Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Digitizing the World Cup

In the last installment of Computers As Humans I described the Dutch and German World Cup teams as being the Mac and PC of European soccer respectively. I then explained how both of them faced formidable obstacles, namely Brazil and Argentina, on the way to the ultimate Mac vs. PC World Cup Final.

Since then Holland have spectacularly surprised everyone, even themselves to some degree, by beating Brazil and advancing to the semi-final. Apparently we here at Computers At Humans are not the only ones who are excited.

Reuters reported today that Twitter was to be banned during ongoing cabinet formation talks in the Dutch parliament. Apparently Dutch politicians have become overly fond of using the social networking site during the difficult negotiations. Cabinet advisor Uri Rosenthal told a press conference that while the talks are taking place, "We will hold radio silence, TV silence - and we coin the word 'de-twitter' as well."

Whether or not they were actually Tweeting about Holland's World Cup results is of course unknown. But in a country that is more obsessed with soccer than even ice skating, you can bet they were. They did just beat Brazil after all.

Germany, the PC in my little parable, have also advanced. Not only that but they've done so in style with a sound thrashing of Argentina that highlighted their PC like organization and business-like efficiency.

But obstacles still remain on the road to the Mac vs. PC World Cup Final, namely Uruguay and Spain. Right now Uruguay are running like a modest, mid-market laptop that's been optimized to outperform expectations. Spain on the other hand are like an expensive, top-of-the-line desktop computer with all the extras, that has for some unknown reason, been running a little slow of late.

If the Brazilian and Argentinian team were compared to computers at this point you'd have to say they both look as if they need their central processing units replaced. The components they have are all of excellent quality and everything looked as if it was in place to work. But in the end it seemed as if the data just wasn't being distributed well.

Actually Brazil have more or less already taken a step toward replacing their central processing unit. They've removed the old one at least. Upon his return from the World Cup their coach, Dunga was immediately sacked. No replacement has yet been announced, but hopefully they'll go with someone who has qualities that are a bit more dual-core.

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