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External Focused Morality

I read "The Samurai Ethic and Modern Japan" by Yukio Mishima recently. Fascinating book - it's an analysis and review of Hagakure, a 17th century book of samurai ethics.

Lots of interesting ideas. Many I disagree with. But none more fascinating than this one - Mishima writes about externally-focused morality.

Page 60:

In Hagakure it says, "A samurai must never seem to flag or lose heart."

This remark suggests that it is a defect to seem to flag, to seem disheartened. The most important thing is that a samurai not manifest externally his disappointment or fatigue.

What Has Become of the NCAA?

On Imported Blog

Over Christmas break, I watched all of Blue Mountain State on Netflix. It's a raunchy comedy aimed at young men centered around college football players at a stereotypical big state school. It's a hilarious TV show that I would recommend for anyone who enjoys inappropriate and perhaps offensive humor (guilty pleasure, sorry).

During the end of the third and final season, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) hits the school with huge penalties for its program. In retaliation, Alex Moran (starting quarterback and main character) fires back by attempting to expose the NCAA and how unfair they are to student-athletes.

Currently, there is a lot of debate going around the amateur status of college athletes, mainly football and basketball players. Football and basketball games are huge sources of revenue for most universities, generating millions of dollars for their programs (the University of Texas generated more than $100 million of revenue in 2011 - 2012).

The athletes don't see any of this, at least not legally. They aren't allowed any compensation besides the scholarships they receive along with perhaps a small living stipend. They aren't allowed to accept free materials (not even cream cheese!). Athletes have often professional-like schedules where their days are packed with practice, training, and film review. Recently, they have started to come together because they believe they should be paid as they are generating tons of revenue for their respective universities.

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