Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/24/18: Potpourri!

Good Morning!

Once again, I am prepping for a law firm training session (at 9 am!), and am rushing to get as much covered as I can.

1 More on how sports commentators make us stupid. I happened to be listening to the Sirius-XM MLB channel, as old Red Sox third-baseman Rico Petrocelli was holding forth on the luck factor in baseball. “I mean,” opined Rico,” a single missed strike or ball call by an umpire can change games, championships, seasons and careers! A single missed pitch by an umpire!”

Then he and his partner on the show noted that there have even been calls for balls and strikes to be called electronically, which, as I have pointed out here, is now completely feasible. “Ridiculous!” spat Rico, as his sidekick vigorously agreed.

Let me get this straight: he just (correctly) talked about how a single mistaken call can have momentous consequences, but says it’s ridiculous to eliminate mistaken calls when the technology is available to do so.

That’s even less logical than the defenses of illegal immigration.

2. Now here’s a good analogy to the anti-gay marriage baker: In Vancouver, Canada, a conference scheduled by a conservative religious group was kicked out of the conference center it had booked because the venue decided that the views of one of the speakers, who opposes LGBTQ advocacy, violated its values.

Of course, Canada doesn’t regard freedom of speech as a core national value. And if the Canadian style progressives  in this country get their way, it won’t be one of our values for very long. What a great way to strangle dissent and views that oppose the majority position: just make it impossible for them to meet.

3. Our totalitarian schools...In Illinois, a Manteno Community Unit School student was meeting with the principal over a disciplinary matter when he revealed that he had been recording the conversation on his cell phone. The school had him arrested, and he is being charged with a felony.

True, Illinois is one of the states that has laws against surreptitious recordings, but this was a child, he almost certainly was unaware that his act was illegal, and school administrators are supposed to be teaching, not sending students into the criminal system. But I’m sure the principal and his faculty think it is monstrous to separate kids from their law-breaking parents at the border.

From what I have seen from schools the last couple decades, I think all interactions with students should be recorded as a matter of law.

4. And here’s an interesting analogy to the border controversy! Remember these idiots? Monalisa shot her boyfriend in a botched stunt designed to garner millions of views on YouTube. She was pregnant at the time (not married, of course) and the couple’s three-year-old daughter was a witness. Now we learn that she was convicted of manslaughter—Ya think? For firing a gun at a book her boyfriend was holding up in front of his chest, killing him?—and sentenced to six months in prison.

Does anyone think her children got her a reduced sentence? I do. I also think that she should be separated from her children because she is an irresponsible fool who is likely to get them killed too.

I would elaborate on this fiasco, but I am now late for my session.

I’ll be interested in what you think.

11 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/24/18: Potpourri!

        • Good article.

          However, it would be pretty simple to simply program each batter’s stance and height in advance. Or give the home plate ump veto power over egregious robo-calls up or down. Anything would be an improvement. I watch a lot of games, and some umps miss 10% of the calls during a game, or more, and I’m just talking about the unambiguous ones. The same pitch location on the same batter should get the same call every time, whatever it is.

        • There’s probably a ton of relatively simple improvements that could be made to the current system to improve its accuracy and reliability. Small colored or reflective patches could be sewn into the player’s uniforms to help provide key visual clues to the location of the strike zone. If teams object to visible cues on uniforms, then make them visible only in the UV spectrum. Given the state of robotic vision, and the ability of such systems to perform much more dynamic tasks like driving cars and piloting autonomous drones, it seems like deciding if a ball was inside or outside a specific volume of space is well within the limits of existing technology.

  1. #2. Yesterday I commented that the behavior of the Red Hen’s owner would give license to those wanting to discriminate by using political rationales. This is an example. I know it’s Canada and they do not have our Constitution but I wonder if they would have argued they cancelled the venue based on the groups religious beliefs.

    #3. I can appreciate the student wanting to record the interaction. I had a 9th grade geometry teacher say to me ” who do you think X will believe,me – the teacher – or you”.
    The next day I brought a cassette recorder, which in those days was relatively large, to class. When the teacher figured out I was recording the lesson, he came over and ripped the tape out of the recorder and my parents were called. Record all teacher student interactions or at least create an exception for recording governmentally paid employees.

  2. 1. Baseball is a game of 115+ years of tradition mostly unmarred by progress. Alas, the National League still does not embrace the designated hitter, and it is hard to find a baseball stadium that used artificial turf.

    2. Canada has also deprived a Christian law school of accreditation – simply because they have a code of conduct similar to those at BYU, Regent University, and Liberty University here in the United States.

    3. These days, a student is a fool not to record stuff. Especially if their politics differ from a teacher or administrator. The over-reaction in Illinois tells me that that principal had something he wanted to hide.

    • Though artificial turf was tried and rejected–it injured players and distorted the game. I hated it. I’m happy to have a few stadiums that use it around for variety’s sake, but that was a tend that reversed quickly.

    • Well, to be fair to the National League, the designated hitter rule is an unholy abomination that leaves a permanent stain on the soul of everyone exposed to it.

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