12/3/13

Fantasy Sports is better than Fantasy Economics


A few weeks ago, I noticed that Fantasy Sports is now getting billing ahead of actual sports.
look at the left column..Fantasy sports gets top billing, both under sports and under the NBA menu.
look at the left column..Fantasy sports gets top billing, both under sports and under the NBA menu.
Years ago, a friend asked me why, as a sports fanatic at that time, I didn't play fantasy sports. I told him that 1) I wasn't interested and that 2) I suspected it would give couch potato fans the opportunity to act like they are the real coaches and general managers of teams (instead of just fans yelling at the scream about what the coach, owners, or players should have done differently).
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I just read a Tim Worstall article in Forbes Magazine. Worstall notes that Chang Ha-Joon and Hans Rosling agree that the washing machine is a more important invention than the Internet.
I have no doub that Worstall, Chang and Rosling all know more about economics than I do, they have forgotten more than I will ever know about it.
But wait...there is a discussion among some really educated men about whether or not the washing machine is a more important invention than the Internet? Is this really real?
Question 1: Even if true.... so what?
Question 2: Accepting that they are correct...then what?
A great thing about being an intellectual--you can make observations that don't need to be tested in the real world. Chang Ha-Joon's book on capitalism is full of such irrelevant observations mixed in with strawmen. And Ted.com, where I first came across Rosling, is grooming and highlighting a whole generation of talkers making witty observations that I'm sure will do better in the fantasy world than the real world.
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? How many economists does tit take to start a washing machine as they cruise the Internet? With the kinds of observations that Chang often makes, I am convinced that he will live to be about 300 years old. That's because his observations are clearly from a man who thinks he will live for about three centuries, so he doesn't need to worry about making observations that are relevant to today.
So I will make my own irrelevant observations. At least with fantasy sports:
1) A fan's picks will get examined during and after the game, demonstrating whether or not they were good that week or season at guessing which players would do better in their fantasy leagues. That's unlike the expert economics who talk all day but couldn't squash a grape when it comes to action.
2) The fans aren't treated like geniuses for making irrelevant observations.