Friday, June 28, 2024

who won lunch?

 This is another long-term hobby horse of mine, but I feel like I need to say it again:

A. Some things in life have winners and losers: board games, sports matches, elections, drag races, horse races, okay any kind of race, contests, lotteries, etc.

B. Some things in life do not have winners or losers: conversations, working a retail shift, tying a shoe, building a shelf, arguing with anonymous strangers online, etc.

The difference between the stuff listed in category A vs. the stuff listed in catagory B, is the stuff in category A has clear criteria for determining a winner or loser. I can list that criteria for each one of my above examples. The stuff in category B does not have a clear criteria for determining a winner. So for those things, there isn't a winner or loser. Which is fine. Not everything has winners or losers.

Which is why it is always stupid to talk about who "won" a debate between political candidates. The candidates are competing with each other, but they are competing in the election. The debate is just a way for them to try to get more votes. Like a campaign commercial. But no one says that a candidate "won" his ad campaign. The ad campaign is a means to an end. It is not the thing that is won or lost. It's the same with political debates.

It just annoys the crap out of me every morning after a political debate when people talk about who won or lost. I didn't watch the debate, but it seems like the near-universal consensus is that Biden did badly last night. That doesn't mean he lost! It means he did badly, and maybe that will hurt his chances in the election (probably not, but I guess it is possible that it will matter this time). But it is the election and not the debate that has a winner or a loser.