Japanese Wisdom

Aug 25, 2011 | 09:58am  

I was raised with a Japanese grandmother, Akiko. Though not my actual grandmother, she still felt closer to me than my maternal one. I felt a spiritual linkage with her that I never had with my New Zealand grandmother. I loved both dearly but felt calmer and more supported by Akiko. She had a natural urge to help people, regardless of their situation, witnessing her interaction with others, especially the least fortunate in society, primed me considerably as an adolescent and helped mould the world view which I still hold dear today. ‘It isn’t that some people are better than others, it is that some people are luckier than most’ that’s how she would explain the obvious iniquity in the world. I realised from a young age that this world wasn’t fair, but also knew that we could collectively do something to mitigate these glaring lifestyle disparities. One was taxes. Which in Germany, whilst growing up in the 1980s, were among the highest in the world, especially for the most well-off financially. Yet still it was a necessity, so as to curb the inexplicably grotesque phenomenon evident in any capitalist society that people who have a lot of money, would somehow surreptitiously make even more, without even breaking a sweat. The pathological nature of investment banking, fortified during this era in the western world, was one of the major ills that paved the way to the multiple recessions and financial earthquakes experienced since. On the dawn of a new tax revision system in the USA, I think it is important we heed Akiko’s words once more.

This world isn’t fair, fortune strikes and disaster takes away. We have the ability to spread the odds by ensuring that everyone is adequately taken care of. The Japanese people have proven that even in the depths of calamity and despair, a nation can come together and eliminate narcissistic tendencies coupled to self-survival and proliferation, and instead can hold their hands collectively and take care of the less fortunate. Why is it that we need disaster to happen in order for us to radiate how uniquely caring and loving we can be as humans? It doesn’t have to be like this, just listen to Akiko. Not only does the planet need us at the moment, our own people do too. The Hawaiian monk seal is not going to be around in 20 years, so at least for her sake, let’s ensure the survival and contentment of all humans, disregarding status, creed, colour or race. In some bizarre way, I think laziness is the key. There is too much focus on being industrious in the modern world. Think about it, lazy people don’t start wars, but they certainly end them. So bless the lazy slackers, for they may just be the next step in our evolutionary progression and, in turn, save our planet.

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Feb16mclea What we all should have lerenad from this article is the process taken to accumulate stats:1) Smart basketball guy observes an action that has a material effect on the success or failure of others2) Stat guy finds a way to measure this action objectively3) Stat guy is confident that what is he measuring is meaningful because the results of his analysis are inline with the observations of smart basketball guyGiven this, I still don’t understand why you guys aren’t devoting any effort around accumulating data for turnovers. You guys are obsessed with the end result, the goal, and this is leading you in the wrong direction.The goal is the end result of a series of events. The triggering event, in a significant number of cases, is the turnover. The turnover might happen 45 seconds before the goal, it might happen 5 seconds before the goal, but I would guess that a large percentage of goals are triggered by a turnover, are followed by a period of uninterrupted possession, and then end up as a goal.So I suggest that instead of recorded scoring chances or whatever you guys are doing, you should you move back a few steps and start recording turnovers. You should carve the ice into 18 different zone, 6 in the offensive end, 6 in the neutral zone, and 6 in the defensive end. For every turnover, you should record where the turnover took place, where the opposing team acquired possession of the puck, and which player coughed up the puck. You would then record whether the turnover resulting in:a) a shot on netb) a quality shot on net (if you want to get into the wishy washy)c) a goalThe period in which any of the above can occur for recording purposes would be the shorter of when possesion is turned back over, or when the opposing team clears the puck from their zone.This analysis would provide you with the following:1) How many turnovers are in a game, which can be measured objectively2) What sort of turnovers occur in the game3) What turnovers are most likely to result in goals4) Which players commit the most turnovers that result in the most goalsInstead of taking the data you already have, and working backwards (ie. let’s see if calculating this makes sense) you guys have to start identifying what data would be meaningful, start accumulating that data, and then start running it against your working assumption to see if it works. You also have start identifying trigger points , or the events that have a high correlation with end results, such as shots, or scoring chances , or goals. That’s how you end up with meaningful statistics, not the other way around.

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