A Tribute to "Moneyball"
Print Friendly and PDF

A reader writes from the shores of the Bosporus:

Hi Steve

I just saw a baseball movie named "Moneyball" and I loved it. Even though I'm bored to death of "success story" movies — be they on sports, music, movies, or whatever. And even though I know nothing about baseball.

It tells the story of how the "statistical" approach got into baseball and proved its worth.

You know why I loved it?

Because there's something in the statistical approach that maps to the essence of the Republic.

Winner-takes-all is feudal. It is primitive, neolithic, scales very poorly, and is the natural tendency of humans that refuse to grow up. Primates like gorillas are much better at that type of social organization than us. If they weren't, they would have evolved in another direction — or we wouldn't have evolved into humans.

And yet, misguided fools all over the planet still aspire to be silverbacks.

The thing with the statistical approach is this:

Say we're talkin' music. You can either be a freak of nature like Paco de Lucia — who probably comes once in every two hundred years, and is absolutely brilliant SOLO — or you can be four blokes from a working-class neighbourhood with mediocre instrumental skills at best, get a good coach, and make fantastic music.

Same with sports.

Same with technology.

Same with everything in the Republic.

You DON'T have to be the Chuck Norris of every skill known to man to score. (Totally OT but if you can chuckle to half of these Chuck Norris jokes, you've worked as a programmer at one point in your life.)

I don't much care for discussions on "barbaric" vs. "civilized" — especially if concepts like "kleptocracy," "dusky races," "buggery," "stable society," "brutal treatment of women" etc. are sprinkled all over it. They bore me to death since more often than not (regardless of their factual accuracy) they express the typical fears of a lower-beta/omega Western male with an oversized brain. I — like most other half-intelligent and decent carbon-based life forms on this planet — have suffered all my life from the political shenanigans, pathological ideologies, and never-ending machinations of these types to be the top dog neolithic-style in a republic. Fuck 'em. All of them.

I only care about the "average," and the "good life" that the average CAN manage in a Republic.

The gist of it is, if you're half good at anything, and if you can team up with a bunch of guys who are also half good at what they do who complement each others' skillsets, you have a shot at a good life, and don't have to worry about being a silverback to pass on your genes.

Why don't people get this very simple fact?

Right. Like when I was a kid I used to go to the scrubby ranch of this family that my mom and dad knew from Lockheed to play hide and seek with their six kids. Their dad was the chief designer of the fastest airplane of all time, the SR71. Get a good group of fellows together all working on the project rather than their political positions and you've got a chance to go far (or in this case fast).

Print Friendly and PDF