Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘games

Measuring Petanque performance? Which club took this important step?

The game of Petanque is like playing horseshoes with additional complexities: We play with metal balls that could be hit and displaced and the target is a tiny light ball called cochonet that can also be hit, displaced with various consequences.

In Lebanon, the game of petanque (boules) is mushrooming in many villages because young and elder people can play it and gather and meet.

The drawback is that this physically relaxing game (though you end up walking a lot) is Not that relaxing emotionally: A few people (mostly the bullies) shoulder the responsibility of selecting subjectively who is a good player, who’s Not and forgetting the potential new arrivals.

Petanque is a relatively easy game that requires plenty of consistent training to conveniently acquire the skills for analyzing the field and controlling your nerves and muscles for punting (pointeur) to the target or hitting the closest enemy ball to target (tireur).

A team in competition is of 3 players, holding 2 balls for a total score of 13 points to win. Otherwise, we can play with 4 members or even 2 people holding each 3 balls. The target cochonet is to be located between 6 to 10 meters.

The subjective selection, usually done by lousy performers, is alienating many players and discarding great potentials, especially when travelling to other villages for competition.

Asking someone to take statistics of each player in each game in order to tabulate performance shouldn’t be such a great burden. A computer software usually manipulate most of the data, provides all kinds of ratios and print the best performers.

I suggest the following criteria for taking statistics:

  1. For punting, coming closer to the cochonet, a distance of less 20 cm is allocated 3 points, less than 30 cm two pts, less than 50 cm a single point
  2. For hitting the ball (tireurs), a carreaux (displacing the other team ball and taking its place) allocate 3 pts, just displacing the ball 2 pts, hitting but not making a significant difference a single point. If the player displace his team’s ball then we deduct 3 points (-3).

It is important to discriminate between performance and consistency in potential skills.

Performance is measuring the scores and selecting the highest scorers for any competition. Potential is just adding the binary numbers of 1 and Zero, like hit or No hit, satisfactory punting or totally lousy.

For example, if you are consistent in hitting regardless of type of hits, or satisfactory punting like within 50 cm, then this consistency can be promising with additional training.

The metallic ball can be of various weights (680 to 730 grams), of slightly different diameters and of various alloys.

I conjecture that the ball is a minor factor, but the types of field is the main variable. 

If you are not flexible and do Not exercise on different throwing methods, in holding the ball, the trajectory of the ball (high or rolling on the ground…), and flexing of the wrist… you will be at a disadvantage.

I find that the wrist is an important factor: if you are Not conscious of the direction and position of your wrist before throwing, the ball will travel according to the normal direction of your wrist.

Also, take all your time to aim and throw: you have 10 seconds to throw. At least, you will enjoy throwing the ball and play on the nerves of the opposing team members.

Beware of those who volunteer to give you advice on their particular methods of throwing the ball: Just keep experimenting with what is best for you.

Lately, many players would like to impress on you that a certain throwing method is the rule (regulation), but I didn’t find any rule, pictures, graphs or anything of the sort of how you hold the ball and throw. (Usually, those who mention “rules” at leisure are lousy performers)

Note: I realized that balls made in China are practically discarded as Not fitting regulation? Why? I think it is a French political and economic colonial constraint for players.

 

Efficiency has limits within cultural bias; (Dec. 10, 2009)

Sciences that progressed so far have relied on mathematicians: many mathematical theories have proven to be efficacious in predicting, classifying, and explaining phenomena.

In general, fields of sciences that failed to interest mathematicians stagnated or were shelved for periods; maybe with the exception of psychology.

People wonder how a set of abstract symbols that are linked by precise game rules (called formal language) ends up predicting and explaining “reality” in many cases.

Biology has received recently a new invigorating shot: a few mathematicians got interested working for example on patterns of butterfly wings and mammalian furs using partial derivatives, but nothing of real value is expected to further interest in biology.

Economy, mainly for market equilibrium, applied methods adapted to dynamic systems, games, and topology. Computer sciences is catching up some interest.

Significant mathematics” or those theories that offer classes of invariant relative to operations, transformations, and relationship almost always find applications in the real world: they generate new methods and tools such as theories of group and functions of a complex variable.

For example, the theory of knot was connected to many applied domains because of its rich manipulation of “mathematical objects” (such as numbers, functions, or structures) that remain invariant when the knot is deformed.

What is the main activity of a modern mathematician?

First of all, they do systematic organization of classes of “mathematical objects” that are equivalent to transformations. For example, surfaces to a homeomorphisms or plastic transformation and invariant in deterministic transformations.

There are several philosophical groups within mathematicians

1. The Pythagorean mathematicians admit that natural numbers are the foundations of the material reality that is represented in geometric figures and forms. Their modern counterparts affirm that real physical structure (particles, fields, and space-time…) is identically mathematical. Math is the expression of reality and its symbolic language describes reality. 

2. The “empirical mathematicians” construct models of empirical (experimental) results. They know in advance that their theories are linked to real phenomena.

3. The “Platonist mathematicians” conceive the universe of their ideas and concepts as independent of the world of phenomena. At best, the sensed world is but a pale reflection of their ideas. Their ideas were not invented but are as real though not directly sensed or perceived. Thus, a priori harmony between the sensed world and their world of ideas is their guiding rod in discovering significant theories.

4. There is a newer group of mathematicians who are not worried to getting “dirty” by experimenting (analyses methods), crunching numbers, and adapting to new tools such as computer and performing surgery on geometric forms.

This new brand of mathematicians do not care to be limited within the “Greek” cultural bias of doing mathematics: they are ready to try the Babylonian and Egyptian cultural way of doing math by computation, pacing lands, and experimenting with various branches in mathematics (for example, Pelerman who proved the conjecture of Poincaré with “unorthodox” techniques and Gromov who gave geometry a new life and believe computer to be a great tool for theories that do not involve probability).

Explaining phenomena leads to generalization (reducing a diversity of phenomena, even in disparate fields of sciences, to a few fundamental principles).  Mathematics extend new concepts or strategies to resolving difficult problems that require collaboration of various branches in the discipline.

For example, the theory elaborated by Hermann Weyl in 1918 to unifying gravity and electromagnetism led to the theory of “jauge” (which is the cornerstone theory for quantum mechanics), though the initial theory failed to predict experimental results.

The cord and non-commutative geometry theories generated new horizons even before they verified empirical results. 

Axioms and propositions used in different branches of mathematics can be combined to developing new concepts of sets, numbers, or spaces.

Historically, mathematics was never “empirically neutral”: theories required significant work of translation and adaptation of the theories so that formal descriptions of phenomena are validated.

Thus, mathematical formalism was acquired by bits and pieces from the empirical world.  For example, the theory of general relativity was effective because it relied on the formal description of the invariant tensor calculus combined with the fundamental equation that is related to Poisson’s equations in classical potential

The same process of adaptation was applied to quantum mechanics that relied on algebra of operators combined with Hilbert’s theory of space and then the atomic spectrum.

In order to comprehend the efficiency of mathematics, it is important to master the production of mental representations such as ideas, concepts, images, analogies, and metaphors that are susceptible to lending rich invariant.

Thus, the discovery of the empirical world is done both ways:

First, the learning processes of the senses and

Second, the acquisition processes of mathematical modeling.

Mathematical activities are extensions to our perception power and written in a symbolic formal language.

Natural sciences grabbed the interest of mathematicians because they managed to extract invariant in natural phenomena. 

So far, mathematicians are wary to look into the invariant of the much complex human and social sciences. Maybe if they try to find analogies of invariant among the natural and human worlds then a great first incentive would enrich new theories applicable to fields of vast variability.

It appears that “significant mathematics” basically decodes how the brain perceives invariant in what the senses transmit to it as signals of the “real world”. For example, Stanislas Dehaene opened the way to comprehending how elementary mathematical capacity are generated from neuronal substrate.

I conjecture that, since individual experiences are what generate intuitive concepts, analogies, and various perspectives to viewing and solving problems, most of the useful mathematical theories were essentially founded on the vision and auditory perceptions. 

New breakthrough in significant theories will emerge when mathematicians start mining the processes of the brain of the other senses (they are far more than the regular six senses). Obviously, the interested mathematician must have witnessed his developed senses and experimented with them as hobbies to work on decoding their valuable processes in order to construct this seemingly “coherent world”.

A wide range of interesting discoveries on human capabilities can be uncovered if mathematicians dare direct scientists and experimenters to additional varieties of parameters and variables in cognitive processes and brain perception that their theories predict.

Mathematicians have to expand their horizon: the cultural bias to what is Greek has its limits.  It is time to take serious attempts at number crunching, complex computations, complex set of equations, and adapting to newer available tools.

Note: I am inclined to associate algebra to the deductive processes and generalization on the macro-level, while viewing analytic solutions in the realm of inferring by manipulating and controlling possibilities (singularities); it is sort of experimenting with rare events.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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