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.
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.
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.
Discusses the social and political implications of widespread belief in unidentified flying objects, extraterrestrials, and government cover-ups, and considers what they reveal in a culture of mass media and conflicting evidence
As one of the greatest, most celebrated athletes in history, Michael Jordan conquered professional basketball as no one had before. Powered by a potent mix of charisma, nearly superhuman abilities, and a ferocious need to dominate the game, he won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and captured every basketball award and accolade conceivable before retiring and taking a top executive post with the Washington Wizards. But retirement didn't suit the man who was once king, and at the advanced age of thirty-eight Michael Jordan set out to reclaim the court that had been his dominion. When Nothing Else Matters is the definitive account of Jordan's equally spectacular and disastrous return to basketball. Having gone on the road to chronicle Jordan's final two seasons, award-winning Washington Post writer Michael Leahy draws a riveting portrait of a deeply complex man waylaid by his impulses and impatience, frequently hampered by injuries, assaulted by younger players eager to usurp his throne, and ultimately done in by his presumption. Encouraged for two decades by his sport's magnates to believe that he had no limits or superiors, Jordan could not see his influence and power fading as his Wizards days ticked down and his team's losses and dissension grew. For teammates and outsiders alike, the star emerged as a relentlessly driven, at times unapproachable personality. Leahy reveals the striking contrast between Jordan's public image and the man who couldn't stand not "bein' it." Hell-bent on transforming the mediocre Wizards into championship contenders, Jordan controlled every facet of his new team, dispensing orders behind the scenes to coaches and players. As his anger and bitterness over Washington's on-court setbacks became increasingly public, his teammates' resentment of him stoked already burgeoning tensions between Jordan and the Wizards' top brass. Leahy unmasks the myths and unravels the deeper lessons behind the highs and lows of the two seasons, illuminating the excruciating reality Jordan was forced to accept after the Wizards' failed playoff bid in his final season. When Nothing Else Matters is about nothing less than a man struggling to come to grips with the end of a career, and the uncertainty of his life ahead.
Make informed business decisions with the beginner's guide to financial modeling using Microsoft Excel Financial Modeling in Excel For Dummies is your comprehensive guide to learning how to create informative, enlightening financial models today. Not a math whiz or an Excel power-user? No problem! All you need is a basic understanding of Excel to start building simple models with practical hands-on exercises and before you know it, you'll be modeling your way to optimized profits for your business in no time. Excel is powerful, user-friendly, and is most likely already installed on your computer—which is why it has so readily become the most popular financial modeling software. This book shows you how to harness Excel's capabilities to determine profitability, develop budgetary projections, model depreciation, project costs, value assets and more. You'll learn the fundamental best practices and know-how of financial modeling, and how to put them to work for your business and your clients. You'll learn the tools and techniques that bring insight out of the numbers, and make better business decisions based on quantitative evidence. You'll discover that financial modeling is an invaluable resource for your business, and you'll wonder why you've waited this long to learn how! Companies around the world use financial modeling for decision making, to steer strategy, and to develop solutions. This book walks you through the process with clear, expert guidance that assumes little prior knowledge. Learn the six crucial rules to follow when building a successful financial model Discover how to review and edit an inherited financial model and align it with your business and financial strategy Solve client problems, identify market projections, and develop business strategies based on scenario analysis Create valuable customized templates models that can become a source of competitive advantage From multinational corporations to the mom-and-pop corner store, there isn't a business around that wouldn't benefit from financial modeling. No need to buy expensive specialized software—the tools you need are right there in Excel. Financial Modeling in Excel For Dummies gets you up to speed quickly so you can start reaping the benefits today!
A Home on the Field is about faith, loyalty, and trust. It is a parable in the tradition of Stand and Deliver and Hoosiers—a story of one team and their accidental coach who became certain heroes to the whole community. For the past ten years, Siler City, North Carolina, has been at the front lines of immigration in the interior portion of the United States. Like a number of small Southern towns, workers come from traditional Latino enclaves across the United States, as well as from Latin American countries, to work in what is considered the home of industrial-scale poultry processing. At enormous risk, these people have come with the hope of a better life and a chance to realize their portion of the American Dream. But it isn't always easy. Assimilation into the South is fraught with struggles, and in no place is this more poignant than in the schools. When Paul Cuadros packed his bags and moved south to study the impact of the burgeoning Latino community, he encountered a culture clash between the long-time residents and the newcomers that eventually boiled over into an anti-immigrant rally featuring former Klansman David Duke. It became Paul's goal to show the growing numbers of Latino youth that their lives could be more than the cutting line at the poultry plants, that finishing high school and heading to college could be a reality. He needed to find something that the boys could commit to passionately, knowing that devotion to something bigger than them would be the key to helping the boys find where they fit in the world. The answer was soccer. But Siler City, like so many other small rural communities, was a football town, and long-time residents saw soccer as a foreign sport and yet another accommodation to the newcomers. After an uphill battle, the Jets soccer team at Jordan-Matthews High School was born. Suffering setbacks and heartbreak, the majority Latino team, in only three seasons and against all odds, emerged poised to win the state championship.
A simple practice to heal your past and cleanse negative memories to live a more peaceful and harmonious life • Details how to apply Ho'oponopono to deal with traumatic past events, destructive thought patterns, family dynamics, daily annoyances, or any other disagreeable event in your life, from traffic jams to relationship break-ups • Draws on the new science of epigenetics and quantum physics to explain how Ho'oponopono works • Explains how the trauma of past events can cloud your perceptions and reveals how to break free from the weight of your memories Based on an ancestral Hawaiian shamanic ritual, the healing practice of Ho'oponopono teaches you to cleanse your consciousness of negative memories, unconscious fears, and dysfunctional programming and grant yourself forgiveness, peace, and love. The process is deceptively simple--first you must recognize your own responsibility for creating the events in your life, then you are ready to apply the mantra of Ho'oponopono: I’m sorry, Forgive me, Thank you, I love you. Repeated several times over a dedicated interval, the negativity is replaced with inner peace, love, and harmony--and, as the stories in this book show, sometimes even miracles take place. In this step-by-step guide, the authors explain how to apply Ho'oponopono to traumatic past events, destructive thought patterns, family dynamics, daily annoyances, or any other disagreeable event in your life, from traffic jams to relationship break-ups. Drawing on quantum physics and epigenetics, they explore how Ho'oponopono works--how thoughts and consciousness can affect the expression of your DNA, the materialization of your goals, and the behavior of those around you. They explain how negative thought patterns and memories unconsciously guide your life and draw more negativity to you, perpetuating the cycle of bad events and clouding your recollection of the past. By apologizing to yourself, your memory, and the event in question, you can forgive yourself, heal your memories, and cleanse your perceptions. By reconciling with yourself, you open your heart to love for your experiences, yourself, and others and bring harmony to your mind, body, and the world around you.
The president of New York University offers a love letter to America’s most beloved sport and a tribute to its underlying spirituality. For more than a decade, John Sexton has taught a wildly popular New York University course about two seemingly very different things: religion and baseball. Yet Sexton argues that one is actually a pathway to the other. Baseball as a Road to God is about touching that something that lies beyond logical understanding. Sexton illuminates the surprisingly large number of mutual concepts shared between baseball and religion: faith, doubt, conversion, miracles, and even sacredness among many others. Structured like a game and filled with riveting accounts of baseball’s most historic moments, Baseball as Road to God will enthrall baseball fans whatever their religious beliefs may be. In thought-provoking, beautifully rendered prose, Sexton elegantly demonstrates that baseball is more than a game, or even a national pastime: It can be a road to enlightenment.
"This work was first published by Oxford University Press in 2005 as Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America."
Select your own colors to fill out these 31 mandalas, then consult the artist’s “chart of emotions” to discover what your choices reveal. Each mandala is based on breathtaking classical designs from the high Islamic cultures of 500 to 1,000 years ago. Meditative poems from the great Islamic literary tradition accompany the mandalas. “It’s fun! It’s creative! It’s a coloring book for grown-ups!”—Publishers Weekly.