I am 99% certain that this story won’t surprise any of you. I am 99.5% sure that college football has too many players. And I am 100% disappointed in the stupidity of the behavior of players for my alma mater, which has had to cancel its upcoming game against USC because of a COVID outbreak.
The back-and-forth finger-pointing between the Cal sports program and local health officials started before the previous week’s game, when 24 players couldn’t travel to Arizona due to “COVID protocols.” Players, alumni, and sports fans weren’t bashful in criticizing the City of Berkeley Health Services and the university for being overly cautious. However, the dam broke this week, when so many players and staff tested positive that the team had to cancel their next upcoming game. As it turns out, the facts matter, especially when the whole picture is revealed. And, for most of you, who I suspect don’t care about Cal or college football, there are also lessons to be learned.
The Sequence of Events
A few days before the Cal-Arizona football last Saturday, the team announced that 24 players were required to stay home due to COVID protocols. This included starting players, such as quarterback Chase Garber. News reports later clarified that they weren’t staying home just because of exposure to someone with COVID but because they had tested positive themselves.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi * passed away this week, with far too little notice, considering he had unlocked the secret to happiness.
Csikszentmihalyi, a sociologist, wanted to study statistically what brought people their own, self-defined “optimal experience.” Like many philosophers, writers, and sociologists, he had noticed a couple of societal paradoxes. First, while lack of resources created unhappiness, merely gaining those resources didn’t lead to happiness. How can that be? Yet, we all know it’s true. Having money, food, or even love doesn’t guarantee perpetual happiness.
There was an offspring paradox, too. When they’re working, most people yearn to relax. But relaxing brings only brief enjoyment and rarely creates an “optimal experience.”
Denis Villenueve may have finally reached the mountain top. Solved the mysterious Poincaré conjecture, created the Philosopher’s Stone, discovered the ruins of Atlantis. That is, as a movie director, he may have finally made a version of Dune that doesn’t need to be remade.
Fourth time’s the charm? Or maybe it’s twelve, if you count all the games, sequels and such–there are apparently fourteen books. (I read five, back in college). Let’s stick just the cinematic versions here: the Bad one, the New one, the Forgettable one, and the Psychedelic one. My fellow Frank Herbert dorks, I promised a review in my last blog (about the Roots of Dune). Links will be attached. Shade will be thrown. Sleeves are being rolled. Let’s compare Dunes.
Whose Idea Was THAT? The Bad, the Forgettable, and the Psychedelic
Why did Dune need so many remakes? Well, there was this one:
Patrick Stewart has always been one of the greatest actors on the planet… (see I, Claudius, Episodes 5 & 6). But Gurney Halleck wielding a 20th century rifle, carrying a pug into interstellar battle? Just say no.