This Academic Life
  Bill James, f**king genius
Perhaps the best concise explanation of "analyticism" as an approach to knowledge-construction that I have ever read:

"I believe in a universe that is too complex for any of us to really understand. Each of us has an organized way of thinking about the world—a paradigm, if you will—and we need those, of course; you can’t get through the day unless you have some organized way of thinking about the world. But the problem is that the real world is vastly more complicated than the image of it that we carry around in our heads. Many things are real and important that are not explained by our theories—no matter who we are, no matter how intelligent we are.

As in politics we have left and right—neither of which explains the world or explains how to live successfully in the world—in baseball we have the analytical camp and the traditional camp, or the sabermetricians against the scouts, however you want to characterize it. I created a good part of the analytical paradigm that the statistical analysts advocate, and certainly I believe in that paradigm and I advocate it within the Red Sox front office. But at the same time, the real world is too complicated to be explained by that paradigm.

It is one thing to build an analytical paradigm that leaves out leadership, hustle, focus, intensity, courage and self-confidence; it is a very, very different thing to say that leadership, hustle, courage and self-confidence do not exist or do not play a role on real-world baseball teams. The people who think that way . . . not to be rude, but they’re children. They may be 40-year-old children, they may be 70-year-old children, but their thinking is immature."
Read the complete interview here.

In other baseball news, the Yankees returned to their usual form of beating up on the Red Sox last night, led by the bat (3-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, and a 1.8 OPS) and the glove (stole a two-run home run from Kevin Millar in the second inning with a perfectly-timed jump at the left-field wall) of Hideki Matsui, behind a typically impressive outing (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6K) by Randy Johnson. God's in her Heaven and all's right with the world :-)

[Posted with ecto]

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"Academia als Beruf," or, an occasional record of the various aspects of my life as an academic. Written by "21stCWeber," an arrogant handle I know…but I must confess that I do want to be Weber when and if I grow up :-)



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