Friday, 26 December 2014

In cricket two neutral umpires are better than one and certainly better than none

  • Not really cricket: Home bias in officiating - "There has been interest among both sports fans and academics in whether pressure from home crowds affects decision making of officials. This column investigates this problem using new data from cricket matches. The authors find that neutral umpires decrease the bias against away teams, making neutral officials very important for a fair contest. "
  • 26-12-2014 thegreatreformer
  • Chronicle of a papacy foretold - The ideological roots of Latin America’s Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis - "The pope also shows more sign than his predecessors of understanding the human dilemmas posed by abortion and assisted suicide, but still hews to the church’s teaching on the sanctity of life. Even among people who disagree with all those views, Francis commands sympathy. For his part, he has acknowledged the integrity of people, including atheists and Marxists, whose beliefs differ from his own; and the respect is often mutual. His idiosyncratic humanism, forged in a land of political and economic turmoil, seems infectious. This book explains where it comes from."
  • Religion Without God - "... God-neutral faith is growing rapidly, in many cases with even less role for God than among Unitarians. Atheist services have sprung up around the country, even in the Bible Belt. Many of them are connected to Sunday Assembly, which was founded in Britain by two comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans. They are avowed atheists. Yet they have created a movement that draws thousands of people to events with music, sermons, readings, reflections and (to judge by photos) even the waving of upraised hands."
  • Video games should be in Olympics, says Warcraft maker - "Millions watch the most popular games, both at stadium-sized events and online."
  • Race to Deliver Nicotine’s Punch, With Less Risk - "The rush by Philip Morris and other tobacco companies to develop new ways of selling nicotine is occurring as more consumers are trying e-cigarettes, devices that heat a nicotine-containing fluid to create a vapor that users inhale. While only a small percentage of smokers have switched to the devices — experts say early e-cigarettes did not deliver enough nicotine to satisfy a smoker’s cravings — major tobacco companies are deploying their financial resources and knowledge in a bid to dominate a potentially huge market for cigarette alternatives."
  • Growth slowdowns: Middle-income trap vs. regression to the mean - "Dozens of nations think they are in the ‘middle-income trap’. Lant Pritchett and Larry Summers present new evidence that this trap is actually just growth reverting to its mean. This matters since belief in the ‘trap’ can lead governments to misinterpret current challenges. For lower-middle-income nations the 21st century beckons, but there are still 19th century problems to address. Moreover, sustaining rapid growth requires both parts of creative destruction, but only one is popular with governments and economic elites."
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