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Discussion: Pseudoscience

in: Ralph; Ralph > 2019-05-01

May 7, 2019 6:33 AM # 
Can’t believe no-one’s commented on your attempt at a Nobel prize! I thought it was a fun read, if a complicated way to say “make gaffles equal please.”

While it’s never possible to get it 100% right it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid obvious differences (partly by avoiding massively long bits of gaffling.)

We had another example at the British Mixed Relays where at least in the Vets one gaffle was about 45s slower. Not a problem for trains but (i) some people had the woman on the long gaffle which is unfair and (ii) it made me look bad and Abi look good as she pulled us back from 13th to 2nd place having had the short gaffle on leg 2, and me the long on leg 1. Not cool.
May 7, 2019 10:17 AM # 
Would gaffling the first legs before LN together, then gaffling those after together (independant of each other) make things more fair as all teams have done the same thing by the start of LN. Or would this be too easy an answer that would make it easy for runners to work out what's going on as they race?
May 7, 2019 5:28 PM # 
@ba-ba that's what happens. I think Ralph's point is that after 2.5 legs you might be ahead of KV only to be scunnered by the long gaffle at the end of leg 3. On the face of it this is fair as you are only ahead of KV because your 1-2 runners benefitted from the short gaffles.

@ralph: the question you should be answering is whether the runners who have a short gaffle (or those they then hand over to) are subsequently faster or slower than those with longer. Intuitively they should be faster as they have runners ahead to find controls for them/smooth out routes but it would be interesting to see what the data says.
May 8, 2019 6:18 PM # 
Anybody want to give me some PhD funding?

@Arnold: I thought that Abi is in such good shape that her getting the long forking would have been good?

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