February 07, 2008

We Tried Baseball and It Didn't Work : Excellent example of true geek humor, so of course baseball fans will probably hate this one.

posted by billsaysthis to baseball at 10:20 AM - 24 comments

I couldn't get the article to "scale" properly in my browser.

posted by BoKnows at 10:37 AM on February 07

If there are any software people out there, I apologise for this comment in advance. I'm a systems engineer who specializes in the hardware area, rather than software. I have to work with people who think like this every day. It is impossible to tell a software person to adapt his thinking to the way things are supposed to work. They will tell you that you are either old-fashioned, do not understand efficient coding, or are trying to build the wrong system. You should see how much time and effort we have to waste getting their code messes cleaned up. Please, please, never let a software person anywhere near an organized sporting activity. Actually, bst, I found the post really funny. "Brancher" indeed!

posted by Howard_T at 10:39 AM on February 07

As a software developer and a baseball fan, I have to admit that I didn't really get this. I mean, I understood why it was supposed to be funny, but it just didn't quite strike me that way. I'm not offended or anything, it just didn't "click". Perhaps I'm just not geeky enough. Or too much of a baseball fan. It might be that my two interests cancel each other out here. As for you, Howard, that's definitely a two-way street. I write software that tests custom-made hardware components, and I spend a lot of time straightening the hardware guys out, too. So let's not pretend it's all software's fault, unless you're talking about Microsoft, in which case I'll join you. ;-)

posted by TheQatarian at 11:01 AM on February 07

Yeah, I work in the software / hardware field and most of this just strikes me as a failed attempt at humor. 1) he decides that they only need four people per team, and then essentially complains that there aren't enough people. 2) he make the decision of only four people per team on the number of bases and then removes most of them, so in his redefined game there should only need to be one person per team (only one base now). He was really trying hard to make this a funny idea, but, in my opinion, he struck out.

posted by opel70 at 11:31 AM on February 07

First of all, the requirements for the game are stupid: it does not scale. They say you need at least nine players on a side. That's stupidly inefficient. The minimum number of players is clearly four: three men on and one batting. That's how we played: four people on a side. Sounds like the late Eddie Feigner...

posted by MAYANKEE at 11:31 AM on February 07

We're getting closer to not needing to play the games at all. Just run a few simulations and we'll be set, until all the players are too old. Then we can reset to 1900. He was really trying hard to make this a funny idea, but, in my opinion, he struck out. I like Ron Jeffries, so I'll go in a different direction and suggest he wasn't really trying to be funny, he was trying to describe the problem Howard is talking about. There are plenty of things that can be abstracted, plenty of things that can be refactored. But when you start removing integral bits and pieces from the thing you're supposed to modeling just because they get in the way of a more perfect abstraction, you've lost sight of what you're supposed to be doing in the first place. Too many programmers are obsessed with being right and "understanding" business problems better than the users who come to them for help in the first place. It's an ego thing and it has no place in the work.

posted by yerfatma at 11:37 AM on February 07

"One of our teams used the heads of dolls they had borrowed from their sisters, but this led to difficulties at home." Ahahahah! Hahaha! Haha. ha.

posted by geekyguy at 12:06 PM on February 07

TQ, we actually have a number of systems engineers who specialize in the software side of things, and their insights into problem-solving using software instead of modifying hardware are valuable. I really was trying to write tongue-in-cheek, but I guess it didn't come out that way. We have intramural softball and basketball leagues where I work, and the software guys are as fiercely competitive (Sutter-like?) as anyone else. Our modified fast pitch league tried using the heads of program managers and bean counters once, but that didn't work too well. they were too soft to travel very far.

posted by Howard_T at 02:22 PM on February 07

Not a software designer. This made no sense to me. This was a joke?

posted by Chargdres at 02:27 PM on February 07

I understood why it was supposed to be funny, but it just didn't quite strike me that way So, you're saying that his software didn't work? I love recursion.

posted by owlhouse at 03:23 PM on February 07

I love recursion.

posted by yerfatma at 03:29 PM on February 07

I tried understanding this article, and it didn't work.

posted by erkno11 at 04:57 PM on February 07

I tried understanding that comment, and it didn't work.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:27 PM on February 07

I hate recursion.

posted by yerfatma at 08:02 PM on February 07

I like cursion. I usually don't have to do it a second time. Try the veal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:22 AM on February 08

I like veal, and I want to know where's all this veal everybody keeps talking about on this site, dammit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:40 AM on February 08

Don't for get about the chickens. But it's been reported recently that chickens are assholes, anyway.

posted by hawkguy at 11:12 AM on February 08

Chickens are assholes, to be sure, but what does that say of the people who eat them?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:49 PM on February 08


posted by yerfatma at 03:27 PM on February 08

If chickens are assholes what does that make turkeys?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:27 PM on February 08


posted by yerfatma at 05:01 PM on February 08

Jeffries has eccentric ideas of replacing baseballs with balls of twine, golf balls, heads of dolls, and woolen socks stuffed with paper - and all Finley tried to do was change the color of the baseball from white to orange and they thought he was nuts. Jeffries and his people took a sport that already worked and made it not work. It would be more advisable if he involved himself in a sport that did not work and endeavored to make it work - for example jumping the Snake River Canyon.

posted by longgreenline at 03:04 AM on February 09

It's a joke, son, a joke.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:29 PM on February 09

Understood son, and a bad one. And the next time I come across this guy i'll give him an intentional walk.

posted by longgreenline at 01:47 AM on February 14

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