Tuesday, April 26, 2005

liberal/conservative, intent, N, and spirit of the game

Yesterday, I wrote 7. Pulling out of a line of cars, driving the length of the line, then cutting back in to wait in line closer to the front.

Two cars did this to me today. At the Allston/Brighton exit off the MassPike, there aren't any lines for the ramp to Cambridge. It's about 1.5 lanes wide, but convention says that there are 2 lanes. There is no way that anyone could think that there are 3 lanes going to Cambridge. However, it's possible that you might not realize which way you need to go, since the road curves around enough to disorient you, and the signs are small, as is typical here in this godless state.

#1 was a Lexus SUV with out-of-state plates. "Lexus" and "SUV" made me think that this driver did it on purpose, "out-of-state" made me think it might be an honest mistake.
#2 was a Ford Taurus or Escort or Contour with Mass plates. The male driver later cuts in front of another guy, then raised his hand as if to say "what the hell".
I then cut this guy off on general principle.

So what was the intent of these two? For #1, my best guess relies upon the reputation of Lexus owners and SUV owners. Is that the right thing to do? It's similar to when you're playing a team with a bad rep for the 8th time and one of the guys you don't know makes a bad call. In this case, however, I'm not going to have the rest of the game to observe the violator, just this one instance. What is their most likely reason for the violation? And should I just cut them some slack?

For #2, "male" and "Mass" immediately made it more likely that it was intentional. Cutting off that other driver and weaving in and out only confirmed it, but the rules state that foul calls have to be immediate.

Where does liberal/conservative come in? The conservative approach is to say that it's a violation, it most likely was intentional, and we can't let guilty people go free. The liberal approach is to acknowledge that it was probably a violation, but we're not sure whether it was intentional or not, and we can't risk punishing an innocent person for an honest mistake. (Of course, this is a drastic oversimplification.)

So, is there a similar analogy for calling rules violations in ultimate? Maybe the whole root of the problem is ultimate's liberal roots, with only clear violations with clear victims being punishable, and who's to say what's right or wrong?

You could probably find out how ticky-tacky a player's calls are going to be by having him fill in N in the following cliche: It is better for N guilty to go free than for one innocent to be punished.


luke said...

i think you are grossly oversimplifying the issue. take for instance, 'mandatory minimum sentencing', which is big in oregon. i suppose you could argue that its a 'tough on crime' conservative kind of thing. but the costs associated with locking up 3 time marijuana losers and other such riff raff is outrageous. the fiscal irresponsibillity that it creates by taking control of the sentencing out of the judges hands strikes me as a very 'non-conservative' result. although i'm not sure i could call it liberal. as far as intent goes, well, (a)a true accident, (i didn't mean for my 4 tires to explode and cause my SUV to flip and kill my passenger) is a little different than (b) ignorance of the negligent sort (well, i really don't see how those FEW incidents of our tires exploding could ever have led us to believe that our tires were dangerous) which is a little different than (c)willful defiance (don't tell me how fast to drive, and frankly, i like the way the car handles w/ 115 psi in each tire). But I think (b) and (c) are punishable.

ultimate translation: i don't care if you cheated or made a mistake. you should be punished, but as long as no one is endangered, the penalties are OK...

it seems like only at 'nationals level stuff' are observers necessary. and they should have some cards to throw about for 'true hacks', 'cheats', and 'goons'

as far as low level/coed stuff goes, well, who really cares. but i'd rather have some good old fashioned 'hard marking' and 'a little physical' than a bunch of Passive Agressive whining about spirit combined with an outstanding willingness to make up line calls, 25 yd picks, etc.

the end.

parinella said...

Yes, it's a simplification, but your response falls right in line with the theory. Liberal looks at the issue of minimum sentencing and sees a perpetual pothead getting sent up the river for life. Conservative looks at it and sees a professional criminal being sent back out on the streets to rob some more people.

And there are many dimensions to liberal/conservative, like fiscal responsibility (although it doesn't seem that Republican = conservative recently as far as fiscal restraint goes).

The "cards" for hacks at Nationals are their reputations, both individual and team.

luke said...

you've completely misinterpreted my intent.


do hacks at nationals care about their reps? at all?

Justin said...

Signs? Signs take all the fun out of driving in Boston. When I lived in France they drove really small cars and used to make illegal right hand turns driving on to the sidewalk. Lane switching just seems boring and unimaginative. And I swear half the people in the passing lane are only there because it makes them feel like they are 'bad ass'.

luke said...

how do those cool 'Read more!' tags work? is that an HTML thing in the template, or is there a 'button' somewhere... i tried to 'view source' but i'm no wizard, and nothing was immediately obvious

Edward Lee said...

There's a pretty funny article on the history of the value N here.