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View Poll Results: Do you AGREE with Belichick's 4th down attempt?
Yes 344 64.06%
No 193 35.94%
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:14 AM   #1026
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by kidcolin View Post
fwiw, I like simmons' approach to blackjack, because it's generally more fun. Except for blaming other players for poor decisions. That's the worst. I mainly just mean the dealers thing.
This x1000. I don't think he actually thinks dealers are better/worse, but turning blackjack into you vs. the dealer is really fun.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:36 AM   #1027
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by RacersEdge View Post
I updated the lists using this ESPN segment (wow Tom Jackson, but maybe I should remove Berman - he seems maybe open to BB's decision) and MW post on on Sports Reporters...

http://fourthandtwo.blogspot.com/200...nal-media.html


any others to add?
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Originally Posted by noseeds99 View Post
During the game tonight, Al Michaels said something like, "people arguing against it at this point remind me of the guy that says the sun rises in the west, they just like to argue"

thought that was cool
You have AL Michaels in the idiot section but he defended the call tonight? Did he come around?
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:51 AM   #1028
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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You have AL Michaels in the idiot section but he defended the call tonight? Did he come around?
I was playing poker at the time so maybe misunderstood but it was late in the game when he was talking about how zomg rocket scientists told him it was +ev. think he turned
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #1029
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by True North View Post
Plaschke, Paige and Blackistone were all in favour. Mariotti was hilariously against.

You can subscribe to ATH on iTunes and listen to it, or it's also on ESPN Insider.
Woody Paige actually sounded like he gets it gets it. He only had like 20 seconds to talk but he quoted percentages, said when you put it all together going for it is better, and thinks it's the only correct call you could make in that situation.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #1030
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by TNBishop View Post
That's why I don't understand the rage. Bill Simmons is arguably the most read sports writer on the planet. His latest book hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. He believes:

1) It's good to split tens playing blackjack
2) Other people's play has an effect on his chance of winning in blackjack
3) He lost sports betting because he bragged and 'angered the gambling gods'.
4) Poker is almost all luck
5) Certain blackjack dealers are harder to beat than others
6) The gambler's fallacy (last article contained an example)
7) All advanced basketball/football statistics are nonsense
WRT 3 and 5, it seems like it's a running joke that he has with his buddies. Don't really know if he actually believes it.

In an unrelated event, Simmons angered ESPN and is being suspended . . . from Twitter. Apparently, he made a derogatory tweet against an ESPN affiliate, so ESPN suspended him.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/bill-...pn-guidelines/
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #1031
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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You have AL Michaels in the idiot section but he defended the call tonight? Did he come around?
I guess he did based on his comment - and he's usually pretty logical so I will switch him.

And I really need to add Dungy to clueless since he's media now - I didn't hear it, but sounded like he was still defending his old school approach last night.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #1032
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Tony Dungy goes into that special category that says "you gotta play the percentages" and hates the call
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #1033
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
WRT 3 and 5, it seems like it's a running joke that he has with his buddies. Don't really know if he actually believes it.

In an unrelated event, Simmons angered ESPN and is being suspended . . . from Twitter. Apparently, he made a derogatory tweet against an ESPN affiliate, so ESPN suspended him.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/bill-...pn-guidelines/
I think his days at ESPN are numbered. This is the 2nd or 3rd time he's had problems with ESPN. Anyone else notice that they waited until the whole BB/Patriots thing settled down before they suspended him?
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:43 PM   #1034
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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PB,

Do you have evidence for your various deifications ITT? I'm not saying you dont, and it seems reasonable that data like this exists. I'd be interested in reading it if it does. I'm just trying to fight this nagging feeling that you are making this gigantic, subtle, circular argument.
I'm not sure what it is that you're asking. I'm providing explanations for why and how things are the way they are. Every such theory is circular in some sense - it can't be validated without accepting certain premises. Yes it is possible that everything is luck, random 2p2ers would make better CEOs and are smarter than billionaires, David Sklansky would make a fine businessman only if everyone else was much smarter and successful businessmen often fire their subordinates who make good decisions that require a simple probability calculation to understand. I'm not sure what sorts of evidence would convince you to avoid this incredibly strenuous line of thinking. What convinced me was that this line of reasoning comes out of any fringe group. There are always reasons to believe that you're special, the group you belong to is special, we live in a special time, etc, etc.

Again, this isn't to downplay the role of chance - but in highly structured human societies, chance affects fortunes predominantly by influencing the relative abilities of people and changing the relative payoffs of various different abilities. Sometimes, you just don't get to learn certain things or good at certain things due to chance and sometimes you just happen to learn things that aren't particularly rewarding, whereas others learn what's more important. For instance, it's not clear that the best paid athletes are those who are most naturally gifted (including physical and mental aspects) at their respective sports, but they are certainly close to the best in terms of their present ability to play those sports. Incompetence gets rewarded at times but it rarely results in sustained success.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:13 PM   #1035
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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I think his days at ESPN are numbered. This is the 2nd or 3rd time he's had problems with ESPN. Anyone else notice that they waited until the whole BB/Patriots thing settled down before they suspended him?
Pretty sure he was close to quitting before. He may think he's big enough now that he doesn't need the name of ESPN to back him.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #1036
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Kneel B4 Zod View Post
Tony Dungy goes into that special category that says "you gotta play the percentages" and hates the call
He was unbelievably dismissive at the notion of anything else saying that he could be wrong. Not a coincidence that he is super-religious, methinks. Hey Tony I heard that the Earth is several BILLION years old, and have data to prove it.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #1037
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by RacersEdge View Post
I guess he did based on his comment - and he's usually pretty logical so I will switch him.
Always been a Michaels fan so word up
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:52 PM   #1038
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
Pretty sure he was close to quitting before. He may think he's big enough now that he doesn't need the name of ESPN to back him.
He was REALLY pissed after they canned his Obama interview last year. I think he does a reverse Rick Reilly and convinces SI to give him a massive salary in a couple years. His book reaching #1 on the NYT bestseller shows just how popular he is.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:03 PM   #1039
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by splashpot View Post
Woody Paige actually sounded like he gets it gets it. He only had like 20 seconds to talk but he quoted percentages, said when you put it all together going for it is better, and thinks it's the only correct call you could make in that situation.
But wasn't he one of the ones who later ranted against the Jacksonville kneeldown? I think he just had a brief moment of clarity. I like Woody though, he's fun to watch at least.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #1040
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

[ ] it's possible for ATF to be fun to watch
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:39 PM   #1041
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Taking the "no punting" trend too far:

Yale, up 10 to 7 in the 4th quarter with 3.5 minutes left at their own 25, attempts a fake punt . . . on 4th and 22.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/playby...50043&period=4
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:45 PM   #1042
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
Taking the "no punting" trend too far:

Yale, up 10 to 7 in the 4th quarter with 3.5 minutes left at their own 25, attempts a fake punt . . . on 4th and 22.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/playby...50043&period=4
yeah, berman actually highlighted this bonehead play on "c'mon man" last night.

i don't think there will be any math to support this decision.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:33 PM   #1043
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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I'm not sure what it is that you're asking. I'm providing explanations for why and how things are the way they are. Every such theory is circular in some sense - it can't be validated without accepting certain premises. Yes it is possible that everything is luck, random 2p2ers would make better CEOs and are smarter than billionaires, David Sklansky would make a fine businessman only if everyone else was much smarter and successful businessmen often fire their subordinates who make good decisions that require a simple probability calculation to understand. I'm not sure what sorts of evidence would convince you to avoid this incredibly strenuous line of thinking. What convinced me was that this line of reasoning comes out of any fringe group. There are always reasons to believe that you're special, the group you belong to is special, we live in a special time, etc, etc.

Again, this isn't to downplay the role of chance - but in highly structured human societies, chance affects fortunes predominantly by influencing the relative abilities of people and changing the relative payoffs of various different abilities. Sometimes, you just don't get to learn certain things or good at certain things due to chance and sometimes you just happen to learn things that aren't particularly rewarding, whereas others learn what's more important. For instance, it's not clear that the best paid athletes are those who are most naturally gifted (including physical and mental aspects) at their respective sports, but they are certainly close to the best in terms of their present ability to play those sports. Incompetence gets rewarded at times but it rarely results in sustained success.
I'm asking for some evidence for all of the claims you are making in this thread. You've made many, most of them fairly reasonable, some of them that demand, at least in my mind, evidence. I'm just asking if you have such evidence.

Most of the things you are saying are not a priori true, based on premises we all must accept. Most of them are likely hypotheses, based on premises we all ALREADY accept. But they still require empiric validation. You speak with confidence, so I'm assuming that this validation exists and that you've seen it. I'm not being particularly suspicious here or anything, it is completely reasonable that such evidence DOES exist. It wouldnt surprise me at all. I'm just interested in it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:08 PM   #1044
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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I'm asking for some evidence for all of the claims you are making in this thread. You've made many, most of them fairly reasonable, some of them that demand, at least in my mind, evidence. I'm just asking if you have such evidence.
The lack of specificity (which claims do you want evidence of? all of them?) makes your request sound rhetorical, as opposed to sincere.


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Most of the things you are saying are not a priori true, based on premises we all must accept.
Nothing is - reality is a giant circular argument. No one needs to accept any premises.


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Most of them are likely hypotheses, based on premises we all ALREADY accept. But they still require empiric validation.
Nothing requires empirical validation per se. Nor is every instance of empirical validation verifiable by a third party. Consider, for instance, that you met some decently attractive woman at a bar, talked to her for a while and decided that she wouldn't make a good girlfriend for you. Unless you're not very good with people, your judgment would probably be more accurate than not, but you wouldn't be able to explain that judgment to those who don't share similar life experiences or have otherwise developed a similar set of prejudices. There's no concrete evidence you could cite that would settle the question.

Complex questions in life ("would she make a good girlfriend" is, from a computational point of view, a much harder question than, say, "what's the best move in this chess position") cannot be reduced to things we are able to communicate rigorously (math). The best we can do is reduction using a large set of simplifying assumptions (all statistical methods fall under here, including quantitative analysis of Belichick's decision). To get back on topic, to the extent that our intuition is a natural system for reducing hard questions to a set of simpler questions we can answer, and in most circumstances works far better than any strictly rigorously methodical system, the skepticism in any such reduction (i.e. statistical analysis of sports) is natural and warranted.


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You speak with confidence, so I'm assuming that this validation exists and that you've seen it.
This doesn't mean the validation is communicable.


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I'm not being particularly suspicious here or anything, it is completely reasonable that such evidence DOES exist. It wouldnt surprise me at all. I'm just interested in it.
What sort of evidence do you want? Which non-obvious claim do you feel requires evidence? What evidence is there for any contrary claim - remember that I only made a few claims in response to Thremp's idea that owners tend fire head coaches who make correct, but unpopular decisions and are too dumb to understand probabilistic arguments and someone quoting Sklansky saying that he's too smart to do well in business. Should we accept those claims as obvious? Have you had breakfast this morning? What evidence led you to believe that whether you did or did not was a good idea?

It's interesting that people believe all sorts of ridiculous things for all sorts of ridiculous reasons, yet when they encounter beliefs that disagree with them on some emotional level, they demand a level of rigor that they don't apply to more convenient beliefs. People who thought BB made a terrible mistake goes from "you gotta play percentages" to "you can't prove anything with stats - it was still wrong at that point in time." Wisdom is knowing which questions demand rigor and which questions aren't worth thinking about. Some people have more total cognitive capacity than others but those who waste their mind asking meaningless questions or rigorously attacking uncomfortable beliefs to satisfy certain petty emotional needs, on the whole tend not to get anywhere regardless of capacity.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:02 PM   #1045
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Are you contending that taking a radical stance wrt in game decision making does not expose you to unnecessary job risk?

Considering the sample size is extremely small, and the fact that your argument does have some credence (They are not complete ****ing idiots). This should be a fairly obvious conclusion that there is some outside motivation, other than their innate desire to prevent their teams from winning.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #1046
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Ok, as simple as I can make it, your main argument seems to be that people who have shown the ability to succeed in business are ALSO going to be people who are particularly skilled and talented at certain things, among them criticially evaluating evidence and setting aside biases, etc. This seems like a fairly intuitive, reasonable argument, but not everything that is intuitive and reasonable is correct. More importantly, you seem to extend from this argument something like "And thus, you would need VERY good evidence before you even think about questioning someone like BB or Kraft in spots like this." (my words not yours) Well, in addition to wanting some evidence to back up my (and your) intuition on this topic, I'd also like to QUANTIFY this advantage that successful businessmen have over the average man. IOW, the "VERY" earlier in this paragraph isnt some digital thing, its analog. I'd like to know HOW strong my evidence would have to be before I consider that BB might be wrong. If the average CEO is 3% "smarter" (hate to use this word but you know what I mean) than the average person, this might be statistically significant but "clinically" useless. If he is 375% smarter, then you are right, it would take very, VERY strong evidence indeed before I would question him, and I'd probably be better off just NEVER questioning them in these spots...it would be a huge waste of my time. But the possible truth could lie anywhere in between.

More important than acknowledging that CEO's have a demonstrable skillset that includes making tough decisions such as this would be QUANTIFYING how large of an advantage that is, and the implications of the magnitude.

And there is no reason to suggest that these things arent amenable to quantification. The confidence with which you refer to these people makes me think you are privy to some of that quantification. I'm curious to see it, to allow me to make better decisions in my life.

Its not a rhetorical trick I'm playing with you. The vagueness of my request is based mostly on how damn long all your posts are.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:46 PM   #1047
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Are you contending that taking a radical stance wrt in game decision making does not expose you to unnecessary job risk?
No. I'm contending that the job risk it poses has nothing to do with owners being idiots. I already explained one way in which it poses a risk that doesn't assume the outrageous assumption that owners are idiots - the owner already doesn't like you, but needs a reason that sounds plausible to other people in the organization. It's important to understand that power dynamics go way beyond "this person has authority over me, so all that matters is what he thinks of my decisions." Everyone, even those with a lot of power, works under a lot of constraints and what various random people in the organization think of you is important. That this doesn't seem to occur to you (worse, you seem to have ignored this despite my having pointed this out) serves as anecdotal evidence for my other arguments.


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Considering the sample size is extremely small, and the fact that your argument does have some credence (They are not complete ****ing idiots). This should be a fairly obvious conclusion that there is some outside motivation, other than their innate desire to prevent their teams from winning.
Right. Picking your battle is an important skill. Making decisions that people you need to lead are emotionally averse to needs to be done with great care. Furthermore, such consideration means it can be a waste of energy to become better at certain things you can't do anyway. Ignorance can sometimes be a sign of great wisdom.


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Ok, as simple as I can make it, your main argument seems to be that people who have shown the ability to succeed in business are ALSO going to be people who are particularly skilled and talented at certain things, among them criticially evaluating evidence and setting aside biases, etc. This seems like a fairly intuitive, reasonable argument, but not everything that is intuitive and reasonable is correct. More importantly, you seem to extend from this argument something like "And thus, you would need VERY good evidence before you even think about questioning someone like BB or Kraft in spots like this." (my words not yours) Well, in addition to wanting some evidence to back up my (and your) intuition on this topic, I'd also like to QUANTIFY this advantage that successful businessmen have over the average man.
Are we talking about you, or some hypothetical epistemologically rational person who wants to be as correct on as many things as possible? Yes, it's a completely waste of time to question things like this. I'm sure that you have a lot more things in your life that can use some of that diverted attention. Thus unless there's some greater wisdom that you can derive from analyzing situations like this (which I've been trying to, but I'll admit that what I'm doing in this thread is a rather suboptimal use of my time and indicative of my being unwise). Then, the only other way it's rational to dwell on this is if it serves some therapeutic purpose, in which case the result of such analysis can't be trusted on an epistemological basis, unless you derive great pleasure from being objectively correct. I will admit that 2p2 posters, being bookish, quantitatively inclined and what not, are somewhat more emotionally inclined towards propositional correctness than the average person. But that isn't always what drives people.

Delving deeply into some subject matters for its own sake can reveal useful insights that are useful for other areas of life, but I think we can all agree that this particular topic of whether Belichick made a good decision is fairly unlikely to lead to substantial insights.


Quote:
IOW, the "VERY" earlier in this paragraph isnt some digital thing, its analog. I'd like to know HOW strong my evidence would have to be before I consider that BB might be wrong.
This depends on the opportunity cost of your cognitive capacity. Framing things this way, I think, makes it obvious what the optimal thing to do is, right?


Quote:
If the average CEO is 3% "smarter" (hate to use this word but you know what I mean) than the average person, this might be statistically significant but "clinically" useless. If he is 375% smarter, then you are right, it would take very, VERY strong evidence indeed before I would question him, and I'd probably be better off just NEVER questioning them in these spots...it would be a huge waste of my time. But the possible truth could lie anywhere in between.
You're probably best off never questioning them. I mean, what's all this questioning supposed to yield? Besides, you're always just accepting authority in other cases. If you spend your childhood questioning everything and never accepting answers when you can find holes, you'd never learn anything. In fact, this idea that you need to question things instead of just accepting them exists to fight the natural human tendency not to question anything that is emotionally comfortable. Of course, most peoplem use this idea to justify endlessly questioning things that are emotionally uncomfortable, which conveniently allows them to never question anything that is comfortable. This tendency is most obvious in, say, paranoid schizophrenics, but also very evident among normal people.

In this case, yes, perhaps people are questioning the head coach because they have some reason to do so, but it's frankly the opposite - they are refusing to question their own instinct in spite of strong evidence (namely, someone who knows a lot better than you disagrees with your intuition) against it. Either you can ignore the evidence which is fine, or you can amend your intuition slightly given this new information but by far the worst thing you can do (whether practically or epistemologically) is to waste time actively searching for evidence to contradict this new information so that you can feel more secure in your previous intuition that just became less likely to be accurate. There are good reasons for this (in fact one could argue that it's medium-term optimal for a lot of people) but a strong need for this sort of therapeutic thinking is indicative of deeper cognitive and emotional problems.

In short, it's more important to understand why you felt inclined to question the decision in the first place. Otherwise, if you look in enough places, you can always find "objective" evidence for whatever conclusion you were trying to reach in the first place.


Quote:
More important than acknowledging that CEO's have a demonstrable skillset that includes making tough decisions such as this would be QUANTIFYING how large of an advantage that is, and the implications of the magnitude.
The human mind does all of this. One important factor to consider is that from an epistemological standpoint, the mind is heavily biased towards believing what it wants to believe and what it used to believe. So trying to tilt everything in the opposite direction is helpful.


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And there is no reason to suggest that these things arent amenable to quantification. The confidence with which you refer to these people makes me think you are privy to some of that quantification. I'm curious to see it, to allow me to make better decisions in my life.
There's a limit to my personal lack of wisdom leading to having useless insights such as what I've been posting here. Even I'm not going to try to quantify such a thing. If you are so inclined, you can model the business world as something not too dissimilar to the poker universe with people freely moving up and down the stakes. Determine the role of chance at each stake, etc, and that should tell you the skill differential across average players at various stakes.

Either way, to make better decisions in your life, the important thing is to understand your own emotional tendencies and subscribe to rules that help you cope with them. You can't help wanting to waste time thinking about stupid stuff, but it helps if you can understand why and how you're led to think about stupid stuff and recognize that it's stupid stuff. That makes it difficult for you to go down the road of rationalizing how this isn't stupid stuff and it's actually important and all your outrage, effort, etc, are all justified. And how the conclusions you came to are correct, even though you were emotionally inclined towards and actively looked for certain conclusions.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:57 PM   #1048
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Phone Booth needs to posts during live in game threads iyam
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:17 PM   #1049
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

My point is, are you basing these "insights" of yours on anything besides anecdote? You seem like a smart enough guy that you wouldnt be lecturing so confidently if you werent.

Surely you dont think that your personal experience is enough to make broad sweeping conclusions about the types of people that succeed at business...do you? Or even if you do, to then decide that others must be wrong when their anecdotal experience contradicts you?

I just dont quite get it. The conclusions you draw, i.e. that "you should probably never question them at all" are ENTIRELY dependent on the MAGNITUDE of their advantage over me. How can you possibly come to these conclusions without some pretty solid evidence that their edge is pretty large? How can you have any sort of confidence in the size of their edge, unless you've seen or done some rigorous evidence-collection?

You are treating this like its a logic or reasoning problem, when in fact it is 100% a science problem. I'm not opposed to appeals to authority at all, but it seems like a poor choice to do so blindly. Or even worse, to trust MY OWN INTUITION to quantify the authority, when the whole point is that my intuition is insufficient.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:00 AM   #1050
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Location: Overthinkingville
Posts: 19,553
Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone Booth View Post

Nothing requires empirical validation per se. Nor is every instance of empirical validation verifiable by a third party. Consider, for instance, that you met some decently attractive woman at a bar, talked to her for a while and decided that she wouldn't make a good girlfriend for you. Unless you're not very good with people, your judgment would probably be more accurate than not, but you wouldn't be able to explain that judgment to those who don't share similar life experiences or have otherwise developed a similar set of prejudices. There's no concrete evidence you could cite that would settle the question.

Complex questions in life ("would she make a good girlfriend" is, from a computational point of view, a much harder question than, say, "what's the best move in this chess position") cannot be reduced to things we are able to communicate rigorously (math). The best we can do is reduction using a large set of simplifying assumptions (all statistical methods fall under here, including quantitative analysis of Belichick's decision). To get back on topic, to the extent that our intuition is a natural system for reducing hard questions to a set of simpler questions we can answer, and in most circumstances works far better than any strictly rigorously methodical system, the skepticism in any such reduction (i.e. statistical analysis of sports) is natural and warranted.
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I don't have a horse in this debate, but the first paragraph seems like an articulate attempt to escape the question that was posed to you. The premise in the 2nd sentence is linked to the rest of the paragraph, but those connections (and the example) answer a hypothetical that wasn't put forth. You are correct in that emperical validation is not always verifiable by other parties, but in the context of this debate the question at hand should be and is verifiable. Providing an example where validation is not possible doesn't rationalize your position, regardless of how authoritatively it is stated.
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