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Thread: Men's PCS at Worlds.

  1. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Anyone here think this would be a good idea?
    I don't think it would work. I think the American public has moved on to other forms of entertainment.

    Even when Michelle Kwan was still skating the handwriting was on the wall. Sasha was as good as anyone and lovely besides. Kimmie Meissner won the World Championship (and is lovely besides). Belbin and Agosto won an Olympic silver medal, Evan Lysacek won a gold, Davis and White won a world championship. No dice.

    (Meryl Davis and Tanith Belbin are also lovely -- I don't want to slight anyone. )
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-18-2012 at 08:22 PM.

  2. #257
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    It would have to an American lady winning. Everyone saw how Lysacek winning meant nothing. But then he is a problem personality wise.

  3. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    It would have to an American lady winning. Everyone saw how Lysacek winning meant nothing.
    Or Davis & White.

  4. #259
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    The real issue is that PCS should be weighted a little lower. To common viewers of figure skating speed/deep edges is really NOT the most important thing ever. Artistry isn't, either. It is deeply perplexing to common viewers that someone can win a gold medal with multiple falls. There's no point always trying to make excuses to deny that very simple fact. At the end of the day, just the fact that so many people are mad at Patrick Chan winning and openly state their opinions in the press is bad for the sport's reputation. Doesn't matter what percentage of people. If 30 percent of people are complaining, it's bad enough and I'm definitely seeing more than that.

  5. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidont View Post
    The real issue is that PCS should be weighted a little lower. To common viewers of figure skating speed/deep edges is really NOT the most important thing ever. Artistry isn't, either. It is deeply perplexing to common viewers that someone can win a gold medal with multiple falls. There's no point always trying to make excuses to deny that very simple fact. At the end of the day, just the fact that so many people are mad at Patrick Chan winning and openly state their opinions in the press is bad for the sport's reputation. Doesn't matter what percentage of people. If 30 percent of people are complaining, it's bad enough and I'm definitely seeing more than that.
    With respect, I've got to disagree on almost all counts here. Just to be clear, we're both talking about popularity within the general audience, right? If we can agree that the casual viewer knows very little about the actual details of what skating entails, and what's more, never has (and what's even more, doesn't particularly want to), then I think we need to recognize the following:

    -While absolute levels of general popularity have declined (and we can discuss why that's so, and if it's reversible), I would bet that there's nevertheless a genuine correlation between incremental changes in popularity (the "delta") and the presence/absence of an American ladies champion, particularly if her mastery (miss-tery? ) seems genuine, as opposed to transient or fluky (a Michelle Kwan, as compared to a Kimmie Meissner).

    -More cautiously, I'd bet that the correlation (and the magnitude of the delta) is positively affected if the ladies champion is considered attractive (the Dorothy Hammill sassy Homecoming Queen bob, Peggy Fleming's spare, Hepplewhite elegance). If she's attractive enough, being a champion in everything but name might even suffice (Janet Lynn's golden, translucent nimbus, who might have been Botticelli's muse had he been born in the twentieth-century midwest. Or Sasha Cohen, a pixie transplanted from the Old World by way of the Bolshoi).

    (And BTW, Mathman, I'll put forward the idea that the measurement of qualities such as attractiveness, and PCS components, have statistical validity and meaning. Entire fields in the social sciences, including economics and politics, as well as practical commerce, would not be possible if this were not an accepted principle. Political polling, surveys of consumer and business "confidence", customer samplings for marketing purposes, all of these things would not be the ubiquitous, and demonstrably useful, things that they are if the discretionary nature of the respondent data disqualified it for statistical purposes).

    -Even more speculatively, I would cautiously speculate that if the ladies champion wins beautifully (with "artistry"), there are some definite ratings points involved. Athleticism works, too, but IMO a Katarina Witt (who's not even an American) will always trump a (pre-tire iron) Tonya Harding in a general popularity contest.

    -While I harbor a few discontents with COP and PCS on general principles, I really don't see the nature of the rules as being the primary factor for skating's diminished popularity in the US, in comparison to the above. I do believe that there may be larger societal trends which play a prominent role in the the absolute decreases in general viewership over time. Nevertheless, in my view, the single biggest thing that can move the needle in a positive direction (as said by Dragonlady and others) is still a homegrown/attractive/artistic (+athletic would be even better)/sustainable/ladies/champion.

    I'd be interested in a further articulation of differing views, but them's the realities of general popularity, IMHO. (And the thing that I'm most curious about is, if you think that, for common viewers, it's not about the skating skills, or the artistry, then what do you think it's about? The difficulty and general hygiene of the jumps? Given the fact that we seem to agree that most "common viewers" can't tell a salchow from a milk cow, I'm still not quite sure what you're trying to say here. Again, we're talking about the factors that drive popularity, if I don't mistake? I can't persuade myself that general popularity will be significantly affected by any tweaking of rules, whether they be heavier penalties for falls, or anything else).

  6. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    The best way to improve the audiences and the $$$'s flowing into the ISU's coffers would be to have the American skaters win everything. Then interest in figure skating in the US would increase by leaps and bounds, and the networks would pay big bucks to cover it. The audience would get what they want and the ISU would make money.

    Anyone here think this would be a good idea?
    Two years have passed since Evan's win and some people are still wondering if it had helped or not.

  7. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by let`s talk View Post
    Two years have passed since Evan's win and some people are still wondering if it had helped or not.
    A champion with absolutely no charisma rarely helps. But in gymnastics, for example, charismatic champions like Shawn Johnson and Nastia DID improve the popularity of the sport a lot (in USA). About Dragonlady's post, if the japanese skaters (Mao and Daisuke especially) could win more things, ISU would get even more money from them, and it seems that Japan is the only country that really has real interesting in skating competitions. But they don't particularly "help" the japanese skaters, especially on the men's side (quite the contrary), I can't understand why. If they favor some skaters and some federations clearly, why not Japan?

    But anyway, I know almost nothing about ISU politics, so, correct me if I'm wrong.

  8. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo View Post
    A champion with absolutely no charisma rarely helps. But in gymnastics, for example, charismatic champions like Shawn Johnson and Nastia DID improve the popularity of the sport a lot (in USA). About Dragonlady's post, if the japanese skaters (Mao and Daisuke especially) could win more things, ISU would get even more money from them, and it seems that Japan is the only country that really has real interesting in skating competitions. But they don't particularly "help" the japanese skaters, especially on the men's side (quite the contrary), I can't understand why. If they favor some skaters and some federations clearly, why not Japan?

    But anyway, I know almost nothing about ISU politics, so, correct me if I'm wrong.
    Good point regarding charisma.

    Tarasova quite disagrees with you about the influence of JSF. lol (But I agree with you, not her.)

    That aside:

    The discussion here is really informative. For me, this is what I find strangest about this year's performances by men at the worlds:

    Although I think that Chan and Takahashi should have finished 1 or 2 (take your pick whatever order you want), the two skates I find myself re-watching and enjoying the most are Hanyu's (especially Hanyu's) and Joubert's. I know it is not so much for reasons as how they did on that day (3rd or 4th - take your pick whatever order you want) but rather the direction that they seem to be moving in and pushing the rest of the field. This year, the scores did not really matter.

    Consider if most of you can agree to this:

    Chan and Takahashi top two any order
    Hanyu and Joubert next two any order

    Got it? Now imagine this:
    Chan and Takahashi top two
    Hanyu and Joubert not present on day of competition.

    In the imagined absence of Hanyu and Joubert, it would not have been much of day and nothing to get excited about.

    However, as it was the third and fourth skaters lit a match under everyone's behind. What happened this year is only the preliminary round.

    The way that skating is scored is very important however. This kind of discussion needs to take place because by the time that Sochi happens, everyone should be at their best, and the scoring fair and transparent. On that day, the scores really will matter.
    Last edited by phaeljones; 04-19-2012 at 11:56 AM.

  9. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye
    ...our emotional response to them (and, indeed the ability to "emotionally" respond) is part of our unique evolutionary legacy, which cannot be replicated by any other beings, sentient or otherwise, unless they, by some miracle of serendipity, have also wound up being so similar to human beings that we could probably mate and reproduce (one of the charming lunacies of space operas such as Star Trek).
    Gene Roddenberry called over to Central Casting and asked them to send him some Aliens. But the only actors on file were a couple of earth people with pointy ears and a bevy of beauties from the planet Zeton who had the hots for Captain Kirk.

    Kissing Lieutenant Uhuru, on the other hand -- is the nation ready for that?

    But about sentience in our fellow travelers here on earth, I think there is a continuum. There is a kind of tiny sea worm whose brain consists of four neurons. This creature is capable of two behaviors. It goes toward light and it moves away from saltiness. I bet if it had eight neurons it could start to feel that light is beautiful and salt, not so much.

  10. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Gene Roddenberry called over to Central Casting and asked them to send him some Aliens. But the only actors on file were a couple of earth people with pointy ears and a bevy of beauties from the planet Zeton who had the hots for Captain Kirk.

    Kissing Lieutenant Uhuru, on the other hand -- is the nation ready for that?

    But about sentience in our fellow travelers here on earth, I think there is a continuum. There is a kind of tiny sea worm whose brain consists of four neurons. This creature is capable of two behaviors. It goes toward light and it moves away from saltiness. I bet if it had eight neurons it could start to feel that light is beautiful and salt, not so much.
    \/ (that's a hand sign)

    Live Long and Prosper, fellow denizen of the Class M planet Ubertrek. (I do have a question for you, though, given your obvious expertise on the subject of astronomy: is a "Class M" planet a real astronomical designation, or did they just make that up? )

    I do agree with you that there is a continuum for capabilities of neural response on our little blue marble. I think I referenced in an earlier post varying degrees of shared potential for emotional response (the neural and chemical phenomena that correspond to our internal sensation of "feelings") with our mammmalian brethren, the scientifically demonstrated basis for which is a certain type of development and organization of the brain that is peculiar to mammals. And that this emotional capacity is seated in the limbic system, which is our common mammalian inheritance, rather than originating in the oversized pre-frontal cortex characteristic of humans (although it is that combination, in my view, which makes "aesthetic" emotion possible).

    Octopuses, which are considered to be a) mollusks and b) among the smartest (though perhaps not fully sentient) non-vertebrates on the planet, have neurological arrangements which are so different from ours that they preclude "emotions" in any way that corresponds to our own, and therefore that we ourselves can also "feel".There are good reasons why they are often (half-) jokingly referred to by biologists as "cold alien intelligences", and are possibly, and not coincidentally, the models for H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds".

    I round my way back to the essential point: if mollusks, which have been evolving on Earth every bit as long as humans/mammals, and in certain cases (e.g. octopuses) have developed capacities for intelligence that are comparable to many higher mammals (have you ever seen those vids of octopuses opening jars, "reasoning" through obstacles, "playing", "begging" for food, etc.? It's pretty amazing stuff), then the fact that they have not also developed neural capacities for emotions (which are necessarily defined as neural responses analogous to ours. If we significantly expand the concept, it becomes useless; it would be like defining an azalea bush as a car) should force us to consider the possibility (an extremely high probability, in my view) that it is in no way inevitable that sentience leads to emotion, let alone that highly specialized sub-set known as aesthetic response.

    This is not to say that octopuses (and their fully sentient alien cousins) do not develop rational and understandable responses to danger, or good treatment, etc. This would be an expected outgrowth of survival imperatives and intelligence. And it's not to say that I advocate some biological bigotry; should sentient aliens ever deign to visit us, our first thought shouldn't be, I believe, to immediately blaze away with ours guns (not least because their guns might be quite a bit bigger than ours . But sending gratuitous long-distance "Howdy, neighbor, we're here" messages via satellite is not the most brilliant idea either, in my view).

    This discussion may seem OT, but OT in a localized way is not the same as irrelevant. Without recognizing that art is, on the one hand, not an activity that lacks permanent ground for making distinctions (it's not primarily "subjective", in other words), and, on the other hand, that such ground can't (or, rather, Kant) be defined by strict metaphysical criteria, but are bounded by the range of very innate human capacities and preferences (and are no less "permanent" for that), art becomes, in my view, meaningless mumbo-jumbo, and further, has no place in the competitive arena.

    If the concept of PCS even survived the calamity of a universally acknowledged subjectivity, our individual griping and moaning would be as germane as saying that Patrick's Interpretation score didn't take into account the quality of his boot leather.

    (Actually, I enjoy talking about stuff like this for the sheer heck of it. The last two paragraphs were added to palliate Doris' grumping ).
    Last edited by Robeye; 04-20-2012 at 08:37 AM.

  11. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo View Post
    if the japanese skaters (Mao and Daisuke especially) could win more things, ISU would get even more money from them, and it seems that Japan is the only country that really has real interesting in skating competitions. But they don't particularly "help" the japanese skaters, especially on the men's side (quite the contrary), I can't understand why. If they favor some skaters and some federations clearly, why not Japan?
    Yeah, considering that Dai wears Dior watch and the Canadian is whining that he can't afford taxi, then japanese are definitely more resourceful.

    On a serious note, all this support of the lame judgement system is just an ambition of David&Co guys who refuse to see the obvious.

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