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He was interviewing at a startup dude. They probably didn't have a hiring manager and have no clue about how saying stuff like this can backfire.


Which, incidentally, Android does.


Can anyone explain the interrelation between sports players and college for me? We don't really have such a concept in Australia as far as I'm aware. Am I understanding correctly that to play a sport professionally a person must first attend a college and complete some degree? Why does the US even have this system? Do any other countries do this as well?


It depends on the particular sport and the leagues involved, but most future professional players will play a couple years at the college level. High-school super stars in some sports may go into the professional league directly but it's uncommon. In many sports no matter your skill level you cannot build the physique necessary to compete until a bit later in life (american football for example). Also, some leagues have implemented rules designed to prevent direct recruitment from high school, notably the NBA.

There's typically no requirement to finish college however. It's relatively common for athletes to move up to the pros and skip the last years of their academics.

The US's system is mostly due to history, but the current structure continues because it is worth an extraordinary amount of money. The schools with top athletic teams bring in revenues of 100 million or more. The governing body for college athletics generally prohibits significant payments to the athletes themselves, so all that income goes to coaches and other staff, as well as supporting businesses. College coaches are usually the highest paid people on campus. This continues to be a bitter political topic, because many people see it as unfair that college athletes are generating so much money for everyone but themselves. The other side points out that allowing paid recruitment and player endorsement/advertising would have a corrupting effect as well as make it difficult for smaller schools to be competitive.

As far as I know, our system is unique, and that's probably because we were televising college athletics earlier and more heavily than other nations.


> As far as I know, our system is unique, and that's probably because we were televising college athletics earlier and more heavily than other nations.

It's not just that it's televised, it's that sports are tied to schools and colleges at all. Netherland has tons of youth sports, but all in indepdent, often volunteer-run clubs. For many sports (football and hockey[0] at least) there's a youth league for every two-year age group, and after the last one, when you're 18, you move to the adult leagues. Those are generally amateur leagues, but professional football clubs have their own youth programs (playing in the same leagues) and recruit from all clubs in the vicinity (not to mention rival clubs and foreign countries).

[0] And here I mean the football where a round ball is played with the foot, rather than American Football; and the hockey that's played on a field, rather than ice hockey.


The US has the same type of youth leagues that aren't affiliated with any school. I don't know of any non-school football leagues for kids older than 14 but most decent-sized cities have adult football leagues. For other sports like baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, etc, there are tons of non-school leagues for all ages.


> College coaches are usually the highest paid people on campus.

Not only that, in most states they are the highest paid of all public employees: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672861/infographic-whos-your-st...


However, unlike most public employees, they are always one or two bad seasons away from being fired.

A typical public sector job, particularly a university job, is almost the closest thing you can get to lifetime assured employment (most often at a salary that's not great, but with very good benefits and enormous amounts of paid time off).

Coaches though are much more accountable for their performance. If they don't win games, they get fired.

Edit: also it's only the head coaches of elite revenue-generating football and basketball programs that are very highly paid. The coaches of non-revenue sports have much more modest salaries.


Also unlike most public employees, they are typically entitle to massive buyout clauses if they are fired. For instance, UCLA's new men's basketball coach would be entitled to $10.4mm if he were fired prior to 2016.

1. http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2013/7/9/4505884/...


Here in Indiana, for a couple of years in the early 2000s, the highest paid public "employee" was a basketball coach that had been fired, but was still getting paid according to his contract.


And, as public employees, they're often eligible for public pension programs, as well. Someone could coach for a couple of years and then spend the rest of their career as a janitor, but still retire with a 6 or 7 figure pension.


Most baseball players go to the minor leagues right out of high school.


The general lack of interest in minor-league baseball also shows one reason why other sports aren't keen to move to that model (though the long history each sport has built up makes that kind of change pretty hard to do anyway).

From a marketing perspective, college sports are a minor league that comes with a built-in fanbase, the students & alumni at the universities (especially large universities). The top end of college sports teams are essentially the NFL's and NBA's minor league outfits, but compare how many fans and attention a Texas, Michigan, USC, Stanford, etc. game gets (in either football or basketball) to what a minor-league baseball team gets...


That is interesting. When the local third league football team plays, here in my part of Germany, the stadium is packed. I recently read a news report about how our local government is complaining that the police operation surrounding the game costs 100.000€ per game for that third league team.


When my university's football team plays a home game, there are usually 110,000 people in attendance. The streak of 100,000+ people for each home game goes back to 1975.


In terms of attendance, the top college teams beat even professional teams. The 13 largest stadiums in the US are all for college football [1]. You have to go all the way to number 14 before you get to a stadium used for professional sports.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._stadiums_by_capaci...


Some of that is due to being older stadiums, though. U.S. professional stadiums used to have more capacity, because they were just rows and rows of bleachers. The trend in the past few decades in professional sports has been towards more of the space being used for lower-density "premium" seating like skyboxes and fewer bleachers, reducing the seat count. College sports usually have less funding for new stadiums though, and their market is a bit different (more regular fans paying out of pocket, less demand for corporate skyboxes). Hence you have something like the LA Coliseum, capacity 93,000, used by USC's college football team, but considered an "obsolete" stadium by the NFL and MLB, who used to use it but moved out.


That might be the case for some teams, but a lot of NFL teams have trouble consistently selling out the smaller stadiums that they already have.


It's not just college. Apparently sports are also a big part of high school, with money supporting a schools competitive team coming directly from the school budget.

That is simply not at all how it works here. You of course have sports education in school, but it is not competitive and you can't choose either.


Competitive high school sports are definitely part of American culture. Though most teams are not fully-funded by the school system, they have to fund-raise and/or pay fees as well. Coaches are usually also teachers at the school, though this is not always the case.


>The governing body for college athletics generally prohibits significant payments to the athletes themselves, so all that income goes to coaches and other staff, as well as supporting businesses.

Most of the money goes to the university itself.


As far as I can tell, this is a uniquely American phenomenon, and how we got here could easily be the subject of a full research paper.

Here's my theory:

It all starts with Harvard and Yale wanting a leg up on each other in their football rivalry, which dates back to 1875. Professional football did not start in the US until many years later. Football, and to some degree basketball and other sports, came to represent a very serious way for colleges to express rivalries with each other.

Seriously: "After The Game of 1894, which came to be known as the "Hampden Park Bloodbath" and about which newspapers reported seven players carried off the field "in dying condition," the two schools broke off all official contact including athletic competition for two years."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard%E2%80%93Yale_football_r...

As such, each institution became hell-bent on defeating the other at football, which led to the relaxing of academic standards to admit superior athletes. Things have spiraled out of control from there. Many schools now face very serious pressure from alumni and other donors who demand athletic success. Recruiting top high school athletes is an extremely shady business, as both schools and athletes have a lot at stake.

Harvard, Yale, and the other Ivy League schools today do not do this to the extent that some others do and have policies against awarding scholarships based on athletics-- they are small and elite institutions that can't get away with admitting students who literally cannot read. But even the schools with these policies admit athletes who would probably not get in based on their academics alone.


That's not really it. You don't need a degree to play professional sports, and some of the most talented players skip directly into professional leagues without finishing college. But college is where they have the best chance of honing their abilities and getting noticed.

College sports is all about money. Consider this map:

http://deadspin.com/infographic-is-your-states-highest-paid-...

Why are the mostly highly paid "public servants" in most states athletic coaches? Because the public universities make huge amounts of money from sports: the TV licensing deals, the ticket sales, the merchandising.

The players get paid nothing -- at most they get their tuition waived.


>Why are the mostly highly paid "public servants" in most states athletic coaches? Because the public universities make huge amounts of money from sports: the TV licensing deals, the ticket sales, the merchandising.

That's not why.

The coaches are paid a ton because were they to quit, they could be paid a ton somewhere else.

Why would they be paid a ton somewhere else?

Because other colleges want to win!

Why do they want to win?

Because without their football team, schools like Alabama and Texas and USC and and and would have ZERO credibility.


Zero credibility?? I can't speak for Alabama but I know several people who went to Texas and USC for the education. Both have strong (top 15 [1,2]) engineering programs, USC has well known med, law and film schools, UT Austin is labeled a "public Ivy" and has a law school, and highly ranked architecture school as well. Both schools have several other well known departments.

If football left it would definitely hurt these two schools. However, they have a LOT of academic credibility aside from athletics.

[1]http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-gradu...

[2]http://coe.berkeley.edu/about/rankings.html


If these schools never had the huge football programs, yes they would have zero credibility.

Without the notoriety and prestige granted by their athletic programs, no one would respect their academics.

For a recent example, witness the transformation of USC from a joke of a school (academically) to a somewhat respected, some might even say moderately prestigious (!!) university. A transformation which coincided 100% with their successful football program.

The great team builds recognition. It builds respect. You graduated from a school which is a football powerhouse, people respect you. Even if you graduated decades before they rose to football prominence. Even if you never cared about football. People want to be affiliated with success, thus they want to be affiliated with you.


If you're a naïve boogerbrain, they don't get paid anything. Then why do they wear expensive clothes and drive sports cars? They get plenty of 'in kind' gifts and privileges. Colleges are investigated all the time for outright bribing promising students.


> Colleges are investigated all the time for outright bribing promising students.

I think you mean "promising athletes". I guarantee colleges do not care how these young people perform as students.


Do any NFL players go directly from high school? I think I've heard of a few NBA players that have come close and MLB has its own minor league system so they recruit directly from high school.


No, NFL has a gentleman's agreement with NCAA-FB. A highschool graduate would have to sit out 3[1] years before being eligible to tryout for the NFL. They could play in Arena football or CFL. Uni is the best path because you have competition and training.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Football_League_draft#...


Nope. It's because of physical development more than skill. A top tier 18 year old body can hang in the NBA but would get wrecked in the NFL.


In the NBA, the current rule is a draftee must be 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft and one year out of high school.

There were players in the past who have gone straight from HS before the rule was in place. Most notable, Lebron James.


Yes and no. Ideally it's just a university sports team. But now college sports have gone from university students playing football in their spare time to exceptional athletes who attend classes in their spare time.

Some universities, such as UNC and Virginia Tech, have seen massive profits by selling merchandise thanks to these sports teams, and have made sports a higher priority than the actual academics. Now younger people are choosing to attend universities based on their sports team rather than the academics.

Anyone who disrupts this big business of college sports can expect to feel massive backlash from the university and the crazed fans of the sports teams.


And as someone else pointed out, the coach of the teams get paid more than the president of the university!

They get paid more than even their most valuable professors!


I haven't met a professor yet that could pack a 25000 seat arena.

Good professors hold chairs which are paid by endowments. So maybe a few million $ a year in donations. Good coaches can make a few million $ on a good weekend. If they make it to the bowls, 10-20 million $.


Sorry, but that system is so utterly strange to me. I really do not have the ability to understand this. Might be my problem, might be a cultural problem, as I am not an American.

But in what universe could this be a good thing? What does sports do for the development of mankind? It distracts, it is just "panem et circensis"[1] and it is nothing more than a big business.

So the people trying to teach people the ability to better the world have to "fight for the scraps" while others reap the benefits of telling youngsters to run faster, kick harder or throw better?

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panem_et_circenses


Sports teach various kinds of dedication and teamwork, inside a framework where you get strong immediate feedback and conclusive results on a regular schedule. It also demonstrates vigorous competition within a system of rules, and instructs participants and fans in the occasional randomness of rewards and importance of perseverance-through-losing, and graciousness-in-winning. These are all important cultural values for a big, contentious, competitive society.

It's also the original "reality" programming, unscripted and unpredictable, with a constant stream of life-stories and morality-plays, which can be covered as 'news' relatively cheaply. It's not just 'bread and circuses', but actual moral instruction: modern constantly-refreshed mythology, always available for casual discussion with acquaintances and strangers.

The strong linkage with US higher-education isn't strictly logical, but tradition and economic symbiosis has entrenched the relationship. The large-audience collegiate sports help market and fund entire college communities, providing a focal point for common entertainment-outings, loyalty-displays, reunions, fundraising. In its absence, people might be relatively more parochially-aligned with just their hometowns, or faiths, or social class, or careers.


Well, yes, but sports can possibly teach that only for those who play e.g. team. So, if the team excludes average students and take only almost professionals in, most students do not get to learn any of those things.

So, you have maybe 30 player learning those things while trying to get into paid adult league and the rest of students being fans learning essentially nothing.


At almost any university, any student who's not skilled enough or dedicated enough for the varsity teams can join intramural or club sport teams. Nobody is excluded.


Fans benefit vicariously from many of the lessons I mentioned. (Sure, they don't get the full interpersonal practice of teamwork and direct competition... but they observe the personnel, life stories, controversies, and dramatic results. And they discuss all that with other fans to deepen relationships and mutual understandings. That's why it's like a constantly-renewed mythology in its cultural-instructive power.)


Your mistake is in assuming that it is about things like "running", "kicking", and "throwing". Sport is about the subjugation of human, by another human. It doesn't do anything for the development of humankind as a whole - that is the point. Things like sportsmanship and game rules exist to prevent full regression to our savage roots.

I do think competition is a healthy and necessary trait for individual development. Meanwhile, education holds the potential of freedom from subjugation for all humans... The balance is disturbed.


Perhaps I've been trolled, but I'd have to disagree strongly. Sports might be seen as some kind of ritualized conflict, I guess, but then how is that different than any other kind of gameplay? Take chess, for instance - it is all about strategy and tactics in service to the intellectual domination, subjugation, and eventual defeat of one's opponent. But so what? It's damned fun, which is a worthy end in itself, and I believe that chess play hones the mind even as it entertains the players.

Likewise, sports are fun! But if you need further justification, their play teaches us valuable physical and social skills - teamwork, graciousness, poise, coordination, fitness, and so on - that even if you aren't entertained by a particular sport, surely you can see its potential value in other dimensions.

I guess my point is that not all human education is intellectual. It is experiential, and it is physical, and social, and moral, too.


Chess is more of an individualist game where the world championship will be won by one guy rather than "Team USA".

It's also more difficult to follow than say soccer to people not intimately familiar with the game.


Fischer vs Kasparov and Fischer vs Spassky was very much Team USA vs Team Soviet Union and not just two guys playing chess. People in Norway tuned in to the 2013 Finals to see Team Norway play, not to see some random guy called Magnus.


> Perhaps I've been trolled,

You've never read from people who genuinely frame things in a dismal light? I've read a lot from people that view a lot of social interaction as exactly "subjugation". The simplest example is materialism and acquiring status symbols. Some take it further to more intimate group dynamics. Does this mean that other people are trash that you should just avoid? No, and most people plain need social interaction in order to stay sane. But it can be a useful frame-of-reference sometimes, if only for the philosophical value.

> but I'd have to disagree strongly. Sports might be seen as some kind of ritualized conflict, I guess, but then how is that different than any other kind of gameplay?

Indeed. Some people think of any kind of structured competition as a sport, so all of what you said still applies. Playing videogames competitively, for example (e-sports).

> But so what?

Yes, why ever look further than the surface? Because it's sometimes valuable to look at seemingly innoucous (or not - hooligans) phenomenoms and trying to look behind the most apparent dynamics. Sports is a fun pasttime for some/most people, with some competiveness, but perhaps not enough to cause any harm at all. It is also an incredibly socially accepted - heralded even - way of channeling some of the more anti-social human traits. If I'm feeling jealous, I feel that there's something wrong with me. If I feel spiteful, I feel that there's something wrong with me. If I feel like physically dominating someone else, against their will? Just pick up some of the more physically demanding sports and be worshipped as a hero. Coax it in some fake humility and "sportsmanship", and you've got a show for the whole family. That's funny to me.

Some atheletes will get a bad rap when they are obviously being cocky and showing off. But being the best and feeling like the best was the goal all along!

It seems to me, in my uneducated opinion, that while humans are social creatures, they are too tribal to be altruistic on the larger, macro level. People are divided by nationality, culture, ethnicity and so on. Team sports? Yet another tribe for people to belong to, and to antagonize other teams from (sometimes in a more friendly manner than others ;) ). There is a lot of social dynamics when it comes to football supporters.

Sports isn't the only thing that is disturbing to me, at some level. Violent video games are really fun, but the implications are disturbing. Yet, from what I've read, people who play these games are less violent, perhaps because they (we!) get a way to channel our violent streak. (Which is also a disturbing thought.) Maybe it's the same for sports? Many more than me have been disturbed by the implications of violent video games (I haven't been disturbed by the violence - I'm too used to it), but practically no one things of any kind of sports as being anti-social.

But yeah. So what?

> Likewise, sports are fun! But if you need further justification, their play teaches us valuable physical and social skills - teamwork, graciousness, poise, coordination, fitness, and so on - that even if you aren't entertained by a particular sport, surely you can see its potential value in other dimensions.

Take any sport to a higher and higher level, and it will always distill down to one thing - being the best (that's what you are left with with the top athletes at the top). That's inherently a comparative quality, and than you are left with the only choice of "subjugating" your opponents. A high-level athlete will think nothing of sacrificing fitness, physical health etc. for being the best. Is this necessarily that applicable to most practicioners of a sport? No, but it is the top athletes who are basically worshipped, they're not simply people who have taken a "fun pasttime" and gone full-geekery on it - they are, in some circles, viewed as the ultimate expression of that sport. Not as, "geeze, man, get a life".


> Take chess, for instance

Some consider chess a sport.


> I do think competition is a healthy and necessary trait for individual development.

There you have it. I tend to disagree. I see this as one of humanities problems. These unquestioned ideologies.

I believe, that competition should only be with one self. I try to get better. Better then yesterday, last week, last year, last try. But I do not try, to rise above my pears in comparison to them. To feel better, by looking at everybody I leave behind from above.

The only one I try to beat am I. I try to do everything, to be a better person, every single day. I am still learning - and will hopefully do that for the rest of my days. I am human, I am fallible.

But my past performance is my personal yardstick. Not your performance, or anybody's. I do not need your example, as a motivation.


That's a pretty tortured definition of sport.


Not so tortured a definition for spectator sports though.


> I really do not have the ability to understand this.

Sure you do. There is nothing in the universe more important than money. Simply get past your belief that the American university system is about anything noble and realize it is just another money making scheme.

The education part is just a cover to keep the illusion alive. If you focus you can learn there, but you simply need to realize your worth to the school is as a paying fan. If you want it to be anything else, you're on your own to figure that out.


> Sure you do.

No. I don't. I do not understand, cannot grasp any such concept of "money is everything" or such concepts of state, borders and so on. I am a human. I have fellow humans. Some of them are nice. Most of them are idiots. These are my categories, in which I view the word.

There is no such thing as homophobia, islamophobia, money makes the world go round, or any other of these so called "normal" ideologies. No such thing as "this god" or that deity.

So no, I really do not have the ability, to understand these concepts. I can analyze them rationally, I can look at them, like sitting in a lab, examining them, but I can never understand these concepts on a basis of experience or to see things from the concepts's perspective...

That was, what I was trying to convey...


It's a good thing because capitalism.

Well honestly there is nothing like a good football team to bring in funding for schools. That causes schools to focus highly on sports because at the end of the day they just want as much money as possible. It's really sad actually.


I've yet to meet a coach who can pack a 25,000 seat arena either. They usually need other coaches, a team of players, and an opposition.

Most good professors aren't in endowed chairs. Something like 1/3rd of the professors at the best schools are endowed. A state school like the University of Illinois has about 10-20%.

Nor do most of the professors bring in money through endowments and gifts. Much more is brought in through grants, like through the NIH and NSF, and from state funding. (That's a general statement. There are many exceptions.)

There's also tech transfer agreements. Consider this quote, about taxol synthesis developed at Florida State:

> In 1996, Florida State University was the envy of the tech-transfer world of U.S. research institutions. That year alone, the university's research foundation received more than $28 million in Taxol royalties. By decade's end, the university's Taxol revenue would top $200 million, among the largest patenting pay-offs for a single university in history.

That's one professor who brought in over $20 million per year, for a decade. (By comparison, the current FSU football program brings in now about $36 million in revenue, and $17 million in profit.)

And as for the coaches, very few college programs can bring in a few million dollars per game, and only the 6 playoff bowls have team payouts of over $10 million, so that's at most 12 universities with that success.


Many of the highly-paid elite coaches also either directly fund or by virtue of their reputation and network attract funding for endowments or gifts.


So noted. However, in the numbers I saw for the University of Illinois budget, the total endowments and gifts was about 1/7th of that of grant funding.

I have not done any extensive analysis of this. My comment was mostly to highlight that the previous poster was making statements that I could not easily accept as being true.


25,000 is a bit on the small side for major universities. The university I went to just kicked off a construction project to increase the stadium capacity to over 100,000.

A few miles north of where I currently live, the high school football stadium seats 18,000 [0].

[0]: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Stadium_(Allen,_Texas)


The only high schools here in Scotland that have anything like stadiums, just a single stand really, are the rugby crazed private schools in Edinburgh. For example, here is a blog entry about the Stewarts Melville main pitch (of 6) at Inverleith in Edinburgh where I often spend time watching my son play:

http://ian38018.blogspot.co.uk/search?updated-max=2011-05-25...

Also, I couldn't help noticing that the Eagle Stadium is paid for by taxpayers.... :-)


The university I attended had 75,000 seats, when I left. They've added skyboxes, extended and raised it since.

I was being conservative because I assumed nonUS HNers would assume I was making these numbers up.


Maybe not, but I have certainly met professors that have led research that universities have spun off into highly profitable companies. And even without worrying about direct money-generating capacity, it's having the best research teams that allows the big name universities to demand the ridiculous tuition fees that they charge. Yet coaches are paid more. I can only conclude that many university presidents actually wanted to own sports teams, and this is how they have got their wish...


In a majority of states, the highest-paid public employee is a college football coach. In another 11 it's the basketball coach (Minnesota is a tie between the two). In eleven it's a college dean (usually the medical school), president/chancellor, or similar.

http://deadspin.com/infographic-is-your-states-highest-paid-...


As well as the money-spinner leagues, are there amateur (that's possibly not quite the right word for it, but the big college teams are clearly professional in all but name) leagues of the same sport for students who really are there to study and just want to play some inter-collegiate sports as well?


Yes, I believe the terms are intramural and intermural leagues for ordinary students.


It does seem strange compared to the UK system as well. Here, for football (soccer), most people would join a club or youth team at 16 or so. Nobody expects football players in the UK to have brains. I can think of only a couple of footballers with a college degree - Graham Le Saux and Steve Coppell, I believe. Joey Barton has A Levels but is probably not a good advertisement.


On the other hand .. Australia has a huge sports-worship culture, akin to the US in many ways with regards to ferocity and cult behaviour among the proponents. I've never understood how it is that certain realms of Australian culture think that being a sporty person is more important than being an intelligent, well-informed person - but there is some sort of cultural disassociation between these two worlds that appears to be culturally driven.

In the US, its been driven even further in that there are billion-dollar industries behind the sports cult. Perhaps thats the ticket: sport is a cult because there's money to be made.


Evolution has ingrained competitiveness in us and its our way of proving our little section of the world produces better things than yours.

A mostly wasteful use of resources but to the majority this is a sufficient way to prove your city/state/country is better than another. I'd rather see who can fly the furthest into space but eh enjoy what you got.


Culture ingrains competitiveness. It is why we are in such a mess.

Evolution ingrains cooperation. It is why we have come so far as a species, as we have.


Am I right in assuming you have below-pro level "farm leagues"? In the States, for various historical and financial reasons, some sports will effectively replace their farm leagues with Division I inter-collegiate sports.


This is probably the case. However, I don't see how it is relevant to education (other than money mentioned elsewhere). "Minor/second/.." leagues could survive on their own. No need to take schools into account.


I highly recommend the 1994 film Hoop Dreams[1]. It provides a look into the world where school meets sport.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoop_Dreams


Also, South Park Episode "Crack Baby Athletic Association" skewers the college sports system in the US.

http://beta.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s15e05-crack-...


In addition to the responses already entered, the NFL (in combination with the NFLPA, the union that represents players) also requires athletes entering the draft to be three years out of high-school (typically 21 years old in the US).

So, even if you happen to have the physical aptitude to play professionally at age 18, you are barred from doing so.


In the U.S. a number of sports developed first at the college level. American Football, in particular, was developed and popularized by colleges (particularly the Ivy League schools, and particularly by Yale). Collegiate football remained more popular than professional football well into the early 20th century.


People play while at college, I thought. The colleges make money off of the media spectacle. Lots of the players are good at sports, but not good at any of the things they are supposed to be in college for.

(But I'm no American, and have only visited once. So take my explanation with a pot of salt.)


> We don't really have such a concept in Australia as far as I'm aware.

There do seem to be university sports leagues in Australia, they just aren't taken as seriously afaict, e.g.: http://www.aurl.com.au/


While university sport certainly exists, the major differences are that i) they don't generate any revenue, and ii) student athletes don't receive any advantage in university admissions.


In the USA, only mens basketball and football typically generate revenue. Maybe in some areas baseball or hockey might. Those programs support the vast majority of athletes (track and field, swimming, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, etc. as well as all the women's teams) who are in programs that do not generate any revenue.


I would say hockey probably only does for the big hockey schools in the US. In other places, especially high school, hockey is a club sport so the players pay for everything. Which is the complete opposite of football.


It's not that they're not taken seriously, just that they're not in any way a requirement to be a professional player. To play cricket, aussie rules, rugby, hockey, netball and so on at the professional level doesn't require a feeder system of athletes from the tertiary education sector. Professional athletes also aren't introduced by sportscasters as 'name, college'.

Who knows, it might catch on. Other American sports oddities have, like that annoying singing of the national anthem before each match and providing a role for athletic women in professional sports by making them cheerleaders...


A tradition of friendly competition turned into a huge business.

The leagues have some rules about when players can be drafted, but those rules are more about simplifying and reducing competition in recruiting than they are about the players.



We're creating an environment now in which it is practically impossible to discuss this topic in tech. Our general irrationality and desire to completely and utterly jump down the throat of anyone who even remotely touches on this topic means that in the future any gender topics are just going to get "no comment" responses.

That's sad and not without a touch of irony precisely because in stifling the discussion we're probably doing more harm than good.


Its probably worth mentioning that it is technically impossible to have a discussion about this (on hacker news) because virtually every submission about the topic is killed, as it is with previous times this comes up (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6824157).

Fully agree that stifling / censoring is causing a lot more harm than good (as is apparent by a lot of the reactions here)


IMO, folks on HN need to do much less discussing on this topic and a lot more listening. For the most part, HN is collectively blind to issues of power and privilege.

For those interested in learning more about privilege, read these two essays by John Scalzi, Being Poor (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/) and Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-th...).

Try to read them without being reflexive or poking holes in them. If you find yourself getting riled up or defensive stop and ask yourself why you're feeling the need to respond that way.


On the contrary, I would suggest listening to Ram Z Paul (http://www.ramzpaul.com/)

You claim that people at HN experience privilege, and in some sense I agree most of us do. And yet as proponent of a progressive agenda, you also have a different kind of privilege. Most normal people will automatically identify you with the "right" side. You will never have to fear being labelled a racist, sexist or anti-Semite. For example, why is it that you automatically turn to very patronizing language when addressing people you consider insufficiently educated in their privilege? Could it be that you are used to having your sense of moral superiority go unchallenged?


You got me.


> For those interested in learning more about privilege, read these two essays by John Scalzi, Being Poor (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/) and Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-th...).

I don't know what you want to achieve by posting the first one, since I have never seen anyone with any good arguments who argues that being poor is not a significant disadvantage when it comes to things like social mobility. HN seems to lean more to the idea that structural/systemic issues on a societal scale does matter and hinder individuals, as opposed to the thought that an individual can forge his own way and make himself into whatever she wants to be no matter the circumstances, which is another school of thought.

I was hoping the second one would give some arguments for how being a straight white male (emphasize male since being white is pretty obviously an advantage all things considering) is a ridiculous advantage. But then it turned out to just start with the initial assertion, explain it with an RPG analogy and then ... return to the initial assertion. But it's all so clear to me now that I can relate things like leveling up and playing through a game on maxed attributes to my own sex... not.

By the way, is the difficulty the same for white geeky males?


> Try to read them without being reflexive or poking holes in them. If you find yourself getting riled up or defensive stop and ask yourself why you're feeling the need to respond that way.

So, why did you feel the need to respond as you did? If that's your response, it seems to me like you should really grapple with the challenges they present before jumping in here to comment. As someone who grew up very poor, it makes me chuckle that you can't see the connection. They're deeply, profoundly related. Some of my other comments on this thread might make it more clear how — I don't want to retype them here.

If you find this comment grating, well, let me translate it into geek-speak: before jumping in to comment, please Read The Fine Manual. :)


> So, why did you feel the need to respond as you did?

Yes, I know you set up that preemptive shield against dissent. Or preemptive shield against dissent that seems reactionary, or angry, or something of a similarly negative emotive kind. I felt the need to respond because I found it objectionable.

> If that's your response, it seems to me like you should really grapple with the challenges they present before jumping in here to comment.

Challenges. Let's see..

As for the first article, as I've already said, I already knew (in an intellectual sense) that being poor is a disadvantage. So yeah, not as if my worldview was shattered there, or that I shake my fist against the skies over not having a harder lot so that I could brag about having overcome it later or something else that might make want to not be from the middle class for some reason. What challenge? I already agreed...

As for the other one, well it didn't really challenge any of my beliefs about gender (in)equality since it actually doesn't give any arguments, anecdotes or data. It's an assertion. With an analogy. If anything I'm mad because of how thoroughly unchallenged I was, and how I don't know anything more about how it might be a woman (which I am not, surprise). If I want to know how it might be to be a woman (or not be a man with my specific attributes), I want to read about other peoples experiences, not a fucking video game metaphor. How is that going to enlighten me in any way? But I've found that men in particular are just supposed to sit down and be handed the immutable facts about gender and society (and from a man no less).

> As someone who grew up very poor, it makes me chuckle that you can't see the connection.

I'm in dire need of enlightenment it seems.

> If you find this comment grating, well, let me translate it into geek-speak: before jumping in to comment, please Read The Fine Manual. :)

Honestly not sure what that last reference is. mmm, something-something console game/board game, I think. -1 geek point to me.


> > If you find this comment grating, well, let me translate it into geek-speak: before jumping in to comment, please Read The Fine Manual. :)

> Honestly not sure what that last reference is. mmm, something-something console game/board game, I think. -1 geek point to me.

http://www.jargon.net/jargonfile/r/RTFM.html


> As for the first article, as I've already said, I already knew (in an intellectual sense) that being poor is a disadvantage.

This is not the point of the essay.

> I'm in dire need of enlightenment it seems.

Heh. Ok, I'm out! :)


> Heh. Ok, I'm out! :)

Well I've said what I wanted to say about my impressions. If you found my tone too hostile, which I'm guessing why you're saying 'bye', it might be because I found you to be too patronizing, which is just my impression. And from how you've engaged some other people in this thread it seems that you don't simply "bow out" because you're a gentleman that don't want to get tangled up in a messy argument, but because you don't find them to be willing subjects to be educated without protest. So gg I guess.


I don't find your tone too hostile. I think you're being insincere and aren't actually interested in having a conversation about any of this.

I wrote what I wrote in my original comment not as a preemptive "defense" — as if I was gearing up for a fight — but as a way to get whoever read those essay to hold back from replying reflexively and actually spend time trying to understand them as the author intended them to be understood.

Likewise, I'd ask you to do the same for my comments. Can you imagine a world in which what I am saying makes sense or would even be the "obvious" thing to believe? Can you imagine several? Are some of them more plausible than others? Why or why not?

I bow out when the conversation starts to feel like the Monty Python "Argument Clinic" sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y&t=1m18s


That everything is baited with stuff like the all "white/male bro" tech industry is really what gets me. You're not inviting anyone to change anything with that mindset. I was eager to read and consider their suggestions up until that last bit, when I immediately backed off and just shrugged.

How many gender-blind software architects were out there through this entire technology boom we've seen in the last 40 years? Just tinkering away at platforms and code and programs, not really thinking about anything other than their craft. Someone will jump in and say that it was their privilege to be able to just focus, unlike X minority trying to do the same, and I'll agree with you there. To think that there's some odorous force emanating from these privileged folks, working to keep others out, strikes me as strange. The "bros" in tech are hardly the ones that built or stand near the entry-gates.


Why should the tech world be any different than every other industry which forbids meaningful discussions as a matter of course?


Honestly I don't think any part of the question is genuine. It's all basically a setup for complaining about his coworkers.


Pretty wild. I opened your first link maybe 20 minutes ago and the price was $650. And now it's $750.

The volatility is just crazy.


A great deal of intent is telegraphed by how you say things and the words you choose to use. Starting out with something like "[the agreement] could help all of our economies and strengthen relations between the United States and several important Asian allies" definitely is putting a positive spin on something which I find a bit odd given the text of the agreement isn't even public .


Thank you. They waited until the 2nd-to-last paragraph to mention criticisms of the agreement, and never mention the secrecy involved. Clearly a positive analysis, even if they didn't explicitly write "approve this trade agreement."


A positive analysis !== "NYT endorses".

This is semantics, but I wouldn't describe what the NYT did here as "endorsing the current TPP proposal".


"NYT EDITORIAL BOARD ISSUES POSITIVE ANALYSIS"

Sure sounds like an endorsement. See for example:

en·dorse·ment enˈdôrsmənt / noun noun: endorsement; plural noun: endorsements; noun: indorsement; plural noun: indorsements

    1. an act of giving one's public approval or support to someone or something.
[In any event, the critique seems to be that regardless of the position of the paper, EFF wants the NYT to leak the contents for analysis by 3rd parties.]


1. Context and common usage often flavours words in a way that isn't captured by the definition. I'd argue that a certain amount of positive attitude has to be expressed before it's considered an endorsement. It can't be just any non-zero positivity.

2. The article speaks of this type of agreement in general, and not the specific agreement that is being worked on. I could say that I like the idea of Toronto having a mayor without liking Rob Ford.

3. "NYT EDITORIAL BOARD ISSUES POSITIVE ANALYSIS" is nowhere to be found in the article. I'd rather rate the article text itself for endorsement, not synopses (even my own).


I don't think the NYT Editorial Board has actually seen the contents.


It's not odd at all, because what they are coming out in favor of is having a good Pacific trade agreement. They are neither endorsing nor disapproving of whatever is actually in this particular agreement.

Analogy: suppose Monsanto has a new pesticide that increases crop yields, but causes some serious environmental damage.

I write an editorial coming out in favor of increasing crop yields.

If the EFF were reading my editorial the way they are reading the Times, they would claim that I have endorsed Monsanto's new pesticide.


No, this is more like Monsanto announcing that they have a secret new pesticide that will provide amazing benefits.

Many people criticize it due to Monsanto's track record of causing environmental damage, and due to certain leaks of information that suggest it may be quite bad.

Then you write an article saying that you are all in favor of Monsanto coming out with a new pesticide that strikes a good balance between the interests of the farmer's increased crop yields and the damage to the environment around them.

Do you see what they did there? They not only blew off the concerns of people worried about intellectual property overreach ("balance the interests of consumers and creators of intellectual property" implies that there are two distinct groups of people and that there is some kind of balance between them, which vastly oversimplifies concerns about intellectual property), but by stating their endorsement for this agreement that they haven't seen (even in the abstract, of "we support a good deal that does the right things") they are basically implying that they think the general direction of the deal is positive. Even though they hedge their bets, they are using pretty strongly positive language here.


But they are talking about it as if this was it. They may not be very obvious about it but:

1) They are talking about a "good trade agreement"

2) They're talking about TPP-only in this article (since there are no alternatives anyway, nor do we know about the specific issues in the TPP, since they're keeping it secret).

My guess is most people will make the cognitive connection there and assume that the "good trade agreement" is the TPP.

Either way, I really don't care what NYT thinks about it, or doesn't. What I care about is for TPP to become public, way before they even try to pass it in certain countries.


You forgot the step where Monsanto shows up for an editorial board meeting and provides background information that makes an editorial on crop yields timely and relevant to current events. An NYT editorial on a treaty negotiations does not appear for no reason.

There is a reason others on this thread make the connection to the NYT's support for the war. This is another "slam dunk."


You can certainly gauge the potential benefits of a trade agreements by considering them in the context of historic trade agreements. The idea that lowering tariffs tends to promote trade and leads to net economic growth is hardly controversial in economics.


Accessing this from Australia it still shows as available and you can order it. Must be geography specific (presumably, while inventory still lasts).


Yeah I have a hard time reconciling the title with the button in the middle of my screen:

    Add to cart - AU$299.00
I clicked it and now I have a Nexus 4 in my cart.


This article is from August.

About a week ago, the situation got much much worse. S4BB, the offending company, submitted another 138,792 apps: http://crackberry.com/s4bb-submits-additional-138792-apps-bl...

BlackBerry is an embarrassing joke of a company for permitting this (and from quotes I've read, even encouraging it).


I don't think "making out like bandits" is accurate at all. Tenured academics don't seem like they make all that much money and I think most would make more in corporate.


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