Category Archives: nitwittery

Toronto beats Baltimore’s worst pitcher in an elimination baseball game because the save is an awful, awful stat that should perish in a radioactive fire

I mean, I could just make several rude jokes based on Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s name, but let’s cut to the chase. The save is atrocious. Bullpen usage is usually awful because of it. It may not be the worst stat in sports, but it’s on the short list. Even hockey’s +/- (drink!) hasn’t caused such misery as using the closer only in “save situations.”

Edwin Encarnacion may have still bombed one off of Zach Britton, of course. Ed is a great hitter, and Britton did give up that other homer… that one single solitary home run, against Boston, all the way back on April 11th. Strange things can happen. For that matter, Encarnacion may have just blooped in the winning run from third. In that situation, the home team only needs to be better or luckier on one pitch.

So, if that happens to your best pitcher, you say that they beat your best and they deserve it. Instead, Encarnacion got to face Ubaldo Jimenez, who was an all-star in 2010 and a bottom-rotation guy ever since. This is somebody whom Buck Showalter would not trust in the playoff rotation, so why would he trust him in a tie game, during extra innings, with runners on base, when a loss ends the season?

All because of the save. Instead of using your best pitchers in high-leverage situations – say, with the season-ending run standing on third base against the heart of the opponent batting order – it’s become necessary to only use them in a spot where a lesser pitcher could serve just as well.

How incomprehensible was this? Let me put it this way: my teammates and I were watching on TV before our own hockey game started. We went down to play just after the Toronto fan lobbed a beer can at a Baltimore fielder; we came back just in time for the TV announcers to show Encarnacion’s June 10th walkoff against the Orioles before watching him hit the next baseball halfway to Mars. (That’s every broadcaster’s dream – to show footage like that and then have it repeat itself live so they can look all smart and prophetic.)

I showered, went home, walked the dog, hit the hay… and only when I woke up this morning did I find that Baltimore kept its best reliever in the clubhouse the whole time. I assumed Jimenez was in because Britton had pitched already. Why wouldn’t he? If Baltimore wins, they have today off, so Britton would presumably be available to get three outs on Thursday.

Nope. Gotta save him for that SAVE SITUATION! Only now it will be in April. Hope he’s fresh.

Back at the Hive 1.0 I talked about reforming the save. (Item three here.) Do it, Mr. Manfred. It’s time to end our long national pastime nightmare.

PS – Maybe Wade Miley is worse after all. Maybe Buck was saving him for the twelfth inning. 

And your little Joss, too

So Joss Whedon’s been chased off Twitter by these petty-minded scolds, these would-be tyrants of the human mind.

JOSS WHEDON.

The man responsible for Buffy, for Firefly, and for Dollhouse, is now the latest target of a Two-Minute Hate from these oh-so-tolerant and oh-so-loving leftists.

None of them is fit to sharpen the man’s pencils. They could barely write a bloody greeting card but they see fit to level their mindless shrieks at Joss Whedon, who is as close to the King of Geekdom as you are likely to find today.

None of us is safe. Not in our works, not in our words, not even in our thoughts – not if such as these have their way over the culture and over the world. They want the power to veto other human beings, to so commandeer us that we will be incapable of doing, expressing, or even believing anything of our own – to drain us, to hollow us out and make us mere puppets of their own will. We will be made to agree, to approve, to admire.

Pardon my salt, folks, but fuck that noise.

I have had it beyond all reckoning and patience with this anti-human codswollop. God Himself permits us this autonomy – it is in fact one of the favorite accusations of skeptics against Him, that He does suffer our sins and doesn’t make them impossible to us. Simply hating Him for that isn’t enough for some folks, apparently; they want to take on that job themselves.

So I appeal to all and sundry – don’t fall for this. Think twice, especially if you find yourself agreeing with the silencers, much less joining in. You may think you’re safe because you’re in the midst of the mob today; but crowds shift and tastes change, and you may look up and suddenly, uncomfortably find yourself facing a very large group of very angry people – the same ones you called friend and ally. The innocent jokes you all told yesterday will be People’s Exhibit A in your show trial tomorrow.

Freedom means the freedom to disagree, and the freedom to get along with each other despite disagreeing, and not being ground into a monochromatic paste. I will call “brother” and “sister” whomever stands with me on this fundamental point: that any individual deserves individuality, personhood, a unique voice, and a free will – not subject to any veto power over that will.

This is my answer, nitwits

You all should have fun watching our resident Cuttlers twist themselves into impossible mental shapes in the vain attempt to pretend that two contradictory things are, in fact, identical – and that refusing to go along with this attempt is in fact our mental failure, not theirs.

Perhaps I’m bad and should feel bad for laughing, but I find myself increasingly open to author Sarah Hoyt’s advice: when obvious loonies say obvious lunacies, point and make duck noises at them. Refutation, as you can see, made no difference.

Why am I so on about it despite the Cuttlers’ predictable failure to

  • understand what we’ve said
  • grasp why they can’t grasp it
  • notice the same mistake applies to how they see both the topic and the debate
  • understand basic metaphors or figures of speech?

Because this is really important – not just the topic itself but the process used in turning the innocuous into the poisonous with the willing compliance of the victims. Allow me to indulge, below the fold, in an analogy…

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No matter who you are, pawns don’t move backwards

Sometimes, I am tempted to jump sides and argue about social and political things according to the tenets I learned in childhood from my professing Democrat family.  I flatter myself that I would do much better than most of the folks currently lining up for their team. That whole exchange, like so many they’ve attempted, goes awry and stays awry for a fairly simple reason: they get locked on course and can’t handle any change.

It’s rather like playing chess. If you want to succeed, you need to know more than how to properly execute a sequence of forcing moves. That will trap the unwary and the beginner. Any opponent with a basic understanding of the game, however, will know how to handle that, usually by avoiding the sequence. Picture the situation: you know that putting your knight on e4, for example, leads to a counterattack that ruins your position. You move your bishop there instead. A normal opponent would think about what you were conceding to do that instead of the knight move and react accordingly. The Cuttlers, however, would go ahead with the sequence of moves, even though with a bishop there it will ruin their own position instead. And then they will insist that, because they made all the correct moves, that in reality the game is theirs, even as their queen and both rooks decorate the side of the board where you keep the captured pieces. The game WOULD have been won if the knight had been there, therefore your bishop doesn’t belong there, the move was invalid and the game is won, QED. Or do you deny that their moves were not perfectly in accordance with the rules?

Misses the point by a bit, don’t you think?

Continue reading

Part of a sadly continuing series

Via sci-fi author Larry Correia:

However, it comes as a shock to reasonable people on the left when so emboldened the SJWs [Social Justice Warriors – NF] begin to do the same thing to people on their own side. Stephen Colbert says something they don’t like. Outrage. Patton Oswalt simply agrees with someone on my side. Outrage. Jonathan Ross might say something in the future. Outrage. Patrick Rothfuss says maybe fandom shouldn’t be so quick to outrage. Outrage. Wil Wheaton simply retweets Rothfuss. Outrage. So on and so forth.It doesn’t even matter that all of these people are staunch allies of the outrage crowd, the mob has been programmed to attack, so they do.

Sounds about right.

Full disclosure – I’ve never read any of Mr. Correia’s work. I hardly need to, however, to have a considerable interest in the principle involved. On general terms, I want to live in a world where differences of ideas and opinions are given full and fair hearing, and that people can get along with all sorts of people. On specific terms, if I ever really do buckle down and finish the Mother of Unfinishable Stories (or any of the others), I want my own ideas to have as wide an audience as they can find.

As some have pointed out, simply having an opinion doesn’t oblige others to listen to it. That is certainly true. It is also true that refusing to even hear the idea is a lousy method of understanding it, or anyone who might agree with it.

Science fiction has long been a bulwark of using fantastic trappings to talk about the human condition, with a long tradition of speaking against discrimination and narrow-mindedness.  That people can be lifelong fans of the genre and yet seek to enforce their own orthodoxy within sci-fi – even to the point of trying to determine who is permitted to write or read the work – is a gruesome irony. Love of the thing itself has been surreptitiously hollowed out and replaced by love of being a fan of the thing, having power to confer True Fan Status on others, vetoing what they may or may not enjoy.

1bodysnatchers

The pods, it is true, are not violating the First Amendment.  But as the xkcd cartoon’s alt-tag window states, if that’s the most that can recommend your position – that it’s not technically illegal – it’s a huge concession.  It is also not usually what free speech defenders are actually arguing.  They aren’t using free speech to defend a particular unpopular position, only their right to have a position that’s different.  Where Munroe glosses in his cartoon is precisely this distinction.  Correia isn’t appealing to free speech to win his argument, only to have the right to make it.

It’s the alleged free-thinking and open-minded Tolerators who are indulging in “The Debate is Over” Syndrome.  And they’re fooling themselves by saying, as in the fourth comment on that thread, that “While we might be wary of a panic leading to persecution of people holding a minority viewpoint, this hardly seems to be the case.”

You can scroll down from here to see why you’d want to be wary – it never stops with the first person silenced, ever. That’s what Correia observed in the quote above, what he demonstrated happens when people first learn to be shut-uppity and start to enjoy the rush of power they get when they first succeed in controlling what opinions are acceptable. They become quite jealous of that sort of power and seek to confine it as closely as they can.

Worst, that mindset finds a natural outlet in a place like a DMV or Homeowner’s Association or some other small, insular group of people who may have a legitimate need to wield authority, but who have let it get to their head. Instead of the actual function being the goal and the authority being the tool, the authority takes over and is no longer tethered to a larger purpose. When that happens, no law or guideline or principle designed to restrict that power will have any hold on them. And when that goes on long enough, well… then you get things like the BLM trying to enforce “First Amendment Zones” at the point of a gun, or the IRS systemically hindering and punishing ordinary citizens for their opinions, or agencies as diverse as the CBO, Department of Labor, and the Census Office gaming the books and massaging data to pursue a partisan goal.

Is it the right of the entertainment industry to seek a monolithic point of view? It must be their right if they so choose, in order for the country to function and its citizens to be free. That doesn’t make it healthy. Eventually you stultify if you only hear one kind of thing all the time – as they never cease to remind “right wingers” or “god botherers” or “cisgendernormatives” or whatever buzzword is yet to be crafted to justify willful ignorance. As if we on the right aren’t exposed daily to a culture and mindset that is alien to our own!

Besides this, the Tolerators aren’t being honest with themselves. Having long ago confined their own minds to that airless little box, they want everyone else’s heads crammed in as well, and are busily burning down free speech and free thought in order to save it. It’s impossible for so many people to be so blind and dumb as to miss the illogic, so something else must be happening, and I think that it’s this subtle replacement of the Love of Something with the Love of Things About Something. The temptation is to care less and less about telling a great story than it is to be an Approved Official Storyteller, to gain the imprimatur of the correct class of people and belong with them, and to be recognized by lesser sorts for one’s expertise; eventually, to be the Inner Circle of that class and determine who else is admitted or rejected. As CS Lewis wrote in The Four Loves, a group that gathered around an idea is always tempted in this fashion, and their proper rejection of ignorant people’s ideas about their field or profession soon grows to a rejection of the idea that they should pay their debts and act civilly in public. The ego that attaches from being really elite at something soon attaches to things that have nothing at all to do with it. That’s precisely when the good is lost.

In this case, of course, it’s made even sillier because this ego is now attaching not to the actual creators but merely to those who enjoy reading the work; it’s as if a mirror was proud of how brightly it shone in the sunlight and sought to keep other mirrors forever indoors in dusty rooms.

Spot the disconnect

Seen side-by-side on a bulletin board, the following bumper stickers:

  • When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty.
  • “Tea Party” sounds so much better than “Mob of racists and homophobes.”

Mmmmmmm-hm.

Dear Diary

The last time we spoke, right before the battle, he made a suggestion I admit I considered absurd. “You should try keeping a journal,” he said.

“A journal?” I echoed. “Do you mean I should write a book?” I know, of course, that Moff Nur has been editing the manuscript of my master Darth Sidious the Emperor Palpatine, whose highly anticipated treatise on the subject of the subjugation of civilizations and the creation of powerful monsters promises to be a bestseller.

“No, no,” smiled Nur. “I mean like a diary.”

“Like a teenage girl?”

“Well, not entirely unlike a teenage girl, I suppose. The purpose is to help you analyze yourself by exporting your thoughts and impressions into a form you can review. Not only can it provide valuable insight as an artifact, but I find the actual process of recounting my reflections cathartic in itself. … I promise you, my friend, it helps.”

And so I have decided to make good on the Moff’s advice, now that he is dead and the confidence of the terrorists swells. I have begun this journal. I do not know how long the experiment will last, but I admit that in the absence of Nur himself I do find it calming to imagine I am speaking to his spirit as I dictate this recording.

Hello, Moff!

Alright, now I feel really stupid.

Well, lots of folks, other than teenagers and Sith Lords, keep a diary.  Some people call them “journals” so they don’t have to admit that they have a diary.  (The Punisher called his the “War Journal,” which was awkward when you consider all those “Catcher in the Rye” quotes and Good Charlotte lyrics scribbled in the margins.)  Your truly has a diary.  It’s pretty badly named – “diary” shares linguistic roots with the word “daily,” and all you Friends of the Hive know that I’m not a daily sort of writer – but diary it is.  I like to think of it as closer to to the Sith model than the Twihard, as befits a good minion.

You may suppose that a “journalist” would have a “journal” rather than a diary, but having been a journo major way back when, I know better.  A lot of these cats are really of the fawning lap-sitting variety.  Case in point:

Over the weekend, CNN anchor and reporter Tom Foreman wrote a piece for CNN’s website explaining the genesis of a tradition he has kept for the last four years. … Foreman has been writing President Obama a letter every single day of Obama’s first term. Some letters offered Obama advice, while others explained to Obama why Foreman rarely buys a lottery ticket.

You can call it fan mail, or hero worship, or love letters… whatever you like, but I’ma go ahead and call this a diary.  Some people actually have names for their diaries, even if it’s just “Dear Diary.”  (Mine just has dated entries.  Sith do NOT name their diaries.)  Mr. Foreman’s Diary is apparently named “Obama.”    And like a diary, Obama is quite unlikely to ever reply.

* No, but seriously, read this whole thing, it’s really terrific stuff.