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Thread: Interesting perspective on PEDs

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    Raptors Republic Starter c_bcm's Avatar
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    Default Interesting perspective on PEDs

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critic...?currentPage=2

    From Malcolm Gladwell, one of the great writers and popularizers of Social Sciences.

    Controversial, no doubt. But an interesting perspective that introduces us to the grey zone that maybe we weren't aware existed.

    Exerpt:

    "When Rosenbaum looked at the Los Angeles Dodgers, he found that half had 20/10 {can see at 20 ft what the average can see at 10 ft} vision and a small number fell below 20/9, “flirting with the theoretical limit of the human eye,” as Epstein points out. The ability to consistently hit a baseball thrown at speeds approaching a hundred miles an hour, with a baffling array of spins and curves, requires the kind of eyesight commonly found in only a tiny fraction of the general population.

    Eyesight can be improved—in some cases dramatically—through laser surgery or implantable lenses. Should a promising young baseball player cursed with normal vision be allowed to get that kind of corrective surgery? In this instance, Major League Baseball says yes. Major League Baseball also permits pitchers to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow of their throwing arm with a tendon taken from a cadaver or elsewhere in the athlete’s body. Tendon-replacement surgery is similar to laser surgery: it turns the athlete into an improved version of his natural self.

    But when it comes to drugs Major League Baseball—like most sports—draws the line. An athlete cannot use a drug to become an improved version of his natural self, even if the drug is used in doses that are not harmful, and is something that—like testosterone—is no more than a copy of a naturally occurring hormone, available by prescription to anyone, virtually anywhere in the world."

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Or, if you prefer not to read Gladwell (and who doesn't), you can listen to people who actually know what they're talking about rather than read someone carelessly paraphrasing scientific analysis he doesn't really understand. Great stuff through this link to the Intelligence Squared Debate on this from a few years ago if you have time to kill.

    http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/2...performance-en

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    Meh, if they can't stop it, they have to allow it.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star stooley's Avatar
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    I'm for two separate olympics - all steroids/bionic enhancements and all natural.

    Just imagine the weightlifting.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    I'm for two separate olympics - all steroids/bionic enhancements and all natural.

    Just imagine the weightlifting.
    just imagine the busted limbs....gross , yet can not look away!

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    Raptors Republic Starter c_bcm's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    Or, if you prefer not to read Gladwell (and who doesn't), you can listen to people who actually know what they're talking about rather than read someone carelessly paraphrasing scientific analysis he doesn't really understand. Great stuff through this link to the Intelligence Squared Debate on this from a few years ago if you have time to kill.

    http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/2...performance-en
    Well maybe you didn't read the article. He isn't disputing any scientific study, just drawing attention to the contradiction that exists due to arbitrary lines drawn in the sand. I think he, better than most, does a good job of raising questions about our preconceptions. This was just another example. I just read David and Goliath, and though PEDs weren't discussed, he gives many examples of how our preconceived notions of power and advantage break down upon the slightest bit of inquiry.

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    Quote c_bcm wrote: View Post
    Well maybe you didn't read the article. He isn't disputing any scientific study, just drawing attention to the contradiction that exists due to arbitrary lines drawn in the sand. I think he, better than most, does a good job of raising questions about our preconceptions. This was just another example. I just read David and Goliath, and though PEDs weren't discussed, he gives many examples of how our preconceived notions of power and advantage break down upon the slightest bit of inquiry.
    Just to add to this, there's a great doc called 'bigger, faster, stronger' about the role pop culture plays in creating a social double standard around PEDs and steroids in particular. Good watch for anyone interested.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Fully's Avatar
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    Kind of off topic but I've had a gut feeling for a while that there's a major scandal coming down the pipeline in the NBA. I think we'll find out that teenage kids were being pumped with HGH or something similar in order to increase their chances at making the pros.

    Anthony Davis will be at the heart of it. He grew almost a foot during his grade eleven year and just happened to grow in one of the furriest unibrows at the same time... hmmmm.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star stooley's Avatar
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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    Kind of off topic but I've had a gut feeling for a while that there's a major scandal coming down the pipeline in the NBA. I think we'll find out that teenage kids were being pumped with HGH or something similar in order to increase their chances at making the pros.

    Anthony Davis will be at the heart of it. He grew almost a foot during his grade eleven year and just happened to grow in one of the furriest unibrows at the same time... hmmmm.
    this IS a joke right? .... right?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    Or, if you prefer not to read Gladwell (and who doesn't), you can listen to people who actually know what they're talking about rather than read someone carelessly paraphrasing scientific analysis he doesn't really understand. Great stuff through this link to the Intelligence Squared Debate on this from a few years ago if you have time to kill.

    http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/2...performance-en

    Its not an easy issue thats for sure, and there is no doubt plenty of moral hypocracies that are associated with it. But of all things he says, this is, to me, the dilemma that needs to be understood before they can even start reaching a real level of understanding regarding 'freedom':

    You and I are both 'free' individuals. We are both hungry and need/want food. There is one parcel of land left for us to farm. So who gets the last paracel of land given that we are both free to have it?

    If you take it, I've lost my freedom to that land. If I take it, you've lost your freedom to that land. One of us has to lose our freedom for the other to get it. The other option is that we could share it, but now we both lose our freedom to the whole. No matter which way we slice it, we both aren't and can't be free at all times.

    What happens is we have to ask, whats the greatest marginal benifit, to everyone both now and in the future, to the who/what/where/why and hows of freedom. (I don't mean to turn this political as I don't mean this as the right of the group > than the right of the individual. Often the right of the individual can offer the greatest rights to the group in the long run. Other times its the opposite.)

    So while,

    a free society isn’t really free at all if it doesn’t include the freedom to make what some may believe are bad decisions
    may be true, it doesn't answer the true issue with freedom which is, what happens when 2 'freedoms' run into each other? In this case, is my right to make a bad decision greater then the rights it could take away from you?

    From a simple and straight forward philosophically stand point people who want to use PEDs should have the freedom to take them or not. But thats not the issue. The issue is, the right to take them or not vs people who don't want to (can't, shouldn't etc) take them should also having the freedom of playing against those who do not.

    Now I know people will argue that the playing field is never actually level, which is true. But its also relative. The marginal benifits of PEDs vs no PEDs seems to be much greater than the marginal benifit of a good exercise machine vs no exercise machine. Or being able to afford better eating habits vs less 'good' eating habits.

    Then you also have issues with known long term effects of 'natural' products (because of 100s of years of human experience) vs the unknown effects of ever changing 'chemical' products. Issues relating to the actual youth this would reasonably effect ie. it may be that youth as a whole are mirroring PED use with recreational drugs, but is that actually reflective? Are young athletes actually using PED at an equivalent rate of young non-athletes or are they using them at a proportionally greater rate, which brings up the 'average' of the aggregate? Bonds may not have caused youth as a whole to use more PEDs, but did he cause youth who play at an elite level of baseball (or other sports) to use more drugs because they felt the needed (or wanted) that edge to stay competitive?

    Now I don't want to go into too much depth here because this could become ridiculously long. But to simplify, while finding steroid use unaccpetable can bring with it a number of moral hypocracies, it does come down to one of relativity. Is allowing the use of PEDs in sports = to the allowing people to drink alcohol or smoke weed or enjoy sexual promiscuity? Is it = to other 'advantages' money could offer? I don't think it is.


    But moral hypocracies to freedom will never end. I could just as easily argue that, if one thinks PEDs should be allowed because of 'freedom', then they should also find it acceptable if I give a 5 year old crack cocaine, or have sex with children, or take slaves, and they are a hypocrital if they don't. After all, I should be 'free' right?

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