Thursday, November 22, 2007


A little while back, I had another blog which slowly morphed from a journal to a place where I wrote faux philosophical essays on pretty much any subject I could think of. The goal was usually to make them amusing. This is the first essay I wrote there. I’m still quite proud of it.

So I was watching a baseball game the other day when I started thinking about the nature of how ideas are formed and accepted by society. I also realized that baseball is the perfect metaphor for how ideas come to be, and how they rise and fall.

Think about it. What you have is one person, such as a pitcher, casting out an idea (pitches) to the masses ready to just hit it away (otherwise known as the batters). Sometimes they just ignore it, letting it zoom by, especially if it’s a bad idea, but if it’s a good idea, they will almost always take a swing at it. In fact, most good pitches are hit back. This might be seen as a successful rebuttal to said ideas.

If the masses, or their representative the batter, hits back hard and well enough, he’ll hit the idea out of the park, where it will be remembered as a folly. The batter might also be remembered as a champion of his way of thinking. However, usually it is hit in a way that it can be caught, and returned right back to the batter.

Now an interesting thing about this is if a good idea is completely missed by the person defending against it, it’s quickly forgotten, taken for granted. It’s given the title of “strike” and never thought of again. It’s only when an idea is opposed and hit back that it gains any attention at all.

Now that brings up the question: which are the better ideas? I would say the ones that the batter couldn’t contest even though he tried would be, but these are the ones that people don’t remember. Instead they all talk about the ideas that are hit back, and if the ideas are hit back, they must be flawed. It’s just plain logic. Our entire society is built on groups of people believing in flawed ideas and not the ones which are close to perfect.

In fact, the only way that the pitcher will be recognized for having these really good ideas is if he makes an insane number of them in a row (strike-outs and perfect games). Otherwise he’s forgotten as well.

Now the fielders serve an important part in that they save the originators ideas, maybe by changing the attack or modifying it slightly. The pitcher is capable of doing this as well. After catching and analyzing what the other side sent back, they in turn send it back to the other side, hoping in some way to save the imperfect idea or make an “out.” The fielders are supporters of the pitcher. They have an obligation to help him get his ideas through, and they will try to save most things that don’t.

There we have it; Baseball as a metaphor for progression. It’s obvious that most sports represent some aspect of human behavior. Otherwise we wouldn’t invest so much in them. I’ve figured out baseball, now I need to try with the others.

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