Monday, October 31, 2016

Post-season MLB #9

The Chicago Cubs avoided an embarrassing 0 wins, 3 losses, and an end to the World Series at Wrigley Field last night. They beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2. Cubs reliever Aroldis Chapman with his 100+ mph fastballs pitched the last 2 + 2/3rds innings, allowing no runs.

The series resumes in Cleveland with game 6 tomorrow, and game 7 Wednesday if needed. Indians lead the series 3-2.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Post-season MLB #8

Last night was the first World Series game played in Wrigley Field since 1945. After splitting games 1 and 2 with the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, the excitement and expectation of Cubs fans was high. The Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks led the NL in ERA this year. The Indians starter Tomlin gave up the 3rd most home runs in the regular season this year, and a fairly strong wind was blowing in Wrigley from home plate toward left field. Hendricks got in jams but exited without ceding a run. Tomlin pitched even better. The Indians scored their only run off a Cubs reliever in the 7th inning, and the Indians bullpen ceded no runs. The Cubs threatened in the 9th -- runners on 2nd and 3rd base -- which created suspense but they were stranded. Final score, 1-0.

With Cleveland's #1 starter (Kluber) on the mound tonight against the Cubs #4 starter (Lackey), the prospects for another Indians win and Cubs disappointment are pretty good. I say to Cubs fans, "Let in that billy goat!" He must not have been there last night -- else there would have been a lot of talk about it -- and look what happened!  :-)

Friday, October 28, 2016


The rag named The Huffington Post naturally believes it's a great plan for the federal government to spend another half billion dollars to solve another alleged problem. The Editor's note is another indication of the rag's bias -- full of nasty hyperbole about Trump with no mention of the thoroughly corrupt, power-lusting, two-faced, chronic liar Hillary Clinton. 

Note that Hillary's proposal is not for the Clinton Foundation to spend the half-billion dollars.

The American Spectator has a much different view. Hillary Crowd Lie of the Day: Trump-Induced School Bullying.

Beyond what the Spectator notes is Hillary's consistency. She has a "plan" for all kinds of felt wrongs. Her proposed "plans" or "solutions" consistently invoke more government power and more government spending. Spending another half billion dollars of other people's money, which the recipients will joyfully accept and vote for, is Hillary's answer to most questions she chooses to answer (not related to her past lies, misdeeds and cover-ups). Drug prices too high? Sic the government on the seller. College costs too much or repaying a loan is a burden? More free education and more student loan forgiveness, government-paid, of course. Health insurance costs too much? More government paid "insurance" and more control over providers. She is extremely fond of more government bullying, as long as she or somebody like-minded commands the bullies. Moreover, to her the government "creating money out of thin air" is manna from heaven. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Natural History of Human Thinking #2

“Great apes do not create new communicative functions by combining their gestures, their vocalizations, or their gestures and vocalizations together [ ]. But humans do, including young children from the earliest stages of their communicative development, and including even children exposed to no conventional language, vocal or signed, at all [ ]” (p. 66).

“With gesture combinations we now also have the possibility of beginning down the path to the subject-predicate organization characteristic of full propositions” (p. 67).

“The overall picture is thus that early humans used their pointing and iconic gestures, both singly and in combination, to communicate much more richly and powerfully than did their primate cousins.” He says none of this required language; such communication is the prerequisite of becoming a language user (p. 68).

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Billy Goat Curse

The Chicago Cubs advancing to the World Series makes a good time to link to the amusing story of the Billy Goat Curse.  Here is more about the fan interference incident in 2003.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Post-season MLB #7

The Chicago Cubs will play in the World Series! Their last time was 1945. They beat the Dodgers 5-0 to win the NLCS 4-2 (games).

The World Series starts Tuesday (Oct. 25). Whoever wins will end a long drought --107 years for the Cubs or 67 years for the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians' last time in the World Series was 1997.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Natural History of Human Thinking #1

This is the title of a book by Michael Tomasello. The author tries to explain the uniqueness of human thought and behavior by comparing them to great apes. The overarching hypothesis is shared intentionality. It comprises a two-step evolutionary process: joint intentionality (mainly two actors) followed by collective intentionality (more than two actors). (p. 31). The latter evolved into cultural or institutional practices and norms.

He writes: “In joint collaborative activities in which the partners are independent, it is in the interest of each partner to help the other play her role. This is the basis for a new motive in human communication, not available to other apes [ ], namely the motive to help the other by informing her of situations relevant to her.” (p. 50)

“When great apes work together in experiments, there is an almost total absence of intentional communication of any kind [ ]. When apes communicate with one another in other contexts, it is always directive [ ].”

“The emergence of the informative communicative motive, alongside the general great ape directive motive, had three important consequences for the evolution of uniquely human thinking.”

“First, the informative motive led communicators to make a commitment to informing others of things honestly and accurately, that is, truthfully.” (p. 51)

“The second important consequence of this new cooperative way of communicating was that it created a new kind of inference, namely, a relevance inference.” (p. 52)

“The third and final consequence of this newly cooperative way of communicating was that there now emerged, at least in nascent form, a distinction between communicative force – as overtly expressed in requestive and informative intonations – and situational or propositional content as indicated by the pointing gesture.” (p. 54).    

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post-season MLB #6

Wahoo! The Cleveland Indians go to the World Series. They beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0, their 4th win in game 5. They again relied heavily on the bullpen -- 4 + 2/3rds innings. The starting pitcher, Ryan Merritt, went 4 + 1/3rd.  He had pitched only 11 innings in the majors before this game, but he did very well. Relief pitcher Andrew Miller won the MVP of the series (4 games, 7 +2/3rd innings, 0 runs, 14 Ks).

The Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to even the NLCS at 2 wins each. After being shutout the last two games, the Cubs scored 10 runs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Post-season MLB #5

The Cleveland Indians won again against the Toronto Blue Jays and now lead the series 3-0.  The Indians again relied heavily on their bullpen, using 7 pitchers. Starter Trevor Bauer departed after only 2 outs in the first inning due to injury.

On Friday Bauer cut his pinky finger on his pitching hand trying to repair a drone. It required several stitches and was bandaged before the game. MLB rules prohibit even a band-aid on the pitching hand, so Bauer could only rely on the stitches to hold. They didn't. A tv viewer could see blood dripping from his hand after about 15 pitches. Maybe the wound will heal enough and Danny Salazar can return from his injury in time for the World Series. Even if the Indians win today (ending the ALCS), the World Series won't start until next Tuesday, October 25.

A Canadian activist had filed a lawsuit to bar the Indians from calling themselves Indians and wearing the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms while in Canada. The activist insisted that the team’s name and logo are demeaning and “offensive” to indigenous people. However, a few hours before the game a judge ruled against the plaintiff.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Post-season MLB #4

Yeah, Wahoo! The Cleveland Indians won the first two games of the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays with great pitching. They won 2-0 and 2-1.

The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers split the first two games of the NLCS. The Cubs won the first game 8-4 with a pinch hit, grand slam home run in the bottom of the 8th inning. The Dodgers won the second game 1-0. Dodger Clayton Kershaw, 3-time Cy Young winner, pitched 7 shutout innings.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Post-season MLB #3

The Chicago Cubs won the NLDS over the San Francisco Giants (Oct.11). They were behind 5-2 after 8 innings, but scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th, and the Giants failed to score in the bottom of the 9th. Cubs second baseman Javier Baez played a big role. This video shows that.

The video includes his amazing, diving catch and off-balance throw to first base. The batter Denard Span, a very fast runner, was initially called out by the umpire. After review, he was called safe. When Span then tried to steal second base, Baez tagged him out with his very fast hands.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Post-season MLB #2

The Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays both swept in the ALDS. Of course, I will root for the Indians -- my local team now -- when they face the Blue Jays in the ALCS to decide which one plays in the WS.

The Indians swept the Boston Red Sox. It was (most likely) the final game in the career of David "Big Papi" Ortiz of the Red Sox (link). In the spring he announced he planned to retire after this season. What a final season it was!  A decline in skills late in a career is typical, but wasn't for Big Papi. His batting average was .315, and he had 38 homers and 127 RBIs.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Post-season MLB #1

I predict the Chicago Cubs will win its first World Series since 1908. The Cubs "win %" was .640 for the regular season. Second best was .586. (Link).  The Cubs pitching staff is very strong. Their regular season ERA was 3.15; second best was 3.51.

If the Cubs make it to the WS, their first home game will be game 3 (first two at the AL team's park). Seats in Wrigley Field start at almost $3,000 at Even a rooftop seat -- outside Wrigley is $1,399.

If the Cubs don't win the WS, then I'd like to see the Indians win it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Horsewhipping of Donald Trump

This article evaluates the 2016 election much like I do.  Like the current President, neither of the two major candidates is near worthy of being President.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Coffey: Primary and Secondary Qualities #4

Philosophers have characterized the difference between primary and secondary qualities in various ways.

1. On 9/22 I quoted Coffey's distinction between qualities in actu (perceived) and in potentia  (unperceived) respecting the secondary qualities sweetness, whiteness, etc. He doesn't make and says there is no ground for the same distinction between primary qualities, e.g. roundness, size, etc. (Vol. 2, p. 128-9). Maybe that is because he couldn't conceive of any sort of dissimilarity between such primary qualities perceived and unperceived, and his saying so would have been an indirect agreement with John Locke. Locke: "From whence I think it is easy to draw this observation, that the ideas of primary qualities are resemblances of them, and their  patterns do really exist in the bodies themselves; but the ideas produced in us by these secondary qualities have no resemblance of them" (ECHU, II, VIII, 15). An example of the latter is perceived color versus light wave frequency.

2. Another way of stating the difference is that primary qualities are categorical but secondary qualities are dispositional.  In this context "dispositional" means a quality that is manifested given the appropriate circumstances. Analogous examples: (a) glass is fragile in that it will break if struck hard enough, and (b) sugar or salt is soluble in that it dissolves in water.

3. Another way of stating the difference is primary qualities are intrinsic but secondary qualities are extrinsic or relational.