"Flow" vs. "objective distance" Part 1

[For those who don't want to watch, in the video, Stephen A. Smith argues (convincingly, I think) that the advanced statistical metrics, which are increasingly used to make contractual and managerial decisions as in the Leonardo DiCaprio's film "Moneyball", are in fact being used as another "specialized jargon" to keep qualified blacks out of head coaching positions.]

I like this video because I think it sets up an important conversation that teachers can have with students, and does so in a surprising, intuitive, and accessible way. 

Superficially, the suggestion seems to be "study math in school, so if you ever become an athlete, you will be able to relate to your team's billionaire owner." But there's another level here that I find far more interesting.  

Can statistics really capture the essence of success in sports? The short answer is "no", as Shaun Livingston describes in the article that sparked the whole debate in the video above, 

Our conversations seem to go the other way, away from data and more toward intangible things. Like impact. There are too many areas where the numbers don’t assess the impact. We tend to talk about sports in those ways. ‘Look at his energy … That guy has skills but he’s soft! … He’s a big game player.’

I want students to be able to enter "the flow" of math in the same way as athletes being in the flow of the game (or how musicians can play a piece of music by their hands merely reacting to the music in their head; or how poets and novelists get in the flow of the words to the point where Goethe claimed "the poems made me, not I them"; or how mystics enter the flow of a greater-consciousness around them.) 

go to Part 2

Math's Relevance to Science