March 28, 2006

Bioethics' Basketball Office Pool

A friend with a sense of humor emailed the office to inform us that our friends down the Hudson hired a PR firm to promote their new blog free online blog publication as "thoughtful and measured." We were so moved that we wanted to make sure we posted an especially measured and thoughtful entry today on our own blog.

Ponder this: bioethicists are guessing about basketball.

Philadelphia Inquirer took note on its front page today of the "bioethics basketball pool" between Penn, Stanford, Albany and Michigan state. The subject was how anyone could possibly predict George Mason to enter the final four. Professor Liva Jacoby did. Caplan was apoplectic:

"No one could have predicted this," University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Art Caplan said. He and other Penn professors participated in a March Madness pool with academics from Stanford and Michigan State Universities and Albany Medical College.

"We had a slew of nerdballs studying basketball magazines and statistics. And in the end, you could have easily won our pool by picking the cities you liked," Caplan groused.

"This is a gnawing insult on the minds of sports dweebs everywhere. It'll cause gasping and choking across the United States."

Our thoughtful, serious and measured basketball pool bookie thinker, Jason Schwartz, whose other less important work includes the Penn Ethics and Vaccines project, put the matter this way, in his summary of the likely outcome of our basketball pool:
Special kudos to AMBI's Liva Jacoby, who correctly picked George Mason to reach the Final Four, one of the biggest surprises in NCAA history. However, it should be noted that Liva's bracket also included 15-seed Davidson and 16-seed Southern in the Final Four, so something about a blind squirrel comes to mind.

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