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Goal vs. Gaol

I recently had some students cheat in a course I teach. What irritated me was that they seemed to regard cheating as a sort of business strategy, and being caught as a business strategy that didn’t work. When he was caught, and I asked why he did it, the student in question told me he’d made a judgement call. What bad judgement ┬áit is to call what he did a judgement call.

In this connection, I’ve been watching the World Cup and one of the things that gives me great pleasure, in addition to the football, is the way they punish people who foul. The punishment is proportional to the crime in a very satisfying way. If someone fouls a player as he’s close to scoring a goal, the punishment of a penalty or free kick can easily lead to a goal itself, which is sort of right. In football, one goal means a lot. In basketball, in contrast, being fouled gets you two shots at the basket, which is much less significant.

For a description of the crime see: crime-punishment

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