking the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, it’s worth revisiting the initial purpose of the president’s signature legislation: Universal coverage was the main goal. Four years later, not even the White House pretends that this goal will be realized. Most of those who were uninsured before the law was passed will remain uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Democrats also fixated on another goal: protection for people with pre-existing conditions. One of the first things the new law did was create federal risk pools so that people who had been denied coverage for health reasons could purchase insurance for the same premium a healthy person would pay. Over the next three years, about 107,000 people took advantage of that opportunity.
Think about that. One of the main reasons given for interfering with the health care of 300 million people was to solve a problem that affected a tiny sliver of the population.
More recently, the president has had to explain why between four million and seven million people are losing their health insurance despite his promise that they would not.
Yes, think about that. Thinking isn’t something we do very much of this country anymore.
A Facebook friend liked this article about youth sports and what parents should say to kids when they play. I found that article, the article it references and the discussion in the comments interesting — especially because I’ve been coaching a youth sports team for a few years.
I find the youth sports scene interesting for a number of reasons. One reason is that cause and effect of success and failure is hard to determine, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. The articles above are good examples.
They say college athletes said their parents just told them that they like watching them play.
Is that a signal or a cause? The articles make it sound like a cause.
But, it’s likely that most college athletes were excelling in their sport from an early age due to natural physical advantages, above average interest in learning the sport, some competitive grit and/or environmental factors that may have provided them with multiple times more exposure to the sport than the average kid.
It’s easier to say “I just like to watch you play” to someone who is in the top 5% of their age group than to somebody who is in the middle or bottom.
Also, I’m sure many parents whose kids didn’t make a college or high school team said that, too. I’d guess that for every set of parents of a college athlete who said that, there are ten sets of parents of non-college athletes who said the same. Why didn’t it work for them?
My parents usually said something like that. They’d usually ask if I had fun and tried my best. I didn’t play high school or college athletics. And, I’m doing okay. As near as I can tell, I’m doing about as okay as many who did play high school and college sports.
Redistribution based on income inequality is a false choice. The reasoning goes something like this:
- There are wealthy people and poor people.
- Ignore why they are that way. Like many poor people are just kids starting out and many wealthy people have worked hard and saved their whole lives.
- Poor people place a higher value on an extra dollar than a rich person who already has plenty.
- Ignore that the behavior of rich people and poor people do not support this claim, otherwise poor people may be more interested in doing things that can earn and save them more dollars.
- Therefore, we should redistribute more dollars from the wealthy to the poor.
- Ignore the already high rate at which this is done.
Why do we only focus on wealthy people in our redistribution schemes?
In my opinion, things mustn’t be too bad if we can afford to support a host of marginal men’s and women’s sports programs from grade school through college, where most people who participate — especially at the higher levels — have few prospects for continuing in those sports after they get past those supported programs, except maybe to teach the next generation of youth to take advantage of those programs or to tell their glory day stories in the break room.
How many poor people could have been helped with the taxpayer money that has been put into all sorts of sports projects? Locally, we have taxpayer-funded pro sports stadiums and amateur sports facilities. Apparently playing soccer on grass is just too hard. Spending millions on fake grass fields for pre-teens to hone their soccer skills is the new norm.
Why don’t we look at more of such things and say if we really take external approaches to helping those in poverty seriously, why don’t we cut out all this other stuff?
From Walter Williams column, Concealing Evil:
Some might argue that we are a democracy, in which the majority rules. But does a majority consensus make moral acts that would otherwise be deemed immoral?
From this week’s Random Thoughts column:
Once, when I was teaching at an institution that bent over backward for foreign students, I was asked in class one day: “What is your policy toward foreign students?” My reply was: “To me, all students are the same. I treat them all the same and hold them all to the same standards.” The next semester there was an organized boycott of my classes by foreign students. When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.