Jake

Important If True 22: Air Bud and the Average Man

26 posts in this topic

Important If True 22:

Important If True 22


Air Bud and the Average Man
As you bolt upright in bed, head still swimming, are you awake or do are you still in the realm of dreams? And while you're pondering that, consider these conundrums: Which television program is a bigger ratings success: News Tonight or Nooz Tonite? Is she Lump? If so, is she too still in your head? What is the Matrix? Unfortunately, you cannot be told what the Matrix is. You must listen to this podcast about it.

Send us your questions at questions@importantiftrue.com. If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Discussed: Air Bud for a moment, The Matrix, The Matrix: Where Do the Pills Come From?, E-Ink image-displaying dress, multi-dimensional constant meme cycler, intentionally misspelled Nielsen-defrauding TV show names, segue, seg, chaos, "Lump" by the Presidents of the United States of America, mild pointless revenge, becoming the worldwide average, paranoia, neuroses, conspiracies, 99% Invisible podcast episode "On Average," that weird sound we all make nowadays, 4x optical zoom, Schneider lens, photo printer, SD card, look at that horse

Chris' Endorsement: Dry goods canisters for your kitchen pantry
Jake's Endorsement: 17776: What football will look like in the future by Jon Bois
Nick's Endorsement: SpyMeSat satellite photography/surveillance app (iOS, Android)

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes, Casper mattresses and bedding

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's the excellent football story (great recommendation, Jake) or the hubbub around the big boxing match, but all I could think about during that average person bit was turning on the TV to watch how sports changed only to see that they're such outliers in physical ability that virtually nothing changes. Although I guess my lack of interest in sports would maybe kill the industry as people stopped watching and attending in droves.

 

Dota would get a lot bigger though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scenario didn't specify the distribution whereby the mean would be established, which I feel is critical.

 

I like to think that on the morning of Remoween, everybody in the world gets up exactly the same as they were, except for one guy, all of whose attributes have been reset to whatever bonkers proportions they would need to be such that Chris Remo is statistically perfectly average in every way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooner or later I'm going to have to buy one of these Quip brushes. I've used a manual one for so long, I think it'll feel weird to not move my hand on my teeth twice a day. It's muscle memory that has been trained for literally three decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bananana said:

Sooner or later I'm going to have to buy one of these Quip brushes. I've used a manual one for so long, I think it'll feel weird to not move my hand on my teeth twice a day. It's muscle memory that has been trained for literally three decades.

 

You're still supposed to move it. It sort of vibrates at a high frequency but you still move it back and forth across your teeth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main difference between brushing with a manual brush and an electric is with a manual brush you're scrubbing your teeth by hand to remove food and plaque with force whereas the electric does the "scrubbing" part for you, you just have to move it around so it hits all sides of your teeth (in 30 second intervals on each quadrant).  At least that's my understanding, I have an electric toothbrush but it's not a Quip so I haven't read their trips and tricks manual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm trying to figure if i'd be delighted by my relative skill improvement in areas i'm weak, or distressed at my relative loss of skill. 

 

i can't play a saxophone, so does that mean my total inability with saxophone is now average saxophone ability? the average human is now WORSE than untrained? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding was that the distribution remains the same, but the x-axis is just shifted over until you're in the middle. It breaks down if you're at 0, since everyone else must be too.

 

I think the question is undefined for binaries or other stats for which "average" is not meaningful.

 

The question is really just another way of asking "in what ways do you think you differ significantly from the average?"

 

The air force seat story reveals the "jaggedness principle," basically no individual is average across all dimensions. Someone might be close to average in shoulder width, but their arms will be longer or their feet smaller or whatever. So if you make a seat for the average man, that seat will fit no one well. Adjustable everything is the way to go. And in a broader sense, averages often give you a misleading picture of the underlying data, because the world is complex.

 

Also, that football story is a tad too much, IMO. Jon Bois has really gone beyond profound sports-adjacent goofery, into high-concept sci-fi. Breaking Madden was good though. I'd endorse going to the oldest one first, cause it's a journey too. https://www.sbnation.com/breaking-madden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talking of the topic that's a la mode, averages, I mean, surely all Nielsen need to do is switch to the median audience size and that'd solve the problems for networks and Nielsen alike?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, fondue said:

Talking of the topic that's a la mode, averages, I mean, surely all Nielsen need to do is switch to the median audience size and that'd solve the problems for networks and Nielsen alike?

 

 

oof, this is a very good post

 

also, yeah, medians are all the rage. Jake mentioned that the use of the average was really popularized by astronomers, but we often just go with median because of weird outliers. 

 

And if anyone hasn't seen how easy it is to create data sets with a given average, they should take a look at the datasaurus dozen:

 

AllDinosGrey_1.thumb.png.caf429539c9c65ff36ec25eed8ccbf94.png

 

...a set of datasets that have the same x and y averages, mean, standard deviations, and Pearson's correlations to two decimal places but are totally wacky compared to each other.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worth pointing out that both transforming the S to an SH before a stop and dropping the stop entirely are a common linguistic feature from English-speaking communities in the Appalachians that were settled by German-speaking immigrants. My father whose father grew up in central AK has that habit with a few words, as does my friend from central PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe when people pronounce SH instead of S, they are using all the H's that disappeared when pronouncing Herbs (probably my most fume-inducing word when spoken by Americans).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, fondue said:

Maybe when people pronounce SH instead of S, they are using all the H's that disappeared when pronouncing Herbs (probably my most fume-inducing word when spoken by Americans).

Pretty sure that got dropped in America because of some French influence. Americans pronounce "pasta" in a more Italian way and get mocked by Brits for it despite them saying it incorrectly. We're not trying to be snooty in weird isolated ways, we just had a different mix of immigrants than you in our formative years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jake said:

Pretty sure that got dropped in America because of some French influence. Americans pronounce "pasta" in a more Italian way and get mocked by Brits for it despite them saying it incorrectly. We're not trying to be snooty in weird isolated ways, we just had a different mix of immigrants than you in our formative years. 

 

Actually, it's the other way around. The original Old French word, erbe, had no initial H when it was borrowed into Middle English in the twelfth century, and the H was added by analogy with the Latin root in the fifteenth century, though it remained mute until prescriptive grammarists in Britain during the nineteenth century campaigned for a voiced H to make English less French and more Latinate. Much like "ain't," dropping the G from "-ing," and virtually every other feature that American English gets "wrong," it's a lexical rule that Britain used for centuries, then changed its mind on and blasted ignorant colonials for continuing to use.

 

Actually, that reminds me that Catullus, a Roman poet who was contemporary with (and a vocal critic of) Julius Caesar, wrote a poem mocking an anonymous acquaintance for putting an H before every word that could take one (Latin seldom voiced an initial H, but the Greek that most educated Romans knew did, so it was a fairly common affectation among the elite). This sort of thing has been a bone of contention for millennia, I guess!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Gormongous said:

 

Actually, it's the other way around. The original Old French word, erbe, had no initial H when it was borrowed into Middle English in the twelfth century, and the H was added by analogy with the Latin root in the fifteenth century, though it remained mute until prescriptive grammarists in Britain during the nineteenth century campaigned for a voiced H to make English less French and more Latinate. Much like "ain't," dropping the G from "-ing," and virtually every other feature that American English gets "wrong," it's a lexical rule that Britain used for centuries, then changed its mind on and blasted ignorant colonials for continuing to use.

 

Actually, that reminds me that Catullus, a Roman poet who was contemporary with (and a vocal critic of) Julius Caesar, wrote a poem mocking an anonymous acquaintance for putting an H before every word that could take one (Latin seldom voiced an initial H, but the Greek that most educated Romans knew did, so it was a fairly common affectation among the elite). This sort of thing has been a bone of contention for millennia, I guess!

 

'oisted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah that's interesting, I never really knew the specifics to that detail. So much old British pronunciation and ettiquite is such a Star-Bellied Sneecth situation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, tabacco said:

 

'oisted.

Fuck

 

 

 

Actually someone's going to come in here and say it if I don't: I'm pretty sure "hoist" was already the past tense and it's been corrupted over time. So, 'oist. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Jake said:

Actually someone's going to come in here and say it if I don't: I'm pretty sure "hoist" was already the past tense and it's been corrupted over time. So, 'oist. 

 

I'm not sure that it is, but what is interesting about "hoist" is that it and "heist" are the same word in different English dialects, given different meanings through different usages over time. "Heist" probably meant to lift someone's goods, in the same sense as "shoplift."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Gormongous said:

I'm not sure that it is, but what is interesting about "hoist" is that it and "heist" are the same word in different English dialects, given different meanings through different usages over time. "Heist" probably meant to lift someone's goods, in the same sense as "shoplift."

 

That is interesting!

 

I guess what Jake's referring to is that in the famous phrase used by Shakespeare, it's "hoist by his own petard", not "hoisted by his own petard". As mentioned here. I don't know if a linguist would tell us that was just Shakespeare being a special snowflake and everyone else back then said "hoisted".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ben X said:

I guess what Jake's referring to is that in the famous phrase used by Shakespeare, it's "hoist by his own petard", not "hoisted by his own petard". As mentioned here. I don't know if a linguist would tell us that was just Shakespeare being a special snowflake and everyone else back then said "hoisted".

 

Fair point! I looked at the usage again ("For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer / Hoist with his own petar...") and it does appear that, as a holdover from Middle English, "hoise" is the present tense with "hoist" in the past, much like feel/felt, kneel/knelt, and lose/lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/15/2017 at 8:23 PM, Turgid said:

Also, that football story is a tad too much, IMO. Jon Bois has really gone beyond profound sports-adjacent goofery, into high-concept sci-fi.

It's only too much if all you're looking for is profound sports-adjacent goofery! For people who either aren't looking for that, or who are looking for that but also high-concept sci-fi, it's perfect. I've only read like half of it so far but I love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, Chris's endorsement is right on the money in terms of making your kitchen look nicer, etc. but if you have less money I suggest containers from US Plastics which can be cheaper and more durable. They don't seem to have the ones I bought (like 5 years ago) in stock anymore but that site is worth a look if you store lots of dry bulk goods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, for everyone who liked Jon Bois' 17776, beyond Breaking Madden, my favorite thing he has done is his series Pretty Good, where he also wields Google Earth to tell weird stories. 

 

My two favorite episodes:

 

This episode where he talks about a REAL football game with a final score of 222 to 0. 

 

 

This amazing story about the weird awful 1904 olympic marathon. 

 

You don't need to give half a crap about sports to enjoy the weirdness of this. He's a good storyteller. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now