Thursday, January 31, 2008

Really random sports thoughts about sport

I remember the first game of soccer I ever got excited about. It was Madrid vs Man U in the 2000 Champions League and it ended 0-0. Despite the score, it was end to end stuff and Madrid were awesome (I wasn't surprised when they went up 3-0 in the space of a few minutes at Old Trafford two weeks later). I've been a Madrid supporter pretty much ever since, but they've been making it harder recently with crap displays and unpleasant politics. On Sunday though they won me back in about 10 seconds; two touches, Gutti from deep with a ball along the ground and Robhinio finishing with as little fuss and as much class as you can imagine. It was beautiful. To top it all off though, Robhinio summoned Gutti to polish his right boot. It was enough to cleanse me of years of cynicism.

Is it just me or is the goal duel between Ronaldo and Adebayor getting a bit ridiculous? Ronaldo is clearly the star (he's threatening to make a mockery of pretty much all the season goal records), but Adebayor is impressively reluctant to be shaken off.

I'm not much of a cricket man but I am sad to see Gilchrist go. Has there been another cricketer (or even sportsman) with as good a combination of impressiveness, likeability sportsmanship?

I'm quite keen to watch the Superbowl on Monday. I know nothing about US football but the Patriots are something and I'd like to watch Tom Brady. I liked stories about how Lance Klusener couldn't make his school first team, but the greatest quarterback ever not being able to make his school team? He remains relatively slow and unathletic. His whole story is admirable (no tragedy though L)

I don't really have much to add about the tennis. Djokovic is very impressive, especially the style he plays at his age. He's incredibly fast consistent and accurate, but I think a long reign for him at the top would be a bit dull. Nadal and Federer have way more style (of course Djokovic is a more entertaining personality).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I laughed...


when I heard Eskom’s grand plan for dealing with the crisis. What I heard was, “we’re going try renaming power cuts load shedding again (this is actually two steps) until new capacity magically appears”. Genius!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What about all those lofty ideals!? I hear you cry

About an hour after writing about how we should read stuff that conflicts with our views I started reading a paper with "A complexity approach to sustainability" in the title and wham! On the first page

There is abundant evidence of an increasing conflict between humankind's instinct for expansion for its own sake and the capacity of eco-system Earth to sustain such expansion...


 

The shift in political powers as a result of the globalisation of the market economy has divided influence between ever more complex social and political systems, and whatever the good intentions of individuals, what we witness are increases in poverty and conflict, and apparently reduced choices in social, economical and ecological policies.


 

And the wind was knocked right out of me. I didn't quote it but there several papers are cited, so what the hell is my problem? "Humankind's instinct for expansion for its own sake..." WTF? Why not note that humankind has been expanding? That'd do it surely? I have no idea how one would go about arguing that humankind wants to expand for its own sake so just assuming your reader agrees with it immediately puts me on the defensive. Increased poverty? I don't have the energy to go trawling now, but I could find several sources arguing that the recent past has seen the most dramatic poverty reduction in human history. Increased conflict? The source quoted is dated 1998, and it's easy to think of terrible, high profile conflicts from around that time, but the trend during the 90's was towards democracy and fewer wars. This trend reversed after 9/11 so is more plausible now, but are we really blaming this on globalisation? As for reduced social economic and ecological policy choices I have no idea, so I could go along with it.


 

So I couldn't carry on with an unbiased mind, I'll try again later today.

It’s only 10am and I’ve already learned something new

Let's say you want to protect the environment, and you are going to eat some meat, should you eat cows or pigs?  Pigs.  Let's say you care about animal cruelty.  Pigs are smarter and more social than cows.  A pig (or chicken) also seems to yield less meat per unit of animal suffering.  That would imply it is better for animal welfare to eat cows rather than pigs.  The conflict between environmental goals and animal welfare goals is one of the most significant underreported stories in this area.

I wonder how many people know that the best way to reduce your carbon footprint it to give up animal stuff, anecdotally I'd guess not many. Fortunately, I'm covered either way on this score. Unfortunately, I'm still rather attached to my dairy products.

Here are the two relevant links.

This should be pointed out

I don't really like blogging about South Africa so I'll keep this short. There is a very simple way to ration South Africa's "fixed supply" of electricity; raise the damn price. Worried about the poor? Give them money. Who knows, with higher prices for the same amount of electricity, Eskom might even be able to use the money to build more capacity sooner (this is partly what profits are for by the way, investment for the future).

Also the whole saga reveals a pretty entrenched bias about the way "we" think about economics. The world markets have been in trouble recently so cue the amusing columns predicting the final collapse of capitalism and the more earnest brow furrowing articles about the need to regulate capitalism's excesses so that this kind of thing will never happen again. When government screws up though we don't get many outraged denunciations about the excesses of government (well maybe you do, but only in pretty niche publications). Instead we get grand plans which curiously involve more government involvement. Seems like clear anti-market bias to me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Your opinion

Tragically, we're to stupid and young to have and especially deep understanding of most issues (people are working on those problems), but we still have opinions! This causes some problems because other people who've thought about stuff as little as we have disagree with us and since it's so very obvious that we're right we naturally conclude that our enemies are evil.

I've been putting off writing a post like this for ages, because my thoughts on this are somewhat longwinded and that's bad. Sooo, how should we go about formulating our opinion with limited information and engaging with people we disagree with?

  • The fact that some really smart person (even if this person is an expert on the issue) shares our view is not sufficient to feel the case is closed. There are many smart experts.
  • Even if you have the energy to actually read and digest the basic arguments of these experts (say in columns, popular books or even journals) the case is not closed. All this proves is that they are smart experts (see above).
  • It is possible to construct convincing, reasonable arguments for wildly different views. So don't be overly seduced by them (see points above).
  • The fact that getting to grips with the details of the arguments doesn't guarantee that you'll be right does not mean that it's pointless to master these arguments.
  • Take that warm fuzzy feeling of rightness when reading a great explanation of why you're right and try to imagine yourself feeling that exact same feeling after reading something with the other view. It's easy to psychoanalyse people who disagree, but they're just like you.
  • Some people are just dicks who do not make arguments in good faith. These people are not worth engaging with. This conclusion should not be reached lightly however.
  • If experts in the field are roughly split on an issue your confidence that you're right should not be very high.
  • We should really try to keep the number of assumptions down and become more aware of when we make them.
  • Reading lots of similar stuff will rapidly hit diminishing returns and feed into confirmation bias. (It is fun to read stuff we agree with though; this fits with my view that we care for entertainment more that loftier ideals.)
  • Discussions are opportunities to learn stuff. Contrary arguments should not be upsetting; they should be a source of entertainment.
  • We should recognise how unlikely it is that we are right. We can still have opinions but often they should come with a disclaimer, "these opinions are for entertainment purposes only!!!!"

This is to long, and almost certainly incomplete. I welcome corrections and improvements.

Your screen is dirty

Clean it here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Housekeeping

In case you hadn't spotted it, there's a cool Dilbert widget on my sidebar. If you click on it twice (not double click) you'll see a little button saying "grab it!" Click that and it'll offer to add the widget to anywhere you like, desktop, Facebook profile, blog, wherever.

Also a while back I discovered that even Greg didn't know what my tag line, "commentary from the fantasy based community" meant, so it'd unlikely that anyone does. It's a response to those bloggers who proudly declaim that they are part of the "reality based community". Unsurprisingly they all have similar politics (which are not mine) thus are not only declaring those who disagree with them to be wrong, but deluded, in a smarmy arrogant way to top it off. I'm proud to be part of the fantasy based community!

ahh... immigration blogging

Is like slipping into a hot bath on a cold winter night. The anti-Pritchett is George Borjas, himself an American immigrant (this gives him cred in the same way that former atheists have born again cred), and he's finally found an argument to make journalists understand.
It is not uncommon to see a Journalist (with a capital J) launch into a diatribe against bloggers and sometimes even call for regulations to stop "citizen journalists" from spreading the news. Although such calls are often couched in terms of noble-sounding goals like protecting the integrity of information in a free society, there's also an important self-serving economic motive at play.

It doesn't cost all that much to become a citizen journalist: a computer and your own time is about all it takes for you to start reporting your view of the world to whoever wants to read it.

The laws of supply and demand suggest that the rewards to being a Journalist would drop because anyone can now start reporting news and opinionating a la Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd. It's as if the Journalistic profession has received its own influx of illegal immigrants--increasing competition, lowering rewards, and creating havoc along the way.

Maybe now the Journalists will learn how those workers affected by immigration have long felt.
Nice example, especially on a blog. Journalists like the ones described here are ridiculous and a pretty standard reaction to this is that despite the regrettable hardship faced by journalists is that this is on balance a good development. But more than that, actual attempts to prevent bloggers spreading the news would require an intolerable clampdown on our civil liberties (most especially our right to free speech).

I don't feel much connection with people who automatically think that they have veto power over anything that harms them in the slightest. Pareto improvements are rare indeed and are not required for anything to ever happen.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Great

Federer's playing terribly. There's still a decent chance that he'll win, but as happy as I'll be if he does, I'm less thrilled than the pundits by his ability to win when he's playing poorly. It's all very impressive and admirable, but the reason we love Federer is the way he plays not the fact that he wins.

(His odds are dropping by the minute by the way.)
Added: Ugh. 10 finals in a row is, I think, Federer's most impressive stat, but nothing lasts forever.

Predictable politicians

Given that so many pundits were shocked by how brazenly Bush broke his election promises I'm surprised that there isn't more discussion about the likelihood of each candidate meaning what they say. I find it positively weird that people would even consider voting for Romney. It also reminds me of Tory pundits soothing themselves about Cameron by claiming that he was lying through his teeth about how he would govern. It's one thing to be skeptical about policy promises, it's another to want your man to be a deceitful weasel.

I should have mentioned that being a predictable leader can be a vice. I'm sure that North Koreans find Kim Jong il's impressive predictability somewhat tiresome.

I don't really mind Clinton and Obama (I actually think he's pretty cool) but if you're interested, here are some reasons not to vote for Clinton and this Obama campaign ad makes me cringe.

Apart from the massive corruption issue, Zuma's lack of predictability is a big issue. He's managed to be so vague about his policy views that it's difficult to be offended by them (you can be offended by his rhetoric though), but I'll take some convincing that he'll deal with the temptations in a principled way.

Immigration

I haven't blogged about this for ages and trust me I've spared you many links to ignore. I can't pass this one up though; it's nice and long too! Hmmm... It's an interview with Lant Pritchett, a cool, pro-immigration economist.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

“The book is always better than the movie”...

is one of the sayings that I've put up on Summary Justice because it's often said as though books are an intrinsically superior art form. In a way this might be true, different art forms lend themselves to different forms of expression and I think too many movies try to do what books are better at. Books allow greater depth complexity and a better platform to understand people's subjective experiences. But film is better suited to other stuff; physical stuff performed fast and with great skill ("unconsciously") is much better on film, which is why the Bourne films are so good (I haven't read the books). Also, movies are a visual art; we don't (just) want to read a book explaining the Last Supper, we want to look at the painting.

But, despite my irritation at the saying, there is actually a good reason why the book should, on average, be better than the movie and that's because the book almost always comes first. It makes sense that people only make movies of good books; books that have already been successful. So there is a selection effect, the book can't fail but the movie can and half the time it will.

what?

According to the William Hill betting site John McCain has leapfrogged Barack Obama as the second most likely person to be the next president. This does not gel at all with my intuitive reaction to what I've been reading. But I know what source I trust more. If you feel this is all wrong, then go and make some money!

I'm still hoping for a McCain/Obama race even though running against Clinton maximises McCain's chances and on balance I like McCain. He might not be perfect but my impression is that he'd govern in the most predictable way which is a huge plus in my eyes. One of the problems I have with Bush is how differently he governed to how he campaigned and it caught people off guard. Having said this, nobody else is, so it's probably crap.

Etiquette question

Queue jumping is a common pet peeve and it's definitely one of mine. But what do you do if the jumper is a little kid (no parent in sight)? The crime has been committed (and it is heinous) and you could even imagine that you're giving a valuable life lesson by setting the little shit straight, but my guess is that you'll look like a dick.

I chose to glower at the back of this kids head (and write this post).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

His Dark Materials

I just finished the series and I wrote an e-mail about it. It quickly turned into a bit of a rant, but I quite enjoyed myself so I thought I'd stick it here.

I really want to like it, and I was really into it. But somehow, the books have disappointed me. I feel like it's not fair of me. I wonder how much is because of my ideology... But I thought that would be part of the books that I liked. It's supposed to atheisty and all about truth seeking, but I'm not really with it. The Animals don't have demons (no souls!) even though they speak English and are really smart, what's that about? Conscious elementary particles is too much like the irritating dualist view of mind that even many atheists have ( I know it's fantasy but that's the point, it's exactly a view that lots of people hold in real life). He's also very keen on promoting a very old fashioned wholesome vision of childhood. It's presented in an attractive way and I also think it sounds cool, but it sounds to me like moralising about the way things are now and I get all defensive. He's also very keen on showing that other cultures arrive at the truth in their own ways. They all have their own version of the alethiometer (including modern day world, but naturally we need massive super computers and teams of brilliant scientists whereas other cultures just need to throw sticks). And finally, he tries to make other species that are fundamentally different from us in intelligence as well, which is cool, bears and angels are smart in different ways, great. But why, if angels are MUCH, MUCH smarter, do Mrs Coulter and Lord Asraiel call all the shots. IT DOESNT MAKE SENSE!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Question about education

One of the things that frustrate economists is that people (pundits included) constantly act like there is a fixed amount of money to be made (or just "stuff") and then fight over how it all gets distributed. But there isn't a fixed amount of stuff, wealth is created as well as distributed.

Now, I'm a little sceptical of how effective education is at actually teaching us stuff. We might learn a bit, but it's often a pretty pathetic return on 12 years of being forced to sit, bored stiff, in a classroom 9 months of the year. I think it's mostly to do with signalling. "Society" is interested in sorting the smart and conscientious from the rest. I'd guess that our system is better at doing this than real teaching but if this is true I have two questions:

  • Isn't there a quicker, more painless way of doing this?
  • Aren't we engaged in a zero sum model of education where we're effectively allotting good careers? And is it really doing any good to become a good teacher in this kind of system?

If 2) is true you can understand why people whine about private schools and top ups to vouchers.

I'll write another post on this, but I wanted to see if I could poke any reactions out of you.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

all tennis, all the time

Starting the 5th set at 3:45am is fucking nuts. Just saying is all.

whoa

10-8 in the fifth set is rather too close for comfort. Tipsarevic looked the better player.

Friday, January 18, 2008

this is a great match

I don't say it lightly, it has been amazing. How both players have kept up this kind of level I don't know. Roddick has saved four match points so far, one with the biggest serve of the match. Both players are staring down the big points as if they were nothing. Kohlschreiber (!?) has just hit winner no. 101 and it's just gone 2 am...

Update: No. 102 is "Federish". No. 103 is merely brilliant...

Update no. 2: Kohlschreiber did it. Roddick acted like an idiot.

Scott Adams is a funny guy

The FDA has decided that meat from clones is safe. This is a big relief, because I have a long term goal of cloning myself and then eating my clone. I don’t have a compelling reason to do it, but most goals are like that. No one really needs to run a marathon or collect beer mugs, but no one is complaining about them. There’s nothing wrong with wanting what you want.

I’m a vegetarian, but I think I would make an exception for my clone. My torso is already full of my guts. Putting a few more forkfuls in there seems like a trivial change...

... The risk with this plan is that my clone is just like me, and tries to eat me first and assume my identity. But that’s a risk we’re both willing to take.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sigh

It's been an interesting time for libertarianism because a libertarian (Ron Paul) has done surprisingly well in the Republican primaries. He's raised a lot of money and polled well against more famous candidates. I never liked him because he's very anti-immigration, but most of us were all excited cos we thought it meant that people were seeing the light. Turns out he keeps unpleasant, racist company and isn't especially concerned about it.

Unfortunately lots of his supporters are sticking by him on the devastating grounds that it's not illegal to have racist friends (or even be racist) and it's an attack on free speech to denounce him. Apparently it is almost impossible for many people to conceive of a legally performed action that is also morally wrong.

It also reminds me of how many types of libertarian there are and how many people are attracted to it for unappealing reasons.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

He admitted it! He took drugs!

Questions for Obama:

  • Since you believe that you should have been imprisoned in your youth yet continue to run for president is it fair to assume that you think there is nothing wrong with criminals being president?
  • Is your presidential campaign a response to a criminal justice system so broken that it lets people like you roam the street?
  • How exactly do you think your life would have turned out if you had been punished like you claim you should have been?

Answers:

  • Yes, that's fair. I know many criminals who I'd happily vote for if they were running.
  • Look, I committed a terrible crime, but look at me! I'm smart, eloquent and attractive! I'm nothing like those depraved evil people who are deservedly being sodomised right now for the exact same crime.
  • Listen you little twit. Nobody gives a shit if I took drugs 20 years ago, and no, I don't regret it, it was great. But since this great nation is comprised mostly of idiots, I have to solemnly swear to put as many people like me (and let's face it, probably you too) behind bars for as many years as possible. Deal with it.

I'm sure it wont be difficult to do better.


Added: Considering that this is a very racially charged issue in the US I should have been clearer, and mentioned the other candidates silliness as well. Obama has been very open about his past drug use (which includes cocaine) and one of the guys on the Clinton campaign recently stepped down in disgrace for suggesting that the republicans would make a big deal over Obama's drug use. Clinton apologised to Obama personally that one of her people should launch such an outrageous "attack". But why exactly? There's a war on drugs, people who posses them are supposed to go to jail. What would people think if he had actually gone to jail? What would his life have been like? What if he had been to jail for robbery or assault?

If it's stupid to mention his past drug use it's stupid to send people like him to jail now. Here's an article explaining the whole ridiculous thing

Failure Now An Option

Since Greg didn't find yesterday's Onion bit funny I doubt many other people will. This headline is a little obvious, but I didn't think of it, and it is funny:
Now all citizens will be able to step back, stare down the hardship and difficulty they will face in the pursuit of success, and say, 'Fuck that—this isn't worth it.'

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is EQ cool?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that the notion of IQ makes people feel a little uncomfortable, even before we start talking about gender or race. Part of this I don't really get because we all have had enough experience with people who are much smarter than us in various ways to know that there is something to talk of smartness. But another impression I get is that people much prefer this newfangled notion of emotional intelligence ("measured" as emotional quotient or EQ). Emotional intelligence is increasingly important for getting ahead in life so we should focus on this rather than IQ. But if I'm right about this why doesn't it make people a little uncomfortable too? It is after all just as unevenly distributed, which we know because we all went to school. I can't think why we should prefer one to the other, but I'll have a crack.

  • We think that EQ will compensate for IQ, think semi-autistic computer nerds earning millions in Silicon Valley. I don't buy it because too many people are deficient in both, and increasingly Silicon Valley is populated by people who not only blessed with excess IQ and EQ but are also beautiful.
  • EQ is more vague and difficult to measure, which can lend itself to warmer, fuzzier interpretations (the inner beauty of people translates into a good EQ score somehow).
  • EQ is simply free of racist, sexist baggage and it is unlikely to develop any (in the mainstream at least).
  • We have a deep seated antipathy to smart people. Witness persecution of people who were able to make money by facilitating exchange without "producing" anything (meaning anything physical), like Jewish money lenders or the guy in prison who can "get you things".

Any thoughts?

Been wanting to bone up on your geography?

Well now's your chance. The Onion has a new on-line atlas with a focus on a different country each week. This week it's Australia; here are the key facts

Location:            Bottom-right corner of earth

Languages:            English (every fifth word), Unknown (rest of time)

Famous actresses:        Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana

International Argy Bargies:    None

Monday, January 14, 2008

Against realism

One of the ways that a film can be good is by being realistic. This often comes at a cost of being depressing or deathly boring, but realism is a plus. The trouble is half the time we have no idea what is realistic. What is American gang/drug life like? Being part of a professional sports team? I donno. But throw infidelity, alcohol problems or squalor (for drug movies) and it becomes realistic. They go for all this with serious bio-pics but usually change the details of the guy's life significantly. James Grey's book "A million Little Pieces" was a smash hit because of its unflinching look at drug life but no fact in it could be trusted. Sean Penn's new movie "Into the Wild" is getting rave reviews but fabricates a traumatic childhood to explain the guy's weirdness.

Realistic films do lots of things, they stimulate our imagination, inspire empathy present other sides of the story etc. Rooting out oversimplifications and implausibility is all cool. But it quickly becomes simple dishonesty if we tolerate fabrications because it helps make a point we like. And that is very bad.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Overstatement of the year (made by possible idiot of the year, me!)

This is possibly the most "important", useful, interesting, whatever blog post I've read. It's Tyler Cowen explaining what he (thinks (?)) he is almost certain of. If you disagree with them, I think it's a good place to start if you're interested in offering a sympathetic look at the "other side" and demand of yourself a well thought out reason why you disagree. I place a much higher weight on a list like this from Cowen than any other blogger, even ones who I agree with more than him. I hope some good left wing bloggers will offer their lists.

Since you people don't follow links (shame on you!) I'll have to post the ones I like

4. Overall, despite its many flaws, America is a force for liberty in the greater global community.

5. We are programmed to respond to the "us vs. them" mentality and highly intelligent people are no less captive to this framing.  We should try very hard to get away from this framing.

6. America is a beacon of innovation for the world, and it is critically important that we allow the preconditions for American innovation to continue.

7. It would be a disaster if American taxation ever reached 55 percent of gdp.

10. No one has a good idea what the equilibrium looks like for nuclear proliferation.  This is very worrying.

11. The possibility of pandemics receives insufficient attention.  The world sleepwalked through AIDS for a long time, mostly because "it doesn't affect people like you and me."  The next time around could be much worse.

12. It is a big mistake -- even in rhetoric -- to conflate concern for the poor with comparative egalitarian intuitions.  The left ought to turn its back on this mistake, although it would mean losing one of their most effective rhetorical tools.

13. Most people are sincere in their views (even if wrong), and polemic attacks on them signal a weakness of the attacker, not the attackee.

14. The chance that a protectionism will be an economically rational form of protectionism is very low.

This is most of them, some of the others are a little too American or boring. Here's one that lefties will enjoy

9. The West European way of life is a marvel, unprecedented in human history.  That said, I am not sure that the degree of economic security to date can persist in a more mobile and more diverse future (this second sentence retreats to what I am uncertain about)

He also has a list of things he is uncertain about. Lefties will enjoy it more, but since the blog is basically one of uncertainty it is less fun.

Idiot of the year (so far)

This is one of the stupidest things I've ever read (although I can see why he wants to say it). Years ago the darts world championship split, resulting in two "world champions", and for a long time they seemed more or less of equal strength (the same thing happened in chess). The one side had the clear top player, but the other seemed to have more depth. But the lure of beating the top player seems to have won the day and top players started migrating over for the chance to beat Phil "the Power" Taylor. There is no longer a balance of power, there is a clear winner. But, the champ of the crap league is having none of it

No matter how many players leave, they will be replaced by probably better players.

Genius!! The way to improve the quality of play is to purge the competition of its best players! In fact the more top players to leave the better. The entire sports world should take note. If soccer gets a little boring someone should go and break the legs of Rooney and Ronaldo for they too will be replaced by better players! Hurrah!

This is why you shouldn’t give them money

Today I noticed a homeless person walking out of a bottle store with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Later when I was parking outside the Gardens Centre he was my car guard. I didn't give him anything.

Magic or materialism

I don't have the energy to post my references but I've noticed that many atheists (including real philosophical big shots) regard consciousness as something very different from the rest of nature. One philosopher claims that conscious stuff squeezed through the past big crunch and came through the big bang. Another dude claims that particles themselves are conscious. They deny that computers can ever be conscious. I doubt I've stepped further from any area of competence I might have, but this is mad.

It's difficult to imagine a computer who understands what its like to be in love, or score a winning touchdown but so what? That just makes it difficult is all. As soon as you start talking about conscious electrons I don't really see what you can say to astrologers or witch doctors, for you also believe in magic.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It wounds my soul to admit it but...

Alex Ferguson has said something I like.

What annoys me about some footballers today is the personal glory thing... They score a goal and knock players out of the road so they can get personal gratification and play to the fans.

I put this tendency right up there with diving in repulsiveness. A striker could topple over from boredom in front of goal while his teammate deftly weaves his way through the opposing players and slides the ball past the keeper. But if the ball happens to bobble over his crumpled form on the way to the back of the net he'll instantly leap up and rush to the nearest stand of supporters to parade in front of them. If his teammates want to join him they must wait until he has done his solo bit and then leap upon him with expressions of ecstatic gratitude and profound awe. If however they forget themselves and attempt to join in the celebration early, well, then they only have themselves to blame if they have their teeth knocked out as our hero elbows and punches them aside.

So well done Sir Alex, if you revise your stance on diving I might even revise my stance on you. If your opponent receives a penalty for diving then that is indeed unjust, it doesn't magically become "part of the game" when one of your guy does it (to be fair all managers are like this).