Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Wrestleknownothing

Occam's Razor. Or a Defense of Austin DeSanto.

Recommended Posts

Occam's Razor is a problem solving framework that is often summarized by stating that the simplest solution is most likely the correct one. Through that prism let's analyze the problem of whether Austin DeSanto faked injury or not. SPOILER ALERT: He did not.

To come to the conclusion that he faked injury requires a number of assumptions and guesses each with incredibly low probabilities attached to them, yet many posts assign absolute certainty to these assumptions and guesses. Some of my favorites are that he was faking injury to preserve his ranking and faking injury to avoid humiliation.

What do we know about him? He is an incredibly skilled wrestler. One of the most skilled wrestlers in the country at his weight class. We also know that to become one of the most skilled wrestlers in the country at his weight class requires traits like dedication, diligence, perseverance, hard work, fortitude, discipline, and probably many others I am too tired to remember.

So on the one hand we can parse video to determine which steps he did and did not limp on, judge his motivations and thought processes without ever having spent a moment in his presence and ignore all of the traits I already listed above to make the highly unlikely assumption that he is faking injury.

Or. And this takes a big mental leap here. We can assume that he is injured. Occam's Razor, my friends.

There is one absolute certainty in wrestling. Any person who spends any significant amount of time wrestling will absolutely, positively get injured in some way at some point. And yet, when a wrestler actually claims to be injured we do not want to believe the simple, hugely likely possibility that he actually is injured.

I understand that some of his past behavior has been distasteful (for example, Micic's elbow), but that in no way changes the likelihood that he is actually injured. I fear it only changes what people want to believe about the likelihood of the more improbable, more tortured set of assumptions and guesses.

Lest you think I am in any way connected to Iowa or Iowa wrestling, let me state for the record I was, in fact, in Carver Hawkeye Arena this past Friday. I was also one of the approximately 10 people there wearing a Penn State pull over and Penn State Wrestling t-shirt. Though I never know what to say when someone inevitably says "WE ARE" to me. Sorry.

If none of that moves you perhaps try this more selfish motive. Believe him when he says he is injured. You will just feel better about yourself.

Edited by Wrestleknownothing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is about scale.  Some people will say your are not injured if you have a pulse.  Some will say if you have any pain, discretion is the better part of valor.  I doubt anyone would insist he experienced zero pain in that match.  To me, that qualifies as injury.  Doesn't mean he was injured so badly couldn't continue.  Doesn't mean he wasn't either.  I am happy Iowa won and wish him the best health.  I hope he makes it back so Gross wins the rubber match and RBY shows very clearly who the better wrestler is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one thing I would say to play devils advocate and counter you, and I say this fully admitting I have no idea if or to what extent he was injured (but I like to acknowledge the discrepancy between hurt and injured), and I’m not going to pretend to, is that he has a history of also “freaking out” when in a situation where...it’s gettin taken to him. So that freak out may take on different forms, but that freak out has been there. And it kind of negates your argument of low probability. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Lurker said:

The one thing I would say to play devils advocate and counter you, and I say this fully admitting I have no idea if or to what extent he was injured (but I like to acknowledge the discrepancy between hurt and injured), and I’m not going to pretend to, is that he has a history of also “freaking out” when in a situation where...it’s gettin taken to him. So that freak out may take on different forms, but that freak out has been there. And it kind of negates your argument of low probability. 

Tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you’re totally unaware of your own hypocrisy and bias. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Injury and hurt are different. The wrestler is going to be in pain either way, but one is about structural damage and the other is not. I have no idea if Desanto was actually injured, but I do believe he was in some pain and it freaked him out. Whether injured or not, or to what extent, only time will tell. People tend to rely on Brands most of the time, but on this issue I have seen a lot of folks claim he was throwing shade at Desanto. Weird. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, silvermedal said:

No one thinks he faked injury.  We just think he could have continued and quit when he was about to get stuck.  stop overthinking it.  Most obvious answer is usually correct....Ocam's razor.

There are several people who think he faked the injury, have you not read any of the multiple threads on the issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of you guys let personal emotions get in the way. Rather see a default out than risk further injury. I want to see everyone healthy for Nationals because I'm a fan of the sport first and team affiliation second. In the end Nationals is the only thing that matters anymore. So who cares if he defaulted out RBY still got the win and his team got the max points. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

How so? Not trying to be confrontational, but I am curious why you think I mis-applied in this situation.

occam's razor is about a preference for simplicity because it makes the question of falsifiability manageable, not because there is a general positive value to simplicity. it doesn't make an explanation "more right" it makes it cleaner. Ockham himself used it to prove the existence of God because it was a simpler explanation for the world than anything else, so... 

Occam's razor doesn't tell us how to interpret factors like DeSanto's rumored high school habit of defaulting to avoid losses (I have no idea if this is true; I'd never heard of him until Drexel) or his college habit (hopefully broken) of lashing out in the face of losses or the implication from his coach that he seemed more - as TBar said - hurt than injured (which is not a judgment; he may well not have known the difference in the moment and reasonably responded). But the point of Occam's razor isn't to say "most serious athletes don't quit therefore this athlete didn't quit." 

To be clear, I don't think he quit to avoid a loss. I think RBY's (legal, normal imo) leg pull hurt and for an elite athlete making a title run I think it scared the **** out of him when his career flashed before his eyes even if it turns out that he wasn't injured. He's still basically a kid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ugarte said:

occam's razor is about a preference for simplicity because it makes the question of falsifiability manageable, not because there is a general positive value to simplicity. it doesn't make an explanation "more right" it makes it cleaner. Ockham himself used it to prove the existence of God because it was a simpler explanation for the world than anything else, so... 

Occam's razor doesn't tell us how to interpret factors like DeSanto's rumored high school habit of defaulting to avoid losses (I have no idea if this is true; I'd never heard of him until Drexel) or his college habit (hopefully broken) of lashing out in the face of losses or the implication from his coach that he seemed more - as TBar said - hurt than injured (which is not a judgment; he may well not have known the difference in the moment and reasonably responded). But the point of Occam's razor isn't to say "most serious athletes don't quit therefore this athlete didn't quit." 

To be clear, I don't think he quit to avoid a loss. I think RBY's (legal, normal imo) leg pull hurt and for an elite athlete making a title run I think it scared the **** out of him when his career flashed before his eyes even if it turns out that he wasn't injured. He's still basically a kid.

I see your point, but you cut one of your sentences a bit short. "a preference for simplicity when choosing between two competing theories for explaining the same phenomena". That is all I was doing. I chose the simpler theory. When an athlete says he is injured in a sport that has a high injury rate there is a better chance that he is injured than any competing theories for why he says he is injure.

As for falsifiabilty the factors you list in the second paragraph are perfect examples of ad hoc theories used to try and avoid it.

Edited by Wrestleknownothing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, silvermedal said:

No one thinks he faked injury.  We just think he could have continued and quit when he was about to get stuck.  stop overthinking it.  Most obvious answer is usually correct....Ocam's razor.

Before we can even address what individuals may or may not be thinking we'd need to define what we are addressing (calling an "injury").  Just a scaled list of what we could be talking about:

nothing - scared - slight pain - mild pain - extreme pain - tweaked - dinged - slight injury (MCL strain 1-2 wk) - injury (torn MCL 4 wk) - severe injury (torn MCL & ACL reconstruct ACL 6 mo) - entire lower leg torn off waiting for prosthetic fit.

Hard to know what individual folks are thinking especially if we can't define/agree on what they might be thinking about.  

Edited by ionel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

I see your point, but you cut one of your sentences a bit short. "a preference for simplicity when choosing between two competing theories for explaining the same phenomena". That is all I was doing. I chose the simpler theory. When an athlete says he is injured in a sport that has a high injury rate there is a better chance that he is injured than any competing theories for why he says he is injure.

As for falsifiabilty the factors you list in the second paragraph are perfect examples of ad hoc theories used to try and avoid it.

another way to put it is that occam's razor tells you nothing about truth but a lot about philosophers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...