Monday, April 09, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
note: This is a guest post by Catholicgauze. CG's been a friend of mine for some time. Before starting his very good blog, he wrote a three-part series on the geographer H.J. de Blij which appeared on tdaxp [1, 2, 3]. The following are his first thoughts on the 5th Generation of Modern Warfare
Engber, Daniel. (2007). Rorygate. Slate. January 18, 2007. Available online:
It started out as a joke. Steve Schmid, a twenty-two year old hockey fan from New York, wanted a run of the mill hockey player to be in the All Star game. He chose the Vancouver Canucks' Rory Fitzpatrick as his candidate. Schmid started his campaign on Something Awful’s forums and on a few other online message boards. The campaign was only semi-serious and the online voting by self-described “goons” was expected to go nowhere.
However, when the campaign moved past its organizer/leader and into leaderless aggression or fifth generation warfare (5GW) results began to materialize. A website for Fitzpatrick’s draft to the All Star game was constructed by a supporter. Political-style ads promoting Fitzpatrick, and even some jokingly negative, appeared on YouTube. Traditional media then began to pay notice. A cycle of news stories increased awareness and support for the draft movement culminating with Canucks’ players practicing with shirts supportive of Fitzpatrick.
When online votes for the All Star game were being tallied as the polls remained open it became apparent that Fitzpatrick had a shot of being elected into the game. Various sports journalists, NHL officials, and even Wayne Gretzky laminated this and begged for voiding Fitzpatrick’s votes.
The release the “Rory Vote-O-Matic” by supporters practically guaranteed Fitzpatrick’s election. The script allowed browsers to continually submit votes, there are no limits on how many times one could vote, for Fitzpatrick. With this the NHL decided to act but only half-heartedly. Minor increases in ballot security were quickly countered by Vote-O-Matic makers.
Then something odd happened. The near-equilibrium between votes for Eastern and Western was disturbed by something and support for Fitzpatrick collapsed while votes for competition remained constant. Many on the internet believe the disruption was caused by the NHL covertly eliminating votes for and only for Fitzpatrick. In the end Fitzpatrick officially fell about 20,000 votes short of going to the All Star game.
This battle between a leaderless movement and the National Hockey League is a great example of 5GW. When the NHL instituted minor modifications into the environment the movement adapted in the style of a living organism. Only when the NHL abandoned the light-footprint model and instead changed the rules of engagement completely did they deny any possibility of victory to the Fitzpatrick draft movement. The only thing which stopped a complete NHL victory was their lack of subtlety.
The message is clear. To win 5GW the rules have to go out the window. A traditional attack will simply be adapted to at the cost of wasted resources by the attacker. Change the rules; however, to something where there can be no adaptation. Easier said than done but a game plan none the less.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Yesterday the Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big 12 North Champions) and the Oklahoma Sooners (champions of the Big 12 South) fought for the conference championship in Kansas City, Missouri. To dreams of Sean Meade and others came true, as the Sooners bested the Cornhuskers 21-7.
However, in spite of CG's gloating:
The SOONER you can update this the better. After tonight's game rest easy world: The New Order has been preserved.
The game was fun. Oklahoma is the ancient rival of Nebraska, though we've been separated ever since the Big Eight moved on to the bigger and better Big 12. Since that time, Nebraska has been stuck with hick schools like Colorado and Kansas State as "rivals." It's nice to have such a big game against such a great school -- and such an ancient foe.
A similar dynamic is occurring in my home state of South Dakota, where the South Dakota State Jackrabbits tried to become "big-time" by moving up to Great West Football Conference -- leaving the ancestral North Central Conference to the wolves... or to the South Dakota Coyotes as the case may be. However, there too the old becomes new, as USD will be joining SDSU in NCAA Division I.
Traditions and football, like beer and pretzels, go together.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
"Feminists Mad at President Bush," by Mark Noonan, Blogs for Bush, 22 March 2005, http://www.blogsforbush.com/mt/archives/004038.html.
"Title IX Changes," by Chris, A Large Regular, 22 March 2005, http://large-regular.blogspot.com/2005/03/title-ix-changes-there-seems-to-be.html.
"Title IX Compliance," by Jen, Optional N, 23 March 2005, http://optional-n.com/?p=686.
Computer Scientist blogger Jen(n) misses the point on Bush all but ending Title IX
At the time, they made no changes to Title IX, but this Internet survey is effectively the old recommendation that we ask girls and women if they want sports before we fund them. To me, that is just outright foolish, and I can’t understand seeing it as any other way. Our society and culture are biased against women in sports, and the way to encourage women to participate in athletics is to ask them if they want athletics?
She misses the point. Title IX combines the harm of affirmitive action with the insanity of federal education legislation. Among other things, the law
- Assumes that girls and their families are too ignorant to make their own extra-curricular decisions
- Lessens happiness, as more popular male sports are cut to make room for less popular female sports
- Attempts to create a New Style Woman and New Style Man, like the rest of progressive politics
- Violates the freedom of everyone involved, because colleges are prohibited from offering sports to willing (and because of tuition, paying) students because of federal legislation
Title IX is a state-heavy monolith, but fortunately it never forced true equality. Mr. Noonan is incorrect when he writes
In this case, it relates to Title IX; a law which, in feminist theory, requires schools to provide the same athletic opportunities for boys and girls. If there's a boys wrestling team, then there must be a girls wrestling team. The fact, at a particular school, that there are no girls interested in wrestling is irrelevant. Our feminists live entirely in the world of theory, and if the facts don't fit the theory then the facts are to be ignored.
The law forced equal participation across sports, but not in any one sport. A better example would be if there was a guy's wrestling team, there head to be a gal's volleyball team.
Last, while Chris is incorrect when he says Title IX was not a bad idea in itself, he does offer a compromise
The solution in my eyes has always been to make cheerleading a varsity sport.
OK - are you done laughing or thinking I'm a chauvinist pig?
I'm serious. Cheerleading is not easy. My sister in law teaches gymnastics and is also a high school cheerleading coach. Her cheerleaders work just as hard as most of the varsity players they cheer and their practice is just as physically demanding. Most cheerleaders but not all will be girls whereas 100% of football scholarships go to the guys. All the other seasonal sports match up equally. Men's basketball and women's basketball, baseball and softball, men's and women's volleyball, etc, etc. It is football that throws things out of whack. If cheerleading was a varsity sport then the number of football scholarships could be equaled off with cheerleader scholarships.
Hey if cheerleading was good enough for the President then it should be good enough for Title IX compliance.
Update: Pilight offers a contrarian view:
I think it's much ado about nothing. If anything, it makes Title IX more enforceable...
As for conservatives and anti-feminists, well they're beating the hell out of that straw man. Schools have never been required to show proportionality and it's always been the least used prong for compliance. Interest in college wrestling was already on the decline before Title IX was enacted and the slide has only accelerated. The eliminated programs almost certainly would have been eliminated anyway, some people just like to have someone or something besides themselves to blame.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
New federal guidelines for compliance with Title IX, the law that has helped get more women involved in sports, permit schools to avoid adding more athletic opportunities for students if an Internet survey indicates they are not interested.
This is another reason I am a Republican. Instead of massive federal social engineer at the college level.. let colleges offer opportunities that interest people. A pretty shocking development!
Critics say the guidelines, issued Friday with no public fanfare by the Department of Education, represent a significant weakening of the 33-year-old law banning sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funds.
"They're finding a way to weaken Title IX," said Neena Chaudhry, senior counsel of the National Women's Law Center. "This allows schools the easy way out."
And with the Iraq War, Bush found a way to "weaken" the Ba'athi Regime. I hereby create a "Neena Chaudhry Award for Obvious Statements."
Not that that will prevent bureaucrats from denying any shift
Education Department officials adamantly denied the charge, termed "bogus" by spokesman Susan Aspey.
"This is simply an additional clarification. This is not a new way of doing business," said James Manning of the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights. "We're trying to help schools."
And de-Ba'athification was simply an additional clarification on who is eligible for public sector jobs in Iraq.
At least he is right that the new rules help schools.
The heart of the matter...
The new guidelines say schools can show they're offering adequate opportunities by periodically asking students to fill out an Internet survey designed to determine what sports interest them. The Education Department says schools may notify students of the survey via e-mail.
What makes this news very, very wonderful:
Even if many students don't fill out the surveys, schools will be able to use them to argue they don't need to create new sports teams for the underrepresented gender, usually women. The Education Department acknowledged "rates of non-response may be high with the e-mail procedure" but added it "will interpret such non-response as a lack of interest" by the underrepresented gender.
Wow! If I'm reading that right, as long as the response rate is less than the fraction of athletes who are female, Title IX is null. Wow!
The only sad news is that this was proposed years ago, but vetoed by a faint-heart
Two years ago, a presidential commission reviewing Title IX considered proposals to permit schools wider use of surveys to prove compliance. Then-Education Secretary Rod Paige rejected those proposals.
Update: Doug Petch adds some legal details, and then comments...
Once and for all, then, the OCR has confirmed that a school is not required to offer an equal competition opportunity to both men and women in a particular sport if a competent survey indicates the absence of "unmet interest sufficient to sustain a varsity team in the sport(s)."
Update 2: Women's Hoops wonders what real changes will be, but takes time to call tdaxp conservative and anti-feminist. Maybe he gets that idea because of this post? Off Wing Opinion likes WH's view, and highlights...
The political story, on the other hand, is clear enough.
Act One: in an atmosphere of candor and open debate, conservatives push for a change but end up rebuffed by public pressure. Act Two: conservatives bide their time, wait till everyone has forgotten all about the issue, and then make the change quietly -- without debate, without fanfare, without a press release. They successfully bury the story. Several days pass before anyone even knows that a change has been made.
Act Three has yet to be written.
It's hard to argue with that last conclusion, as I don't think we've heard the end of this story. Stay tuned.