A foul occurs during an NBA game. The sequence of events looks something like this:
- Referee thinks "Foul!"
- Referee blows whistle and stops time.
- Referee sends foul message over to scorer's table using a basketball dialect of sign language.
- Scorer converts that message into a computer-readable form of same, by manually entering it via software interface.
- Foul is transmitted to central database location, after which it is instantaneously shared by XML feed with other computers around the world.
Thus, three different interactions: human-to-human, human-to-machine, and machine-to-machine; three different languages to communicate during these interactions.
Where does the main potential for error lie? Is it from human-to-human or human-to-machine? (It is telling to note that I consider machine-to-machine the least fallible.)
Doesn't it make sense for the referee to just scan a bar code on the player's uniform to register an infraction? Can't we cut one step out of the process, one language, one potential for miscommunication, and bring ourselves one step closer to the Truth pinnacle of modern sport?
This is highly consistent with the rational objectivist logic of the professional sport industry as well as the flow optimization principles modulating basketball spectatorship, and so could make an appearance in the near future.
1614: The white king commands his owne knight into the third house before his owne bishop.
1750: K. knight to His Bishop's 3d.
1837: K.Kt. to B.third sq.
1848: K.Kt. to B's 3rd.
1859: K. Kt. to B. 3d.
1874: K Kt to B3
As I have mentioned before, Fourth Generation warfare is key to my recent thinking about gridiron football and the war metaphor, since I feel that the latter has evolved in the same stages as the authors set forth for modern war. However, this begs the question of how football will reflect fourth-generation (ie. "asymmetrical") warfare, since by definition it is a symmetrical game.
What I think is key to note here is that the rate of change for football has been much faster than the rate of change for military strategy (this is anecdotal, based on the author's theory of modern military strategy and my personal observations of football). Put a different way: Lind's first three generations of war take a couple of hundred years to become manifest; football, on the other hand, is only about a century and a half old, and most of the change in the game has come in the 100 years since the introduction of the forward pass — it has modeled first, second and third generation warfares in that time.
These different rates of change are now converging at a point where medium and model, or football and war, converge: the NFL, with the pulsing electromagnetic radiation of worldwide television distribution, is now part of the military effort, an invaluable weapon in the new cultural wars, of which infowar is an increasingly important component.
Postscript, as CBS sends it to the Heinz Field public address announcer: "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to honor America and to honor freedom."