Exploring Identities

1. "In Ithaca, New York, where I live, the cable TV system carries most New York Yankee baseball games. One August night, sportscasters Phil Rizzuto and Bobby Murcer were calling a slow game between the Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers. Between pitches, Rizzuto was looking over his record sheets and remarked that the Brewers had done much better in day games than in games played at night. Murcer checked his own records and found that the Yankees, too, had a much higher winning percentage during the day. With characteristic enthusiasm, Rizzuto then conjectured that all teams have better records for day games. In a brisk exchange of the sort that makes summer evenings in Ithaca seem to fly by, the two then spent the rest of the inning discussing the poor lighting conditions in American League parks and various other difficulties that might help account for why teams do so poorly at night."
(Frank, Robert H. Choosing the Right Pond: Human Behavior and the Quest for Status (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 3.)
There is something terribly wrong in the discussion described in the previous paragraph. What is it and why is it wrong?

2. Suppose that a cure for all cancer is discovered. Use the discussion of the section to explain why this cure will increase the percentage of people who die from heart disease.

Review Question back Next