International games are like war

The New Straits Times has an article on the Southeast Asian Games, and delves into the Orwellian view on international sporting events:

Unless attempts to whip up ill-feeling are resisted and common sense prevails, there is, nevertheless, always a small chance of George Orwell’s contention that “international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred” coming true. The author of 1984 also dismissed the notion that “sport creates goodwill between the nations”.

On the contrary, he said, sport was “mimic warfare” — “war minus the shooting”. The hugs in the pool and the handshakes in the field as well as the hearty contests and stirring performances suggest, however, that many of the athletes competing in Manila have not forsaken camaraderie and the finest ideals of the regional games.

My own column for today, Fight and Win, is about the pride we take in our boxers but the odd lack of follow-through: no Filipino boxing movies.

Newsstand thinks that Garci’s handlers are gaming the system, while RG Cruz describes the circumstances surrounding Garci’s arrival in Manila.

Uniffors says General Garcia is a scapegoat;  Sassy Lawyer is more interested in the improbability of harsh punishment; The Unlawyer weighs in as well. In other flag rank news, the new head of the Philippine navy seems to have been put in drydock.

Constitutional revision or amendments? Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ delves into the issue. Peter Wallace points out two thirds of parliamentary regimes are bicameral (I am less insistent on the presidential form of government than I am on the necessity for a bicameral legislature).

Ricky Carandang believes the Supreme Court is being too secretive at a time when public confidence needs to be reinvigorated in the high court. Lawyer JJ Disini suggests that looking for a judicial philosophy just might be an exercise in futility. And as Chief Justice Davide prepares to retire, recall the entry of the sadly no-longer-active Anonymous Sources.

Torn & Frayed points to the New Yorker review  that covers a book’s arguments that pundits may be hedgehogs or foxes, but in the end, are no better than “dart-throwing monkeys”:

Tetlock got a statistical handle on his task by putting most of the forecasting questions into a “three possible futures” form. The respondents were asked to rate the probability of three alternative outcomes: the persistence of the status quo, more of something (political freedom, economic growth), or less of something (repression, recession). And he measured his experts on two dimensions: how good they were at guessing probabilities (did all the things they said had an x per cent chance of happening happen x per cent of the time?), and how accurate they were at predicting specific outcomes. The results were unimpressive. On the first scale, the experts performed worse than they would have if they had simply assigned an equal probability to all three outcomes—if they had given each possible future a thirty-three-per-cent chance of occurring. Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world, in other words, are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys, who would have distributed their picks evenly over the three choices.

BuzzMachine has an entry on how Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, could be taken to a new level. The “digital divide” between academics and laypeople could be bridged. The Business Mirror has an article which condemns the waning willingness of students to do their readings. Jarius Bondoc briskly discusses a recent conference at the National Museum in which I participated (my points in reaction to the paper I was asked to comment on: today’s proposals for parliamentary and unicameral government are a return to the setup established by the country’s leading families in the Malolos Republic, and they have wanted that system ever since, fighting a broader, more powerful central and national government tooth and nail; these families face a crisis composed of changing demographics, with citizens no longer as tied to localities as before, and thus less susceptible to being impressed and influenced by these families; the presidency, on the other hand, has had its foundations eroded, because these families have removed executive influence and genuine supervision over local governments, while the elimination of bloc voting has killed the party system; presidents now have vastly expanded powers over the bureaucracy but this cannot compensate for their inability under the new laws, to influence national policy; which means traditional expectations of the presidency have been impossible to meet since the 1960s; either we restore the foundations for an effective presidency, or go the whole hog and embrace parliamentary government).

Incidentally, Sassy Lawyer has been nominated for Best Asian Blog in the 2005 Weblog Awards. Asiapundit, to which I contribute from time to time, has also been nominated. Congratulations!

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

5 thoughts on “International games are like war

  1. Padon me to copy paste my commnent from another blog

    this is my 2 cents more than a penny for my thoughts

    December 5th, 2005 12:04 7Agree the public shopuld now what the future chief justice thinks…
    Going of topic…

    I realized the Con Com’s deadline is next week
    I forgot I received a reply from Carmen Pedrosa about Con Com

    Here it goes
    Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 10:54:52 +0800
    From: “carmen navarro-pedrosa” Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
    To: “[email protected]”
    Subject: Re: Questions regarding federalism

    Thank you for your comments. I will forward it to the Commission as part of our consultations with citizens. Carmen N. Pedrosa

    On 10/16/05, [email protected] wrote:
    Dear Ma’am,

    I am a reader of your column.

    I also read what Mr.Alex Magno (Star)and and Mr.
    Honesto General(Inquirer)

    They say that a federal system adds another layer to
    the bureacracy and is very costly.
    Mr. Magno even says that many confuse Federalsim to
    Now I am more confused. Speaker De Venecia and PGMA
    advertises federalsm as something that will move focus
    away from Metro Manila, if they do not mean
    decentralization then what do they mean?

    As to each state having its own layer of bureaucracy
    like own assembly,plus other layers.
    Aren’t they basing it on some kind of model maybe the
    Canadian model; If so then why not propose something
    different from the Canadian model or whatever model
    they base their “fears” on.
    They said their piece.(Isn’t Mr.Magno a member of the
    CONCOM )Do they need more convincing that the purpose
    of the commission is to cover all bases.

    It is unfortunate that most Filipinos have not even
    read the constitution. To be honest the only time I
    read it was during College, because it is a
    requirement. The only chance I get to read about
    constitution is to the so called “unconstitutionality”
    of certain laws and executive orders.
    How can surveys say that filipinos do not want charter
    change, when do not know what it is all about?

    Would you allow me to have my own inputs as well?
    Pardon my ignorance(which might show as you read

    If they worry about more bureacratic layers why not
    lesson the suggeted number of states from 12 to 9
    like say in Luzon (3)the Norhern, the central and the
    Southern.In Visayas 2(eatern and Western) and in and
    the rest in Mindanao where it is more difficult
    because I do not know if the MNLF and the MILF would
    want to be in the same state.

    About the layers then lesssen it by limiting
    representation to the national assembly and reatin or
    even reduce the current local bureacratic layers from
    the governor to the barangays, the only way I can see
    this to merge the council and the barangay.

    And the so called additional districts because of
    rising population is BS(oardon me). I live in
    paranaque and they added a district just to accomodate
    Mr. Goplez so that Mr. Zialcita would not have any
    problems at all.
    They say that there would be more offices, more
    staff,more and more.
    One more is the poor states will become poorer because
    they will be left alone.They say that there would be
    more taxes, and the national debt would worsen and

    Again, that is why you have your commission so
    everything will be addressed.

    I wish you good luck and I hope your commission will
    First thing first, I hope you get a consensus on the
    parliamentary from.

    God speed!

    Karl M. Garcia
    97 Champaca Tahanan Village Paranaque

  2. Another 2 cents for current news….

    December 5th, 2005 15:25 9About Navy turnover

    my dad is mum and looked surprised but he had a feeing that it would be postponed because he was choosing whether to go to a board meeting or the turn over

    the rest is news…..

    about people complaining why only Garcia

    for me it is better than turning it into a conspiracy…

    conspiracies result to system error excuse…

    the mot guilty will go scot free

    One by one is better than blaming the system and application of conspiracy theories…..

    for the Thais :)

    See you in Asian Games and in the next sea games…

    You know people forget unless someone reminds them

    This will be a non issue in just a few weeks where people would be concerned on other matters including christmas..

  3. Actually i think the Olympics (Or fore runner to it) was to decide who was better between nations..

    So Sports is war.. Yes is it…

    Also if you look at India vs Pakistan,and many other countries the sport is taken more seriously than war itself..

    I see PCIJ has been charged with sedition..

    Love to see their defense on that one..

  4. IS it me or am i going crazy lots of my posts are disapearing into a void..

    Nida Blanca Murder back in the news again also, Did they ever look into the problems in the MTRCB and the infighting that was occuring there just before she was killed and after?

    Especially now that they are saying her assistant was involved..

  5. My posts are not being displayed and i am not sure about others.. What is going on??

    MLQ3 What is wrong with my posts they are on topic and answer others?

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