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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NFL Fnords

I was watching football this weekend and noticed some interesting fnords.

The first came in the Jets-Seattle game. It was near the end of the game, with about 3 minutes left. The Jets were behind by a touchdown, and the Jets still had all 3 timeouts. The Jets had the ball on their own 20 yard line, and it was 4th down with 4 yards to go. The Jets decided to go for the first down, and failed. Seattle got the ball, kicked a field goal, and now had an insurmountable 10 point lead.

The announcers were saying that the Jets coach was an idiot. The Jets should have punted, tried to stop Seattle on defense, and then gotten the ball back. Do you see the fnord yet?

"Punt vs. go for 1st down" was probably a close decision. At that point, the Jets were already longshots to win the game, so they had to take risks. If the Jets had punted, and Seattle got a first down or two, then the game would have been over because Seattle would have run out the clock. At best, the Jets would have gotten the ball back at their own 20 yard line again, but now having used up their timeouts (assuming Seattle ran the ball 3 times and then punted). With a first down, the Jets would have still had all 3 of their timeouts and they would have moved the ball downfield more. Even if the Jets later still failed to score a touchdown, they might have still been able to get the ball back again, if they stopped Seattle from getting a first down.

There's another benefit of going for the first down, because the coach is saying that he trusts his offense to make a big play.

The announcers were very critical of the Jets' coach. By going for a first down and failing, the Jets lost the game immediately because Seattle got the ball in a place where they could kick an easy field goal to get an insurmountable 10 point lead. Do you see the fnord?

The fnord is "Judge by outcomes, and not a priori risk." The Jets failed to make the first down, and therefore the Jets' coach made the wrong decision. That is invalid reasoning. Whether going for the first down was correct or not is independent of whether the first down was actually made. Statistically, that might have given the Jets the best chance of winning the game, but it was not successful.

This is a key fnord that the announcers were not even consciously aware they were using. "Judge by worst-case outcome, and not a priori odds." Going for the first down was wrong, because you immediately lose the game when you're wrong. Punting is acceptable, because you don't immediately lose the game; Seattle still has to get another first down or two.

This fnord also applies to agorism. "That person attempted tax resistance/evasion and got caught. Therefore, tax avoidance is too risky." That is judging by worst-case outcome and not average-case. I have no idea what the true risk of agorism is, and the only way to find out is to conduct an experiment. I suspect that, if you're careful, the odds outweigh the risk.

The current economic and political system is like playing a football game where you've already nearly lost. Given that you're in a nearly hopeless situation, taking risks is acceptable. If I don't attempt practical agorism, then I'm subject to the random decisions of other people as the complete collapse occurs. Agorism is the best strategy to survive the collapse and find a job where a skilled worker isn't encumbered by the State.

There was another interesting fnord during the game, that I'd never consciously noticed before. The announcers were repeatedly saying "Support our troops!" If that were obviously true, then the mainstream media wouldn't be repeating that message at every possible opportunity.

Soldiers and police are the violence/enforcement arm of the State. Most of them are not consciously aware of their role in the massive scam, but that isn't a valid defense. "I was following orders" is never an acceptable defense.

From the point of view of an average soldier, the best-case outcome for a war is that he makes it home alive. All the profits of war go to insiders who line their pockets at the expense of everyone else. The average soldier is usually a net loser.

However, anyone who pointed out that soldiers are terrorists rather than noble heroes would be decried by the mainstream media. Some pro-State trolls might give me a hard time for saying "Soldiers are terrorists!", although I am sympathetic for soldiers who signed up for the military, unaware of the scam.

The "Support our troops!" and "Support the police!" fnord must be repeated as often as possible. If police and soldiers didn't unquestioningly commit violence, then the evil of the State would not be sustainable. The evil edicts of the State would not be followed if they weren't ultimately backed by violence.


Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether much of what they do is illegitimate, we need soldiers to defend the continent from foreign aggressors. Even if you got your way and the government collapsed, there would need to be a seamless transition from the military to some sort of "agorist continental defense" or you'd be learning Chinese after you got your way, and then wishing you could have the US government back. Who'd make up this defense if not the guys who are already doing it.

Anonymous said...

I like your fnord posts, they are very interesting.

Patriotic soldiers fighting these wars for american ideals is tragic.

fritz said...

I have thought long and hard about what anonymous has said. And this idea for me is the only problem I have had with no state and pure agorism.

Until I thought out of the box. See we can't be the police of the world and we cant be isolationist either.Once the collapse occurs and the rest of the world fallows.When people see how productive true free market really is they will fallow suit.

And during the transition stage a private army will be enough to stem the tide. When we are not the worlds police we would have so much extra assets for homeland private security forces.

sure we would have to man our nuclear weapons. But not all of them,just a few.Im sure we could find some people as trust worthy as say our government to do the job. And as far as technology goes,Im sure we could keep our edge or do even better than the government. we wouldn't lose defense contractors,they would be driven by the free market with less waste and fraud.

there would still be a market for advanced weapons.

But I believe that once the movement truly begins It wouldn't be long before it went global. People would feel empowered and realize that there is a way that their labor wouldn't be siphoned off. That they could really have something for the labor they gave forth. The playing field would be level for all people.

I like to have faith in man kind. And sure most people are under a trance right now. But there will come a time when the awakening will happen. and people everywhere will come to a higher level of understanding..

because if not we will surly destroy ourselves. And this whole movement can begin right here right now with people like us..

Sounds silly, but we have the opportunity to save the whole world,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Fritz

AzraelsJudgement said...

Anonymous - soldiers do not defend the continent, militaries throughout history do not protect freedom and people they crush them. Last time I checked the USA has nukes that seems to be a good deterrant if you are intertested in defense.

Here is an idea stop leaving innocents un-armed to be murdered by governments?
Chinese or USA government both are corrput and immoral.

citizen stefish said...

what the first anonymous poster doesn't realize is that all of this ridiculous military nonsense is *purely the invention of governments*. anything like that *must* be funded through taxation and violence. i don't believe that most people have the potential to be total zombies running around with guns and murdering people for no reason. the military is a very small minority with massive funding that comes from the violence of the state. a stateless society would still have defense. it's about risk. if you live in a far away, secluded place that can sustain itself, you may be able to get away with none since there's no strategic reason for you to be conquered. the small enclaves of ethnic peoples in eastern europe / russia that are the subject of manic war fervor right now are there because they're on top of valuable energy supplies. since they can't possibly use all of it themselves, they have a reason to trade it for things that they need. without large gangs in different parts of the world claiming that the supplies "belong" to them, there couldn't be a war over it. the *state causes this*.

Anonymous said...

What's been true throughout history is that megalomaniacal governments WILL conquer more peaceful ones unless a VERY rigorous defense is established. Just look at what happened to Athens.

You people need to get your heads out of the clouds and read some history.

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