It is a well known fact that humans often think they are far better at things than they actually are at them. This applies in all areas of life. For example, 64% percent of drivers think they are far better drivers than average (which is impossible), 100% of writers for this blog think they have something interesting to say about sport (which quite clearly isn’t the case, have you read any of our stuff? If you haven’t you will find out soon enough how deluded humans can really be. Just keep reading).
This is especially so when it comes to telling the future. Despite how easy Nostradamus made fortune telling look, he was like a future predicting Mark Waugh in that respect (like Mark Waugh, despite making things looks ridiculously easy, his record wasn’t great), it turns out that telling the future is actually really fucking hard. Time and time again it has been shown that fortune tellers are pretty rubbish at the nuts and bolts of what they do, telling the future. Its not just fortune tellers though, other professions which also relying on telling the future suffer from the same malady. Even very important people, with lots of IQ points and hoity-toity degrees are often completely rubbish at it. For example, stock traders are routinely outperformed by monkeys. Thats right, monkeys are better at trading stocks than people who have been to Harvard business school and are very important. What hope is there for the rest of us in other professions?
This brings me to the Australian selectors. Selection involves predicting the future performance of players. There are two ways to do that a) using data on past performances and picking players with a track record of performing well at lower levels, i.e players with the best numbers, i.e Phil Hughes and b) randomly. While there are strong arguments for using performance as a way of picking players, those are for another post. They are not relevant to this particular debate given that Australian selectors have decided to place themselves firmly in the random camp, meaning selection as a job is now mainly just fortune telling.
The Australian selectors may have played a lot of cricket, watched a lot of cricket and think they know a lot about cricket, but it is becoming increasingly clear, that like stock traders, all of their fancy pants knowledge counts for very little. A bunch of very important cricketing people selected Maxwell as a number 3 batsman, which was pure unadulterated lunacy (albeit very very entertaining lunacy). That should surely be the last nail in the coffin of human selectors. It is time to consider the other options available to us.
There are a host of very strong arguments for replacing the board of selectors with a species that has a strong record of outperforming humans when it comes to telling the future. In fact there are a number of species far better qualified for the job (monkeys, octopuses, manatees, porcupines, puppies, you name it, they are all wonderful at predicting the future). As a country we have wasted far too long on the outdated idea that humans are the only species that can select cricket teams. It is time we looked outside the confines of species and looked to the rest of the animal kingdom to solve Australia’s selection woes.
Monkeys, with their exemplary record as stock traders and theoretical ability to write shakespeare are the obvious first choice. The only remaining debate should be whether a group of macaque, marmoset, vervet, squirrel or patas monkeys are most suited to the task of picking a cricket team. Each have their respective pros and cons and it should be an interesting and entertaining debate. My personal preference is for marmosets because they are really fucking cute. Whichever species we decide on, they are likely to do a far better job than the humans that are currently employed in that role. The first step to solving Australia’s selection woes in hiring some monkeys.
The next step is stealing some of Peter Siddle’s bananas. We will need something to feed the monkeys after all. Then all we need to do is give the monkeys some darts and a dart board and teach them to throw darts at said dart board. Using Peter Siddle’s bananas as a reward this step surely shouldn’t take long. We will then have a fully functioning selection panel for the first time in eons. It should be easy to achieve this in time for the first test of the summer, monkeys are pretty smart after all. After that the only remaining step is putting the names of Australian cricketers on the dart board and unleashing our new team of selectors. From there success is assured, Australia will once again rise to being the best test cricketing nation in the world. Even if it doesn’t work as well as expected, we have nothing to lose. The monkeys can’t possibly be worse than the humans we currently employ. There are also many other species available to us should the monkeys fail to improve on the efforts of humans. Octopuses have a strong case, as do porcupines, puppies, new caledonian crows and manatees.
Alternatively, we could stay with human selectors and go back to using data on past performances and the like to make selections… but that is a topic for another post.
Over and out from the Sportress.