Monthly Archives: September 2011

Instant Candidates: Not the Best Way to Choose Our Leaders

A year ago, it was quite common to find New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned together in news reports since Zuckerberg had just donated $100 million to the state’s largest school system.

One year later, the two men once again were in the news at the same time – Christie because of yet another increase in speculation that he may run for national office; Zuckerberg because of changes to Facebook that irked many of the social network’s 800 million active users.

This year’s news stories are about the two distinct topics, but there is a connection, albeit an indirect one.

Among the Facebook changes are features that provide for faster sharing of information. This is a sign of the times in which we live. We want our news and information instantly, whether it’s the White House press corps reporting on the president or a text message with word that your sister has just had a healthy baby boy.

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Moneyball: More than a Baseball Story

Moneyball, the film based on Michael Lewis’ best-seller about the creative strategies employed to keep a team with one of the smallest budgets in Major League Baseball competitive, opens on Friday. the book, the movie is likely to be more than a story about baseball. As Michael De Luca, a co-producer of the film, explained in a recent New York magazine article: “Sports movies work when they transcend the sport they’re about and become metaphoric.”

In this case, the story of Moneyball transcends the sport because it is a story about not doing things the same way simply because that’s the way they always have been done.

As Lewis wrote in his book, for years baseball teams relied on scouts to decide which high school and college players were most likely to succeed at the big league level. He unflatteringly described the scouting process as  Continue reading