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What aspects of human society unites us?


beecee
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1 minute ago, Peterkin said:

I was referring to the foregoing discussion of sacrificing childhood, family life and healthy development in order to raise a prodigy in some relatively frivolous pursuit, like skating, dancing, playing rugby or chess. The "people" in this scenario are 3-7 years old. It's not their free or informed choice.

And the question i'm asking is how many Olympians, or other top athletes, who have been training since childhood actually say they feel like they've lost their childhood and/or a family life. It's a common narrative, i'd just like to know how common it actually is. Like i said, the vast majority of Olympian accounts i've seen don't lament lost childhoods, but maybe my searches have been biased.

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May be relevant to the discussion:

http://www.olympedia.org/lists/55/manual

https://www.insider.com/michael-phelps-weight-of-gold-olympians-suicide-depression-epidemic-2020-7

I'm not suggesting that these sources can be taken as particularly rigorous, or that any conclusions should be immediately drawn.

Depression seems to be very common among elite sportspeople, whether successful in their careers or not. But upon first inspection, it doesn't seem that successful sportspeople are spared a lot of this alleged suffering.

Gold medalist Jesús Rollán was a case very much debated in Spain 15 years ago:

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On 11 March 2006, three weeks and three days before his 38th birthday, Rollán died after a fall from a terrace at a spa near Barcelona. He was at the spa receiving treatment for depression. The fees for the spa were being paid for by the Spanish Olympic Committee.[1]

I haven't made up my mind on this topic. If I wanted to give an idea of what I think it would be a collage of sentences by other members. I agree with some points by @Peterkin and @Prometheus, but I'm not blind to the fact that sports have many positive values, aesthetic included, mainly represented by @beecee.

I suppose it's one of those things that can make you or break you.

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53 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

In most professions, there is also opportunity, ambition, luck, connections, recognition by an establishment, politics, personal charisma, diplomacy and *money*  - without which you're not going to earn the diploma that allows you to compete in the first place, and the earning of which, to a very large extent, determines your professional standing in fields like law or medicine. That's what I meant by not entirely based on ability and no objective system of grading. 

Yes, I agree.

I was focused on what I quoted - the part about sacrifice not being a necessary part. (especially if you don't have the money, or connections, or opportunity, etc. that others might be leveraging)

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39 minutes ago, joigus said:

I'm not suggesting that these sources can be taken as particularly rigorous, or that any conclusions should be immediately drawn.

I also struggled to find data on this. Given the amount of money in elite sports, i'm sure someone could spare some for more research.

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2 hours ago, Prometheus said:

And the question i'm asking is how many Olympians, or other top athletes, who have been training since childhood actually say they feel like they've lost their childhood and/or a family life. It's a common narrative, i'd just like to know how common it actually is. Like i said, the vast majority of Olympian accounts i've seen don't lament lost childhoods, but maybe my searches have been biased.

Or maybe successful athletes, who make a living from sponsorship and public appearances, won't admit regret to their fans. Besides, how many of the talented children who are pushed and stressed and bullied to excel grow up to be Olympians? Or soloists or headliners or grand masters? What do we know of the ones who didn't make it? This is the perspective of survivor bias

 

1 hour ago, swansont said:

I was focused on what I quoted - the part about sacrifice not being a necessary part.

I understand. That's why I reiterated that the questions I posed were in response to Beecee's statement

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Thos that aim and wish to reach the top of their chosen profession, be it a Doctor, Laywer, or Sportsman, all need to make sacrifices.

I was hoping for clarification from Beecee as to why he considers this inevitable. My answer to you was in that context, attempting to continue on the same track. The separate subject of hierarchies in specific professions and the means whereby these hierarchies are established and status gained is too big for this venue.

As for sports in general, I think they're wonderful. So are performing arts, visual arts and games of skill, chance and intellect. 

What I disapprove of is turning any of these pleasurable, peaceable, inclusive pastimes into cut-throat struggles for supremacy and the pursuit of wealth and fame. 

Edited by Peterkin
not enough of the wrong words
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1 minute ago, Peterkin said:

How many of the talented children who are pushed and stressed and bullied to excellence grow up to be Olympians? What do we know of the ones who didn't make it? This is the perspective of survival bias

It's only a bias if there is actually some data to be biased. I've not been able to find anything concrete one way or another so can only conclude this is not well studied. In my meanderings i did come across this which is a detailed account from failed Olympians who express no regrets, but with a sample size of 6 i didn't bother bringing it up before. 

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1 minute ago, Prometheus said:

It's only a bias if there is actually some data to be biased.

No, "survivor bias" is a real thing that is popularly applied to all kinds of data. It refers to the misconception that arises from considering only the successful outcomes and disregarding the failure rate. I recently read the synopsis of a very interesting book on the subject, written by a statistician, but it won't be published till sometime this fall. When it comes out, I'll post the particulars for everybody. 

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6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Why does any profession need to have a top?

Been answered I see.

 

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

And why did sport become a profession? 

It is an individual profession, that has its limitation in being over a short life span.

Sport in general teaches many of life's desired values, not the least being discipline. People enjoy watching sports people at the peak of fitness compete...some enjoy in making the sacrifice to play a particular sport, and attempts to reach the top of that profession...some are not interested in sport in any of its many artistic forms. More importantly, in today's world, science plays a dominate roll in top rated sports, amateur or professional.

 

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On 7/25/2021 at 6:52 PM, beecee said:

 

Are sports a catalyst for hatred and tension or quite the opposite?

 

 

If I may provide an opinion on just this bit, sport is an outlet for our natural aggression and baser drives.  Although humanity is our world's pinnacle intelligence, we remain a primitive, primal species whose only predator is itself. We are driven by that predation to best each other in a continuous and unending struggle to prove we are superior and deserving of survival and our place above all others. Even our solitary efforts in sport, where our only opponent seems to be ourselves, we are driven by our insecurity against the mere appearance of vulnerability in eyes of observes.

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

Been answered I see.

Not to my satisfaction.

Certainly, some people do some things better than other people, but there must be a thousand individuals, at any given moment, who have the same degree of proficiency in every imaginable skill-set. Also, in professions more complicated than a sport,  the skills are applied in such a variety of ways, in such a variety of tasks, that they're impossible to compare.

In sports, it's  simpler, because sport is entirely artificial. Being top is about winning. Even so, there is always an element of chance and fallible human judgment in determining "the top" of any heap. 

What brings people together? Not the compulsion to climb over other people to get to some imaginary top.

Quote

and why does sport have to be a profession?

That one has been answered: because somebody saw a chance to profit from the spectacle. 

 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Sport in general teaches many of life's desired values, not the least being discipline

You don't need to be paid for that.

 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

People enjoy watching sports people at the peak of fitness compete...some enjoy in making the sacrifice to play a particular sport, and attempts to reach the top of that profession...some are not interested in sport in any of its many artistic forms.

Yes, and they probably did, long before the players were offered M$24 to go from one team to another. The team might consist of friends who grew up together and play for the town, whose residents would come out to cheer for them - yes, even the ones who can't fork out $400 to sit for 2 hours in a cold, noisy, crowded stadium.

 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

More importantly, in today's world, science plays a dominate roll in top rated sports, amateur or professional.

Well, if you can have the science as an amateur, why be professional?

 

Edited by Peterkin
correct quote attribution
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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Not to my satisfaction.

Certainly, some people do some things better than other people, but there must be a thousand individuals, at any given moment, who have the same degree of proficiency in every imaginable skill-set. Also, in professions more complicated than a sport,  the skills are applied in such a variety of ways, in such a variety of tasks, that they're impossible to compare.

The reason/s that only a relatively small number make it to the top, is because of the difficulty, complications, and sacrifices that need to be made. Some people do better then others in every profession, including that of sport.

41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

In sports, it's  simpler, because sport is entirely artificial. Being top is about winning. Even so, there is always an element of chance and fallible human judgment in determining "the top" of any heap. 

The vast majority play sports for the fun, interactions, and health benefits. The vast majority stay "amateur".

41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

What brings people together? Not the compulsion to climb over other people to get to some imaginary top.

You should visit Sydney/Melbourne/Australia post covid 19 on any Saturday arvo, and watch 5, 6, 7, year olds, and all age groups playing and having fun at many sports.

41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

That one has been answered: because somebody saw a chance to profit from the spectacle. 

You don't need to be paid for that.

The vast majority of sport is amateur, at least in my country. 5, 6, 7 and 8 year olds plus many into their teens and adult hood, are not getting payed. They play for the fun of it, the companionship, even against opponents, and as mentioned before, learning life's desired qualities. Of course as with any discipline, including science, there are exceptions and undesired traits.

41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Yes, and they probably did, long before the players were offered M$24 to go from one team to another. The team might consist of friends who grew up together and play for the town, whose residents would come out to cheer for them - yes, even the ones who can't fork out $400 to sit for 2 hours in a cold, noisy, crowded stadium.

That's one of the possible pessimistic, undesired traits in some, as in any profession. 

41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Well, if you can have the science as an amateur, why be professional?

Science is part and parcel of sport today, amateur or professional. You cannot escape it. You start off as an amateur...you show some talent...you  enjoy the sport...you make friends...you learn discipline...you learn how to take defeat graciously, just as the great man in science, named Einstein did, when he admitted to his greatest blunder...You are not forced to play sport in most situations, although again, as in any discipline, there maybe exceptions.

Edited by beecee
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2 hours ago, beecee said:

The vast majority play sports for the fun, interactions, and health benefits. The vast majority stay "amateur".

And that is as it should be. To the extent that is as it is, sport is a unifying influence in human society.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

And that is as it should be. To the extent that is as it is, sport is a unifying influence in human society.

I respectfully and fervently disagree. If someone has the talent to achieve further success, further pushing his abilities to the limit, and the rest of the qualities that do exist in all sport, why hold him/her back?

Are you going to hold a talented science student with  Einstein like potential back, because it may put him on a pedestal above his fellow students?

I'm sure his or her peers in that or any circumstance/discipline would disagree with you.

11 hours ago, Peterkin said:

 

As for sports in general, I think they're wonderful. So are performing arts, visual arts and games of skill, chance and intellect. 

What I disapprove of is turning any of these pleasurable, peaceable, inclusive pastimes into cut-throat struggles for supremacy and the pursuit of wealth and fame. 

I payed $350/seat to see Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra in 2008, [1] because I like him, and [2] because I could afford it...I payed $50/seat [best seats in the house] to see Nana Mouskouri in 1976...Both are multi millionares....I'm not.

Professional first grade footballers have a short playing career and while they earn millions and the sensible ones are able to set themselves and there families up for life, again, they also have to make sacrifices to achieve a place amongst the top echalon of players. I failed to meet that standard, but don't begrudge those that did. As an aside, some of our first grade players are also doctors [Dr George Poponis] and Lawyers [Kevin Ryan] and many more in fact.

There are undesirable aspects in sport, both amateur and professional...pushy parents being one...cheating being another...any "cut throat" aspects you mention at times...still isn't the pursuit of wealth and fame what we all like to set out and do?...and funnily enough achieve? As long as it's done fairly and with reasonable consideration.

We also have a scheme in Australia, where in reality anyone from any family [poor or otherwise] is able to attend Uni and get doctors and/or Lawyers degrees etc etc...Its called HECS and the educational cost while obviously  high, are deferred until the course is finished and the participent gets a job in that profession, and starts paying according to his or her earnings. https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help

In short, there are undesirable aspects in any human endeavour, even science and obviously also sport. But just as the benefits of getting a astrazeneca two dose vaccine, far, far outweighs the minimal risk, so to the the benefits derived from sport, both amateur and professional, outweigh the undesired qualities pushed by some..

Back later, need to watch some more Olympic games sports!!😉

13 hours ago, joigus said:

I haven't made up my mind on this topic. If I wanted to give an idea of what I think it would be a collage of sentences by other members. I agree with some points by @Peterkin and @Prometheus, but I'm not blind to the fact that sports have many positive values, aesthetic included, mainly represented by @beecee.

I suppose it's one of those things that can make you or break you.

Gee that's a rather wise post. Think I'll give you a Like!!😉

Edited by beecee
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1 hour ago, beecee said:

I respectfully and fervently disagree. [that amateur sport is good] If someone has the talent to achieve further success, further pushing his abilities to the limit, and the rest of the qualities that do exist in all sport, why hold him/her back?

I'm not holding anyone back. I'm not pushing anyone forward. I'm not involved with them at all.  But I do see the effects of commercial sport on society and I do sometimes wonder about the state of a society that puts so much store by spectacles. 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Are you going to hold a talented science student with  Einstein like potential back, because it may put him on a pedestal above his fellow students?

I don't hold him; I don't push him; I work toward a society that gives every child an opportunity to reach his or her potential, preferably without sacrifice, and I put nobody  - let me emphasize: nobody, for any reason, ever - on a pedestal.

 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

the benefits derived from sport, both amateur and professional, outweigh the undesired qualities pushed by some..

That's a perfectly legitimate opinion I feel entitled to refrain from sharing.

Edited by Peterkin
replace five words
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48 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I'm not holding anyone back. I'm not pushing anyone forward. I'm not involved with them at all.  But I do see the effects of commercial sport on society and I do sometimes wonder about the state of a society that puts so much store by spectacles. 

We have all kinds of individuals that go to make up society, many undesirable [the redneck boofheads that stormed the White House] and sport also has individuals that detract from that discipline, as opposed to the sprt discipline itself.

53 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I don't hold him; I don't push him; I work toward a society that gives every child an opportunity to reach his or her potential, preferably without sacrifice, and I put nobody  - let me emphasize: nobody, for any reason, ever - on a pedestal.

My error and poor choice of words...I do though respect the efforts, sacrifices in any discipline that some chose to undergo to achieve, the pinnacle of that discipline.

55 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

That's a perfectly legitimate opinion I feel entitled to refrain from sharing.

No problem, seriously. Sport in all its forms, artistry and skill [and despite some undesirable qualities] will continue, as will the Olympic games.

 

 

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While obviously I am pro sport for the reasons given, the aspects of sport that have had me turning off the TV, or having a good laugh, was/is the world championship wrestling, and the never ending goodie v's the baddie. Still obviously even in that "pretend" nonsense, fitness is of prime necessity, as well as agility. Not sure if it is still doing the rounds now, but was always good for a laugh in the seventies.

The other which I didn't see too much of, was the roller derby crap. Getting to individuals, there was Don King, boxing manager, who also was a negative quality in that game. 

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On 7/25/2021 at 11:52 PM, beecee said:

While there has at times been certain "over the top" rivalry, one incident being the water polo stoush between the USA and USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games...

A small correction: I think you are recalling the Hungary vs. USSR match. The "blood in the water" being a reaction to the brutal suppression by the Soviets of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

On the main thrust of the topic, sport can definitly be a unifying force, but only amongst those inclinded to favour unification.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Area54 said:

A small correction: I think you are recalling the Hungary vs. USSR match. The "blood in the water" being a reaction to the brutal suppression by the Soviets of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

On the main thrust of the topic, sport can definitly be a unifying force, but only amongst those inclinded to favour unification.

Correction noted!! Thanks.

1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

I expect you've heard about Simone Biles. Interesting article.   I hope she'll be all right!

I certainly hope so too.

Since that great movie, "Concussion" much has changed in body contact sports, not the least being my Rugby League. Each club has a Doctor, who in association with the NRL Doctor, has the power to pull a player off the field, if they think he has suffered a head knock, which we call a HIA [Head Injury Assessment]..step 1 involves the trainer assessing the player on field. If he fails some basic tests he is off for 15 minutes to undergo further tests. If he fails those tests, he is off for the game, and more then likely instructed to rest  for a period of weeks or months. More then one head knock can see a player outed for the season.

While obviously the club does not want any repercussions involving being sued etc, they are looking after the players interests also...this also extends to the immediate family. 

Even looking at a more "docile" sport, like cricket, we had a player a few years ago, killed by the impact of a cricket ball, when he ducked into the delivery line of the ball.

Science and sport are progressing hand in hand. 

Edited by beecee
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Posted (edited)

Another moment of great comradery, after a minute of cut throat competitiveness, among hundreds of other moments from the supreme athletes of the Olympic games...this one features the embrace after the men's 100mtr freestyle, between the olympic title holder, Aussie Kyle Chalmers, and the new title holder, American Caeleb Dressal, who beat him to the gold medal by a small fraction of a second.

Second-placed Australia's Kyle Chalmers (R) hugs first-placed USA's Caeleb Dresse1. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

Another great sporting and Olympic moment must be the bronze medal winner of the men's surfing title, Owen Wright, who 5.5 years ago suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him paralyzed and unable to walk, let alone surf. The story here...https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/27/from-devastating-injury-to-olympic-medal-australias-owen-wright-makes-surfing-history

Australia’s Owen Wright celebrates winning the bronze medal heat in the men’s surfing competition.

The many disciplines of sport are full of incredible moments like this from all round the world, many of the stories not making it outside their home town, or country of birth. 

Edited by beecee
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Interesting related point in interesting article:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/24/tokyo-olympic-sport-displacing-athletes

Quote

Olympians might inspire other Olympians – but as physical and psychological outliers they have absolutely no impact on the behaviour of the general public. Ask the Finns, who abandoned the state-sponsored pursuit of medals and spent the money instead on active transport and accessible facilities. They barely win anything any more, but they have the most active and healthy old people in the world. In Britain we have a sack of gold and an obesity crisis.

David Goldblatt

IOW: I'd rather see more people cycling to work than eating cheetos in front of the TV while they watch the Tour de France.

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I really wanted to click upvote more than once for that comment,  Joigus.   While I don't disagree with the many posts lauding teamwork and discipline and camaraderie, I live in a land of many couch potatoes who might do well to find some unity and rewarding discipline in the Using Your Own Legs as Transport Freestyle event.  Instead we seem to have a nation of people passively waiting for electric cars,  or whatever tech they think will fix everything.   

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15 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I really wanted to click upvote more than once for that comment,  Joigus.   While I don't disagree with the many posts lauding teamwork and discipline and camaraderie, I live in a land of many couch potatoes who might do well to find some unity and rewarding discipline in the Using Your Own Legs as Transport Freestyle event.  Instead we seem to have a nation of people passively waiting for electric cars,  or whatever tech they think will fix everything.   

Legs will evolve to vestigial appendages. :)

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2 hours ago, TheVat said:

I really wanted to click upvote more than once for that comment,  Joigus.   While I don't disagree with the many posts lauding teamwork and discipline and camaraderie, I live in a land of many couch potatoes who might do well to find some unity and rewarding discipline in the Using Your Own Legs as Transport Freestyle event.  Instead we seem to have a nation of people passively waiting for electric cars,  or whatever tech they think will fix everything.   

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome you and @Peterkin to the forums. Both of you are very welcome 'acquisitions'.

This is one of those topics in which I don't have a very strong opinion, but yes. Focus on the show-business part without any emphasis on sport for everyone, is kind of the obvious 'dark side' of sports.

In a manner of speaking, it's about praising Titmus for her feat, while saving Russell Crowe from heart disease. ;)

And I love Australia, by the way. I have Waltzing Matilda committed to memory.

 

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There is a certain amount of inspiration provided by world class competitors, for us common folk.

I wonder how many people join a gym, or go do some laps in a pool, after watching Olympic feats.
Or get together with friends to kick a soccer ( football ) ball around, or join a league, after watching World, or Euro, Cup soccer.
Or toss a pigskin around on a Fall day after watching a ( American ) football game.

Maybe without these sporting competitions, obesity would be even more rampant.

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