Signal or noise at the Olympics?

Last week, Slate’s Ben Blatt argued that bobsled was “the worst designed sport of all time” because, essentially, the results have too much signal and not enough noise – virtually guaranteeing that the fastest team would win.

This week, Slate’s  Josh Voorhees argues that Olympic Hockey has too much noise in the signal. The first rounds are poor predictors for who actually wins.

So is there an optimal amount of signal-to-noise-itude? Signal appeals to our sense of fairness and noise makes the games more exciting.

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