Thursday, January 05, 2006

Quantitative beats qualitative 41-38

Congratulations to the Texas Longhorns, who beat USC on Wednesday night in a high-powered offensive shootout that has surely propelled Vince Young--who's being compared to Michael Vick--into the NFL as a top first round pick.

The warm bodies that cover the sports world and the pagans who follow it had USC slated to win. The BCS and both Harris Interactive and USA Today polls had Southern California coming out on top. But the binary world extracted Longhorn dominance from the mass of statistics, paying no attention to the superstition that past performance alone somehow mandates future results. The blathering commentators were wrong. The computers were right.

So, man doesn't beat machine. Emotion and gut instinct are trumped by objective empiricism. There's a lesson here!

Okay, maybe I'm trying to extrapolate too much. Man does have to build the machine, at least for now. Nanobots may take over that function sometime in coming decades as well. But who's going to want to watch cyborgs play football? Well, maybe senescence-free AI robots that replace feeble humans...


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