Traffic Vibration Rate
by Ken Arneson
2007-10-19 15:32

I’m not a big believer in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but sometimes when a concept is expressed in a different language or using a different metaphor, it’s like coming to the top of a steep hill, and a whole wide valley opens up beneath you.

For instance, you’ve probably understood the idea of "Earned Run Average" for years; it doesn’t thrill you much anymore, does it? Ah, but what happens to your understanding of that concept if you start calling it "Traffic Vibration Rate" instead?

Suddenly, you’re not looking at ERA as just a number of baseball events divided by another number of baseball events. You’re imagining the advancement of baseball runners to be like cars on the freeway, sometimes getting congested, and other times moving unobstructed. You imagine the pitcher not just as a trigger of single individual events, but as a source of oscillation over time. Runners flow around him, like a stream around a boulder. Baseball is governed not just by the laws of averages, but by complex systems of fluid dynamics.

And then, on further inspection, we imagine that the game inhabits the very paradoxes of quantum mechanics: each baseball event is not just a particle, but it is also a wave. Like string theory, all matter consists of tiny vibrating strings, and the rate at which they vibrate determines how they manifest themselves in our perceptions. Each particle exists as an individual unit, but each wave interacts with every other particle/wave in its vicinity, amplifying and/or cancelling its effects. The fastball up-and-in exists as a fastball up-and-in, but has a profound effect on the curveball down and away that follows.

The pitcher is no longer just a single man throwing a single ball. He is, in his moment of throwing, at one with the universe: both creating it and being created by it. He is a happy young boy, standing barefoot along the shore, skipping stones atop the waters, making waves that cross a wide, wide ocean.

Comments: 7
1.   kylepetterson
2007-10-19 15:45

1.  Don't even get me started on the Pressurized death sphere.

2.   Eric Enders
2007-10-19 15:47

2.  My life's goal is to someday lead the league in "Meet Force Slaughter."

3.   For The Turnstiles
2007-10-19 16:36

3.  Are you sure those aren't stats from electric football?

4.   joejoejoe
2007-10-19 16:49

4.  I recently read an excellent piece about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and how language effects soccer. Terms like 'enganche', 'libero', and 'trequartista' denote a certain role for a player and cultures without the language often don't have players that play in that style.

I can see how the change from 'fireman' to 'closer' changed bullpen usage and how absent statistical analysis the image of a 'leadoff' man led to less than optimal lineups for the better part of a century. I recommend the piece on Sapir-Whorf and soccer.

It got a very interesting perspective that applies to all sports.

5.   Ken Arneson
2007-10-19 17:29

5.  Here's this blog entry, translated into Japanese and then back again:

I am not a great devotee of Whorf's hypothesis, but once in a while when the concept expressed in a different language and a different metaphor to use, as it came to a steep slope on the whole wide open valley's largest under.

For example, you understand the idea, probably "ERA" years; I can not much thrill, no? Ah, but what will happen to understand that the concept of a call to launch a "traffic vibration rate" is used?
Suddenly, you have not seen many times in the event as a professional baseball's only divided by another number to a baseball event. You can imagine all of baseball in the development of the bases highway to the car, or sometimes crowded acquisition, and other unstopped time. Imagine a pitcher, not just a single individual event as a trigger, but as a source of vibration will be scheduled. Runners from around the流RETA, as a stream around BORUDAMASU. Baseball is governed by, not just the law based on the average value instead of the complex system of fluid力学MASU.

Then, more tests, we are very imaginative in the game inhabits paradoxical quantum mechanics: Each particle events is not only baseball, but it is also a wave. Like string theory, all of the problems, a string of small vibration, and their rate of vibration whether they manifest themselves perceptions. Particles exist and, as an individual, each unit, each wave interacts with all other particle / wave near the amplification and / or the impact of the cancellation. The presence of a fastball and a fastball as a profound influence, but to bend down and away below.

Pitcher, just one man was no longer one threw the ball. He has his moments thrown in a single space: to create, both have been created. He was a happy boy, barefoot standing on the shore, skipping stones atop of the waters, making waves across a wide, wide海洋MASU.

6.   vockins
2007-10-19 17:54

6.  Pianist is a pretty awesome nickname. Or real first name. Whatever.

That guy Michael must be good to roll with just his first name like Madonna or Bono.

7.   Bob Timmermann
2007-10-19 18:37

7.  Actually, it's MICHEAL. That's how he's officially registered in Japan.

He's former Blue Jay farmhand Micheal Nakamura and he's from Australia.

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