On the frontiers of knowledge there is little certainty.
More than the emperor not having any clothes, we lack even an emperor. And for the big questions, the line separating discovery from delusion is still being mapped. For example, in quantum mechanics and its discussion regarding avant space-time, one necessarily relies on the occasional ipse-dixitism, which can be a stepping-stone or a trapdoor.
Such was the controversy earlier this decade when the Bogdanov twins, a pair of French TV personalities who acquired dubious degrees in mathematics and physics, published a paper on the big bang in a peer-reviewed journal. The paper is very likely nonsense, a mish-mash of technical jargon and mathematic formulae cut and pasted together in a pretty shape.
Think of it as Foucault’s piñata.
The problem, however, is not that the paper was garbage; even the people who published it admitted that! The problem is that we lack a way of verifying this garbage might not be correct.
Such is the dilemma facing professional football organizations selecting players in last night’s (and this weekend’s) draft, and nowhere so much as in the quarterback position. Pop-chic thinker Malcolm Gladwell opined about this problem a couple of year’s ago in a New Yorker piece, comparing the uncertain metrics of future successful quarterbacks with those of would-be public school teachers.
The quarterback Gladwell heralded for the future? Chase Daniel.
God help the schoolchildren.
As opposed to the nonsensical fervor on display by attendees at last week’s A-Day scrimmage, a certain type of sports fan desires a more ordered sublimation as they relate to their sports. They appreciate clearly defined start and end points in their fandom’s observance and pre-approved cosmetic flourishes by which to express it. They welcome concise, easily identified measures by which the sport may offer them passive enjoyment. They are little more than a chorus of macaws, and the NFL is brimming of them.
They are the ones shocked that drunken meathead Ben Roethlisberger acts like a drunken meathead. Furthermore, they apparently give a rat’s ass that he is, in truth, a drunken meathead and desire him not to be. So this is not to say these are bad people, and, clearly, the world may be full of them. But such people have their limits and seek their solace where they can.
It is for these people that factory farms are kept out of sight while beef prices get cheaper. Were these people to read Jonanthan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals would they turn vegan by the busload? I don’t know, but I know college football fans wouldn’t. Review the recent documentary about the Miami Hurricanes’ championship run to see how little positive media coverage means to them. The college football fan has long accepted uncertainty and suffering in the world and acknowledges his place in it.
Also, swine is tasty.