Category Archives: Rules

One-dimensional circle chess

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Should we repeal the Infield Fly Rule?

Believe it or not, the infield fly rule in baseball has generated extensive scholarly commentary over the years, beginning with William S. Stevens’ 1975 paper “The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule.” The most recent contributions to this … Continue reading

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“The moral tragedy of Scottish independence”

That is the melodramatic title of this short essay by Emile Simpson, an English scholar and former British infantry officer. (Thanks to Tyler Cowen for the pointer.) Although we are not certain when a tragedy becomes a “moral tragedy,” Simpson’s paper is worth reading because he … Continue reading

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High-Five Social Experiment

Have you ever seen a crazy-looking bearded man high-five random strangers? Neither have we, until now … Meir Kalmanson is a genius.

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How common is cheating in chess tournaments?

Common enough to merit this fascinating entry in Wikipedia for “Cheating in chess“: Cheating [in chess] can occur in many forms [citation omitted] and can take place before, during, or possibly even after a game. Commonly cited instances of cheating include: … Continue reading

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Extra points

In today’s league, the specialization of NFL kickers means that missing an extra point is a formality gone terribly awry, like French-kissing the pope’s ring or holding the door open for someone to an empty elevator shaft. That remarkable sentence … Continue reading

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The House always wins …

Here’s a puzzle: Why do people gamble in casinos, especially if (as our old friend Freddie Torres would like to say when talking about lawsuits against the government) “the House always wins”? By way of example, check out this report by Chris Opfer … Continue reading

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