Cognitive Flexibility Evolutionists insist that genes constrain and direct human behavior.
Essays in philosophy, politics and economics by Thomas R. It is the disruptive engine at the heart of the three key institutional innovations of modernity: But despite its glamorous power, competition is not enough. Indeed it can be dangerous if it escapes from its box.
In democracies, for example, the competition for power can so dominate Narrative essay about overcoming obstacles that little actual governance gets done, as presently in America where elected politicians are forced to spend most of their time and energy raising money and running for their next election.
In market economies, competition turns corporations into psychopaths concerned only to externalise costs and privatise benefits. The resulting race to the bottom, such as in Chinese food safety, can destroy lives and also entire industries. So far so obvious. But this is the season of the Olympics so this post will focus on a different problem of competition, the threat it poses to sport by emptying out the meaning from what has become an important part of our global - our human - culture.
I Culture is about the meanings of what we do, the shared world we construct through common values, symbols, purposes, memories, and so on. Culture can thereby be distinguished from other, overlapping components of a modern polity: So the first point to establish is that sport is cultural, that it is or can be meaningful.
On the face of it this may appear difficult in comparison to the kind of things we do accept as part of global culture, like the Taj Mahal. Sports are games, and games are by definition pointless: Sports are trivial by design.
Perhaps the Olympics itself may count as a cultural artifact like the Sydney Opera House just because the brand is globally well known and every few years everyone talks about it a lot. But then the sports tend to drop out of it, just as no one talks about the operas.
I think that sports deserve to be taken more seriously in their own right. Their contribution to global culture is not merely the superficial achievement of universal recognition what brings the Sydney Opera House, Coca Cola, and the Olympics into the same category.
The special promise of sport is to provide a depth of meaning, i. That value has at least three distinct sources - competition of coursebut also drama, and craft. I leave aside the value sports have for their participants.
The increasing dominance of competition across all sports is therefore distinctly worrying. In the long run it may squeeze the very life out of them. II The pleasure of competition consists in the resolution of uncertainty combined with the validation of status rankings.
There is a special thrill in the resolution of a sustained uncertainty about an outcome, and this is also behind the appeal of gambling.
But in sport the resolution of this uncertainty is also meant to reflect merit: In the past, the Greeks saw the winners of sporting competitions as selected by the Gods, and modern celebrations of gold medallists still echo of that.
Hence the emphasis on fairness - level playing fields, gender testing, anti-doping regimes — to ensure the results reflect only the authentic moral desert of the contestants. Hence also the moralistic and somewhat disturbing obsession with purity, cleanness and naturalness.
But the fairness isn't the point of the exercise except insofar as it renders the outcomes reliable because outcomes are the only thing that really matters. Competition is what makes sport exciting. It is also extremely accessible to those who know nothing about a sport noobs only have to ask, 'Who's side are we on?
The excitement of chancing fate and divine favour is important, but it is not the only kind of value that sport can and should afford.
The others though tend to make more demands on the spectator. What is important here is not the final score, but how the players inhabit their roles and make them their own, including the moral character they display in their interactions with team-mates and opponents and the overcoming of injuries, and their judgement calls about how to play the opportunities that come their way.ABOUT.
Accreditation; Administration & Governance; Board of Trustees; Events Calendar; Foundation / Promise; Maps & Parking; Measure MM; Student Success Scorecard. “I feel like I’m an above-average driver.” I feel like I’m a below-average driver. Likewise, I increasingly find driving stressful and dangerous, plus there are more and more good alternatives to driving that are often cheaper and faster and kinder to the environment.
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Read my analysis of the latest and greatest CMA exam pass rate in , and with charts and graphs on passing level by different region, and resulting variance. Nov 13, · Updated, March 2, | We published an updated version of this list, “ Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “ Prompts for Argumentative Writing.” Every school day since we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times.
Now, five years later, we’ve collected of them that invite narrative and personal. So far so obvious. But this is the season of the Olympics so this post will focus on a different problem of competition, the threat it poses to sport by emptying out the meaning from what has become an important part of our global - our human - culture.