Thursday, May 20, 2010


On the back of a comment left on my previous post and the recent doping confessions by Floyd Landis, I want to expand a bit more on what I believe is a current de-evolution.

Sports are one aspect of modern activities where competition has led people to consider extremes in order to stay "competitive" at the expense of their integrity, putting the entire sport and true competitors in question. We've come to praise athletes with so much adoration through television viewership and support, that certain sports have lost their sanctity. This defies pure passion and talent, one-upping the man who goes against those principles simply for a taste of personal glory. I still have a lot of faith in people, however, and the bio-feedback mechanism for such actions presents itself as a guilty conscience. Floyd Landis went so far as to publish a book defending his honor as a clean rider, spending millions in legal fees, and pleading his case on Larry King Live. Now that the beans are spilled after no longer finding himself capable of living down such a profound lie, his reputation and credibility are shattered. He didn't help the sport of cycling either.

These sorts of actions have led to a de-evolution of sports and humans in general. Fitness
exists at a myriad of levels because tens of thousands of years ago, the fittest individuals scored wild game before slower individuals to ink out the best of our species. The Romans competed in sports and I'm sure our hairy ancestors did the same to pass the time because our complex minds need the mental challenge of risk/reward to accompany the physical aspects associated with it. Then modern techniques such as mass farming came 10,000 years ago and transportation came along more recently, providing the means to increase our population hand over fist. We're a clever species. We discovered a way to go from one end of the world to another by hopping on a plane and to consume an articially processed meal for a fraction of what it costs for food our bodies are designed to eat. We now have to actively (no pun intended) look for ways to be more fit and mobile, forcing ourselves out of apathy sitting in front of our TVs over a microwave dinner. The current state we've evolved to has led to a series of unnatural extremes, both of which are contributing to this de-evolution. The doping super human athlete vs. the man 500 pounds heavy. We've taken these things so far to create more wealth, fame, comfort and new records that it goes against the preservation of sports and humans as they're intended to be. We've shifted to a mode of exponential growth at others' expense, not preservation and long-term betterment. Poverty only exists because a baseline is set from standards of wealth. Therefore, a relative niche of poor folks must be present along the statistical bell curve. That's acceptable. The unacceptable part, however, does not have to do with their relative lack of wealth but their condition to be on the brink of death / survival in order to be classified as extremely poor.

The positive aspect to all this is that clever minds used to put us in this predicament are also available to research health and crack down on the extremes. The daunting part is, however, that money still drives the desire for achieving more even faster at the expense of someone else, even if that includes the perpetrator as the victim. Case in point - Mr. Landis.

1 comment:

Young Mogul said...

I agree completely. I don't think people realize the extremes to which we are moving AWAY from our initial purpose on this land--in so many different areas....consumerism, health, socializations...the list goes on and on.