Re: On the Moral Turpitude of Certain Unfogged Commenters

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Well said.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:09 PM
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I take it that this is the US/Portugal thread?


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:10 PM
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What about offensive players purposefully drawing fouls? Is that also wrong? (I don't mean flopping, I mean driving in a way that creates contact, or jumping into a defender who has left their feet on a pump fake.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:22 PM
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Oddly persuasive demonstration of the thread immediately below. Also totally wrong. If you contract to do something, and breach the contract, and pay the agreed-upon or legally-mandated damages, you haven't usually done anything wrong. This is all the more true for sports, where the general rule is that you can do whatever isn't expressly forbidden by the rules to win, up to (but not exceeding) some outer-bound set of norms.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:35 PM
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I remember some Freakonomics example about the daycare which had a problem with parents showing up 5-10 minutes after closing time. So they instituted a policy where, for every 10 minutes after closing time, you get charged $15. The late pick-ups swelled, because all of a sudden it was a well-defined transaction.

Is breaking the rules in sports part of a well-defined transaction? Or against the heart and soul of the game? I don't think I care much either way.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:39 PM
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It all depends on what your sense of "the game" is which is pretty contingent to the particular sport, and which the OP just assumes is something definite based on hypothetical philosophy thought experiment bullshit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:41 PM
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I think we can safely assume, per the previous post, that no one will be convinced of anything by this post or thread, especially not the lawyers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:44 PM
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A columnist for (IIRC) Sport Compact Car once wrote that speeding tickets are the price you pay for being able to drive as fast as you want.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:52 PM
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Halford kindly demonstrating the position that its impossible for the rules to forbid something if they also provide for a response.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:53 PM
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"The game" is what's played when the referee doesn't have to interfere.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:54 PM
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Amazing how it's easier to read an entire Neb post when it's a topic you somewhat care about. A rare occurrence, that.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:54 PM
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In other arena the rules also state that there are ways to work within the rules to change the rules themselves in your favor. That's why Halford makes the big bucks.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:56 PM
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It seems like it should matter how the strategy involving breaking rules should go. There's a strong benefit to coming as close as possible to breaking a rule as you can while still, probably, not breaking it or at least barely breaking it. But this is playing aggressively in the understanding that doing it involves the occasional foul.

And not all rules in a game are equal or as specific as others. Some are inevitably vague (when tackling in soccer, go for the ball not the player and don't be too reckless about it) and some are not (do not touch it with your hand unless you are the goal keeper no seriously). So you see aggressive playing with regards to the one, coming as close as possible to breaking the rule without, usually, breaking it and not with regards to the other. Soccer involves aggressive tackling, but not "how close to my arm can I touch the ball" strategies. And intentionally violating the second kind of rule is bad in a way that intentionally violating the first is not, even if it's not great in either case.

In conclusion people knocking each other down is fine and Luis Suarez should be hanged.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:57 PM
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They keep saying I invented efficient breach.


Posted by: OWH Jr | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 2:59 PM
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Can we at least agree that those who cheat but don't get caught should immediately confess and, if the referee is unable to correct for the harm they did it is incumbent upon them to make amends? Maradonna, for instance, should immediately have scored an own goal.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:09 PM
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That's an awful lot of words to reinvent the concept of the professional foul.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:11 PM
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This all stems from neb's vrgin eyes and sense of propiety having been violated by Luis Suarez four years ago. And the ensuing lack of outrage by some of us.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:15 PM
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17 me. The moral turpitude of the US defense.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:18 PM
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The thing about the Suarez handball is that he didn't strategically do it and take his lumps. My kids wanted to see it and on the replay you can see that when the ref comes with the red he says who, me? He tried to get away with it and pretend he hadn't done it. Like he did when he scored a goal on a hand and didn't get caught.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:21 PM
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Funny you should mention that, anonymous author of 17.

I'm not really sure why Halford is talking about contracts in 4.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:21 PM
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Most organized sports have a rule that is something like "the umpire is authorized to punish infractions not specifically covered by these rules" which is intended to allow authority to intervene when there is something not specifically prohibited by the rules but that really egregiously violates the spirit of the game, and even within the official rules some violations are worse than others. So you actually have to know something about the sport to know how the rules actually apply, and which are more like efficiently breaching a contract and which are more like murder. In conclusion 13 is right and philosophical thought experiments are pretty much always straight up bullshit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:26 PM
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4 -- you're the one who in the spirit of philosophy ridiculousness imagined a sport emerging from a hypothetical set of agreements.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:30 PM
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22 to 20.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:31 PM
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Don't hate the player, hate the game.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:31 PM
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I really don't see how the consideration advanced in the first part of 21 leads to the conclusions in the remainder. I mean, can you tell me why I should believe that deliberate fouling isn't prohibited by the rules? The fact that other things bring about heavier penalties, and the fact that there are innominate infractions, doesn't remotely lead to that conclusion. (Nor would the fact that it's widely practiced; so is speeding, but that doesn't mean that speeding is legal albeit costly.)

I'm not even sure why you think the thought experiment is bullshit, though I do recognize that that's your opinion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:35 PM
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I'm in the middle of the post and I just laughed out loud at the realization that this is about the analogy ban. Well played. Now to see if I'm right.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:35 PM
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4 -- you're the one who in the spirit of philosophy ridiculousness imagined a sport emerging from a hypothetical set of agreements.

You've never made up a game with friends? Or is it just that you think every time you agree with friends about how to do something, the right way to understand what's happening is that you've entered into contracts with each other (and those contracts should be understood the way they are in American law)?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:36 PM
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26: I appear to be wrong, and this is a response to 225 et seq in the Hierarchies thread. This is what I get for having my productivity software block Unfogged.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:42 PM
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25 -- no one is arguing that fouls (or other rule violations) arent against the rules. The argument is over how to condemn or not condemn players for intentional or unintentional violations of the rules and/or technically unprohibited "spirit of the game" type norms, which I'm arguing isn't really a meaningful conversation in the abstract.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:43 PM
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no one is arguing that fouls (or other rule violations) arent against the rules.

This is all the more true for sports, where the general rule is that you can do whatever isn't expressly forbidden by the rules to win


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:44 PM
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Moral values are not assigned to rules simply because those rules exist. It's against the rules to foul, but the rules have been written in a way that fouling can be incorporated into the game: see the special rules in the NBA for the last few minutes of a game, which provide an incentive for quickly getting possession back via fouling. In certain situations, if your team is behind and you don't foul, you're widely criticized for not understanding the game, knowing what time is on the clock, etc. But if you employ that same strategy long before the end of the game, you generally come in for a lot of criticism, if not accusations of cheating. The difference in how this strategy is seen in moral terms has far more to do with what's considered common practice than with what's written into the rules.

Yes, this kind of reasoning can provide a defense for politicians saying they saw nothing improper about receiving cash in paper bags because such behavior is common practice in their world (if it is indeed common practice).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:49 PM
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3 was a serious question and I expect an answer.

How about offside traps? Are they immoral?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:51 PM
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What do you think, Upetgi? As a teacher, I can't just hand out answers.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:52 PM
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Also, I have to go listen to a scat singer.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:53 PM
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Nosflow: are you also against Veeck pinch-hitting with a midget? More relevantly, how do you feel about Merkle's Boner?


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 3:57 PM
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I'm guessing you think all of them are wrong, and also guessing that you don't play sports.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:02 PM
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Doesn't this all boil down to the extremely subjective question of whether sports rulebreaking is malum prohibitum or malum in se?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:05 PM
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There was a lot of controversy about this type of thing last year in Ireland: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R2nsywx9Jtw
(GAA Commentator, former footballer, letting rip about a professional foul)


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:16 PM
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I need to re-read this at length, but I bet there is an ancient kernel in there. It will for me be immediately extended to politics and sociality, for instance Gandhi making salt or MLK illegally marching through Selma.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:21 PM
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The difference in how this strategy is seen in moral terms has far more to do with what's considered common practice than with what's written into the rules.

This seems absolutely right to me, and I think is in line with (some of) what RH is saying too. Our common usage often doesn't distinguish between rules saying "don't do (whatever), and if you do, the penalty is (something)" and rules saying "if you do (whatever), expect to pay (something) price." It seems to me like everyone---the players, spectators, umpires, commentators, etc.---started treating breaking a rule originally of the first form as just another permissible tactical option, then the rule would effectively become of the second form; the first form inaccurately describes the norms of the game as practiced. In such a situtation it wouldn't be appropriate to get worked up about someone breaking the rule on the grounds that they've violated the spirit of the game, because they haven't, even if they've violated the letter of the rule books. In this case the right way to interpret the rule on the books is as the second sort, just because there isn't a norm saying simply not to do the thing.

The speeding example shows that it's not sufficient to change the rule from the first form to the second that everyone breaks the first form and expects to pay the penalty. We -don't- all treat speeding like just another option with a slightly higher price; and part of the reason for that is that we (many of us) acknowledge that there's something bad about speeding in itself, and not just conventionally as breaking the rules. The corporation, too, is doing something bad independent of any laws, namely, harming someone, and acting as if paying the fine makes it okay. But the speeding example doesn't show that practice doesn't matter at all, just that widely-practiced rule-breaking isn't always sufficient (in every case) to change the rule-breaking to mere price-paying. How the rule-breaking is received in practice matters too.

Finally, I don't see the problem with a rule saying that violating the rules deliberately is worse and gets a worse penalty, or even a rule saying these are the rules, and don't break them. The rule set might then be confused somehow (I guess, I'm not sure I see this; self-endorsement doesn't seem confused to me) or contain otiose rules (this seems clearer). But the point of rule sets isn't to be conceptually clean, or to inaugurate a game in the most concise form, etc. It's to effectively create and guide a practice of game-playing, and the best way for a rule set to do that depends on the character of the game players, and that might involve conceptual confusion or repetition; or at least, I don't see why it couldn't.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:30 PM
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How about intentional walks?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:31 PM
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which I'm arguing isn't really a meaningful conversation in the abstract

Maybe "political science" isn't meaningful?

Also, should Snowden "take his lumps" and come back? Should Snowden have broken the rules, which he largely accepts in the first place?
When you freely join a society, do you accept the rules and the processes for changing the rules?
Is the freely contracted labourer exploited or not, really free or in chains?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:31 PM
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Oh, I guess for most of 40 I was talking about whether some action in a game is good or bad by the lights of the game, not whether it's good or bad morally (despite what the quote suggested). But if it's not even bad by the lights of the game, because we ought to look to the practice and not just the rules as written, and it seems clear to me that some intentional rule-breaking is like that, then the OP's argument that it's morally bad doesn't really get off the ground.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:37 PM
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I feel a little bad now about bringing morality into things in the other thread and should footnote that I was diagnosable with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (which I think should still be called Anankastic Personality Disorder, because of course I do and that's probably one of the things they could put in the DSM about it) and I no longer am, and not just because the newest version is all about caring too much about work and fuck that shit. But Tween Me was wrong in a certain respects to moralize too much about sports and everything, I think, even though I try not to worry about what I could do with a time machine.


Posted by: http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_13829.html#1707689Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:43 PM
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44: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (which I think should still be called Anankastic Personality Disorder, because of course I do

Why is that a better name?


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 4:54 PM
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This sets up a certain moral situation- If Germany and US agree to play to a draw, both advance, and I'm sure the US would be happy to take second in the group.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:02 PM
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45: Because there's not necessarily overlap with OCD, which people assume there is based on the name, and because "ananke" feels more like the right word to define what feels like a righteous need than "compulsion" does. I don't know how or why the name was changed from the former to the latter, as it predates my involvement.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:04 PM
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What is "ananke"? One of those ancient Greek words?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:08 PM
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Oh, I see. I didn't even realize you weren't talking about OCD. I've either never heard of OCPD before now or always just assumed it was the same as OCD.

48: Yeah; means necessity, roughly.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:18 PM
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I think the real problem with this post is the question of, "what do you mean we?" There are different communities of hoopball players with different norms.

If I'm playing casual pick-up with friend, without referees, I think intentional fouls are obnoxious, because they go against the aesthetic of, "call your own fouls." On the other hand, I'm a perimeter player, the big guys tend to have a different attitude about fouls.

If you read "Hoop Roots" he talks about growing up and learning the game in a playground culture in which the physicality of the game had a different significance:

To Ed Fleming, Wideman would be the respected name of one of the old heads who broke him in and also the name of a kid coming up behind him. Wideman pere, Wideman fils. ... In Great Time what goes round comes round. After hip-checking me blam into the fence just behind the poles and backboard whn we were both after a loose ball, or maybe it was when he lifted me off my feet and tossed me a yard or so from the sweet spot I thought I was strong enough to deny him, bodying him away from it for a couple of seconds till he decided to show me that day what he could bring to bear if he really needed a spot as much as I needed him out of it, Ed Fleming whispered words to this effect: Your daddy was extra rough on me, and boy, I'm sure gonna return the favor. Gonna give you a hard row to how, son, and don't start crybabying or calling fouls neither, not today, youngblood. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

I wouldn't want to play in that game, but Wideman doesn't tell that anecdote with a sense of resentment. It's part of a book that's his love-letter to the game.

So I think the question of what is, or isn't a violation of the spirit of the game is going to be dependent on what community and who's spirit you're talking about.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:40 PM
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Ananke is sometimes moral necessity, as in what one must act in accordance with in order to do well, I think? But I also think the ancient philosophers tend to use it for natural or logical necessity and contrast it to deontic necessity. Is this a regimentation seen more often among philosophers? Not sure; maybe one of the actual classicists here can say more teasing apart the nuances of the various Greek necessity words. Actually something I've been wondering about for a while, for reasons unrelated to OCPD and OCD.

Um, on a less dry note, something else I've been wondering for a while: Thorn, whatever happened to Colton and his relationship with the older single mother? Are they still going strong?

On preview: yeah, 50 seems super reasonable, too.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 5:47 PM
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It's possible for the rules to address this issue, at least in an "honor code" fashion. E.g., duplicate bridge law 72.B.2: "A player must not infringe a law intentionally, even if there is a prescribed penalty he is willing to pay." There isn't an additional penalty for breaking 72.B.2, but it makes it clear that doing so is not just "part of the game."


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:46 PM
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50: That's just playing basketball with a more permissive rule set, not a different norm about intentional fouling. Perfectly respectable.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:52 PM
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51.2 I think you mean Rowan, who was adopted by a single woman who then disowned him once he stopped being financially lucrative, whether or not that was a meaningful factor. I'm working very hard to keep my right boundaries about keeping him from living on the street but also not funding more than I can handle or things I don't want to.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 6:58 PM
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Because I apparently decided not to do anything useful today, I took a look at the NBA rulebook and it makes a distinction between things that are considered sportsmanlike and unsportsmanlike. And there are, of course, different kinds of fouls, some of which are by rule and by convention considered unsportsmanlike.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:08 PM
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I don't have any objection to sports which decide that intentional fouls are wrong. In Ultimate, for example, I would say that intentional fouls are just wrong. But I also don't think there's anything wrong with a sport where intentional fouling is part of the game, like it is in Basketball.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:08 PM
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Eggplant understands me!

Baseball's rules are famously insanely complicated and I don't really know much about them, but I have no problem with intentional walks. (Well, I guess I have a problem with a pitcher intentionally throwing the ball at the batter.) Throwing a ball isn't against the rules.

And it's not the rules-breaking itself that I object to—obviously, rules can be broken perfectly innocuously—it's the strategic attitude taken towards rules as such. It leads to things like, say, the phenomenon noted in 8.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:13 PM
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. . . it's the strategic attitude taken towards rules as such.

I do understand what you mean but . . . I think you're pretending that there's a bright line when there isn't. Consider this story.

Rick Adelman drew some laughs a couple of weeks ago, after another frustrating Minny loss, when he declared, "It almost takes an act of Congress for us to go out and foul somebody. You have to get after people in this league."
...
Conservatism can be healthy for an NBA defense. Coaches preach it all the time: Stay home, don't gamble, don't reach yourself into a foul. Let's force them into a long jumper, clean the rebound, and move on with life. If they make it, they make it. What can we do?

The Blazers and Wolves raise an interesting question: At what point does playing it safe on defense turn into a liability? And the ways in which the two teams are playing it safe are very clearly related: Searching out turnovers can lead to an increase in fouls, since pursuing steals involves reaching, lunging, and all sorts of mean-spirited behavior that can end with one large human colliding into another. This is why Jeff Hornacek wasn't all that broken up about Phoenix's high foul rate when I asked him about it a few weeks ago. The Suns want to pressure teams, force some turnovers, and get out on the break. Play like that, and fouls will happen. "We play aggressive, tough defense," Hornacek says. "We get after guys. We're just playing really hard, and sometimes when you do that, you commit more fouls."

Where does that fall on that "intentional foul" spectrum? An understanding by both coaches and players that it's important for the players to be willing to risk fouling even if they aren't intentionally trying to foul (this is the sentiment of 13.1) .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:24 PM
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I think there's a big, big difference between intentionally playing in such a way that you incur the risk of unintentionally fouling, and intentionally fouling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:27 PM
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It's going to take more than a rule change to make people think there's something immoral about deliberately fouling to get possession back at the end of games. The practice of fouling to prevent a three-point shot from being taken is more controversial, even though the rule being violated is the same.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:34 PM
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I can't believe nobody has yet caught the subtext of this post, which is that nosflow is an Ultimate Frisbee superfan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:39 PM
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60 is interesting to me. As an adult, I really haven't cared enough to figure out how I feel about the moral weight of fouls, in part because I am and am not guilty about being so rigid in my past.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:39 PM
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I don't think it's that the morality of fouling to prevent a 3-pointer that's at issue, I think it's that coaches don't want to take risks that reflect poorly on the coach. It's the same reason that coaches punt too often and don't go for 2.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:44 PM
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54: Oh, I seem to have garbled every detail. Anyway I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping I had missed a report of a better resolution.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:48 PM
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63: I think you're in a better position to know how people are talking about the strategy since I haven't watched many games in the last few years, but it seemed to me that when the strategy started to get more common*, the criticism was on two lines: whether it was just plain bad strategically, because you might be handing over free points if they don't miss the free throws and if you time things wrong, this can backfire; and whether it was somehow violating the spirit of the game by not even allowing a legitimate shot at a three, which I take to be sort of a moral claim.

*I could be wrong about this too, but I don't remember it being much of a thing in the late 90s/early 2000s.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 7:52 PM
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I think there's a big, big difference between intentionally playing in such a way that you incur the risk of unintentionally fouling, and intentionally fouling.

I don't know. Consider the case of playing aggressive defense. There's always a risk/reward calculation. A coach might think, for example, that if somebody is pressuring the ball in the backcourt and they play in such a way that they have more than, say, a 2% chance of being called for a foul that it isn't a good tradeoff and tell the player to dial it back a little bit. Conversely the coach might say, "if you're the only player with a chance to stop somebody who is on a straight line path to the basket I want you to make sure that you stop them. Don't foul if you are capable of avoiding doing so, but do foul rather than letting them get to the hoop." That seems not that different from calling for an intentional foul.

Or, consider this observation.

Respect [Derek] Fisher's crunch-time playoff steal game. In recent years, according to NBA.com/Stats, he gets a steal roughly every 30 minutes he plays. In these playoffs, in the final three minutes of close games, he has a steal every three minutes (and just missed on at least two more.) His secret? He's bold in leaving his man. His other secret? He's physical as hell, knowing that in that part of the game, referees tend not to call that.

In that case he's trying not to get a foul but, if Abbott is correct, still displaying a strategic view of the rules.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 8:07 PM
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46: Maybe it will be like 1982.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 8:16 PM
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64: I'm still optimistic and, you know, doing his laundry and whatnot. It was never going to be easy for him and so it's not easy. I know I didn't have resolution at 19 and I had a lot more supports than he does.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 8:21 PM
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I think there's a big, big difference between intentionally playing in such a way that you incur the risk of unintentionally fouling, and intentionally fouling.

Seems like a rather casuistic distinction to me. Is there a big difference between intentionally driving in such a way that you incur a high risk of accidentally hitting a pedestrian and intentionally doing so, if you realize in the former case the likely result of your action? Between bombing a factory where you knowingly risk killing civilians as a side effect and killing civilians intentionally? I mean, maybe for the health of your soul or something, but all else equal they both seem like pretty bad actions to me if either is (assuming the bump in risk is indeed sizable).

I know, I know, analogy ban. But if there's not a general principle backing the specific claim, then there ought to be a reason why this case is special, no? What is it?


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 8:21 PM
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Between bombing a factory where you knowingly risk killing civilians as a side effect and killing civilians intentionally?

There is actually a very long-running exchange in Analysis concerning exactly this example, in terms set, I think, by my advisor's treatment of it in his 1987 book Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. (The same example using those terms comes up elsewhere as well. The Strategic Bomber and the Terror Bomber.)

I think that this is not an illuminating comparison, though. First of all, it's not the difference of the classic double-effect cases between intentionally running over a pedestrian (to use that example) and intentionally flooring it for some other reason knowing that you're going to hit a pedestrian. It's more like the difference between intentionally running over a pedestrian and, say, driving recklessly, which makes it more likely (how much more I don't know) that you'll kill someone. This is not, you might think, much of an improvement, but even here, come on, someone who runs another person over on purpose has committed murder in cold blood (or I guess one could do this in hot blood too, actually); whatever you say about the reckless driver, he isn't doing that. But also when you go all out playing a game knowing you might foul someone, you are, on the one hand, doing the same sort of thing everyone else on the court is doing (which the reckless driver is not; the highway is not a racecourse), and if you realize the risk, the worst you've done is foul someone. If people who played like that regularly fouled others in ways that left them permanently brain-damaged we'd probably want them to tone it down. I mean, I don't think this is necessarily different from something not foul-related, like thinking you have some potentially really great new technique for doing something but which you might fail to pull off, causing you to violate the rules to your team's detriment. You might still try it. That's exploiting the rules.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 8:52 PM
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But anyway, there is a general principle, namely, the much controverted doctrine of double effect, which, as I said, is actually stronger than necessary here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 8:53 PM
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I'm not familiar with the particular exchange, but I was referencing the doctrine and the debate over it. I agree that this is not exactly an application of the doctrine (and you'll notice that my examples are not quite clean examples of such cases, and so I concede that I was being misleading in using examples that still called it to mind), but as you put it, I don't think it's much of an improvement. Surely you're right that risking fouling is not as bad as recklessly driving, but that's because the badness of the result being risked is not the same, not because in one case risking a bad act is okay but not in the other.

As for the cold blood point: sure, it's probably worse of the person to do the bad thing deliberately, i.e, the person is more to blame or something like that. But if the result is bad, it's bad in either case, and the person who brings about the bad result by negligently risky behavior is still to blame somewhat. That is, if you ought not to kill in cold blood, then you ought not to kill by acting negligently, either, for the result is bad in both cases though the bad result is brought about in a worse way in the former case. And if you ought not to foul deliberately, then you have a good pro tanto reason not to foul by acting negligently, either; or at least I don't see where the asymmetry is. (Maybe your point is just that the pro tanto reason is basically negligible in the second case, because the badness of fouling is small in the first place and when weighted down by merely risking fouling the risky act is negligibly bad. In which case, fair enough, I guess, but that doesn't seem to be what you're saying.) (I don't know much about the sports in question, so I acknowledge I may be ignoring a reason specific to the case at hand that makes all the difference, and I can imagine responses along those lines; but I'd like to learn what it is I'm ignoring from those who know.)

I can't tell if 71 is meant to endorse the doctrine of double effect in defense of the big, big difference. I agree that it is stronger than necessary to maintain the big difference. If it is the source of disagreement I guess I'm content to stop there.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 9:24 PM
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I mean, I'm content to stop wherever. That would explain your statement to my satisfaction, is I suppose what I should have said.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 9:28 PM
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I think I may have more to say on this in the morning (because I'm not sure that the double-effectishness is the main thing anyway), but I do also endorse the doctrine of double effect generally.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 10:16 PM
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IIRC, the penalty for a flagrant foul (over and above the penalty of a normal foul) is: (potential) suspension of the player, a fine, a technical free throw, and possession of the ball. The suspension and the foul can grow with the severity of the foul.

So in the framework of the OP, it seems that it would be a reasonable strategy for a team to very cheaply hire 4 MMA fighters who have no particular basketball skills to deploy in the first minute of each of the playoff series to break the leg (or otherwise gravely injure) the star player of the opposing team. Done correctly, the opposing teams' star players are out for the rest of the season (if not for the rest of their careers) for: the price of a few points, a possession, the suspension of players you weren't counting on anyway, and a combined monetary fine that is probably lower than the salary of 4 bench warmers. Easy walk through the playoffs for a cheap price, all within the bounds of what the rules provide penalties for.

Is this the extreme version of the scenario that the OP is asking about?


Posted by: wink ;) | Link to this comment | 06-22-14 10:19 PM
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I think it's time for an actual new world cup thread. Or at least a booster of the last WC thread so it's on the front page. Or possibly just a post of Ronaldo making his various different bitch faces.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 2:44 AM
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There's a continuum here between behavior that is decreasingly acceptable until it crosses a line to become unacceptable, The only sensible debate is about where to draw the line.

And the debate is, at root, an aesthetic debate, not a moral one. So neb goes astray in the OP:

This is the sort of reasoning that corporations engage in with respect to fines for law-breaking--the cost of doing business, if you insist on doing it in a particular way.

In fact, we mostly resent a corporate polluter for polluting, and not for taking advantage of lax regulation in doing so. The rules are the responsibility of the rulemaking body. If a polluter is prepared to pay a million-dollar fine as a cost of doing business, that's really no different from a polluter being made to pay no fine whatsoever. Polluting is bad.

The analogy falls completely apart, as analogies are wont to do, when we move it over into the realm of sports. Because now we're no longer talking about polluting or running people over with cars and whatnot, but about altering the course of a ball with one's hands. Any judgments on this are going to be aesthetic judgments. They'll concern how we want the game to be played, and such matters are properly handled by rulemakers and, in hard cases, by social norms. I'd propose these social norms: We do not seek to injure other players, and we do not seek to deceive the refs. Less formal games, as NickS notes, are more dependent on norms.

In the NFL, when a defensive back gets beaten by the receiver for a touchdown catch, but the DB keeps that from happening through interference, his team faces a stiff penalty under the current rules - and the DB will routinely be congratulated by the announcers for recognizing the necessity of incurring that penalty. But if the sport decided that it didn't want that to happen, it could change the penalty - most obviously by granting the score automatically in such situations.

This is all really just an elaboration on 24.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 6:51 AM
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Neb is basically correct. Sportsmanship requires adhering to the rules. Breaking a rule is breaking a rule regardless of whether there is some tolerable penalty for it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:26 AM
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Trouble in Paradise is the only Lubitsch film I like.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:30 AM
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Does being good sport extend beyond sports? I'm think of this situation (assuming there's no way a Democrat will win in the general and that one isn't part of the "heighten the contradictions" crowd).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:32 AM
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80: I seriously hate it when states allow crossover voting in primaries. A party's candidate should be chosen by members of that party, and I have never encountered an argument that has swayed me on this principle in the slightest. It's complete bullshit that registered members of one party should have any say over the other party's nomination process. People are, of course, free to change their registration as they see fit, but still.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:45 AM
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I have similar views, but not so deeply held. When I was in college, the Young Democrats had an open meeting to select officers and a bunch of College Republicans showed up and elected themselves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:48 AM
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College Republicans

In the Dickishness Derby, those guys never disappoint.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:55 AM
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79: You don't like "To Be or Not to Be"?!?!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:56 AM
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Trouble in Paradise is the only Lubitsch film I've seen and it was fantastic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:56 AM
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Apo's 81 shows where the concern is properly directed: at the rulemakers. If the rules (per Moby's 80) allow cross-over voting, then strategic cross-overs to screw up the opposition are right or wrong based on whether the opposition deserves to be screwed up - and not based on whether doing so violates the spirit of some social norm.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:57 AM
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83: Yes, but it seems incredibly stupid to have your entire leadership decided at one meeting open to anybody. Unless that was required by university rules or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:58 AM
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46

The additional moral hazard for US and Germany is they could just call the game off and spend the extra time in comfy, air conditioned hotel rooms.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:04 AM
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81: I voted in republican primaries a few years back for non-sabotage reasons. It was the primary for the state board of education, and there was a wingnut candidate and a more reasonable encumbent, and ISTM to be essentially the real election, so I voted in it. The wingnut won.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:10 AM
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You see similar things here. The Democratic primary is basically the only election that matters so Republicans register as Democrats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:16 AM
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89: That's sabotage, if we're positing some norm exists that stigmatizes people who want to deny the majority will of an opposing political party.

Now I would argue that no such norm exists, nor should it - but that eliminates the concept of sabotage altogether from that situation.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:21 AM
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Trouble in Paradise is wonderful. The Shop Around the Corner (On the Corner?) actually made me angry for reasons I can't remember and no, I didn't really like To Be or Not to Be though I didn't watch very much of it. This embarrassingly may be because I am so, so familiar with the mostly unfunny Mel Brooks version and I kept having dissonance over where is Ann Bancroft.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:22 AM
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81, 89 -- Our Republicans just had their state convention, and voted in favor of going to a closed primary. They also voted in favor of demanding that the federal government cede millions of acres of National Forests, wildlife preserves, National Parks, etc. Everything.

Also, the real War on Women is being waged by The Abortion Industry.

It seems that a lot of Dems voted on the Rep ballot in the recent primary in Ravalli County, immediately to our south. Dem races were uncontested, and Rep races were TP vs folks calling themselves Responsible Republicans. It was an almost complete rout of the TP.

Here in Msla Co, many races have no Rep candidate at all, so our contested Dem primary was the whole thing. And the clerk & recorder/treasurer candidate withdrew from the race, so it falls to the Dem central committee to put someone on the ballot in an uncontested race. We vote tomorrow; I'd imagine that 10 votes win the race, and so candidates are loobying me as hard as they deem seemly.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:37 AM
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Trouble in Paradise is the only Lubitch I've seen, apparently. I think I must have had access to a few others and then they disappeared from streaming because I don't think I'd have forgotten To Be or Not To Be completely. I started to watch a couple others, but decided I wasn't really in the right frame of mind to watch musicals.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 10:15 AM
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Lubitsch


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 10:15 AM
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There is something rather voluptuous about the way Veronica Lake pronounces "Lubitsch."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 10:49 AM
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Lubricious, maybe?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 10:52 AM
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There's something rather voluptuous about lots of things pertaining to Ms. Lake.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 11:11 AM
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No love for Ninotchka?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 11:32 AM
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||
Sorry I've been away, so maybe someone noted this, but is it just me, or is this kinda hella creepy and misogynistic:

http://www.demilked.com/in-extremis-bodies-with-no-regret-remmidemmi-sandro-giordano/

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 11:38 AM
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99: Lots!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 11:42 AM
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90: Yeah, I can't remember the last time a Republican won anything in Mpls. There was an "independent" city council member for SW Mpls for awhile some time ago, but even he was pretty liberal, compared to even mainstream Repugs.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 11:45 AM
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93.1: Cede as in sell off, or as in transfer to BLM for subsidized private exploitation?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 12:51 PM
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No further federal involvement. Turn over to the state for management and/or sale.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 1:14 PM
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One Hour With You is somewhere between Trouble in Paradise and Love Me Tonight in perfection


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 1:34 PM
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96

Veronica Lake could sound voluptuous reciting zoning bylaws.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 4:55 PM
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Wasn't there a rule that neb shouldn't comment about sports?

nosflow is an Ultimate Frisbee superfan

This seems closest to the truth. Specifically on this point:

someone who strategizes about the rules is doing something else

Yes. He's trying to win. You're blaming people for exploiting lacunae in the rules, but professionals get paid to do that. If it's damaging to the integrity of the game, a rules committee convenes and considers what to do about it, or an after-the-fact review levies fines and suspensions. That's why professional sports' rulebooks are large and complex.

In games that aren't being played by professionals, community norms will apply, but community norms don't always forbid gamesmanship or "professional" fouls.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:04 PM
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Charles Pierce (re: SCOTUS decision saying EPA can't logically modify a law to meet its obvious intent, and the likely ridiculous ruling coming this week on recess appointments):

This is one of those fascinating examples of how what had become a political custom, the kind of logrolling gentleman's agreement that help lubricate the operation of the legislature, becomes an issue because one side simply abandons political custom and previously accepted political etiquette and finds a way to litigate that which once simply was understood as part of the unwritten rules of the game. This dynamic has become more pronounced since the country elected (twice) this particular president. It is because he is a Democrat, of course, and it is not of course About Race because nothing ever is About Race.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:28 PM
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You're blaming people for exploiting lacunae in the rules

What's the supposed lacuna here?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:31 PM
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There's a difference between "there's a loophole in the rules that allows blah blah blah" (evidenced, e.g., in this clever episode), and "the rules say you can't do this, but I don't care".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:33 PM
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(Lubitsch fan here - must delurk)

Definitely try Ninotchka if you haven't already!

If you like Trouble in Paradise, I would also recommend two other Pre-Code romantic comedies: Design for Living (another Lubitsch film with Miriam Hopkins, plus Fredric March & Gary Cooper) and Jewel Robbery (Kay Francis & William Powell, directed by William Dieterle).


Posted by: Ninotchka | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:33 PM
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(Following the Bolero episode, the rules were indeed altered.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:33 PM
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And, obviously (or I would have thought obviously), it's the fact that I don't see a difference in kind between gamesmanship in games and gamesmanship out of games that drives a lot of this for me. Everyone seems to think I'm making a judgment primarily or even solely about sports, though.

I want to see Design for Living!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:37 PM
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I think part of Design for Living was at the end of something else I recorded and after watching a bit of it I thought I should have recorded it too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 6:02 PM
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i>What's the supposed lacuna here?

I meant lacuna in the sense of situations not adequately anticipated by the rules, like the Suarez goal line handball. Call it a "bug" if you don't like "lacuna."

I don't see a difference in kind between gamesmanship in games and gamesmanship out of games that drives a lot of this for me

Like Nick (and others) note above, it's hard to make an argument that's both universal and refers to community. Communities have different standards for actions that make you an asshole and actions that make you a sucker. You can say that communities that tolerate more gamesmanship are poorer in community properly understood, and I'd probably buy that, but that's not exactly your argument.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 6:10 PM
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Apparently Design for Living is a very loose adaptation of the Noel Coward play, so some people find it disappointing for that reason. I've been meaning to read the play so I can compare them, but I think the movie is great as long as you're not expecting a faithful adaptation.

One more that reminds me of these Lubitsch films: Midnight with Claudette Colbert, directed by Mitchell Leisen and written by Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett - they also wrote Ninotchka for Lubitsch.


Posted by: Ninotchka | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 6:19 PM
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Touching the ball with your hands is not anticipated by the rules of soccer?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 6:52 PM
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Since I think that a community in which professional fouling was widely tolerated but which didn't therefore alter the rules to make the tolerated actions not fouls, but neutral actions with an attached cost, was at best deeply confused, I don't think I'm appealing to community standards here. The just-so story was meant to illustrate a way you might get rules with associated penalties which are nevertheless not neutral purchaseable actions.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 6:56 PM
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Touching the ball with your hands is not anticipated by the rules of soccer?

Stopping a sure goal with your hands on the last play of the game is not adequately dealt with by the rules. It's a situation where the violator gains a clear advantage for his team without a commensurate penalty. The player is sent off, but the game is over, so that doesn't matter. The other teams gets a penalty kick, but that's not a sure goal. In basketball, for example, how many fouls have been committed in a period, and when they're committed, makes a difference in the penalties assessed.

Look, you're from Irvine. You're a law and order, personal responsibility type. I get that. Hang 'em high. Me, I'm more of a midwestern liberal, more attuned, if you will, to the fundamental attribution error. We all have a role to play.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:01 PM
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The point is, though, it is already against the rules—it's not exploiting a technicality or anything like that.

Look, I'm willing to admit that if you're a professional basketball player, and you refuse to commit professional fouls or something like that, then, in a way, you are a sucker, and you'll fare worse for it, and there are plenty of other domains where not doing the bad thing that everyone else is doing also makes you a sucker. Suckered by integrity! The world's a mean place! Ideally, of course, rather than calling out the sucker, we'd call out the situation that makes it the case that behaving properly makes him a sucker, but whatever. I'd just like an acknowledgement that there's a difference to be marked between, on the one hand, something being against the rules and having an associated penalty, and something being within the rules and having an associated cost. Of course in some communities something that's publicized as the former might de facto be the latter, and the person who doesn't understand that is going to have a hard time, but those communities ought to be honest about what they're doing. Because the two situations aren't the same.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:22 PM
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You've been in the West too long, ogged.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:23 PM
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I feel you, nosflow.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:31 PM
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I don't think the basketball community is being at all dishonest about the fact that intentional clean fouls (of someone with an easy shot, late in the game to get back possession, or when you have a foul to give late in a quarter) are a perfectly normal part of the game which aren't "against the rules" in the former sense at all. It's not a point that there's any disagreement about among anyone who plays or follows basketball. The only dishonesty is in Neb's head.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:44 PM
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Original intent, Unfoggetarian, original intent.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:51 PM
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If the intent were to discourage fouling to regain possession, the rules would give the ball back to the team that was fouled, as happens with unsportsmanlike fouls.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:28 PM
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Look, I'm willing to admit that if you're a professional basketball player, and you refuse to commit professional fouls or something like that, then, in a way, you are a sucker, and you'll fare worse for it, and there are plenty of other domains where not doing the bad thing that everyone else is doing also makes you a sucker.

I don't think the basketball community is being at all dishonest about the fact that intentional clean fouls ... are a perfectly normal part of the game

I agree with Unfoggetarian, there are circumstances in which intentional fouls are treated as, de facto, "something being within the rules and having an associated cost." That's why, often, intentional fouls to stop the clock are largely ceremonial -- the fouling player just put their hands on the other person like they're playing touch football.

On the other hand, the case in which I do feel the strength of nosflow's argument is flopping -- I think an NBA player is a bit of a sucker if they aren't willing to flop at least some of the time, but I also think it speaks badly of the sport that this is true.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:41 PM
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120.2 has pretty much convinced me that 77.2 is correct -- framed in terms of whether it is a problem for a community to call something "against the rules and having an associated penalty" rather than "within the rules but having an associated cost," when you're willing to stipulate that everyone in that community understands that the situation really involves a cost and not a penalty, this becomes "an aesthetic debate, not a moral one."


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:56 PM
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Although I should add that I'm actually pretty much in agreement with nosflow on the underlying point, when it is considered as an aesthetic one.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 8:59 PM
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I don't think the basketball community is being at all dishonest about the fact that intentional clean fouls (of someone with an easy shot, late in the game to get back possession, or when you have a foul to give late in a quarter) are a perfectly normal part of the game which aren't "against the rules" in the former sense at all. It's not a point that there's any disagreement about among anyone who plays or follows basketball. The only dishonesty is in Neb's head.

I … am aware that it's a normal part of the game and that "the basketball community" is aware of that. It's dishonesty insofar as the rules do not say "you may gain possession in the following way, with the following cost". That's why it's called a foul! It wouldn't be a foul if the understanding of the basketball community and the actual rules of the game were in accord with each other!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:11 PM
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I think it's probably pretty widely understood in boardrooms across this great nation that laws are piffle which one can and should transgress for profit. Of course there it's less easy to change the rules to match the understanding and obviously they aren't going to change their understandings to match rules, but wev. Clearly there are no structural analogies between the situations worth pondering, nor could an instrumental attitude towards the rules in one part of life suggest a like attitude elsewhere.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:15 PM
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I understand you, neb.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:16 PM
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If Diogenes were among us still, I would direct him to you and Eggplant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:17 PM
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Teo will just take the lamp, because archeology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:19 PM
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Corporate executives do like their sports metaphors, I suppose.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:29 PM
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I understand neb, or think I do, but that doesn't mean I agree in the conventional basketball foul case. I do think the Suarez case is a case of immorality but mainly because there was an uproar about it, not just because of the rule. I think that what keeps people from taking advantage of that handball rule by violating it in similar situations is more the moral sanction against that behavior than the fact that it's against the rules.

Although apparently the NBA did try to prevent late game fouling in the 1950s, before the shot clock, when teams would hold the ball for minutes and fouling was the only way to get it back. My favorite part is where a jump ball instead of free throw rule led to tall players fouling short players. The NBA: always corrupt, always battling corruption.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 9:39 PM
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I can't remember much about Midnight but will certainly give Ninotchka a go, and Design for Living seems right up my alley. I was getting it mixed up with Private Lives and I do find Norma Shearer more fun to watch than Miriam Hopkins but hey, I can watch both flicks.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 10:37 PM
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Stopping a sure goal with your hands on the last play of the game is not adequately dealt with by the rules. It's a situation where the violator gains a clear advantage for his team without a commensurate penalty. The player is sent off, but the game is over, so that doesn't matter.

Well, no, it does matter. The player is likely to get fined by his team and, more importantly, he will be automatically banned for the next match (possibly several if he's racked up several red cards recently, of if the offence is deemed serious unsportsmanlike conduct). The rules of football very explicitly cater for this eventuality and others like it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 2:29 AM
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136: Spoiler alert, Smearcase: Garbo laughs!

(And damn Diogenes and his sexism!)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 4:21 AM
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"I'm looking for an honest woman to come back with me to my barrel. Laydeez."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 5:22 AM
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The rules of football very explicitly cater for this eventuality and others like it.

Per ogged, the rules of football don't take into account situations where committing this penalty is profitable. The intent of the rulemakers, ogged believes and I agree, was to keep this sort of thing from happening.

But I'm curious to know your opinion in the underlying debate. To say that the rulemakers contemplated this possibility seems to be exculpatory for Suarez, who was merely taking advantage of a situation that was deliberately designed into the game.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 5:55 AM
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137.last: I assume you would allow that in certain situations (such as the Suarez World Cup one) where the balance of harms and benefits shifts in a way unanticipated in those rules.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:21 AM
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Per ogged, the rules of football don't take into account situations where committing this penalty is profitable.

At least in principle, they do. The FIFA rules are pretty open-ended as to what punishments can be meted out according to the cynicism and severity of the offence - if for example hard evidence turned up of something like the Saints' bounty system, the local FA would definitely be able to make it "unprofitable".


But I'm curious to know your opinion in the underlying debate. To say that the rulemakers contemplated this possibility seems to be exculpatory for Suarez, who was merely taking advantage of a situation that was deliberately designed into the game.

Me, I'm a moralist, at least when it comes to soccer. Intentional fouls are wrong and aren't part of any acceptable tactic. Similarly timewasting, moving the spot of a throw or free kick, encroaching on the ten yard circle, etc. Unintentional fouls are much less bad, unless dangerously reckless (or just stupid). I'm not sure how willing I'd be to generalise that principle to other sports I'm less familiar with, though. I guess the main principle is don't be a dick. I can certainly envisage sports where gaming the rules (including tactical infringement) would be acceptable by mutual implicit consent.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:31 AM
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And the penalty is a social one; Suarez enhanced his reputation as a dick.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:34 AM
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I'm sure Suarez is very sad that blog commenters and many others think he's a dick.
The ref did have the discretion to ensure the "proper" (morally speaking) outcome- call the phantom encroachment on the missed PK, show two reds and give two PKs (the other defender next to Suarez also appeared to be trying to use his hands so fuck him too.) But that would have been outside the norms in the other direction, I can't imagine a ref ever using his discretion to that extent and he would have probably faced much more severe professional sanction than Suarez ever did.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:43 AM
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137.last: I assume you would allow that in certain situations (such as the Suarez World Cup one) where the balance of harms and benefits shifts in a way unanticipated in those rules.

Well, no. He couldn't play in the semi-final, and could have been banned for the final too. That's the point of the flexible ban/punishment system. If the player/team is being cynical about it, you can increase the punishment so that the balance shifts. Arguably there comes a point where almost no penalty is enough - eg the last second of a World Cup final - but it's still possible.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:45 AM
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The ref did have the discretion to ensure the "proper" (morally speaking) outcome- call the phantom encroachment on the missed PK, show two reds and give two PKs (the other defender next to Suarez also appeared to be trying to use his hands so fuck him too.)

That's not in the ref's discretion. You don't two penalties for two simultaneous fouls in the same "play". The most serious offence counts.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:48 AM
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He couldn't play in the semi-final

There wouldn't be a semi-final for his team unless he commits the foul. It's all upside for him. That's a problem with the rules. You can say, oh, but they can levy some other penalty at their discretion, but not in the moment, and did they?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:58 AM
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This from the link in 20 is perhaps the whitest thing ever written about soccer:

Perhaps in some sports winning really is everything. But football is supposed to be the beautiful game. You're supposed to win by playing better, like the Spanish or--yes, let's admit it!--the elegant and impeccably honest German team of 2010. The aesthetic dimension of football causes the legal to be supplemented by the moral.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:07 AM
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That's like in college football when the guy is supposed to mentally reflect upon the role of the scholar-athlete in the modern university before he gives the wide receiver a concussion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:09 AM
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148: I thought that was how everybody wrote about soccer? I remember reading some famous account of the English win in '66 that was all full of handwringing about winning in the proper way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:10 AM
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148: OK. Tied for first.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:11 AM
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Speaking of moral turpitude, Rebekah Brooks is apparently innocent in the eyes of British law. I think British law just has a thing for redheads.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:15 AM
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Coulson's getting banged up though. I really don't know how the jury bought the Brooks line about why they were destroying evidence, but apparently they did.

There wouldn't be a semi-final for his team unless he commits the foul. It's all upside for him. That's a problem with the rules. You can say, oh, but they can levy some other penalty at their discretion, but not in the moment, and did they?

Well, no, it's all downside for him. He gets sent off, he gets banned, he gets moral opprobrium, he maybe gets fined (I don't know if he did in this instance, but it's the norm to get fined for red cards and especially so for professional fouls).

You can argue that there's upside for the team, but it's questionable how much there was in the long run, and again, the rules give plenty of leeway to ensure that there is none, whether or not FIFA (or the national FAs in a more generic situation) exercise that discretion.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:24 AM
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One assumes, merely on the basis of similar names, that Coulson will have a religious awakening in prison.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:29 AM
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Arguably there comes a point where almost no penalty is enough - eg the last second of a World Cup final

Easy peasy: You award the goal. That's what they do in the basketball equivalent: goaltending.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:41 AM
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155: Agree.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:42 AM
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That said, neb is right that it is impossible to 'close" the system within the system. Somewhere I have an entertaining history of the rules of baseball which walks through the specific situation that led to the rules being added or changed. It's 'exploits" all the way down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:51 AM
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155: But there's still an expected benefit, because you may not get caught. In basketball this is mitigated because it's not as easy for a player to know if the shot will go in,


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:53 AM
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Easy peasy: You award the goal. That's what they do in the basketball equivalent: goaltending.

In practice, awarding a penalty is almost the same as awarding a goal. A penalty during open play has an 80% to 90% chance of resulting in a goal (success rates are lower in shootouts because of the constraints on the choice of kicker and of course the pressure). And it's only in the rare Suarez style situations, where saving a likely last minute goal iin a knock-out tournament will clearly outweigh the usual costs of being sent off, that the discretionary punishments need to kick in as a disincentive.

All that said, I'm not particularly opposed to some kind of goaltending rule for "obvious" would-be-goals, but I do worry about unintended consequences - would refs become even more wary about awarding fouls in the box in general?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:57 AM
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Not many people know that Kurt Gödel's later career was shaped by a controversial goal-line handball in the Brünn under-12 city football championship of 1917.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:57 AM
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158 is an elaboration on 157, and I agree with both, except I will never utter the words "neb is right."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:58 AM
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Research! Using the "What Does the Internet Think?" think from the useful sites link I get the following results:

Luis Suarez:
82.9% positive
14.6% negative

Suarez:
47.6% positive
45.9% negative


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 8:18 AM
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Not many people know that Kurt Gödel's later career was shaped by a controversial goal-line handball in the Brünn under-12 city football championship of 1917.

Fewer still know about the seemingly endless series of fouls that kept Georg Cantor on the injured list in Frankfurt.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 8:55 AM
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Hilbert had no problem making his local youth team but he kept getting moved down the depth chart.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 9:00 AM
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163: Kronecker was a strong proponent of the professional foul.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 9:07 AM
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157 -- I have that book, it's great. Should be assigned reading in law schools.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 4:39 PM
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Actually I may have bought it on Stormcrow's recommendation.


Posted by: robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 4:39 PM
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152 : more like Surrey police has a thing for (probably culpably but the IPCC couldn't find enough evidence to prosecute any individual officer) fucking up the original investigation and leaving insufficient evidence for the conspiracy charge to have ever been a goer.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 4:51 PM
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My lack of legal knowledge is recognized on two continents.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 5:12 PM
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161: except I will never utter the words "neb is right."

I agree with him on that small point. The overall stance he is advocating is irrevocably doomed and not in the good buttsex way, but along the lines of why we end up with a Pol Pot every once in a while.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 6:27 PM
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along the lines of why we end up with a Pol Pot every once in a while

Until now, the obvious political implications of this debate have been ignored by everyone but bob (39 and 42). There's a reason that he is Unfogged's pet troll.

I am indebted to Michael Moorcock and Dungeons & Dragons for separating the concepts of "Law/Chaos" and "Good/Evil." We know that neb is Lawful. It is unclear where he resides on the other axis.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:05 PM
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Yes, "what about civil disobedience" or "what if the laws are just plain unjust" is the obvious place to push back.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:10 PM
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I am indebted to Michael Moorcock and Dungeons & Dragons

As are we all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:18 PM
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172 meet 55


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:25 PM
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I never noticed 55 before or I would have disputed that ultimate is a sport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:38 PM
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174 contains a link


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:42 PM
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A broken one


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:43 PM
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I'm not going to get in the habit of checking the source code on all comments just in case somebody put in a link.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:44 PM
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172 meet 55

There?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:45 PM
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That's a completely different 55.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:45 PM
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Indeed. And it is the one I intended to link above.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:49 PM
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If frisbee ever does really catch on as a spectator sport played by professionals, the minor league better be called Penultimate Frisbee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:52 PM
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If frisbee ever does really catch on as a spectator sport played by professionals,

Anthony Weiner will be rushing to provide lots of... wait, disk pics? Goddammit.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-24-14 7:56 PM
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Relevant to this thread.

"You know, grabbing nipples and balls and stuff like that is a line you just don't cross that line."

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 12:58 PM
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182: And the Little League equivalent can be Antepenultimate Frisbee.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:08 PM
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LB for lack of better place to mention this, "Smash Hit" has cured me of 2048. I am indebted.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:10 PM
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Just today I had a 2048, a 1024, a 512, and a 256. Still never got to 4096.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:12 PM
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Antepenultimate

I associate that word with the Flanders & Swann song "Madeira M'Dear" (I thought about mentioning Michael Flanders in the lyricist thread, but couldn't quite talk myself into it).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:14 PM
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There is weather in Chicago. Apparently, this is a new situation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:16 PM
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I guess Chicago now has no weather. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:35 PM
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Just today I had a 2048, a 1024, a 512, and a 256. Still never got to 4096.

I got to 4096 once and now I am never playing again in that browser.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:36 PM
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Interesting proviso.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:43 PM
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