2016 UHM Football

First game of the season is on ESPN tomorrow (our Friday) at 4:00 vs UC Berkeley in Sydney, Australia.

A Discussion of Fermi’s Paradox

I never heard of Fermi’s Paradox (FP), but I recently read about it here. FP involves two components: 1) probability suggests that there should be other life-forms similar or even far more advanced than human beings are now; 2) If this is true, where are they? Why haven’t we had any evidence of their existence?

In the link above, the writer does a really good job of walking the reader through the steps as to why there should be life similar and even more advanced than our own. Instead of explaining the whole process (or forcing you to read it–although it’s an interesting read), I’ll try to summarize the process. The conclusion that similar life forms exist rests on two facts– Continue reading ‘A Discussion of Fermi’s Paradox’

When There Are No Credible Gatekeepers

In The Social Needs of Social Media and How This Relates to the Rise of Donald Trump, I discussed the way the lack of social constraints that exist in offline interactions has lead to an erosion of behavioral norms and the notion of mainstream ideas. In this thread, I want to discuss the way the press can help improve the situation. To start off, I wanted to post an excerpt from a interview with a Conservative talk show host:

tweet from Oliver Darcy, a political writer for Business Insider

The quote comes from an interview between Darcy and Charlie Sykes, a Conservative talk show host. Sykes speaks about excoriating the mainstream press, with charges of liberal bias, and how this has basically destroyed or severely damaged the ability of the press to serve as sources of facts and truth. I do think Conservative attacks have contributed to this, but I also think the democratizing effect of the internet created the conditions where this could really occur. In the internet age, the elite, which the press is a part of, have less and less authority as filters and arbitrators of what is important, meaningful and true–creating a situation where the individual, and algorithms, more and more, have supplanted them.

This is something I’ve been worrying about. In this thread, I’m going to offer some quick ideas to address this problem. way to address the problem. Continue reading ‘When There Are No Credible Gatekeepers’

The Social Needs of the Social Media and How This Relates to the Rise of Donald Trump

I’ve been spending more time on the Atlantic website, including participating in the comments section. There are some ideas I wanted to get off my chest based on this experience (and, really, I may have had these ideas before, but my recent experience has just underscored them.).To start off, I want to list some of the differences between online and offline communication and social interactions, including some observations about both: Continue reading ‘The Social Needs of the Social Media and How This Relates to the Rise of Donald Trump’

Can We Isolate a QB’s Performance From the Contribution of His Teammates?

I’ve been having this long discussion about whether the notion of the best QB is something objective or not. (I’m assuming you guys agree with me that it is not.) In the course of this discussion, we decided to examine the conceptual possibility of separating the QB’s contribution to a team. This is important because almost everything a QB does on the field–the way he performs–depends on the players around him. The quality of competition, the style of offense and coaching can also impact his performance. This is true of most statistics used to evaluate a QB. However, if one could isolate the QB’s contribution in some objective way, perhaps that would be the start of an objective way to identify the best QB. (I think there would still be problems, but that’s another story).

In this thread, I want to examine this question, conducting it like a thought experiment. Continue reading ‘Can We Isolate a QB’s Performance From the Contribution of His Teammates?’

Sunday Morning Quarterback by Phil Sims (with Vic Carucci)

I just finished Phil Sims’s 2004 book, Sunday Morning Quarterback: Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths, and Mayhem of Football. It was a quick, interesting read. I liked the format of debunking (or commenting) on certain myths and perceptions of the game, as well as anecdotes about Bill Parcells, Lawrence Taylor and other players and coaches in the league. For example, he mentions how Bill Parcells never wanted him to throw the ball to the guy Darrell Green was covering–no matter what. One time Sims broke the rule. A WR was double-covered, so out training, he threw to the other WR, who happened to be covered by Green. Green almost intercepted the ball. Parcells comes out on field, with his headset on the ground, screaming at Sims. Sims explained that the other WR was double-covered. Parcells’s response: “I don’t care if the guy is triple-covered! Don’t throw it anywhere near Green!” Man, that’s respect. (The anecdote is pretty funny, too. I’ve actually heard this anecdote before, but I never tire of hearing it. Oh, one more remarkable thing: Sims says that in tens seasons (facing the Redskins twice a year, at least), he threw only one INT to Green–but he only threw to Green five times during that span! Crazy.

In this post, I’m going to comment on some quotes and insights that I like or disagree with. I’m going to start with a series of quotes that touch on the importance of being physical. If I were a football coach, one of my top objectives would be to build the most (or one of the most) physical team. Winning the physical battle, if not dominating it, would be a high priority. The following are remarks from Sims that reinforce that. Continue reading ‘Sunday Morning Quarterback by Phil Sims (with Vic Carucci)’

2016 NFL Regular Season Preview

In this thread, I’m going to give my thoughts on all the teams, breaking them down by divisions. I’ll also comment on teams that have the best chance of making the playoffs. Finally, I’ll end with some concerns and thoughts about three teams I’ll be rooting for this year. I hope others will not only comment, but provide their own answers to these topics as well. As usual, I really don’t like making predictions. Instead, I’ll make rough estimates regarding ranking (using a tiered approach).

Let’s begin with some general comments. Continue reading ‘2016 NFL Regular Season Preview’

Young Guns

On the Dan Patrick Show (Dan is off at the Olympics so they have a guest host), the topic was which QB under 30 would you take. Prior to last year I think I would have had Luck very slightly over Wilson, but I would flip flop that now.  Here is what my list would look like:

Wilson, Luck, Cam, Carr (Although, I didn’t think he had a great year last year.), Tannehill (I know Reid’s not as big a fan as I am, but I think he’s good.), Bortles (I don’t think he’s great, but a little more ready then the next few guys.), Winston (I didn’t see him play a lot, and Reid thinks he’s not as good as Mariota, but I think most think Winston was the better of the two last year), Mariota, Tyrod Tyler, Bridgewater (Not a fan, definitely not the way other pundits think of him), Cousins (Definitely not a fan like other pundits. I’ll be surprised if he does well next year.), Ostweiler

My list is based on play just for this upcoming year. If it was for the next four years, my list would probably be similar, but I would move Winston and Mariota up behind Carr over Tannehill and Bortles.  I probably would take Tyrod over Tannehill and Bortles as well.  Oh and I didn’t really look up a list, so I may be missing some guys.

Getting in the Heads of Trump Supporters

David Frum, former Conservative speech writer, has friends who are Trump supporters, (He is definitely not a supporter.) and he’s written two posts in the voice of these supporters, articulating why they support Trump and why they think he’ll win. I found the first one–Why Trump Supporters Think He’ll Win–unnerving. How many Americans actually think and feel this way? If the numbers are high, I’d find that worrisome. The second, Could Trump be the Man’s Man America Wants, deals with millennial males, who one of Frum’s friends said should be distinguished from blue-collar males. I found this one harder to relate to, and I’m interested in hearing if anyone else understands the thinking and perception better than me (in addition to agreeing that many millennial males think and feel this way).

A Discussion About the Complex Relationship Between Abrahamic Religions and Secular Government

Can Muslims embrace and live comfortably in Western democracies? Or does Islam make this impossible? The recent terrorist attacks, inspired or committed by ISIS, has lead to discussions I’ve heard and been a part of, discussions that have often been too simplistic in my view. I believe this is a highly complicated issue–an issue where separating religion from other factors (economic, cultural, political, etc.) can be difficult, if not impossible. I use Abrahamic religions in the title because my discussion will feature Christianity and Judaism as well. (I’m not sure what I’m saying applies to Buddhism, Hinduism or Far East Religions like Shintoism.) There’s a danger to this approach as I may mistakenly see similarities which don’t exist, or ignore differences that do. I will try to keep this mind while I write (and hopefully readers will correct me when I make such mistakes).

Tension Between Passionate Believers and Liberal Democracy Continue reading ‘A Discussion About the Complex Relationship Between Abrahamic Religions and Secular Government’

A Christian’s Perspective On the Role Islam Plays in Groups Like ISIS

What’s the Right Way to Think about Religion and ISIS is a recent Atlantic piece that deals with two main perspectives on the role Islam plays in groups like ISIS or individuals like Orlando murderer. Do these acts of terror stem from Islam itself or does the faith in Islam provide the main inspiration and impetus for these actions? Or, do the actions have more secular causes, involving social, economic, political, maybe even psychological context for these groups and individuals? The author labels the former as “idealist,” while calling the latter “materialist,” and I fall pretty squarely within the materialist camp, basing this on my own experience with religion as well as my observations of people of faith. I’ll go into these reasons in the rest of the post. Continue reading ‘A Christian’s Perspective On the Role Islam Plays in Groups Like ISIS’

Black Mirror (TV series)

This is a British TV series in the vein of Twilight Zone, except with an emphasis on technology (and sans the paranormal and supernatural), at least based on the first two episodes I’ve seen. I’m going to review each episode in this thread, as well as discuss the series overall.

The Most Underrated NFL Players of All Time

I recently watched an NFL network program on the top ten most underrated players of all time. For the life of me, I can’t remember the #1 selection (I didn’t really agree.) Who would you guys put on there? By the way, I did remember a couple of players. Continue reading ‘The Most Underrated NFL Players of All Time’

Were the ’85 Bears the Best NFL Defense? And How Would They Fare Now?

With the passing of Buddy Ryan, this topic came to mind. Were the ’85 Bears the greatest defense? And would they be as good now (and let’s assume adjust for “athleticism inflation”)? To the first question, I gotta say that it’s hard for me to have a real strong opinion–at least when comparing the ’85 defense to the Steel Curtain defenses or the 2000 Raven defense. Some of the more recent defenses, like the 2015 Broncos or 2013 Seahawks–I feel more comfortable saying they’re a notch below those other defenses (but not that big of a notch). My impression of the older defenses makes them seem superior. Also, they were stacked, talent wise, in the way that more recent defenses aren’t. (The 2015 Broncos come close, though.) Ultimately, I don’t feel too comfortable rating the older defenses because I think if I watched them now, I might form a different opinion–primarily because I think I know a lot more now and watch the game differently then when I was a kid.

As to the second question, here’s what I think. Continue reading ‘Were the ’85 Bears the Best NFL Defense? And How Would They Fare Now?’

Another Way of Looking at Elites vs. the Masses

I’m not sure if what I’m about to propose has been discussed before, but it’s something that has come to mind as I’ve been reading some comments about Brexit. Normally, when I hear discussions about the elite versus the masses, I assume that, by “elite,” most people mean a small group of individuals that have special status, knowledge or abilities that puts them above the vast majority of people in a society. In the context of governing, the elites would be those who supposedly are more intelligent, knowledgeable and skilled than the typical citizen. Meanwhile, the “masses” not only refer to the typical citizen, but the terms has a pejorative connotation, especially in relation to the elites–pejorative in the sense of being ignorant, stupid and clueless to the main issues. In short, the elite are superior, while the masses are inferior.

I’m wondering if there is a slightly different way of looking at these two groups. Here’s what I have in mind. Continue reading ‘Another Way of Looking at Elites vs. the Masses’

A Crazy Idea To Save the Republican Party

George Will, the longtime Conservative pundit, has left the Republican Party because of Donald Trump, and I understand he’s urging others to do so as well. That last bit is good segue to a crazy idea I’ve been thinking about that would save the Republican Party. In a nutshell, here’s what it is: Continue reading ‘A Crazy Idea To Save the Republican Party’

Ten Best

I’ve been wasting incredible amounts of time lately working on lists. I’ve wasted incredible amounts of time on lists since I was in elementary school, but for some reason I’ve been consumed by them in recent weeks.

I’m going to share a few here. Feel free to comment, argue, post your own, or ignore.

The Problem With Using Statistics to Determine the Quality of NFL Players

I touched on this subject in another thread. I’m starting a new thread because, in the older thread, the discussion seemed to focus on the Seahawks, specifically, versus the broader issue of using stats to determine how good a team is. In this thread, I’ll discuss the way I’ve heard people use stats and my problems with this. Then I’ll end with a brief description of the way I evaluate teams. Continue reading ‘The Problem With Using Statistics to Determine the Quality of NFL Players’

Hawai’i Business Magazine Leadership Roundtable: Merging Visions

I recently read a Hawaii Business Magazine leadership roundtable transcript that touched on Millenials in the workplace as well as finding a way to create a vision for Hawai’i. Several themes came up that I want to bring up for discussion. Continue reading ‘Hawai’i Business Magazine Leadership Roundtable: Merging Visions’

Notes on George Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century by Mark Stoler

Random thoughts, comments as they come to me on this book. The goal is to help me get a better understanding of the book. Also, I want this to be a repository for these notes, ideas and any discussion on the book. Continue reading ‘Notes on George Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century by Mark Stoler’