Y files

Nov 04

NBA Predictions!

Yes this is a few days late. But here goes. The best overall team is the HOUSTON ROCKETS. Notwithstanding that fact, the best bet to win the championship is the MIAMI HEAT.

My reasoning is this. In a HEAT-ROCKETS, HEAT-SPURS, or even HEAT-GRIZZLIES finals I would favor the Western Conference contender. But precisely because there are three elite teams in the West plus very good squads from Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, and Dallas the odds of any given team winning the Western Conference Championship are relatively low. By contrast the NETS, BULLS, and PACERS are all overrated in an extremely weak Eastern Conference. The odds of Miami making it to the Finals are overwhelmingly strong, which from an ex ante viewpoint more than compensates for the fact that (barring an amazing Greg Oden comeback) they’ll likely be finals underdogs.

Jul 10

Broadway Downtown on Flickr.

Broadway Downtown on Flickr.

Jun 24

[video]

Jun 04

[video]

Jun 03

[video]

May 22

This whole place was a vacant wasteland what 5 years ago? on Flickr.

This whole place was a vacant wasteland what 5 years ago? on Flickr.

May 21

Totally insane that donations to exclusive private schools are tax deductible. on Flickr.

Totally insane that donations to exclusive private schools are tax deductible. on Flickr.

May 15

[video]

May 13

[video]

May 12

The Power of a Good Coincidence

I suppose I agree with Ezra’s point about The Great Gatsby, namely that if you look at the events of the story in detail it turns out that Gatsby’s downfall is primarily due to an unlikely car accident rather than the working out of metaphysical necessity. 

But I guess I’m not sure what kind of criticism this is supposed to be. Restricting ourselves to the domain of Baz Lurman adaptations, Romeo & Juliet has this same quality. Yes, our star cross’d lovers are doomed by family rivalry but the ultimate tragic dénouement involves a remarkable amount of bad timing and miscommunication. Ned Stark’s downfall is a reflection of his tragic excessive reliance on personal honor, but in the details also comes down to a lot of bad timing and unfortunate coincidence. Or suppose Raskolnikov hadn’t mixed up the timing and ended up killing Lizaveta along with Alyona Ivanovna? 

The fact that great authors across genres and times rely on coincidence to make their tragic schemes work is telling us that contingency plays a large role in human affairs not that the authors are cheating.