Psychological Illusions. Watching the NCAA Men’s Tournament, I was reminded of an experience I had during my time at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I worked there for six months in 1990.

Unlike football obsessed Alabama, North Carolina is basketball country. Charlotte had excellent noon-time basketball games. I played every chance I could. The level of basketball was good, and I enjoyed the comradery.

They had a particularly fun tradition. One day they had a student crew film the games. Then on a Friday afternoon everyone met at a bar and the games were shown on a big screen TV.

My lack of speed and the fact that I was a “skin” in a “shirts vs. skins” game, made the time very embarrassing to me.

The highlight of the film came when a ball bounced near the out of bounds line. All of us could remember the play and the argument that followed. Grown adults, men with advanced degrees almost came to blows over whether the ball was in bounds or out of bounds. One swore he saw it bounce in; the other man swore he saw it bounce out.

Each man believed in the result that favored them. Clearly a psychological illusion occurred in one of them.

When the film came to that point the ball was clearly inbounds. One man still swore he saw it bounce out.

Well, as I said in the last blog, I was rooting for Gonzaga. When I watched their loss to Arkansas, I was convinced the officiating was bias against them. I was reminded about psychological illusions when I got on the internet after the game. The Arkansas fans were complaining about the officiating. They thought the officials were bias against Arkansas. Clearly, we were watching the same game with very different, very bias eyes. (I still think Gonzaga got some bad calls.)

Great Weekend Ahead. Our youngest son is for Duke because he got his MBA from there. Our oldest son is for UNC because his oldest graduated from UNC and he paid a lot of out of state tuition for four years. My brother got his PhD from Kansas and is a die-hard fan as are many in our family. I am hoping for good basketball.

I am most excited to see the Duke vs. UNC matchup. The pressure will be as high as for any college game ever held. The Duke players cannot imagine Coach K’s last game as a loss to UNC. UNC cannot imagine anything greater than making Coach K’s last game be a loss to UNC. I am expecting the ratings will rival the Larry Bird vs, Magic Johnson championship game in 1979.

Men and Women’s College Sports. I watched the Stanford vs. Texas women’s game — good game, good basketball. I became curious to compare the men and women’s programs and found the following informative site:

NCAA Men’s vs Women’s Basketball: Revenue, Viewership, Attendance (wsn.com).

Among the facts, the revenue for men’s basketball is ~ $933 million, for women ~ $266 thousand.

Both programs spend ~ $1 billion each on scholarships.

Men average ~ 4600 people in attendance, women ~ 1700 people.

The article has other interesting facts and makes it clear that although the women lag behind the men, they have made clear gains in recent years.

Inflation Responses. I got several excellent responses from my discussion of inflation. As I said my most important conclusion is – inflation is complicated. No one person or situation is responsible.

One person used butter as an example that inflation was going on before Putin invaded Ukraine. It is an excellent example of the complicated nature of inflation.

The cost of butter has almost doubled in recent years. It had nothing to do with Putin or COVID. In 2015 there was a glut of milk, so dairy farmers reduced the size of their herds. Thus, the supply of milk was reduced. The last two years bad weather in Australia and New Zealand has further reduced the milk supply world-wide. Now supply cannot keep up with demand, thus the increase in price. Just one more of many individual factors contributing to inflation.

Another person argued the rise in gasoline prices was due to much more than the invasion of Ukraine. I agree, but unfortunately beyond gas, we can expect even more inflation as a result of the invasion. We import large amounts of fertilizer from Russia. Russia and Ukraine are major players in the wheat market. Russia is the source of several critical minerals. All of those factors will play a role in increasing inflation.

Inflation is complicated.

GOOD NEWS

The evil of war continues to bring out the best in people in several ways.

  This Memphis couple is translating files to help evacuate Ukrainian kids with cancer (msn.com)

Custodian from Ukraine overwhelmed by support from students at Georgia elementary school (msn.com)

Since I am almost 80 the following link is very encouraging to me.

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/ohio-podcaster-hope-love-laughter-thing

Have a good week.

Peace

Jerry

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