Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An important day for the history of humanity.

This article in the NY Times crossed my radar because the athlete it talks about is South African.

"Pistorius wants to be the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics. But despite his ascendance, he is facing resistance from track and field’s world governing body, which is seeking to bar him on the grounds that the technology of his prosthetics may give him an unfair advantage over sprinters using their natural legs."

You've gotta feel for the guy, he loses his legs (read DISadvantaged people) and now may not be entilted to enter the Beijing Olympics on the basis that he is too Advantaged.

Emotions aside, the real significance of this news item has gone largely unnoticed by the world. The significance is this:


Let me explain: When a computer beat the then World Chess Champion at chess - Gary Kasparov - many noted this as a watershed moment in history - computers were now cleverer than humans (as measured by chess strategy in any event).

And now it looks like machines are knocking us out of first spot in the athletic arena too. I mean what could be more physical than the 100m sprint? Did we ever foresee the day a half man/half machine (no disprespect intended to Pistorious) would be banned from the Olympics on the basis that they had a physical advantage over "pure" humans?

The machines are coming poeple. Faster than you think...


  1. I am not sure I follow your line of thought. Imagine I chopped my arm off designed an artificial arm that was 10 metres long to improve my javelin throwing? Changed my feet into flippers and break every swimming record. Attached springs to my knees and use the pole vault bar for high jump practice!

    Machines have been with man since he realised what he could do with a sharp pointed stick.

  2. it's my fault, i told him to keep it all non-linear...

    i tried telling 'em i'm a mAchine too, but that went about as well as the i am God, bow down to me now part.

    the matrix days have fizzled out, try a nintendo.wii, they say the bowling game is realer than going to the bowling alley...


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