Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

The Weekend Is Here! 9-23-16

Posted by flyingbk on 09/23/2016

I’ve been under the weather this week. So I’m pushing Part 2 of the series that started on Monday to this coming Monday. I’m very excited to write this post, and I look forward to having you check it out. For now, here’s a few links for the weekend:

1. Unless you live under a rock, or have chosen to care as little as possible about this year’s presidential election, you know that the first debate is set for this Monday. Honestly, I haven’t watched a single speech or news broadcast during this entire cycle. And I already have dinner plans on Monday, and we’ll be watching Monday Night Football.

I do have some thoughts on the election, and the state of American politics, but I’m not sure if I’ll write them. For now, I strongly encourage you to read Mockingbird’s guide to Surviving November. Mockingbird is my favorite blog on the interwebs; nothing else I read online does more to stimulate my mind and freshly appreciate the gospel. Do yourself a favor and bookmark it.

This post draws heavily from Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous MindIn short, we’re all hopelessly biased, whether we realize it or not. We think we’re all logical beings, but we’re most certainly not. Part III of this post, which focuses on how we ask ourselves “Can I believe it?” and/or “Must I believe it?” is especially insightful.

I used to be that guy who couldn’t believe the viewpoints of the other side, and got all riled up by their seemingly fallacious and utterly ridiculous arguments. I engaged in a heated political argument with a friend a few months back, and in retrospect, all we did was spew out our respective party’s talking points. But reading a post like the one on Mockingbird is most helpful in understanding why we are the way we are. If we all truly understood our own inherent biases and tendencies to construct narratives, we would be more humble about our opinions, and political discourse in this country would be so much better.

2.  Along those lines comes yesterday’s NYT editorial by J.D. Vance. I’m currently reading his memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, which everyone says is a must-read to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon. To be honest, this book is reminding me why I don’t like memoirs, but more on that another time.

In this piece, Vance notes how we’re so quick to throw people into baskets and buckets; it’s just so much easier and tidier that way. But the truth, of course, is that we’re usually much more complicated than that. Again, it’s very helpful if we first acknowledge how deeply flawed each of us are, and then we’ll be less likely to stereotype.

This story reminded me of the Woodrow Wilson protests at Princeton University. Wilson was clearly a racist, and students wanted his name removed from the institution. It’s easy to be cynical about Princeton’s response, but there is a lot of truth in what the administration stated:

We owe a great deal to people who are deeply flawed, and not many people can transcend the prejudices of the times they lived in… We assess ourselves with great humility because we, too, are flawed, and it’s likely that we will also be guilty of sins and prejudices that to future generations who look back on our own legacies will be very obvious.

3. The NYT also reviewed the book I alluded to on Tuesday. I started it this week, and finished Part I. Excellent writing by Millard as usual, and I agree with the reviewer that she has an uncanny eye for specific newspaper quotes. She mentions her favorite one, which also caught my attention from Part I:

Ms. Millard also shows, as she has in her previous work, that she has a great ear for quotes — an underrated virtue in writers of history. (Favorite example: The British ambassador to Berlin wrote that Churchill’s mother had “more of the panther than of the woman in her look.”)

4. Now, the lighter stuff. I’ll definitely be checking out the new FOX TV series, Pitch, which is about a female major league baseball pitcher.

After I watch it, I’ll read the A.V. Club’s review. I already read the review from two Baseball Prospectus writers (!), which only makes me want to watch it more.

And if you’re a baseball nerd like me, you’ll enjoy Jeff Passan’s 25 things you didn’t know about baseball. and the new Statcast metric.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone. Let’s Go Mets, and thank you AsCab. Best bat flip ever.



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