Skip to main content

Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, Indieweb, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation







Against the Rules: Referees, Journalism, and Politics

2 min read

If correct, the hypothesis by Michael Lewis in Against the Rules could have some profound implications into how we view politics and particularly the current President of the United States and why we need accurate, fair, and objective journalism. Trump's fame is making him cry foul more than is necessary, particularly amidst accusations of wrongdoing. In the episode Ref, You Suck! one can see a clear analogy between the NBA and the current political hellscape.

"...he [referring to Larry Byrd, but this could easily be applied to Donald J. Trump] played with certain assumptions about the rules and how they applied to him..."
"The NBA has set out to ref the game more objectively, more accurately, more fairly. This has enraged the stars and their coaches. You want to know why? The more objectivity there is, the less power they have. Objective refs eliminate some of their privilege. The stars can't get the calls anymore just because they're stars, or anyway, not as often. Lebron James and Kevin Durant and Stef Curry and Clay Thompson, they'll all survive better refs because they're actually just better than everyone else, they don't need unfairness to win. [...]
I think American life just now has at least one thing in common with basketball. The authority of its referees is under attack. And when you have a weak referee you have a big problem. Because a weak referee is a referee who can be bought or intimidated or just simply ignored. A situation goes from being more or less well referred to more or less not. Then one day you wake up in a world that seems not just unfair but actually sort of rigged. That is, it is incapable of becoming fair because the people who benefit from the unfairness have the power to preserve it. Boom!"