A smart, accessible look into the philosophy of baseball, with a focus on its lessons for a life best lived.
A smart, accessible look into the philosophy of baseball, with a focus on its lessons for a life best lived.
Taking seriously the idea that baseball is a study in failure—a very successful batter manages a base hit in just three of every ten attempts—Mark Kingwell argues that there is no better tutor of human failure’s enduring significance than this strange, crooked game of base, where geometry becomes poetry. Weaving elements of memoir, philosophical reflection, sports writing, and humour, Fail Better is an intellectual love letter to baseball by one of North America’s most engaging philosophers. Kingwell illustrates complex concepts like theoretically infinite game-space, “time out of time,” and the rules of civility with accessible examples drawn from the game, its history, and his own halting efforts to hit ‘em where they ain’t. Beyond a “Beckett meets baseball” study in failure, Kingwell crafts a thoughtful appreciation of why sports matter, and how they change our vision of the world. Never pretentious, always entertaining, Fail Better is set to be the homerun non-fiction title of the season.
In this passionate ode to baseball, Toronto Blue Jays' fan Stacey May Fowles offers her personal perspective on the game she loves.
One of Wall Street Journal's Best Ten Works of Nonfiction in 2012 New York Times Bestseller “Not so different in spirit from the way public intellectuals like John Kenneth Galbraith once shaped discussions of economic policy and public figures like Walter Cronkite helped sway opinion on the Vietnam War…could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade.” —New York Times Book Review "Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." —Rachel Maddow, author of Drift "A serious treatise about the craft of prediction—without academic mathematics—cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver's coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism." —New York Review of Books Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.com. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future. In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science. Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise. With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Baseball and Philosophy brings together two high-powered pastimes: the sport of baseball and the academic discipline of philosophy. Eric Bronson asked eighteen young professors to provide their profound analysis of some aspect of baseball. The result offers surprisingly deep insights into this most American of games. The contributors include many of the leading voices in the burgeoning new field of philosophy of sport, plus a few other talented philosophers with a personal interest in baseball. A few of the contributors are also drawn from academic areas outside philosophy: statistics, law, and history. This volume gives the thoughtful baseball fan substancial material to think more deeply about. What moral issues are raised by the Intentional Walk? Do teams sometimes benefit from the self-interested behavior of their individual members? How can Zen be applied to hitting? Is it ethical to employ deception in sports? Can a game be defined by its written rules or are there also other constraints? What can the U.S. Supreme Court learn from umpiring? Why should baseball be the only industry exempt from antitrust laws? What part does luck play in any game of skill?
Mark Kingwell is as at home discussing Battlestar Galactica as he is civility, can find the Plato in popular culture, and sees in idleness a deeply revolutionary gesture. In Measure Yourself Against the Earth, he brings his heady mixture of critical intelligence and infectious enthusiasm to bear on film, aesthetics, politics, leisure, literature and much more, showing us how each can help us to imagine and achieve the society we want. The concept of "the gift" unites many of these essays: it is in this idea, Kingwell argues persuasively, in which we may be able to refashion the real world of democracy. "An activist, fugitive democracy. A living democracy that is no opaque demand but a real thing—a society. Democracy: the gift we keep on giving each other." Smart, engaged, and wide ranging, Mark Kingwell's Measure Yourself Against the Earth confirms its author as among our leading cultural theorists and philosophers.
This vibrant blend of memoir, travelogue, and reflection on the deep truths of angling is framed around an annual fishing trip that Mark Kingwell and his father and two brothers take each year to British Columbia. Between the drinking, the cigars, and the piloting of a small dingy, Kingwell, previously of the belief that “fishing is stupid,” finds that the sport does allow for one important thing—quite a bit of time just to think, to allow thoughts to wander and new vistas to open up. This realization leads Kingwell, who makes his living as a professor of philosophy, to ponder everything from masculinity and procrastination to golf and the value of work—not to mention the relative benefits of wet versus dry flies, the cast, and how best to fool a fish. As the book engagingly shows, fishing is worth thinking about because of the thinking that fishing allows. Especially when the trout aren’t biting.
Thrive under Pressure! Nobody knows pressure like a major league baseball pitcher—an entire game can rest on a single pitch. For years, Rick Peterson has helped some of baseball's finest excel in this kind of intense situation. In Crunch Time, he and leadership expert Judd Hoekstra share Rick's secret. It's called reframing—it enables you to see a pressure situation with a new perspective so that it shifts from a threat that can make you panic to an opportunity for you to shine. Rick and Judd offer six powerful reframing strategies, with fascinating behind-the-scenes examples from Rick's work with some of the top names in sports. Learn how elite athletes perform their best under pressure and how you too can perform and be your best when it matters most.
Scholars and rabbis examine the complicated history and contemporary challenges of the Jewish rite of circumcision.
An analysis of the American beauty industry discusses the marketing efforts of top cosmetics companies, identifies trends in fashion, and considers the psychological factors that contributes to the industry's success.
Presents advice for dealing with self-critical thoughts and negative emotions about the past, along with techniques for developing self-compassion and a more positive outlook.
Fusing ancient Western spirituality, energy work, and psychology, The Great Work is a practical guide to personal transformation season by season. Learn to be truly holistic by incorporating key physical, emotional, and energetic practices into your life at times when the natural tides are in harmony with your process. The Great Work captures the core essence of each festival with eight key themes that span the annual cycle—a cycle that reflects human development and experience. Discover how Yule can alleviate a painful childhood, how Beltane can facilitate conscious relationships, and how Mabon can assist with determining your life's purpose. Find guidance through daily journal questions, elemental meditations, and the author's unique energy-healing technique of Hynni. With this invaluable resource for your journey of inner alchemy, you'll develop an intimate connection with the earth's impulse to create balance and harmony. Praise: "Tiffany Lazic weaves together psychology, myth, meditation and keen observation of the natural world, creating an invaluable and original resource for healing work of all kinds. Inviting and accessible to all readers."—Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Maeve Chronicles "The Great Work presents inspiring insights and practical exercises that help unlock the alchemical mysteries at the heart of the Eightfold Path, and which facilitate a deep connection with the cycles of nature as they reveal their transformational powers in all of us."—Jhenah Telyndru, author of Avalon Within
One Nation Under Baseball highlights the intersection between American society and America's pastime during the 1960s, when the hallmarks of the sport--fairness, competition, and mythology--came under scrutiny. John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro examine the events of the era that reshaped the game: the Koufax and Drysdale million-dollar holdout, the encroachment of television on newspaper coverage, the changing perception of ballplayers from mythic figures to overgrown boys, the arrival of the everyman Mets and their free-spirited fans, and the lawsuit brought against team owners by Curt Flood. One Nation Under Baseball brings to life the seminal figures of the era--including Bob Gibson, Marvin Miller, Tom Seaver, and Dick Young--richly portraying their roles during a decade of flux and uncertainty.
The lively and fascinating story of baseball’s 150-year hunt for the perfect pitch In August 2012, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in what Terry McDermott calls “one of the greatest exhibitions of off-speed pitches ever put on.” For McDermott, a lifelong fan and student of baseball, the extraordinary events of that afternoon inspired this incisive meditation on the art of pitching. Within the framework of Hernandez’s historic achievement, Off Speed provides a vibrant narrative of the history and evolution of pitching, combining baseball's rich tradition of folklore with the wealth of new metrics from a growing legion of statisticians who are transforming the way we think about the game. Off Speed is also the personal story of a fan’s steadfast devotion, first kindled in McDermott by his father at the local diamond in small-town Iowa and now carried forward with the same passion by his own daughters. Approaching his subject with the love every fan brings to the park and the expertise of a probing journalist, McDermott explores with irrepressible curiosity the science and the romance of baseball.
First Published in 2016. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an Informa company.