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Interesting Article: Has athletic performance peaked?

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  • Interesting Article: Has athletic performance peaked?

    I found this really interesting, especially the implications....

  • #2
    Re: Interesting Article: Has athletic performance peaked?

    Originally posted by Puck Swami View Post
    I found this really interesting, especially the implications....
    It would be nice to see a hard math analysis. Pretty easy -- is there a ceiling and have they hit it? If they're asymptotically approaching a limit, the math will be obvious.

    I have to admit I am reminded of the notion that you can't run a train more than 30 mph or the air will get sucked out of it.
    Cornell University
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    • #3
      Re: Interesting Article: Has athletic performance peaked?

      Generally, the more we know about the science of sport and putting that into practice the closer we hit a limit of human capability... the rest would then be down to raw genetics which produce the athlete in the first place. I think we'll probably see another tweak or two but a lot of the sports already know a lot about the influence of various things... I read most of the article while in a subway station and I can't access the article on this computer, but the general tenor is that there are going to be limits to our knowledge, then the rest are going to be on elements that are harder to control... the influence of meals, timing of behaviors, general psychology of the athlete at that time, etc... in general, the tumblers have to fall into place.

      I think, going forward, we're going to start seeing China start to research into genetics (nevermind drugs) because command nations which can control people such as they do will probably seek out research, conduct research, and use research, to have an advantage in athletics that free nations will never be able to muster. That is probably one of the few "unturned stones"... we've come a long way in innovation... while I won't assume we've hit a non-drug non-genetics-testing wall, I have to imagine we're fairly close in many sports. We only have one body... and when it comes to producing records one can only do so much before introducing drugs or involving genetic identification (seeking and training those of good genetics) or manipulation.

      I don't think human limits, to an exacting nature, will be mathematically exculpatory. I mean, speed skating proably never considered the clap(?)-skate in the 1980s... some new idea may happen. Obviously, there are hard mathematical limits (speed of sound, etc.).

      I think what may be interesting is what man will do in reaction to reaching these limits. Change the games? Allow for enhancements of pharma, bio, or mechanical nature? We may see a cultural dissonance in those who believe that we're being restricted from our own human greatness by not embracing such things. I mean, look at running, we have a woman who isn't a woman by any biological sense in South Africa being sanctioned to run internationally and we have the lawsuits to include those people who are using prosthetic running legs. Maybe as the general public realizes we've reached limits then there will be those seeking to push the envelope and change the sports themselves.

      I think its a great credit to our ability to solve problems that we're approaching the limit of our capabilities... but what happens if we concretely acknowledge those limits. How accepting will we be?
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