Missing Link Daily

Thursday’s edition over the fold.

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Jen McCulloch and Stephen Hill

Politics

Australian

John Quiggin and Gary Sauer-Thompson look at the state of the Murray-Darling Basin and find it parlous.

Mark Bahnisch would like to know what’s with the AMA. Gary Sauer-Thompson says they’re just defending their turf.

Lauredhel looks at one of the contenders for the job of keeping intertube filth out of Australia.

Mark Bahnisch looks at the Northern Territory intervention, one year on. Kev Gillett believes Aborigines in the remote communities should be encouraged to leave, to find a better life in the cities.

Tim Dunlop joins the Troppo consensus that it’s high time the NSW Labor government was unceremoniously booted out ASAP almost irrespective of the the other mob (and O’Barrell doesn’t look too bad).

International

John Heard muses on how ‘good people (and Catholics)’ should vote in the coming US election.((I’m not sure whether he means good people and especially Catholics or good people and all Catholics (good or bad). I doubt anyone from down-under will be presenting any special advice for the US’s bad people (and non-Catholics in either sense) on how they should vote. ~GT))


Economics

Harry Clarke on the expansion of the world due to rising fuel costs.

It’s unclear whether Joshua Gans is trying to win a prize for most trivial way of avoiding exam marking, but he’s conducting a survey on how happy Australian econobloggers (including Troppo’s Nicholas Gruen) seem!


inside the box

on the side of the box

sinister cuties no boxes

whiplash girl and boxes

Issues analysis

Joshua Gans sees an opportunity for a public-private partnership to creat a generalised Price Watch service to aggregate prices for consumers to compare, offsetting the incentive for companies to make comparison difficult. Clay Shirky coughs and mutters ‘crowd sourcing’.

No idea how much of it is so much paranoia, but Niall Cook* posts a rant by a transport business owner about fuel prices, government rorting, and oil company rorting and how it is all adversely affecting the economy.

When a company has no reputation to maintain – like, for example, an online V14gRa seller – the animus caused by spam might seem worth it for those 1% of people who click through. When you are the National Australia Bank and you decide to spam blogs?

Talking Points Memo has an all week forum discussing Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (on Internet collaborative endeavour, blogs, wikis and Web 2.0 in general)(only posted for this week so you’d better hurry).

Helen “skepticlawyer” Dale calls bullshit is unimpressed by a UK academics’ union attempt to organise a boycott of Israel.

Has torture saved innocent lives? asks David Luban.


Arts

Public Service Announcement: Don’t see The Happening!  The New Republic gives a taste of why.

Oz discusses the notion that Nighthawks is us, increasingly isolated in an increasingly interconnected world.1

Amanda Rose writes about (recently deceased) jazz singer Anita O’Day in light of a doco about her at the Sydney Film Festival.


Sport

Andrew Leigh blogs on the economics of sport.  The paragraph on why soccer players don’t always aim for the middle of the goal on a penalty rather suggests that either Andrew or the authors of the paper he’s summarising have quite a bit to learn about the game. 


Snark, strangeness and charm

Andrew Landeryou demonstrates that you can take the boy out of student politics but that’s where it stops.

Andrew Bolt runs his ‘name ten, just ten’ shtick on Andrew Bartlett.

TroppoSphere, in case Missing Link email subscribers haven’t noticed, is now available as a convenient gateway to a world of news and expert opinion and analysis for those with feed reader phobia. It contains feeds to most of the blogs and other sources whose best/selected content we most regularly feature in Missing Link, as well as general news feeds and those from selected online magazines like openDemocracy, Reason, Slate, Spiked, New Matilda, Australian Opinion Online and Online Opinion.
  1. You’d know it if you saw it, particularly if you were an Arts undergrad and if you look closely you can see Tyler Durden.~gilmae []

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
This entry was posted in Missing Link, Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
16 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
gilmae
13 years ago

its high time the NSW Labor government was unceremoniously booted out ASAP almost irrespective of the the other mob (and OBarrell doesnt look too bad).

I’m actually leaning towards some sort of Mad Max-ian dystopic anarchy. Seems the sanest choice.

Tom N.
Tom N.
13 years ago

Andrew Leigh blogs on the economics of sport. The paragraph on why soccer players dont always aim for the middle of the goal on a penalty rather suggests that either Andrew or the authors of the paper hes summarising have quite a bit to learn about the game.

When I read that description, Ken, I presumed that Andrew must not have realised that the defending team is allowed to have a goalkeeper positioned between the posts. But, no, Andrew’s paper does recognise that, and ideed, as both an economist and a former football … errr … soccer player (and in fact a goalkeeper), I am having difficulty seeing anything particular wrong in Andrew’s blog. But feel free to point it out if you’d like…

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Surely the other factor is that if players started kicking more often to the centre, then goalies would be less likely to bother jumping either way, and the success percentage would stay much the same (or potentially even decrease).

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

But then players might start kicking to the corners again, and then keepers would start diving again, and then…

Oh wait, maybe PROFESSIONAL FUCKING SOCCER PLAYERS have already figured out the most sucessful approach.

When I played field soccer, our coach said something like “you taking penault, you donna do same each time. Make heem deeferent, make keeper theenk too much”. And what Gilberto didn’t know was not worth knowing.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

I know nothing about football err soccer and no offence to Andrew L who is a v smart guy but I find these Freaknomics-inspired exercises rather dubious.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Maybe Steven Levitt and Tim Groseclose should apply their analytical skills to the game of baseball – what’s the rate of batters struck out by curve balls versus those struck out by fast balls? Could it be that the only reason baseball pitchers throw all those fancy pitches is because it’s damned embarrassing if all you can do is throw the ball straight and fast over the plate?

Richard Green
Richard Green
13 years ago

I don’t think they could add much to the mass of Ivy League trained statisticians already working for Major League Baseball teams post-Moneyball.

And I’m surpised Romer’s NFL paper wasn’t mentioned http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~dromer/papers/JPE_April06.pdf . Especially since it carries implications beyond sport…and is applicable to Rugby League. I wanted to do some research for Honours by getting stats out of David Middleton (on an repeated game theory model), but I chose another topic.

http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittTestingTheEconomicModel2002.pdf And here’s another bit by Levitt in sport, which was unsuccessful, so I understand why Leigh avoided it.

haiku
haiku
13 years ago

Ken,
the point is not that penalty takers should have only one strategy: they should have a mixed strategy, as should keepers. But an element of that mixed strategy should include aiming straight slightly more often.

(And high more often, rather than low, as this article suggests.)

But I think Andrew actually identifies why penalty-takers don’t aim straight more often: the embarrassment factor if the keeper makes a save! Much better to take a punt on left or right and if the keeper gets to it, it’s a great save rather than a poorly taken penalty …

skepticlawyer
13 years ago

Moving away from soccer just momentarily, the ‘reality: worst game ever’ gag is tremendous.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“Much better to take a punt on left or right and if the keeper gets to it, its a great save rather than a poorly taken penalty”

As the designated penalty-taker for my old team, I can say for sure that missing a penalty is the worst outcome by far for the ego. This pretty much scotches your theory.

haiku
haiku
13 years ago

I’m not comparing missing versus scoring, but modes of missing. In order of most embarrassing:

– tripping over the ball
– missing the goal completely both high and wide
– missing wide
– missing high
– kicking it straight and having the keeper stay still and save it
– kicking it left or right and having the keeper save it

All of these have an influence on the mixed strategy the penalty taker employs. Sure, you know that the goalie is more likely to pick a side and dive to it, compared to staying centred. But if you go straight and kick it straight to the keeper, you’ll look like a bigger goose than if you go right, the keeper goes to his left, and just gets enough on it.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

I suspect the ability to fool the goalie is being underestimated too. I’m willing to bet if you showed videos of the world’s most successful penalty takers to a room full of goalkeepers, they’d guess the direction wrongly more often than correctly (whereas, for the sport’s least successful penalty takers, the goalkeepers would guess correctly more often that wrongly). So if you want to be a better penalty taker, learn how to lie better with your feet. Combined of course with being able to consistently shoot it exactly where you want it.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

The goalies make up their mind before the ball is kicked, which is why game theory says kicking the ball straight is the way to go.

The problem with game theory is that the human mind doesn’t always make the game theory-correct decision.

Like someone already said, the reason players don’t kick for the middle more often is more than likely an (irrational) fear of having the goalie stay put and save it, making them look like a retard.

Penalty saves are so rare anyway that most players seem content to just aim for the corner. By far more penalties are missed than are saved.

The fear is so strong that nobody even TRIED to kick a penalty in the middle of the goal until about 1976, despite penalty kicks being around for a fair while previously to that (reference here: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/the-cruelty-of-the-penalty-what-becomes-of-footballs-brokenhearted-832777.html)

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Antonin Panenka converted probably the best penalty ever taken, coolly chipping the ball into the middle of the goal while goalkeeper Sepp Maier leapt to his left. Had Maier stood still, the ball would have gone into his arms, but no one had previously taken such a penalty the way Panenka did.

Took me a while to find the money quote – emphasis added. The article doesn’t claim that no-one ever took a penalty kick straight to the middle of the goal before – just a penalty of whatever kind Panenka was taking.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

Gummo I think it means, nobody ever took such an important penalty in this manner. I.E they’d never attempted anything so audacious in a world cup.