Cricket and the Dunning Kruger Effect

I was all of twelve years old when Sachin decided to go mad in New Zealand. It was the first time he had been asked to open the batting for India, and as with all things Indian cricket back then, it wasn’t a well planned, well thought out thing. Navjot Singh Sidhu, if memory serves me right, had a stiff neck, and so the greatest ODI opener ever became an opener. So it goes.

But that was the day I really and truly became a cricket fan. I have memories of watching the ’92 World Cup, and even fonder memories of the Hero Cup – but Sachin’s batting as an opener is what turned me into a cricket devotee.

As with many people these days, though, so also with me. There is so much cricket being played these days that it is hard to maintain the same level of passion. There’s all these leagues, plus the never ending parade of bilateral one-dayers and T20’s, and Test matches to boot. It is simply too much to keep up with, so I don’t.

And which is why I maintain that this really ought to be the last ODI World Cup. Announce it as such, celebrate the grand old tournament and the grand old format one last time, and then do what we’ve all pretty much done in any case, and move on to a world of T20’s and (some) Test matches.

It’s never going to happen, of course. So long as there is a single rupee to be flogged out of it, the format will continue to be tormented and tortured, and we will keep watching, zombie-like, for years to come.

So we might as well analyse it, and ask how we might think of the ODI format using principles of economics. Should one think of it as a slightly more aggressive version of Test cricket, or should one think of it as a slightly less aggressive version of T20 cricket?

That, at any rate, is the question that Nathan Leamon asks in a nice little write-up for ESPNCricinfo. It’s a question that has been asked for as long as the latest format of the sport has been around, of course. The reason this article is interesting is because Leamon claims that this is the first ODI World Cup where most players will approach it after having been steeped in not Test Cricket, but T20 cricket.

When the ODI format was first introduced, players played it as a shortened Test match. Test matches was the format they were used to, so their way of playing ODI’s was conditioned by the style they had been trained in and for. Which, of course, is why ODI’s from the ’70’s and the ’80’s were rather more slow and steady in their outlook. But the madness and mayhem of the ’90s and the ’00’s was because youngsters had grown up playing ODI’s, and were as a consequence more agile in the field, faster with the bat, and more imaginative with the ball. Indian fans of a suitable age, please note that I am talking about global trends, not about the Indian team of the 1990’s in particular.

But over the last decade, as Leamon puts it:

“The growth of T20 franchise leagues around the world, in particular the IPL, which overnight became the richest game in town, meant that the next generation of pro cricketers played T20 cricket from day one. The format became its own world. The shots played in T20 cricket started to look designed for that format, not for defending your wicket in a Test match a hundred years ago.

As the years went by, T20 cricket overcame the Anxiety of Influence and, slowly but surely, the direction of the flow of ideas reversed. It became the main source of cricketing innovation. T20 shots and tactics started to diffuse into 50-over cricket and even, to a much lesser extent, Test matches.”

And especially over the last three years or so, partly because of the pandemic, and partly as a consequence of commercial considerations, T20 has been the format of choice, regardless of whether it is club or country. To the extent that Joe Root of England has played all of 12 ODI matches since the 2019 World Cup.

And so this World Cup, in 2023, will be the first World Cup where the format (ODI’s) will be driven by “levels of batting aggression and bowling defensiveness” that come from the T20 culture.

It’s all well and good to say this, but what does this mean in practice?

Consider these three points from Leamon’s write-up:

  • In T20 cricket, a single is a “win” for the bowling team. In Tests, it is a “win” for the batting side. What about the 2023 World Cup?
  • When a wicket falls in a T20 match, it often has no response on the scoring rate. In a Test match, it usually slows the rate at which runs are going to be scored. What about the 2023 World Cup?
  • And finally, a quote from the article worth reproducing in full:
    “Most teams are going to arrive at this World Cup with a lot less knowledge of where ODI cricket currently is, than they have had at every recent tournament. The winning team is likely to be the one that quickly and successfully overcomes this lack of understanding and finds the right balance of techniques and tactics for the situation.”

As always, the real fun is when you take this lesson, and apply it to other walks of life. How long before blog posts are attempted by people who have grown up composing tweets? How long before television series are directed by people who have grown up making TikToks (and I’m sure this has happened already)? How might each of these formats benefit (or otherwise) as a consequence?

Note: To understand the reference to Dunning-Kruger, you will have to read the original Cricinfo piece. Worth it, I assure you.

Caste, Cricket and Classical Economics

… among other things, I should note.

All of what you read in the title of today’s post is from a nice little write-up on the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) website.

The shiny red ball at the centre of a game of cricket, is made by highly skilled craftsmen in Meerut district who work long hours tanning, greasing, cutting, stitching, shaping, lacquering and stamping it. Despite the glamour surrounding the game, this continues to be a caste-based occupation

My takeaways:

  1. The prices of cricket balls ranges from Rs. 250 to Rs. 3500. Three and a half thousand, for one ball?!
  2. Three ingredients go into the making of a cricket ball: Alum-tanned hide, cork and cotton thread. But note that ““People do not have a problem with leather in the form of a cricket ball, but they do when it comes to working with it,” he adds.”
  3. Making cricket balls, like so many other professions in our country, is associated with a specific caste.
  4. Move aside, pin factories: “Line se kaam hove hai aur ek karigar ek hi kaam kare hai [The tasks are sequential and a craftsperson specialises only in one task],” he explains.
  5. Pig bristles are used instead of needles to stitch the balls, and therefore Muslims don’t take up this profession.
  6. Why is Meerut big on making cricket balls? Partition, migration and specialization.
  7. The author, Shruti Sharma, is a PhD scholar working on “the social history of sports goods manufacturing in India“. What a lovely topic!
  8. What questions do you have after having read either this post or the article by Shruti? Here are mine:
    • How do they make ’em in Sialkot?
    • How do they make ’em in, say, Australia?
    • Are there quality standards for cricket ball manufacturing? Of course there are.
      There are standards that specify the “construction details, dimension, quality and performance of cricket balls”. And they’re updated. You can read ’em, if you like, but it will cost you one hundred and forty two pounds.
    • What else has Shruti written? This lovely metaphor, from an essay written by her: “The two sides of the ball divided by a seam is a metaphor for the simultaneous embedding in and distancing from the social norms and relations concealed in the ball in its commodified form. The shiny side – nurtured and maintained – symbolizes the aesthetic spectacle that cricket is in a stadium and on television. This aesthetic fuses play with nationalist fervor. The rough side of the ball becomes a signifier of the spaces where cricket is produced – socially, spatially, and temporally distant from the aesthetic site of play.”
  9. Rabbit holes are underrated. When you read an article, go down one, and see where else it can take you!

In Which Bairstow-ji Learns About Public Policy

Just in case you haven’t seen the video already, do take a look. The footage of the stumping gets over in the first minute and change, and that’s what I want you to take a look at.

Note the fact that Bairstow seems to mark his presence in the crease with his foot before walking off to converse with his batting partner. Which, of course, is when the wicket keeper throws down the stumps, and appeals for the dismissal of the batsman. All this was done in one smooth motion by the ‘keeper, and was done before the umpire declared the ball dead. If you really want to get into the weeds, here, knock yourself out.

Now nobody (not even the England cricket team!) is arguing that Bairstow wasn’t out. He was. Should the ‘keeper have stumped him is the first question. And given that he did, should the Aussies have appealed? That’s the second question. This is where the spirit of the law, and the intent of the batsman come into play.

First question first: should the keeper have thrown down the stumps?

“Well, why not?” is a perfectly legitimate response in this instance. Is there anything in the rules that stops him from doing so? No. Is the MCC considering changing the rules to prevent keepers from doing so in the future? As far as I can tell, no.

So the keeper could have thrown down the stumps as far as the rules are concerned. Ah, but should he have?

Well, is there precedent? That is, have other batsmen gotten out in this fashion before? And the answer to that question is yes, they have. Our very own Shrikanth got out in his debut match just this way!

Should Bairstow have been warned before being dismissed in this fashion? That is, should the Australians have warned him at least once in advance? I don’t see why, and I do not understand why it is necessary to warn a batsman before the batsman is “Mankaded” either. Or whatever the updated, politically correct term for it is these days.

So yes, the stumps could, and should, have been thrown down.

Second question second: should they have appealed? Or should they not at least have withdrawn the appeal?

Bairstow wasn’t attempting to take a run, or charging down the wicket in order to hit it out of the park, so there was no “intent”. And if there was no “intent”, is this not unfair, or against the spirit of the game? Do we change the rule to say that the batsman cannot be stumped in this fashion? If so, how exactly do we phrase the law?

It doesn’t matter if there was intent or not, that’s my take on the issue. If these are the rules as they stand – and they are – then one should be able to apply the rules when called upon to do so. Why call upon the umpires to apply the rules? Well, because that’s what the rules are there for! To be applied when a doubt arises.

Or put another way, it is outcomes that matter, not intentions.

Does intent never matter? Well, yes, it does. A friend brought up the movie Drishyam. Spoiler alert, so please read the next paragraph only if you’ve seen the movie, or don’t intend to watch it.

The central concept of the movie works only if you buy the idea the girl killed in self-defense. Imagine that case coming up in court, or ask yourself if you have even a little bit of sympathy for Ajay Devgan’s character. If you do, it’s because of the fact that you are giving more weightage to the intention (self-defense) than the outcome (the death of the boy).

My response to this point would be that Bairstow wasn’t outside of his crease “with intent”, sure, but neither was he engaged in protecting his life! He was simply being careless at best, and doing the job of the umpire at worst. Why do I say he was doing the job of the umpire? Because it was he who was calling the ball dead, instead of the umpire, by marking the pitch with his foot. Not his call to make, and the ‘keeper challenged his right to do so.

The umpire upheld that challenge, making to Bairstow the point that lies at the heart of central policy.

Outcomes over intentions!

My thanks to Mihir Mahajan and Murali Neelakantan for engaging discussions on this most delightful of topics, and my thanks to the English and Australian teams for being the teams in question. It helps that neither of the teams involved was India, and it also helped that I don’t particularly like either of the two teams.

I cannot resist making this final point, though – it really is a world gone upside down in 2023, eh? I just wrote a blog post in defense of something the Australian cricket team has done!

The Game Theory of Bazball

The term has its own Wikipedia article now!

Bazball is an informal cricketing term coined during the 2022 English cricket season. Bazball commonly refers to the style of play of the England national cricket team after the appointments of Brendon McCullum as Test cricket head coach, and Ben Stokes as England Test cricket captain, by English cricket managing director Rob Key, in May 2022. The Bazball style and mindset is said to have an emphasis on taking positive decisions in attack and defence, whether batting or in the field.

The article is worth reading in full, especially if you are a fan of cricket. But how does one think about Bazball if one is both a fan of cricket and of game theory?

  1. First, you can have fun defining what Bazball is, but what it has brought to the table where England is concerned is not up for debate. 10 wins out of 11 since the era has started, a victory in Pakistan that is still hard to believe, and the second fastest declaration in history – and there’s a lot many more records to look up apart from these. Whatever it is, it is working – so far.
  2. One way to think about Bazball is to argue that it is the same style of play that has worked so well for England in the case of limited overs cricket. So why not bring the same fearless approach into test cricket too? And on the basis of the evidence thus far, why not indeed?
  3. You could argue that Brendon McCullum is in effect hastening what would have been an inevitable process in the medium/long term. Is it safe to say that Cheteshwar Pujara is the last of his breed when it comes to Indian batsmen? Will all test playing nations have batsmen who are more naturally aggressive in five to ten years time? If yes, England just got there sooner under Stokes and McCullum.
  4. So the other teams must play catch-up, correct? They must respond by utilizing the same no-fear-no-holds-barred approach. Bazball, in other words, but the amped-up version. Beat ’em by getting better than ’em at their own game. That’d be one option, sure…
  5. But there were two ways to out-Pep Pep at the start of the previous decade. I’m talking football now, but you could either try and get even better at possession based football than the OG’s, or you could go the Mourinho route. Think about the Barcelona Inter Milan semis, for example. Similarly, you could try and out-Baz Bazball, or you could go in the opposite direction and play ultra defensively.
  6. If you want to go the out-Baz Bazball route, it’ll be great for the spectators, and one will get to see high-octane series with a lot of risks being taken by both teams. But there will be teams that will lose a game too many by adopting the extremely risky route, and such teams might adapt by toning down their level of risk tolerance. You’ll see risk-taking approaches go through cycles before hitting upon some sort of an equilibrium.
  7. If you want to go the conservative route instead, you might push teams that go down the Bazball route taken even more risks in response. This may work, in which case these teams will be even more incentivized to go further down the high-risk path. Or it may not, in which case these teams may tone down down their gung-ho approach a bit. But again, you’ll see risk-taking approaches go through cycles.
  8. Football has gone through many such cycles in its past, and this is a great book to read in this regard.
  9. As a fan of cricket, and as a student of game theory, it will be fascinating to see how this plays out in cricket, especially in the context of shortening attention-spans, the increasing popularity of T20 leagues, and the preferences of players to play ‘T20 style’.
  10. Get game theory out of the classroom, and into whatever fields you like to think about. Sports is just one example. But a subject like game theory comes alive when it helps you understand real-life situations better. And as a cricket fan, I can think of very few examples better than analyzing Bazball and its game theoretic implications!

Signal, Noise and Glenn McGrath

Don’t miss Tony Greig’s explanation at the end.

Accuracy is awesome – accuracy with minor variations is terrifying!

What is Cricket Optimizing For?

What if you asked an economist how to go about analyzing the answer to this question? I’m not so interested in the answers to this question in today’s post, but in trying to figure out how to go about thinking about how to set up this question for analysis. But I will conclude today’s post by trying to answer some of the questions/points I will have raised by then.

  1. What do we mean when we say “cricket”? Do we mean the players, the administrators, the viewers, the businesses interested in informing the viewers about the sport, or all of the above? If it is to be all of the above, are they all pulling in the same direction? If not, should we not be analyzing what each of them are optimizing for?
  2. What do we mean when we say “cricket”? Do we mean international cricket, or the leagues?
  3. What do we mean when we say “international” cricket? Do we mean Test match cricket, or One-Day Internationals os T20 internationals?
  4. What is cricket optimizing for, but also over what time horizon? What is best for cricket this year, in 2023? What is best for cricket in the medium run – say over the next five years? What is best for cricket over the next ten years? Do the answers change given the horizon, and do the answers change given the answers to the first three questions?
  5. If any one, or more, of the answers to these questions are such that they are in contradiciton to one another, how should we prioritize? On what basis?

The larger point behind today’s post is not to figure out how to figure out the answers to these questions. The larger point is to help all of you realize that analysis can only begin in earnest once the questions are clear in your own head. And while a throwaway question like “What is cricket optimizing for?” is fun to think about over a couple of beers, breaking it down into its constituents is always helpful. When you tackle any big picture question, spend some time in breaking it down into its constituent parts. Oh, and make good ue of the MECE principle while doing so.

For example: what is China optimizing for isn’t the correct question. Who within China are you talking about? Ditto for Russia. And for the USA.

“What are you optimizing for?” is a great question to ask, but only if you really and truly know who the “you” in the question is.

But having said all that, here are some (not all!) points from me for having considered these questions:

  1. What do we mean when we say cricket?
    • Players will want to maximize their incomes. This is not me being sarcastic, or saying that players are mercenaries. This is me saying that players are human beings. Had it been you or I in their place, we would also have wanted to maximize our incomes over the 15 years or so (at most) that we could have realistically played the game at a professional level. That is not a bad thing, it is a perfectly rational thing to do!
    • Administrators are optimizing for maximizing revenue streams. This is also a perfectly rational thing to do, but I do think that administrators are maximizing revenue streams over the short run, and are damaging the long-term health of the game while doing so.
    • The viewers (en masse) are optimizing for alleviating boredom. There will always be some eyeballs for a match, no matter where it is being played, and no matter between whom, and no matter how inconsequential. This results in the point above, and this is a great example of why thinking long term is A Very Good But Very Underrated Thing.
    • Businesses are optimizing for maximizing their long term returns, but across many diverse businesses. Amazon Prime doesn’t show you cricket matches from New Zealand because they are passionate about cricket, but because Amazon is passionate about getting you hooked on to Amazon Prime. Which, in turn, will get you hooked on to using Amazon. But that is just one example of a broadcaster (loosely defined) optimizing for its larger business interests (also loosely defined). ESPNCricinfo is also a business that is about informing you about cricket, but they have a much more direct interest in (and passion for) the sport. But obviously a very different business model, and this before we start to think about ESPN, and Disney. Note that this is a hugely complicated point, and difficult to speak about in a single blogpost, let alone a sub-point of a point in a blog post!
  2. In an ideal world, we would be optimizing for maximizing the long term health and popularity of the game. But we do not live in an ideal world. We therefore need to ask ourselves which of these groups mentioned above are likely to hold sway, and at what cost to the interest of all the other groups. That administrators and businesses are likely to take most decisions is a given. That they are likely to do so in favour of their own interests is obvious. Getting their interests to align with those of the viewers, and to have all interests be focussed on the long run would be a good way to get going towards living in that ideal world. Think long term, everybody!
  3. There is no escaping the fact that we really should be having a conversation about having the 2023 ODI World Cup being the swansong for the format at large. Scrap T20 Internationals, save for only a T20 World Cup, held once every two years.
  4. These apart, T20 leagues in all major cricket playing nations.
  5. Cross-subsidization of Test matches for as long as possible, and the eventual demise of this version of the sport too. I hope this is delayed for as long as possible, but it is an eventual inevitability.

Pts. 3, 4 and 5 are assertions/predictions on my part, but I see no way out of these conclusions. Cricket, if it really is going to optimize for maximizing the long term health and popularity of the game, needs to shed an entire format and cross-subsidize another one for the foreseeable future. And bilateral cricket should die a natural death with Test cricket, whenever it happens. To be clear, my personal hope is that it never does. But I am betting, alas, that it will.

I would love to be wrong, but I fail to see how.

Mostly Awesome, Except When It Is Awesomer

I really do not know where to begin. Should I focus on authors or on topics or on interesting academic papers or ???

Let me begin on my thoughts first. I have been reading a bit on what leads to development and growth in a country. It has traditionally been studied by people studying development economics (or dev eco as it is popularly called in campuses). It seeks answer to one question:

What are the causes of growth? Sustainabale growth?

This topic has always been at the centre of economic research. There are numerous ways economists have analysed growth and its factors. I would discuss the different factors in my next blogs.

So began a blog that I think every single student of economics in India should subscribe to. For those of us who have been following Amol Agrawal’s blog, Mostly Economics, for a while, it’s easy to reflect on all of what he’s written over the years since 2007 and realize that he was as good as his word.

For the last fifteen years, Amol has indeed focussed on factors that have influenced growth. His very first post on his blog, which I have excerpted from above, was written all the way back in 2007, and touched upon a point that was clearly a sore one for him: the paucity of research on the role of finance in development. If you are looking for just one source that has diligently shared resources on this topic, you’re in luck, because that is exactly what Mostly Economics is all about.

This might sound like an exaggeration, but I really do mean this – if you want a treasure trove of material on research on this very broad (and very important!) topic, you could do a lot worse than trawl Amol’s blog for specific variations of this topic. This search, I maintain, will give you a better starting point than this one. Of course, you should narrow it further still by choosing a specific topic or a specific central bank, but – forgive me, I’ve always wanted to say this, and since I’ll almost certainly never write a textbook, this is my only platform to say so – I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

But I’m not joking when I say this – Amol’s blog is without question the single best repository when it comes to a very careful curation of content that is still plugging away at answering the question that he raised in his very first blogpost. And taken together, the sum of those blogposts is an invaluable resource to equip yourself with when you start to study macro/monetary/growth/development in India.

What explains the rather weird title of today’s post? It is a (rather horrible, admittedly) attempt at wordplay on his original title. But that does still beg the question – what explains the mostly in Mostly Economics?

Well, the blog is called mostly economics but as I mentioned at the start I am going to write on some topics that interest me. Cricket is one of them. No matter how the performance of the Indian Cricket team, I try and keep updated on the latest the sport has to offer.

Here’s the link to all the blog posts that Amol has written on cricket. How often do you read a blog in which you’ll meet a post on India’s Minsky moment in cricket? What is the intersection set of people who will love the reference from both perspectives? Or a post about Greece being bailed out by the… ICC? Or about the similarities between cricket and the subprime crisis? There’s ton more where this came from, and as someone who tries to figure out ways to make learning economics fun, exciting and is therefore always looking for “hooks”, Mostly Economics has been a rare ol’s treat.

The nature of sharing interesting links and information online has changed over time. Blogs have been replaced with Facebook updates, and those eventually gave way to tweets. And (I’m writing this on the 19th of December, at 10.30 pm, India time, so who knows what all has taken place by the time you read this) once Elon is done with Twitter, something else may come along. But the cantankerous old uncle in me cracks a rare ol’ smile at the sight of a carfeully curated, regularly updated blog that has been plugging away, year after year at a singular task – to help all of us understand the factors that influence growth in the world in which we live.

And so bad English or not, I’ll reiterate the sentiment – the blog is mostly awesome, save for when it is awesomer.

Amol, thank you!

Context Matters

A couple of days ago, I was able to catch snippets of the India Bangladesh Test match.

The venue where the match was being played had a pitch that tended to become slower and more docile over time, and there was also a rather interesting statistic about how West Indies had chased down a rather imposing target on the fifth day, which inlcuded a double century scored on the fifth day.

They then showed a statistic about how only five wickets, on average, had fallen on the fifth day in all test matches played at the venue thus far. That only reinforces the idea that the pitch becomes slower over time.

But then one of the commentators said something that I found fascinating. It should be noted, he said, that maybe there were only five wickets remaining in the fourth innings by the time the fifth day started! That is, the reason Day 5 records the fall of only five wickets may either be due to

a) The pitch becoming slower over time

b) The match having played out in a way that only five wickets were remaining by the time the fifth day started.

And the lesson for those of us who are students of statistics is that before jumping to conclusions given the data we’re looking at, ask about the context first. And it is surprising how often we forget to do this!

For years, I used to ask students in my statistics classes why this chart looks the way it does:

Why, I would ask them, do Indians tend to search for cats towards the end of the year? And I would get lots of interesting responses. Maybe Indians gift cats towards the end of the year, some would say. Maybe cats fall ill in India towards the end of the year? Maybe there’s a festival involving cats in some parts of the country?

The clue lies in the fact that this spike in the search for “cat” towards the end of the year did not happen post 2010 or so. And the answer lies in the fact that the entrance exam for IIM’s changed around that time. But that’s the point, of course, that’s common to this exercise and the test match in Bangladesh. Data matters, sure, but the context of the data matters even more.

And finally, this example is perhaps the most famous of them all – but do read the rest of the article too. And always remember – the story behind the data is at least as important as the story that you will be able to tell by analyzing the data!

A Tale of Two Sports

Sport 1:

The Associate nations won four out of 11 matches against the Test-playing sides in this tournament. These are the most they have won in any edition of the men’s T20 World Cup. There were also a few close games in the seven they lost; two matches were decided within a margin of less than 20 runs, and the other two with less than ten balls to spare. This was clearly an improvement on the previous editions.
The 2021 T20 World Cup had 15 matches where the Associate nations were matched-up against Full Members, and they ended up winning just two games – both during the first round. Among the 13 games won by the Full Members, six were by a margin of 45-plus runs and another five games by seven or more wickets or 25-plus balls to spare.

Sport 2:

Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the World Cup has been the willingness of the so-called weaker teams to advance further up the pitch to win the ball in opposition territory.
A defining part of Saudi Arabia’s shock 2-1 win over Argentina was the remarkably high defensive line, which not only rattled the opposition but also caught them offside a total of 10 times – leading to three disallowed goals. Japan’s second-half turnaround against Germany was built around a similar high press. In one of the more under-the-radar results, Tunisia’s well-earned draw against Denmark came from the same risky approach.
Teams that chose to sit back and wait for counter-attacking opportunities alone – like Iran, Costa Rica, and Serbia – all faced big defeats.

  1. Small sample size, I know. But leave aside statistical rigor for the moment. Would it be right to assume that weaker teams are gradually getting better over time? Is this a hypothesis worth examining? Why has men’s tennis been telling us a very different story for the past two decades?
  2. The IE article talks about the specific tactics and strategies that have benefited the weaker teams in the football World Cup. What (if any) common strategies and tactics, have there been to the weaker teams that did well in the T20 World Cup?
  3. How might (and how should) the stronger teams adapt to these new strategies by the weaker teams when it comes to football? What about the stronger cricket teams?
  4. Playing the riskier strategy seems to be, counter-intuitively, the better (not necessarily safer!) thing to do, and you could argue that this is true for weaker nations in both sports. What does this say about the nature of both sports today? How much of this can be explained using game theory (what should be your rational strategy as the coach of a weaker team in a tournament such as this? What should be your rational strategy, given your best guess re: the previous question, as the coach of a stronger team in a tournament such as this?)
  5. Whatever our answers to these questions, how do they help us understand the world around us better today? Do they help us understand, say, geopolitical conflicts better? Corporate takeovers? If yes, how? If not, why not?

One of the random questions I recieved in class yesterday was about me asking five random questions to the students for a change instead. I had fun being on the other side for a change, and I’m going to enjoy pondering over these questions over the weekend.

Ben Stokes’ Dad

I still can’t get over this story: