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Showing posts from 2019

INEOS 1:59 Challenge: A Life Lesson

In their coverage of the 1:59 Challenge, INEOS captures marathoner Eliud Kipchoge's preparation for the event.  In the final stages leading up to the event, we find Kipchoge paying tribute to society: weathermen, the people who design the route, the media, etc.  However, we don't find Kipchoge paying tribute to his wife who has assumed complete responsibility for their children and household affairs.  Over the course of this event, we've gathered that Kipchoge deliberately married a woman who doesn't talk much.  Ironically, in Western civilization, a man who seeks a woman who simply "keeps her mouth shut" is characterized as a misogynist, yet Kipchoge is popularly lauded as a humble man preferring a simple life.  In summation, I'm personally struck by Kipchoge's lack of praise for his wife, who shouldered the weight of their family for months at a time while her beloved husband relentlessly pursued his mighty athletic aspirations.  It

No, Mary Cain Is Not A Hero

No, Mary Cain is not a hero.  She's just another frustrated former athlete eager to cast blame for her personal failings and her misjudgments of a high-profile program and myopic coach.  In news this week, former Nike distance runner Mary Cain has lambasted her former coach and program by attributing her personal traumas to a “system” abusive toward women.  In her scathing exposé of Nike’s Oregon Project, Cain points to coaches who encouraged her to get “thinner, and thinner, and thinner” in order to compete with the world’s best.  In her diatribe against Salazar, Cain claims that he “created an arbitrary number of 114 pounds” as a target weight for the 5’ 7” athlete.  To get a better idea as to why Salazar might encourage his athletes to cut weight, we might benefit from an assessment of the body mass index (BMI) readings for the top female middle-distance athletes at that time.  To simplify the data, we’ll take a look at the BMIs for each female athlete who compete

Open Letter to Jerry Jones and Fellow Cowboys Fans

I'm probably the biggest Cowboys fan on the planet, as I was baptized into fandom.  I'm here to spare my fellow Cowboys fans of a lifetime of grief: so long as Jerry Jones owns the Dallas Cowboys, they will never return to the Super Bowl.  This has nothing to do with the makeup of their roster, which they have nearly perfected this season, because it has everything to do with management and culture.  Teams win with effective leaders and purposeful players, and dynasties are made from the cultures they create.  The winning tradition of Cowboys football was resuscitated by Jimmy Johnson in 1989, but it was prematurely sacrificed in 1994 for the benefit of Jerry Jones' ego as Jones pressured Johnson out of Dallas before winning their final Super Bowl with Johnson's unit in 1996.  Since then, the Cowboys have endured a twenty-three-year drought, without a single NFC Championship appearance over that stretch, posting a regular-season record of 186-172 (.519).  Fo

Kipchoge's Marathon: Inspiring or Not?

This past Saturday, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge journeyed even further into uncharted running territory by dipping under the two-hour mark in a tailor-made marathon in Vienna.  The event, appropriately named the 1:59 Challenge , spurred just as much bewilderment as excitement, especially in the running community, where competitive athletes and recreational runners alike entered into fierce debate on the subject. In the aftermath of the event, I was personally struck with a range of emotions and curiosities as a result of what I had just observed, in particular what it implies about the direction of the sport of distance running. Over the course of my life, I have found inspiration in cases where people had triumphed in the face of adversity and unideal circumstances; in particular, the most profound inspiration has taken the form of triumph amidst relatable conditions, which allows us to begin to imagine the significance of any achievement. Ma

The Hypocrisy of the Anti-Industrialization Movement

Across the developed world, a series of spiritual movements have arisen from utopian visions of alternative existence.  While the popularity of the budding movement remains unquestionable, the logician will struggle to discover its merits.  Plainly, the spirit of this movement has been completely compromised in the development of its numbers, as diminishing camps of aboriginals and traditionalists have yielded to the audible rumblings of outcasts and quasi-intellectuals always on the lookout for somebody or something else to blame, albeit cunningly.  While nuanced, the differences between the groups have shaped the conversation around vaunted notions predicated upon unexamined assumptions.  Take, for example, the islands of the Pacific, where one can effortlessly find locals who disapprove of the so-called commercialization of their respective islands.  The innocent islands they once knew and loved are now bustling with tourists and peppered with towering hotels, luxury resor

What Causes Economic Growth?

In modern economics, no greater effort has been made than in identifying some lack of money as the solitary drag on economic growth.  However, the present state of money, a fiat currency with no inherent value, has confounded the nature of money and, in turn, the most important dynamics pertaining to economic growth.  In effect, the rise of fiat currencies and their digital formations has produced an abstraction effect that has obfuscated the meaning of investment, prices and economic growth.  In order to better appreciate these concepts, we will endeavor to classify and relate them to the inherent state of human affairs, whereby we may aspire to truly understand their meaning and influence over the economy and our lives.  To begin, we must appreciate that economic growth stems from saving (from underconsumption) and capital investment (which stems from the surplus enjoyed from saving), whereas consumption essentially draws from saving and capital investment (and thereby grow

What Recent History Says About Today’s Gold Rally

While the investment world attempts to make sense of the burgeoning tensions arising from the so-called "trade war" between China and the Trump administration, the US Dollar Index (DXY) has moved sideways along with the major stock-market indices.  Meanwhile, smart money has piled into precious metals gold and silver, which have witnessed remarkable dollar gains over the past three months: the spot price of gold has gained $270/ounce, or twenty-one percent, compared to $2.31/ounce, or fourteen percent, for silver.  For the investor seeking alpha, gold and silver stocks present tremendous upside, while silver bullion and miners are particularly appealing at a time when the metal continues to trade at historically-low premium compared to its yellow rival.  At the beginning of June, one ounce of gold traded against 93 ounces of silver.  The last time gold traded so expensively in terms of silver, quarterback Brett Favre was preparing for his rookie season with the Atla

The Hidden Cost of the Minimum Wage

By its very nature, the minimum wage law can never be effective.  Where it is too low to influence wages in any industry, it will be moot, whereas wherever it is high enough to affect wages in any industry, it will cause a surplus of labor supply and a shortage of labor demand.  Alternatively, in order to achieve a similar result, government could theoretically institute a price ceiling on the goods regularly consumed by the working class.  However, this too would predictably produce the same result through a shortage, whether through quantity, quality or some combination thereof.  Whether a price floor, by the name of a minimum wage, or a price ceiling, by way of a maximum sales price, the results are always identical: unintended consequences magnitudes of order beyond the wildest imaginations of the initiatives’ unwitting supporters; profound social, legal and economic implications outside the frame of hypnotizing propaganda; and devastating losses disproportionately incurred

Why Dak Prescott Isn't Worth $40 Million/Year

Before journeying into the facts and figures around Dak Prescott and the implications of a new contract, one must first consider the following questions:  How accurate does a quarterback need to be with mid-range and deep passes in order to have long-term success in the NFL?  Can the Cowboys remain as competitive as a team with an obligation upwards of $40 million per year (in a salary-capped league) to a quarterback who has demonstrated only that he can win games with an elite unit? Of course, in committing to such a contract with Prescott, the Cowboys will ironically surrender a great measure of that 'elite' unit that enabled his successes in the first place, and thus they will sacrifice that surrounding cast for one athlete who, despite the risk that he's less qualified than he has appeared on film, faces the real risks of injury and underperformance, which have thus far been mitigated by that aforesaid surrounding cast.  In the case of Dak Prescott,