Dodgers: Kershaw: Does the best always win?

The short answer is: no. Why?


In team sports – it’s a team…even a single best player isn’t going to change the outcome drastically. Even in those that seem like single person events – they are actually most often a team effort, even if behind the scenes – so in essence, you can’t be the lone winner either way. Moreover, there is the randomness one can’t predict. In statistics, it’s called “explaining the variance.” This means, we can only define a certain number of variables that help us predict an outcome, the rest is chance – or at least events/situations/variables we can’t predict. Did you know that when psychologists can predict 60% of the variance of anything, it is considered a HUGE outcome? And yet….it means it leaves 40% to factors we can’t predict.

The bottom line is this: You can control everything you can predict and there remains AT LEAST a 40% chance you’ll be wrong….no matter what.

So what do you do? Control what you can and accept what you can’t. It’s an old adage, but a worthy mantra. Thinking that if you just work harder, think longer, give up more, become a more dedicated martyr….none of these attempts are likely to result in more success. I used to tell my friend…

There will always be people who bet on horses randomly and win big. But the one that does her homework and makes an intelligent choice be will be more likely to win.

So my advice: Work hard, with limits. If you only work, you are guaranteed to lose the art of living. If you only live driven by chance and id-based desires, you are unlikely to achieve anything of meaning. Find the balance. Control what you can, dismiss what you can’t. Experience life instead of counting your achievements and diversify your interests. One of them is bound to succeed : )

But America….remember this doesn’t just pertain to winning in sports – it’s also the case in all events involving human prediction. This means that political races and domestic terrorist attacks are also influenced heavily by unpredictable forces. And herein lies our struggle to control our nation. Frustrated? Then consider the future use of big data analytics – where companies can record everything about you and better predict behavior.

So the right question is: Are you willing to give up your privacy to gain better predictability?

Photo credits: Boris Stefanik, Quino Al, Brian Wertheim

One Reply to “Dodgers: Kershaw: Does the best always win?”

  1. NO! Remember the serenity prayer:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *