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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“Professor Gödel”

That is the title of our latest paper, still an ugly work-in-progress, about the revocation of Kurt Gödel’s lectureship by the University of Vienna in 1939. Here is our abstract: Before Kurt Gödel joined the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, … Continue reading

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Are judges like baseball umpires?

(Supreme Court judges, that is.) Neal Katyal, a law professor at Georgetown University, reports in this op-ed that there were no dissenting opinions in more than two-thirds of the cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last term. Here is an excerpt from Katyal’s … Continue reading

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What are the unofficial rules of the Tour de France?

And, more importantly, who enforces them?  Craig Fry and Dennis Hemphill discuss the unofficial rules of the Tour de France here. William Fotheringham, ditto, here. You can find a concise summary of the unwritten rules of cycling here. Does this book include the unwritten … Continue reading

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