The football coaches at Army, Navy and Air Force.
Here is more (mostly on other topics), hat tip to @jtlevy. Here are some comparable answers for state government employees.
The football coaches at Army, Navy and Air Force.
Here is more (mostly on other topics), hat tip to @jtlevy. Here are some comparable answers for state government employees.
The Screen Actors Guild and several players’ unions have filed briefs supporting Mr. Hart, saying that athletes, actors and other celebrities must have the right to control the use of their identities and to harvest the financial fruits of their fame. The movie industry, book publishers and news organizations, including The New York Times, have lined up on the other side, saying that allowing celebrities to control speech about them runs afoul of the First Amendment.
The dueling briefs cited a grab bag of cases that are hard to wrestle into a coherent legal framework.
The courts have, on the one hand, rejected right-of-publicity suits arising from a painting of Tiger Woods, a comic book evoking the musicians Johnny and Edgar Winter, parody baseball trading cards and a fantasy baseball game that used the names, statistics and biographies of Major League players. But courts have allowed suits over the broadcast of a human cannonball’s entire act, a comic book using a hockey player’s nickname, an ad evoking Vanna White’s skill at turning letters on “The Wheel of Fortune” and a reference to Rosa Parks in a song.
If there is a legal principle that unites these rulings, it is hard to discern. What is clear, though, according to an expansive 2011 Supreme Court decision, is that video games deserve full First Amendment protection.
When an athlete chooses to transfer, three sets of rules can be involved: those of the NCAA.; those of the conference in which the university competes; and those that accompany the national letter of intent, a contract that athletes sign while still in high school to announce their intention to attend a university.
“It’s entirely slanted to the coach’s side,” said Don Jackson, a lawyer who runs the Sports Group in Montgomery, Ala., and who has represented dozens of athletes attempting to transfer to a university of their choice. “Once the student-athlete signs that national letter of intent, it’s essentially a contract of adhesion. They have limited rights.”
Universities have long sought to block student-athletes from transferring to a rival program. Alabama’s football team, for example, would not be expected to let a star player go to Auburn. But the impulse to limit the student-athlete’s options has been heightened to the point that coaches are now blacklisting dozens of universities.
From the NYT, here is more, none of it pretty, but of course lower-tier universities will claim they are making big investments in improving the quality of diamonds in the rough. The funny thing is — if I may sound Caplanian for a moment — no one at these schools seems to demand similar restrictions on transfers of the students.
If you lived in Great Britain or Germany and your physician prescribed a pharmaceutical, would you ask them, “has this pharmaceutical been approved by the U.S. FDA?” Probably not. At FDAReview.org Dan Klein and I argue that international reciprocity is a no-brainer:
If the United States and, say, Great Britain had drug-approval reciprocity, then drugs approved in Britain would gain immediate approval in the United States, and drugs approved in the United States would gain immediate approval in Great Britain. Some countries such as Australia and New Zealand already take into account U.S. approvals when making their own approval decisions. The U.S. government should establish reciprocity with countries that have a proven record of approving safe drugs—including most west European countries, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Such an arrangement would reduce delay and eliminate duplication and wasted resources. By relieving itself of having to review drugs already approved in partner countries, the FDA could review and investigate NDAs more quickly and thoroughly.
Unfortunately, even when they can, the US FDA does not take advantage of international knowledge as the WSJ notes in European Sunscreen Roadblock on U.S. Beaches:
Eight sunscreen ingredient applications have been pending before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for years—some for up to a decade—for products available in many overseas countries. The applications were filed through the federal TEA process (time and extent application), which allows the FDA to approve the ingredients if they have been used for at least five years abroad and have proved effective and safe.
…Henry Lim, chairman of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, says multiple UVA filters still awaiting clearance in the U.S. have been used effectively outside the country for years.
“The U.S. is an island by itself on this one,” he said. “They’re available in Canada, available in Europe, available in Asia, available in Mexico, and available in South America.”
The sunscreens available in the U.S. are not without risk and in some ways, as the WSJ discusses, the European standards are stricter than the US standards so there really is no reason why sunscreens available in Europe and Canada should not also be available in the United States.
Hat tip: Kurt Busboom.
Addendum: 27 states have driver’s license reciprocity with Germany. Why not pharmaceutical reciprocity? With hat tip to whatsthat in the comments.
Even during the recession, salaries for athletic coaches at colleges and universities continued to increase. For instance in the SEC, between 2006 and 2011, “football coaching salaries increased 128.9 percent, from $3,147,149 to $6,928,989.” This is an extreme example but it reflects a more general pattern:
That big-time coaches earn more than professors may not be a surprise, but a new study documents the striking extent and longevity of the gap: Coaches’ salaries increase year after year at much higher rates — even as many colleges say they are engaged in belt-tightening across they board — and that pattern is driven by the institutions with the largest athletic programs.
…Athletics is tied much more closely to the commercial marketplace than all other parts of a university, Hirko said, which is why salaries and other expenses continue to rise at rates seemingly independent of the rest of the institution.
The full story is here. Here is a must-view map on the highest-paid public employee in each state; what have Montana, Alaska, and Delaware done wrong? (No wonder those states have so few people!) And New Hampshire is beyond the pale.
John McCain has introduced a bill to “encourage the wholesale and retail unbundling of programming by distributors and programmers.” Would a la carte pricing result in lower prices and greater consumer welfare or would it raise prices and result in less investment in television media? Time to take a look at the economics of bundling. In this video from our MRUniversity course on media economics I review the theory of bundling and then apply it to cable TV.
Here is one not inaccurate description of the professional status of Jason Collins:
Collins’s announcement in a thoughtful, first-person Sports Illustrated story has created a conundrum for the NBA, which does not want to appear intolerant but whose teams could wind up passing on Collins this offseason. While he would represent a relatively inexpensive option for a team in need of a physical defender at the veteran minimum salary of roughly $1.35 million, Collins will turn 35 in December and is at a stage in his career when declining, low-impact players are generally pushed aside.
I would put it this way. It is good news that he “came out” and he is to be applauded for his courage. Still, I am discomforted by the fact that only a male athlete on the down side of his career would be the one doing this.
Female athletes are more likely to identify as lesbian or bisexual than male athletes will identify as gay or bisexual. I suspect this does not involve a comparable fear of loss of endorsement income or mass appeal.
Could it also be that women are more open in this regard? Martina Navratilova came out in 1981 at the age of 24 and at or near the peak or her career.
Hollywood is ostensibly a more “gay tolerant” culture than is professional athletics, yet how many leading movie actors have come out as gay or bisexual? I can’t think of many. Here is one list of openly gay actors and I have not heard of most of them. The number one guy on that list is identified as “Actor, Starship Troopers.” As for the others on the list, Ricky Martin is famous but mostly a singer and Rupert Everett very often plays gay or possibly-gay characters, so his coming out presumably involved much less career risk.
Presumably if an up-and-coming actor comes out, it is hardly for that actor to get roles as a romantic lead and perhaps as an action lead in a “buddy movie” as well. If you look at this list, it seems well-known female celebrities find it easier to mix coming out with continued career success. Ellen, Rachel Maddow, Rosie O’Donnell, and Jodie Foster do not seem to have obvious male counterparts, again outside of music and figures such as Ricky Martin, Elton John, and David Bowie, and even Bowie has sent some mixed signals over the years.
For all the talk about the macho culture of professional sports, I wonder how much the problem is in fact the viewing public and the “least common denominator” imperatives of some forms of commercialized entertainment, especially when funded by advertisements. The commercial upside for male coming out is usually smaller than the downside, at least for sports and movies with built-in mass audiences, again with connections to image-conscious mainstream advertisers. If male “coming out” is easier in the world of music, it is perhaps because the product is directly financed by consumers, which implies more of a niche audience and a willingness to forgo some classes of consumers altogether. Alex and I discuss related mechanisms in our paper on avant-garde vs. popular culture (pdf).
I am happy to read about Collins. But we will be seeing much more progress when up-and-coming handsome actors, shooting for big Hollywood roles, also come out as gay. That to me still seems far away.
Two top advisers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called for a tax on private wealth and property in eurozone debtor states to force the rich to fund rescue costs, marking a radical new departure for EMU crisis strategy.
Here is more. I tell you again, this will be a major issue for the next twenty years and not just in the eurozone. Take a look at all those state and local U.S. pension funds expecting seven percent rates of return.
Notice of the article is from @LindaYueh.
Yesterday Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik each played decisive chess games in the Candidates’ tournament, for the right to challenge Vishy Anand for the world championship title. Carlsen held the tiebreaker, so he had only to match Kramnik’s result — draw or win — to proceed to the match with Anand.
Both lost. Uncharacteristically, both fell into time trouble. Both made bad mistakes even after time trouble was over. The chess world was shocked.
Arguably both choked.
Yet Kramnik has won several world championship matches, including against Kasparov, and Carlsen rose to world #1 at a very young age of course.
How does one become immune to choking?
If you have mastered stages 1 through n, presumably you still can choke at stage n + 1. Carlsen had never played in a world championship or candidates’ match before. In 1997 Kasparov choked when he had to play an improved Deep Blue, a machine.
Is there mean-reversion in choking and immunity to choking? If you play at a supremely confident level at the very top, nine times in a row, do you forget how to handle pressure and eventually revert to choking? Immunity against choking can wear off, or holding a title and having to defend it can raise the fear of choking through a kind of endowment effect (Bobby Fischer).
Does a string of confident winning raise the stakes more rapidly than you can master a rising choke, thus bringing you to n + 27 too quickly? (The Miami Heat just lost a 27-game winning streak.) Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak has proven so hard to break, as there is always a new and tougher choking margin.
Or can one ascend to n + 3 with sufficiently strong margins of error that perhaps the fear of choking is never overcome and remains in the background for when tougher situations come along? Or one can ascend to n + 3 if everyone chokes along the way; someone must be choking least but still you are always a choker.
Under one theory, you become immune to choking at stage n + 2 only by at least once choking at stage n + 2 and then, on another occasion, overcoming your choke. I call this the LeBron James theory. Can it be that such loss/win experiences are required periodically and not just once up front?
The lessons are that it can be difficult to overcome choking, and that a complex mix of losing and winning may help you more with choking than simply lots of winning.
[LeBron] James told me that when he was working on his 3s, he’d punish himself until he met a lofty set of self-enforced shooting milestones.
“It’s work,” James says. “It’s a lot of work. It’s being in workouts, and not accomplishing your goal, and paying for it. So, if I get to a spot in a workout and want to make eight out of 10, if I don’t make eight of 10, then I run. I push myself to the point of exhaustion until I make that goal. So you build up that mentality that you got to make that shot and then use that in a game situation — it’s the ultimate feeling, when you’re able to work on something and implement it.”
Here is more, all of it focused on how LeBron James improved his game.
While Hentoff-Killian is not opposed to taking longer flights in the future, once she gets more comfortable with the cannon, she’s not sure if she’ll ever want to fly while in flames. “You have to hold your breath when you’re on fire,” she says, “and I like to breathe.”
The Human Cannonball doesn’t usually remember much about each flight, aside from a quick impression of soaring through the air. On the other hand, she has just been shot out of a 24-foot-long air-compression cannon and travels between 75 and 100 feet at a force of 7 g. That’s greater force than a roller coaster, greater than a Formula One racecar, greater than the space shuttle. A force powerful enough to have caused some human cannonballs to pass out midflight. This has never happened to Elliana Grace in more than 100 shots since she took the job last October. Still, she’s in the air approximately three seconds. How much would you remember?
Here is much more, very interesting throughout. Some human cannonballs keep the job for as many as seventeen years. By the way, Hentoff-Killian, the featured individual in the story, is the granddaughter of Nat Hentoff.
Hat tip goes to @RobertCottrell.
Remember how Mr. Miyagi taught The Karate Kid how to fight? Wax on/Wax off. Paint the fence. Don’t forget to breathe. A coach is the coach because he knows what the student needs to do to advance. A big problem for coaches is that the most precocious students also (naturally) think they know what they need to learn.
If Mr. Miyagi told Daniel that he needed endless repetition of certain specific hand movements to learn karate, Daniel would have rebelled and demanded to learn more and advance more quickly. Mr. Miyagi used ambiguity to evade conflict.
An artist with natural gift for expression needs to learn convention. But she may disagree with the teacher about how much time should be spent learning convention. If the teacher simply gives her exercises to do without explanation her decision to comply will be on the basis of an overall judgment of whether this teacher, on average, knows best. To instead say “You must learn conventions, here are some exercises for that” runs the risk that the student moderates the exercises in line with her own judgment about the importance of convention.
“The Rocketry Golf Organization (RGO) Aimed its First Contest with Golf Pro, Shawn Kelly, vs. Doug Frost, at The Ridge Golf Course, Auburn, Ca., March 19 and 26, 2013
Rockets with plastic golf balls, replace driver clubs, as they fly to the green no matter how far. Shawn Kelly, golf pro, will compete against these rocket machines. Doug Frost, rocketry golfer, will have to putt out with a real golf ball and club.” -PRNewswire
For the pointer I thank the apparently excellent Brett Keller.
The authors are Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman and the Amazon link is here. If you’re like me, by this point you have “popular behavioral economics book” fatigue. Still, I bought and read this one through. It doesn’t fall into the “designed to erase all doubts” category, but still it has some interesting ideas which you won’t find in the other popular behavioral economics books. I am glad I bought and read it. Here is one bit:
…Fehr also noticed a difference between children who’s grown up as siblings and those who were only children. Contrary to the presumption that only children are more selfish than children raised in larger families, Fehr found the onlies to be the more cooperative and selfless. They were completely untroubled by handing over toys to another child, whereas the siblings flatly refused. Fehr came to the conclusion that the onlies didn’t know to be competitive because they’d never had to compete…They weren’t afraid of sharing toys, because they didn’t understand if you gave Barbie to another child, she might come back missing her leg or head.
It is claimed that, between the ages of three and seven, siblings clash 3.5 times per hour, on average (unless you are in the Caplan household).
Here is another interesting section:
…one study of every single pitch thrown during the 2005/2006 Major League Baseball season — some 1, 374,923 pitches — showed that most MLB pitchers are secretly prevention-focused. As they get closer to finishing out innings, their pitch locations become more conservative. A similar study of over 2 million PGA tour putts showed that pro golfers tend to leave it short as the stakes and pressure rise.
When you look at a competition where one of the inputs of the production function is an exogenously distributed characteristic, players with a high endowment on that dimension have a head start. This has two effects on the distribution of the (partially) acquired characteristics that enter the production function. First, there is the pure statistical effect I alluded to above. If success requires some minimum height then the pool of competitors excludes a large component of the population.
There is a second effect on endogenous acquisition of skills. Competition is less intense and they have less incentive to acquire skills in order to be competitive. So even current NBA players are less talented than they would be if competition was less exclusive. So what are the sports whose athletes are the best at what they do?
1. Table Tennis
How would such a ranking look for the social sciences? Among a broader list of activities, where would blogging fall on the scale?