SocraticGadfly: 7/21/13 - 7/28/13

July 25, 2013

False memories, or conflated memories? Let's not totally lean on Loftus

Very interesting. A new story in the New York Times says that false memories have been created in mice.

But, is that exactly true?

What I see from the story is that we should distinguish between a de novo false memory and the conflation of two true memories into a mashed-up false memory, which I argue is actually what happened in the mouse.

And, yes, this is important for understanding how humans understand and create either version of false memory.

Second, while Elizabeth Lofftus has been a pioneer in this field, she's not infallible, folks. Patrick Fitzgerald took her down a notch or two in the Scooter Libby trial.
Fitzgerald got Loftus to acknowledge that the methodology she had used at times in her long academic career was not that scientific, that her conclusions about memory were conflicting, and that she had exaggerated a figure and a statement from her survey of D.C. jurors that favored the defense.
As I blogged about this, the issue of false vs. true memory is more grayscale than either touters of eyewitness veracity OR Loftus types would present.

Indeed, in April, Discover magazine, talking about a similar experiment, uses the phrase "artificial blended memory." And, has some thoughts on what this means:
Old memories become active while we process new information. “You don’t learn something new without incorporating it into old information,” he says. With this new technique, Mayford will explore the basic code of memory, investigating how many neurons are required to store a memory and how cells change as memories are formed. 
It talks about the "malleability" of memory. That's also something to remember, as about no memory is likely either 100 percent true or 100 percent false.

And, that too is important to remember with this new report.

And, back to Loftus.

In the Scooter Libby trial hearing, she was, ironically, both her own best and worst expert witness. More from Fitzgerald's takedown:
When Fitzgerald found a line in one of her books that raised doubts about research she had cited on the stand as proof that Libby needs an expert to educate jurors, Loftus said, "I don't know how I let that line slip by." 

"I'd need to see that again," Loftus said when Fitzgerald cited a line in her book that overstated her research by saying that "most jurors" consider memory to be equivalent to playing a videotape. Her research, however, found that to be true for traumatic events, and even then, only 46 percent of potential jurors thought memory could be similar to a videotape. 

There were several moments when Loftus was completely caught off guard by Fitzgerald, creating some very awkward silences in the courtroom. 

One of those moments came when Loftus insisted that she had never met Fitzgerald. He then reminded her that he had cross-examined her before, when she was an expert defense witness and he was a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in New York. 
The last graf is funny as hell.

The previous three are a bit more serious.

And, if we want to talk about how "repressed" memories aren't real, well, that too needs to be "nuanced."

Memories that have slid into unconsciousness still affect our brains.

(Update, March 1, 2020: And, although Loftus is referenced in this Nautilus piece? Overall, it would seem to partially refute her. Pre-5-year-old memories may be scrambled or hidden, and thus not totally reliable. But, they're not totally lost, and not totally unreliable, either)

So, while the finding with mice is interesting, let's not put it on the wrong pedestal, nor Loftus.

Next, let's remember that a mouse's level of consciousness is far short of a human's, and specific issues, like not having second- or third-level awareness, also have effects.

Memory is malleable, yes, and per people from David Hume to Dan Dennett, it's told in a script. But a script, to the degree it's a novel, is neither true nor false in the sense of nonfiction.

Finally, I very much support the work Loftus did in undercutting ideas about repressed memories that fed into claims of ritual Satanic abuse, a rise in claims of multiple personality disorders, and related concerns. But, let's not overstate things, and claim that memories from the past can't leave telltale signs in the brain.

To analogize from computers, deleting a Word document doesn't delete all the info related to it from your computer, as forensics experts know. Or, to analogize from Photoshop, old memories still leave EXIF tags in the brain.

And, as the lowly planarium shows us, on memory in particular and neuroscience in general, at best we're just in the Bronze Age of understanding.

Now, this all said, I'll confess I have personal reasons, anecdotal yet quite empirical, to say what I do about Loftus overreaching in her efforts.

July 24, 2013

#LyinBraun and the #Cooperstown goose egg

ESPN's Jim Caple, in his latest Off Base column, reminds us of the upcoming Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., this weekend. He mainly reminds us of the fact that, because of concerns over performance-enhancing drugs, a would-be, on paper, stellar class of candidates, including first-time eligibles Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, linked together in PEDing infamy, and deserving first-time candidates Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio and second-timer Jeff Bagwell, that nobody's getting in. Period.

Well, not quite true. Nobody living, off the normal players' ballot is getting in. An apparently racist owner, Jacob Ruppert, is getting in. So are two dead-baller players, Hank O'Day and Deacon White.

It's too late to vote out the likes of Cobb, but that doesn't mean we have to vote Ruppert in. Did he do anything game-changing as an owner, other than fork over enough cash to buy Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox? Arguably not.

That said, Caple does O'Day wrong. He was voted in as an ump first, not a player. If he's a deserving ump, or on the borderline with a "bump" for being a player, let him in. And White? Decent dead-ball stats, especially for a catcher. I won't complain about him.

And, I disagree more with Caple, who's a "big hall" fluffer, that owners, umpires and broadcasters shouldn't go in the Hall. I think we should have discriminating standards, but from the man who thinks a 10-person ballot for players is too small, this is ridiculous.

Anyway, back to the fact that nobody living will be inducted.

What's the big boo-hoo? I, as I've said before, have some regrets for the non-roiders who got excluded, and hope they get in next year. On that blog post, I've got links to the top candidates from this year, with individualized assessments.

But, on the non-roiders who didn't make it, Baggs didn't have 500 HRs, and half of the catchers now in the Hall had to wait at least one year. Curt Schilling has kind of low counting stats and Tim Raines is still in Rickey Henderson's shadow, among other things.

On the roiders?

Especially in light of Ryan Braun's recent plea bargain, I'm glad Bonds, Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire will continue to cool their heels; I'm definitely not a Cardinal homer on Big Mac.

On other non-roiders? At least we won't be seeing Jack Morris getting inducted. Only one more year to keep him out, and with another stat-heavy  (and roiding-heavy?) list of initial eligibles in 2014, people like me may succeed in keeping him out.

So, let's be glad the roiders didn't get in. Let's hope that deserving non-roiders get in, and sooner rather than later. (And, unless we used the HOF version of multiple voting, Caple's idea of expanding the ballot could hurt, rather than help.)

And, what about those who managed roiders?

Theoretically, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre will be on next year's veterans committee ballot. I don't believe either one's told us all he knew about some of his players. I say keep them out too.  See the poll at right. Or below.

Free polls from
Should Veterans voters treat La Russa, Torre like BBWAA voters on alleged roiders?

Yes   No   Uncertain     


Dear Kinky Friedman: Please, please, STFU and GTHA

That second acronym, in case you don't figure it out, is "go the hell away."

Now, why would I say that to the larger-than-life novelist, musician and raconteur?

Because, the semi-pro comic by virtue of being a rank amateur at politics, is talking about running again.

First, he's no Democrat, even if he ran as one before. Wanting to restore public prayer in schools is one sign, along with his "those who don't love Jesus can go to hell," and apparently not meant as a jest, since he also wants to put the 10 Commandments on school walls. Supporters in his 2006 gubernatorial race trying to push him to Rick Perry's right is another sign.

I mean, that race was so bad, I called it "The Four Stooges." (Sorry, in-the-ditch Dems, but Mr. Vanilla, Chris Bell, while the least stoogy," still was.

Sure, Kinky was great fun as a political humorist. But he would no more drop the humor to be serious than he would drop the stogie, and wound up, beyond his nutbar ideas, being a political migraine cluster headache.

Idea? Let's update his 5 Mexican generals idea and put 1 peripatetic Kinky on the border.

Meanwhile, if he wins a contested primary for a statewide Democratic office, it will be a new low for the party.

Of course, it will be an even greater low if he wins an UNcontested primary for a statewide Democratic office.

And, it could happen. He almost won the 2010 Dem primary for state agriculture secretary. 

Indeed, it would be enough of a low if he ran and hit the 40 percent mark. (He got almost 48 percent in 2010.) It would show that a number of Democratic voters are rural-conservative enough, naive enough or uninformed enough to fall for cheap, non-progressive populist pitches.

July 22, 2013

Braun Gone!

That's us, Lyin Braun. We're all haters.
Not a home run call, but close.

Ryan Braun, aka the Hebrew Hammer, aka Juices Maccabee, aka until now, Lyin Braun, is ....

Outta here!

Bud Selig's suspended him for the rest of the year over Biogenesis ...

And, as you'll note in the story, he's not appealing.

Given that 65 games is more than 50 games, this also has to be seen as a tacit admission of previous juicing.

OK ... if he acted that quickly ...

What about A-Rod?

He has to be facing an even longer suspension, and with even less support from fellow players.

Stay tuned. 

And, Bartolo Colon and others, like Nelson Cruz, who would affect the playoff races? 

I mean, the Brewers are out of it, and A-Rod's now on the DL.

But, with all the statements we were hearing that nobody's going to act right now, etc., well, is that true or not?

Or did Bud actually kind of do Ryan and the Brew Crew a solid, for not fighting? Let Braun sit the rest of this year, since they're not going anywhere anyway, and start clean (heh, heh) at spring training. 


Meanwhile, here's another question.

Assume with me, if you will, that Seling was doing the Brew Crew, and even, a bit, Braun, a solid by implementing the suspension now.

Is he getting anything back? Like Braun helping decipher Biogenesis rccords, the ones he claimed originally showed only that Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis were serving him as a consultant?

In other words, did Braun "roll over," rather than A-Rod being the first to do that, as I thought?

And, given what a lot of current, as well as former, players are saying now on Twitter, will they be surprised that Braun might be a bit of a rat in all this? 


If Braun's a rat, it wouldn't surprise me.

Because, right now, he's still being a dick.

Buster Olney says what he should be doing:
His first call must go to Dino Laurenzi Jr., the collector whose character and work he called into question when he made his now infamous statement in February of 2012, after he won his appeal.  
But, his first public pronouncement, as a press release, and his first public apology, say Laurenzi's name nowhere near either his lips or his agent's lips and keyboard.

And, Buster, I've got Kemp's MVP award to sell you if you think Braun actually will make such an apology.

Or, if you're Jeff Passan, per an anonymous quote, he's an asshole
If he could lessen his penalty by volunteering – keep it to 50 games for violating the league's Joint Drug Agreement and 15 more, one person deemed it, as an "asshole tax" for criticizing the drug program and putting Laurenzi through hell – and ensure a return in 2014, when his Milwaukee Brewers might not stink like they do now, even better.
Or, per Passan himself:
He is a cockroach. And on Monday, he went splat.
Sounds about right.

But, which one of the three is he? Select your answer on the poll at right.

Or, even worse than any of those, Bob Costas and Dan Patrick say ... he's ...

"Lance Armstrong"!

Give it a listen.

That said, sorry, Bob and Dan; I can't accept using the problem with roiding to boost the idea that Pete Rose should be in the HOF.

Some not so black-and-white thoughts on the Zimmerman trial

First, Florida's Stand Your Ground law is problematic, indeed. Not only does it appear to lead to some racially biased shootouts, it also leads to drug dealers firing at one another and getting off, and in at least one case, a jealous spouse blasting away at a lover.

That said, even with all the non-racially biased problems with the law, it's nearly a decade old now, and no Florida Legislature since the one that passed it has seen fit to repeal it.

There's several other things at play, though.

First, a jury trial is not a "search for truth," not even in the common-sense meaning, let alone the epistemological one of philosophy. And, it appears that a certain amount of people who say "he's guilty" don't get this. Some can't get this, apparently, which in turn is another fact that undercuts certain Gnu Atheists, and other practitioners of scientism, about how rational and critical thinking homo sapiens is, or is not, by nature.

Even more scary is the percentage of people who theoreticallly can get it, and somewhere in their brains, even, do get it, but, at the surface level of consciousness, refuse to get it, or refuse to accept it. (Let me use this to point you to my blog post of several days ago, where I note that "atheism does not = political liberalism."

This gets back to Thomas More's words to Roper in "A Man for All Seasons." To paraphrase, in a new and secularly improved way, "If you're only going to selectively apply the rule of law, don't try to hide behind it yourself." (See more below.)

Again, a jury trial is not about a search for truth. It's the adversarial system it's always been billed as being in Anglo-American law. And, the verdict was correct.

Zimmerman, in fact, never should have been charged with second-degree murder. After the local police dawdled one way (and, over handling of the crime scene, the chief at the time George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin should have been fired earlier than he was pushed out passively), the state and its DA overreacted with that charge. Manslaughter was the best they could have won, and even that was iffy with the Stand Your Ground law; something like aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, or something like that, might have worked.

Indeed, Alan Dershowitz says that prosecutor Angela Corey should be charged with professional misconduct, or worse. And others have compared this to the Duke lacrosse non-case. I don't think it's that bad, but it's bad enough.

Even somebody probably more liberal than I, and definitely blacker than I, Ta-Nehisi Coates, agrees.

And, legal scholar Eugene Volokh reminds us of where the burden of proof rests in such cases, and what that standard of proof generally is in criminal law.

That said, even under older ideas of self-defense in Florida, it would have been next to impossible to prove premeditation. (Those ideas actually were the lodestone for the trial; Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law was never actually invoked, another myth about the trial.) Even if any shadow of SYG were gone, Zimmerman still wouldn't have been guilty of second-degree murder. He also wouldn't have been guilty of manslaughter, based on evidence actually available.

A lot of people probably think it was premeditated, already having an image of Zimmerman as a racist.

Well, either worries about police coverups trump racism, or else he's a bit more complex than some people would like him to be. Zimmerman protested loud and long about the Sanford PD covering up the beating of a homeless black person.

And, leave it to the Gnu Atheist types, starting with Greta Christina, to ramp up their holier-than-thou attitude, including the usual Gnu stance of refusing to actually discuss issues. Wonder if she would swear at Coates, too?

Meanwhile, David Simon is not the only person I've seen to hint at the idea of white collective guilt, though he's the most famous. (Coming on top of his attacks on Glenn Greenwald over Edward Snowden, I now officially believe Simon is hugely self-overrated.) A subcomponent of this is white folks telling other white folks to "check their privilege."

One last legal thought: It's trials like this that make me long for Continental European jurisprudence at times. True, a presiding judge with cross-examination powers can run amok (picture Judge Ito in France), but, he or she is theoretically checked by the presence of assisting judges as well as the appeals process. Arguably, the Continental system comes, or can come, closer to a pursuit for the truth than the Anglo-American system. (And, yes, I'm aware of the Amanda Knox case.)

Let me now address this from other personal angles.

We secularists know that truth is never black-and-white. Related to that, those of us who are non-Platonist secular humanists (I'm pretty sure that most Platonist humanists are religious ones, anyway) know that grand, abstract ideas, or Ideas, aren't real, let alone hyperreal. Some of us, who have read Walter Kaufmann, know that guilt and justice are among those unreal abstract ideas.

Also, we don't know the whole story. We do know that it looked like a good "story" to the mainsream media. We do know that Trayvon Martin's parents helped that by spreading a picture of the 10-year-old Trayvon. Even if he wasn't a man at 17, he wasn't a 10-year-old boy, either. We do know that, even at the same time that Zimmerman appeared to have some quasi-racist bones, he had at least one race-blind eye, per the link I posted above.

And, it was a "story." That's why the media lapped it up. White-on-black, until we discovered Zimmerman had Hispanic heritage, which laughably led one TV outlet to call him a "white Hispanic."

Yep, lapped it up. Lawyer and Texas legal blogger Grits for Breakfast notes that CNN probably is laughing all the way to the bank. As is at least one juror.

Well, juror B37 WAS laughing all the way to the bank, until a Twitterer led a bomb on her would-be agent and got the deal killed. It also sounds like the rest of the jurors don't really like B37's giving the impression she speaks for all of them. Given her attorney hubby and other things, I'll venture she thought of the idea early on. And, it would never constitutionally fly, due to First Amendment issues, but it would be nice if jurors, like convicts, could be prevented from profiting off trials. At least, constitutional jurisprudence might weaken this.

We also, also know that stupid, ethically and morally unwarranted killings have been committed in the dozens in Florida since Stand Your Ground. But, none of them had the same media-driven, "compelling" story line, even though many of them were more egregious, or in the case of drug dealer shootouts, more pathetic.

But, people, for whatever reason, didn't find outrage until now.

While not justifying race riots by white, brown or black, I do agree that Sanford police botched this case by not looking at possible criminality from the start.

Meanwhile, there's a sidebar issue. Would a second, federal-level criminal trial on civil rights charges be double jeopardy? That issue has been ruled a negatory by the Supreme Court. However, many long-ago members of the ACLU still said it is ...

Until Rodney King, as this piece notes.

And, while I'm not an ACLU member, in part related to the larger issue of how much it's become a general liberal activist group, and other things, I'll admit to double-jeopardy questions myself, tentatively siding with Ira Glasser and other older members and leaders.

And, I think Anthony Romero, had some other members, or former members, not busted the ACLU's chops, would still like Holder to move forward.

It's worth noting that the Center for Constitutional Rights properly stayed silent. (Any civil liberties charitable money from me in the past decade has gone to CCR.)

That said ...

If you want change, follow the dollar. Tell Florida-based businesses (like orange juice!) that you'll boycott them unless they push the Florida Legislature to change Stand Your Ground. Per a Facebook friend, maybe better than ag companies, don't buy LeBron jerseys. Or better yet, if mechanical breakdowns haven't sworn you off, don't ride Carnival Cruise Lines.

Or, per this list of the Fortune 1,000, don't rent from Budget. Don't get paper at Office Depot. Don't eat at any Darden Restaurants. But, you have to tell the companies that you're boycotting them, and why.

Meanwhile, don't hold your breath over the Department of Justice pursuing federal civil rights charges. In part due to the link I posted above, they'd also be difficult to prove beyond a standard of reasonable doubt. And, might not be warranted. Think about that, too.

Because, although Zimmerman has engaged in some moderately violent behavior in the past, and that link I posted above still might not offset other instances of possible anti-black animus, yet more money beyond legal settlements Martin's parents have already gotten still won't bring him back. Nor is a civil trial an epistemic search for truth, either.

Above all, though, don't be like President Barack Obama. Dear Leader has taken the self-love for his allegedly mellifluous voice to whole new levels.

Why Schroedinger was wrong about his cat

Simple statistical mechanics.

He stacks the deck from his Hindu infatuation with his “superposition of eigenstates.”

NOTHING is being “superimposed.” It’s all classical statistical mechanics, from the way I see it.

And, there is no such thing as an “eigenstate” involved.

Let me up the ante on Schrödinger.

Put a cat in a closed box.

Restrain it, because I’m using guillotines, in the plural, rather than poison gas, in the singular.

Give me three radioactive elements with half-lives of X, 2X and 4X.

Give me three guillotines, attached to the cat’s tail, a paw, and its neck respectively.

At X, you have 50 percent chance the cat has lost its tail, 25 percent it has lost its paw and 12.5 percent chance it is dead.

At 2X, probabilities are 75, 50 and 25 percent, respectively.

At 4X, they’re 87.5, 75 and 50 percent.

NO “superposition of eigenstates.” I hope this thought experiment makes the whole idea look ludicrous.

When the lid is lifted of the box, ALL we are doing is checking which of the probabilities is the actuality. Nothing else is being done. The quantum events have happened independently of any observer.

What if a neo-Schrödinger says, lifting the box is itself an observation.

Well, first of all, that’s a “Newtonian” level observation, not a quantum-level one. Unless you try to nano-scale shrink box, cat and guillotines.

Second, I’ll accept the challenge and one-up it.

Give me radioactive element No. 4 with half-life of 8X. It controls a circuit that raises the lid on the box.


At 8X, we have 93.75 percent chance the cat has no tail, 87.5 that it’s lost a paw, 75 percent that it’s dead, and …

A 50 percent chance that we can see inside the box to determine these probabilities.

Again, all statistical probabilities.

In fact, like the turtles of Schrödinger's beloved Hinduism, it’s statistics all the way down.

Am I arguing there’s nothing “mysterious,” – as long as you append scare quotes – about quantum mechanics? No, of course not. The two-slit experiment with light rays is proof enough of that.

I AM arguing, though, that quantum mechanics is NOT “metaphysically mysterious.” Or anything on those lines.

I am suggesting that Erwin Schrödinger bears a certain amount of the blame for the rise of today’s Deepak Chopras of the world.

And, albeit for different reasons than Einstein, while I don’t believe that some “naïve realism” interpretation of quantum mechanics will win out, should the Holy Grain of a UFT ever be achieved, I do think there will be something more quasi-realistic than the consensus of today.

I think, per Wiki's article on Schrödinger and his damned cat, that the ensemble interpretation of quantum mechanics, while not the ending point, is a good starting point and certainly the best starting point we have right now. It's the one that, I think, does the best job of clearing the decks of mystical and semi-mystical mumbo-jumbo that have accumulated to many interpretations of quantum mechanics like barnacles. It offers the least confusion between physics and philosophy in cases where they define the same concept differently. And, it certainly seems to properly address Occam's Razor. On the probabilities and statistics issues, it squares exactly with what I've said all along. I just didn't realize there was an official theory for my version of understanding QM.

Part of the problem, related to this, is that full-on Copenhagians, or QM schools of thought in their vicinity, at least, seem to like their undiluted shot — or three — of mysticism.

I know that Schrödinger himself was, essentially, trying to "spoof" Copenhagianism. However, because of his own Hindu influences, I think he failed to see how his thought experiment would be co-opted. (That said, somebody else would surely have come up with a similar one.)

Schrödinger reportedly said, decades later, that he wished he had never "met" his cat. Again, interesting that it took him that long to see that.

And, he apparently never explained the "why" behind that. Was it because had lost control of "his" thought experiment?

After writing the original version of this post, I came upon a great book, "The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments." From it, I became more convinced than ever that what "collapses" is not any "superposition of eigenstates" but a "superposition" of multiple states of partial or obscured knowledge.

Per Richard Buller and others, I'm also more convinced than ever that things like Schrödinger's Cat show the need that scientists have for philosophers of science.

Or, to quote Stephen Hawking: "When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my pistol."

And now, here's a good piece from the Stone, the New York Times' op-ed series about issues philosophical, that covers some of the same ground, about the mystical misuse of quantum mechanics. However, I'd qualify it a bit.
If anybody's to blame, it's Schrödinger and his damned cat, even more than Bohr, let alone Heisenberg, for the mystical misuse of quantum theory and mechanics. Schrödinger with his immersion in Hinduism. That said, as noted above, the cat was ... er, catnip! for the Copenhagians.

Anybody who buys into non-mystical versions of quantum mechanics knows 
Schrödinger's cat's all about probabilities and nothing else. A simple thought experiment, with multiple radioactive substances and guillotines attached to various appendages of the cat, underscores that.

Why is Tiger Woods still stuck on 14?

That's actually one of four interrelated questions.

The second is, when will he get off his winless schneid at golf majors?

The third is, will he catch or pass Jack Nicklaus' 18?

The fourth is, why can't Tiger win coming from behind?

And, the fifth is, when will Tigerholics, not just among fans, but golf writers like Jay Coffin with drivel like this, face reality?

That last one first: Not for some time.

Coffin said the reason Tiger can't win a major when he's not in the lead after 54 holes is because being behind at that point shows he's not playing great in general. That' AFTER he said that Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson, with 4 and 5 majors respectively, have both won twice coming from behind.

As long as the "holics" are going to engage in special pleading, they're not worth much more than the back of the hand from better-rounded golf fans.

In turn, Coffin's answer relates to question no. 4.

Real answer?

It's a mix of Woods' self-pressure at majors causing him to tighten up, the loss of his aura of invincibility since Y.E. Yang took him down in the final round of the 2009 PGA, and continuing struggles at times with the putter. (I'm setting aside issues with the driver since, at many Open courses, at least, and some U.S. Open ones, you can stuff the driver in the bag.)

Until he really proves he can win a major period, we should simply expect him not to, and for the reasons above.

So, until he learns how to stop "pressing" on the weekend, and making the psychological changes to make that happen, we shouldn't expect such changes.

It's interesting that, whether there's much in the way of results or not, a lot of top golfers work with sports psychologists, but Tiger doesn't.

I'm not saying he needs one. I am saying he probably needs to have and demonstrate the openness to consider having one. Until he does, he's not closer to a solution.

Will he catch or pass Jack? I give him one in three odds of catching, and one in four of passing. Certainly before he addresses question no 4.

I've answered no. 1, in part, with no. 4. I think the loss of intimidation is part of it. I'm also with Hank Haney, that Tiger-proofing the Masters seems to have worked. U.S. Opens still seem iffy given Tiger's current putting.

That leaves British Opens, but only when greens don't change, and PGAs.

Since I don't expect Tiger to win this year at Oak Hill, Tigerholics will have to wait until Royal Liverpool for the possibility of No. 15.