yurp

The State Of Play

88 posts in this topic

I normally abhore what Richard Williams has to say, but this rings true...

The grand prix circus visits one of its great cathedrals thisweekend, a place teeming with the memories of heroes, romance andtragedy. In the gossip-rich Monza paddock, however, most of this year'sconversations will concern a scandal of such potential gravity that,taken at face value, it would make last year's McLaren spying affair,for which a fine of $100m was imposed on the guilty party, look no moreserious than an outbreak of schoolboy thieving from a sweet shop.In sporting terms, nothing could be worse for Formula Onethan the suggestion that a driver was instructed to crash his car inorder to make it possible for his team-mate to win the race. Theleaking of statements and interviews in recent days, seemingly in anorganised attempt either to accelerate or to subvert the due process oflaw, merely confirms the impression that this is a sport no longercapable of governing itself in a decent manner.

There will haveto be a judgment, and justice, although on that count Formula One haslong since proved itself unworthy of trust. Renaultare denying their team managers instructed Nelson Piquet Jr to crashinto the wall in Singapore last year, thus handing an unexpectedvictory to their team leader, Fernando Alonso. But from a deeperperspective it hardly matters at all whether or not the allegations aretrue. The fact that they have been made, and taken seriously, is quitebad enough.

If Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, Renault's teamprincipal and technical director, did indeed issue such an order toPiquet, they should be banned immediately and indefinitely from allinvolvement in motor sport.If they did not, as they insist, then the disquiet must be directed atthe source and motives of the claims, and about the way they wereplaced in the public domain.

Piquet says Briatore and Symondstold him to crash the car. They are said to be claiming that hesuggested it, but that the discussion came to nothing. If they areright, however, why did they not respond by sacking on the spot adriver who was already in danger of losing his seat through poorperformances? And there has been remarkably little discussion of theeffect of such alleged chicanery on the fortunes of poor Felipe Massa,who was leading the race when Piquet crashed but was the victim of abotched pit-stop and ended up losing the world championship by thenarrowest of margins.

So once again the much-abused fans of grandprix racing are confronted with the morbid symptoms of the end of anera dominated by Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone,in which the acquisition of vast fortunes and the application ofselective justice have taken precedence over everything. Mosley'sdecision to grant a 100-year lease on the sport's broadcasting rightsto Ecclestone, who sold them on twice for vastly inflated sums, were afine example of how they have taken Formula One for a ride. And theallegations against Renault, and the way they became public knowledge,show how poison seeps from every pore of a sport that once operatedaccording to a code of honour.

There were expressions ofdisbelief when the allegations were made public. In earlier eras ofgrand prix racing, dirty tactics were very much the exception. Ask SirStirling Moss about Nino Farina, the very first world champion, who hada habit of easing rivals towards the edges of tracks that in those dayswere bordered not by safety barriers but by hedges, ditches, trees andstone walls. And in the last 30 years there was a certain worldchampion who could barely be persuaded to get into a car unlessconvinced that his engineers had provided him with some sort of illegaltechnical advantage. But there has been nothing like this.

TheMonza autodrome is where Alberto Ascari, Wolfgang von Trips, JochenRindt and Ronnie Peterson died after enriching the sport with theirdeeds. To them, and to their rivals, the idea of crashing their carsfor some nefarious purpose would have been unthinkable. The veryexistence of these allegations is the measure of how far the sport hasbeen allowed to sink over the past 20 years.

The problem now inFormula One is that nobody believes anyone. Under its present rulers,it finds itself wrapped in a web of deception and sophistry spun byhighly intelligent but totally unscrupulous people who have beenencouraged to see it as a world in which vast sums of money can beaccrued without too many questions being asked.

Regulations arechanged on a whim, resulting in aberrant results that distortlong-established competitive values. Six wins in seven races for theBrawn team and a pole position for Force India may be someone's idea offun, but they are the results of a randomly rigged lottery, not ofgrand prix racing. One month Ecclestone swears that the British grandprix will never return to Silverstone, and the next he is behaving asif he never said it, just because it suits him.

Soon Mosley willbe gone, to be followed one day by his little pal. Behind them the pairwill leave a sport stripped of its integrity, its old values replacedby a superficial prosperity that can no longer conceal a putrescentcore.

original is here

He has done well to alert us to the fact that we should be thinking on a plain above that of one scandal after another - above that of who cheated and how - above that of the current argument of the day - and more as dedicated fans of motor racing, who have seen our beloved F1 chipped away bit by imperceptible bit until all that remains is a rat-infested brothel, where the sweethearts of the moment can do no wrong and pimps grow rich on the erosion of innocence. Is this the F1 that, as a teenage boy, I fell in love with? No - it is not.

Sometimes honesty (no matter how deflating) is more apt than the ever-present irony/sarcasm (the last refuge of the true F1 fan) - today is one of those days my friends.

Edited by adamstrags

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Yes. We need to stop reacting with shock every 6 months when the latest scandal breaks and start thinking about the culture of cheating that has developed in F1, and most professional sports. This culture has been around for a long time imho. Certainly since when I started paying attention in the early-mid 1990s.

As an aside, when I was watching qualifying today, along with a nice interview with Alonso, the most interesting quotes were from Mark Webber, who to his enormous credit admitted that if he had to, he would also have crashed deliberately in the manner Piquet did.

Edited by Max Mosley

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As an aside, when I was watching qualifying today, along with a nice interview with Alonso, the most interesting quotes were from Mark Webber, who to his enormous credit admitted that if he had to, he would also have crashed deliberately in the manner Piquet did.

If Flavio Briatore and/or Pat Symonds told Piquet to crash in that manner or even if it was Piquet who suggested that I think the driver is not to blame for what happened in Singapore. Piquet was working for Renault and he was jus an employee, he had just joined the team a few months earlier so he's not responsible of what he did because the team did nothing to teach Piquet that Renault's corporate culture pursues fair play above all. It wasn't Piquet who brought the wrongdoings to Renault, they were already there.

It happened with Alonso in McLaren.

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If Flavio Briatore and/or Pat Symonds told Piquet to crash in that manner or even if it was Piquet who suggested that I think the driver is not to blame for what happened in Singapore. Piquet was working for Renault and he was jus an employee, he had just joined the team a few months earlier so he's not responsible of what he did because the team did nothing to teach Piquet that Renault's corporate culture pursues fair play above all. It wasn't Piquet who brought the wrongdoings to Renault, they were already there.

It happened with Alonso in McLaren.

I don't think just because he is an employee that it he should have no accountability for it; in the real world you're still liable if you commit a crime because your boss told you to or because you were following orders. That's something which is pretty well established, you can't put responsibility on somebody else (at least not for the minor threat of losing your job). Likewise I think it's pretty poor that he has immunity from being punished, the only reason he has come forward is not out of some want for the truth to prevail or out of justice, but because he wants to spite Renault. If he had good intentions when coming forward then I'd say immunity was fair enough, that certainly isn't the case here. The promise of a reduced sentence would make more sense.

It's not Renault's job to teach any kind of corporate culture to Piquet, it's obvious that as a Formula One driver deliberately crashing is unacceptable in terms of the rules no matter which team your driving for. I have zero sympathy for Piquet in this case, he makes out like he is a victim, a familiar tactic when somebody is trying to get away from something (e.g. Max Mosley during Spankgate). Piquet is not a victim of Renault, just a victim of his own lack of character, backbone and talent.

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I didn't mean for this to be another thread about piq/flav/syms - we already have a thread for that. (Not that it really maters.)

I was more curious to talk about how the culture of winning by all means even if that means cheating that seems to have spread accross the sport (and as Max pointed out throughout many sports at the moment).

I think there are many factors for this, but here are what I believe are the main few...

1 - sport has become far bigger business and winning has too great a financial reward these days - rather than running for the fun of running, people are now professional runners with a much bigger vested interest in winning when they run. sponsorship, TV rights, merchandise sales - so much money can be made of lost by people other than the competitors as a result of that competitor's performance. Many of those people find it hard not to interfere in the sport as a consequence.

2 - gradually disintergrating morality - we are still moral beings (don't get me wrong), but if Reaganism/Thatcherism/80's politics had any lasting affect it was to ingrain the idea that for the strong to survive they are quite within their rights to do it on the backs of the weak - that turned from being fundamentally poor form (after the togetherness and progress after WWII - when government/people had (for the large part) realised that we sink and swim together) to being acceptable practice. For me, that was one of the greatest steps back in cultural integrity since the dark ages - greed became good and economic fuedalism returned. The governments of today have done nothing to reverse that trend and capitalism has been the economic representation of that process of thought - leading to the wealthier nations plundering the poor ones for ill-gotten gains.

3 - a press dominated by comment rather than jounalism; led by sales rather than quality. When sensationalism leads the day, it is hardly surprising that people begin to act in sensationalist ways (thinking its the norm) - especially those in the public eye. Look at the celebrity of today and how they crave for the limelight (there are exceptions, but this is far more acceptable than in times past). When publicity (good or bad) becomes more important than doing what you do well and not being publically recognised for it, we start down a slippery slope.

4 - short term gain over long term stability (and so real gain) has become the language of the day. politicians cut taxes to win the next election, they govern for the term only and not for the good of the county 50 years hence. sportspeople have limited career spans and grab as much as they can, however they can, while they can.

I'll stop there before I start on the erosion of the NHS and free, universal education - grrr.

What we see accross the sporting arena is a culture where doping, tampering and stretching the boundaries of fairplay become commonplace and trust in the character of both the competitors and the organisers disintegrates - it saddens me.

Anectdotal evidence of this...

When I was playing football the other day a ref called a foul against another guy when he had beaten me to a header. There was no foul and I told the ref so. I could only be dissapointed by the faces of both sets of players who were surprised, shocked, even a little p**sed off, that I had been honest and not wanted to take advantage. When we were kids, we played in the park and there was no need for a ref, and rarely ever any arguments at all - we were playing for fun. At what point did enjoyment become a far off second to winning?

Edited by adamstrags

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So in the last years we have Ferrari acused of cheating, Mclaren spying Ferrari, Toyota copying Ferrari design, Renault fixing races and spying as well...maybe it is just time to stop acusing and pointing fingers, the solution to this is just to abolish all rules that are not about safety and let the fastest one win the race.

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I didn't mean for this to be another thread about piq/flav/syms - we already have a thread for that. (Not that it really maters.)

I was more curious to talk about how the culture of winning by all means even if that means cheating that seems to have spread accross the sport (and as Max pointed out throughout many sports at the moment).

I think there are many factors for this, but here are what I believe are the main few...

1 - sport has become far bigger business and winning has too great a financial reward these days - rather than running for the fun of running, people are now professional runners with a much bigger vested interest in winning when they run. sponsorship, TV rights, merchandise sales - so much money can be made of lost by people other than the competitors as a result of that competitor's performance. Many of those people find it hard not to interfere in the sport as a consequence.

2 - gradually disintergrating morality - we are still moral beings (don't get me wrong), but if Reaganism/Thatcherism/80's politics had any lasting affect it was to ingrain the idea that for the strong to survive they are quite within their rights to do it on the backs of the weak - that turned from being fundamentally poor form (after the togetherness and progress after WWII - when government/people had (for the large part) realised that we sink and swim together) to being acceptable practice. For me, that was one of the greatest steps back in cultural integrity since the dark ages - greed became good and economic fuedalism returned. The governments of today have done nothing to reverse that trend and capitalism has been the economic representation of that process of thought - leading to the wealthier nations plundering the poor ones for ill-gotten gains.

3 - a press dominated by comment rather than jounalism; led by sales rather than quality. When sensationalism leads the day, it is hardly surprising that people begin to act in sensationalist ways (thinking its the norm) - especially those in the public eye. Look at the celebrity of today and how they crave for the limelight (there are exceptions, but this is far more acceptable than in times past). When publicity (good or bad) becomes more important than doing what you do well and not being publically recognised for it, we start down a slippery slope.

4 - short term gain over long term stability (and so real gain) has become the language of the day. politicians cut taxes to win the next election, they govern for the term only and not for the good of the county 50 years hence. sportspeople have limited career spans and grab as much as they can, however they can, while they can.

I'll stop there before I start on the erosion of the NHS and free, universal education - grrr.

What we see accross the sporting arena is a culture where doping, tampering and stretching the boundaries of fairplay become commonplace and trust in the character of both the competitors and the organisers disintegrates - it saddens me.

Anectdotal evidence of this...

When I was playing football the other day a ref called a foul against another guy when he had beaten me to a header. There was no foul and I told the ref so. I could only be dissapointed by the faces of both sets of players who were surprised, shocked, even a little p**sed off, that I had been honest and not wanted to take advantage. When we were kids, we played in the park and there was no need for a ref, and rarely ever any arguments at all - we were playing for fun. At what point did enjoyment become a far off second to winning?

Beautiful, truly beautiful post. I absolutely, 100% unreservedly agree.

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Beautiful, truly beautiful post. I absolutely, 100% unreservedly agree.

why thank you sir - now can we revert to talk of nail clippings?

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I definitely disagree with point number 2. Everyone always says moral standards are in decline and I never believe it. You can find people saying that in d#ckens, Shakespeare, the Bible, ancient Babylonian texts, Neandertal caveman paintings..... OK I'm exaggerating a little but you get the point. Imho humans have always been immoral creatures - we all just like to think everyone else is immoral and worse than we are.

I probably disagree with many of the other points too, although I'd have to think about it. My take is that there has been cheating in F1 for many decades. If it has gotten gradually worse, and I am not 100% convinced yet, I tend to link that with the competition becoming more serious. If someone's not willing to cheat, I reckon they're not really trying.

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In Formula 1, people haven't become more immoral. They've just gotten smarter. The more restrictions there are, the greater they have to push to find a way around them. Someday we'll all be complaining about how much better the sport was when we had espionage and team orders and fixed races, just wait.

I'm all for opening up the rules, but jeopardizing driver safety with intentional crashes is crossing a line in my mind. You do need some rules to keep people in line; what would have happened if another driver hit the debris from Piquet's car, or worse, was hit by the debris flying off?

As for humans in general, it's just how people are brought up. Prior to the recession, people were getting extremely big-headed about their wealth in my area, and it shows in their snobby kids who are taking AP courses that they hate and joining activities they want to quit just to get into a super competitive university to major in something they're disinterested in to make money. Additionally, children's television programming only teaches kids Spanish, not morals like it used to, so we're all going to suffer. Dora the Explorer is raping you children's minds.

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I definitely disagree with point number 2. Everyone always says moral standards are in decline and I never believe it. You can find people saying that in d#ckens, Shakespeare, the Bible, ancient Babylonian texts, Neandertal caveman paintings..... OK I'm exaggerating a little but you get the point. Imho humans have always been immoral creatures - we all just like to think everyone else is immoral and worse than we are.

I probably disagree with many of the other points too, although I'd have to think about it. My take is that there has been cheating in F1 for many decades. If it has gotten gradually worse, and I am not 100% convinced yet, I tend to link that with the competition becoming more serious. If someone's not willing to cheat, I reckon they're not really trying.

No offence matey, but I've heard this argument so many times before and ALWAYS from people who are justifying acting like an a##hole to get their selfish way. It's the way morally bankrupt people excuse themselves for not standing up and doing the right thing.

It boils down to the "If everyone does it then I'm not really being that bad" excuse for every action.

I'm sorry, but that doesn't wash. If you know you're doing wrong, then you're doing wrong, no amount if justification can excuse that - it's simple.

This is exactly what I'm talking about with point 2. People have started to accept / even expect that it was all well and fair to **** someone else over in order to get what you want - they do that by making exactly the same kind of justification that you just did.

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:lol:

I didn't mean to offend anyone! This issue of cheating gets people's goat because there are popular misconceptions that folk don't want to give up.

I'm not trying to justify being a bad person, or at least not an especially bad person. It's just a fact that human nature is selfish. We all care more about ourselves and perhaps our families than anyone else. There are people in desperate need in Africa and elsewhere and I'm not doing much to help them out, and neither is (almost) anyone else. I might write a blog entry about this.

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"adamstrags": Thank you for the post. A number of your points are well made specifically because they are not about Formula One but rather the suspect state of morals and ethics in the world circa 2009. As racing - particularly at the level of F1 - is very much a business then it is invariably stricken with the same foibles, the same shortcomings as much of the greater business world is today. Cheating didn't just happen in the last couple of years and a desire to win didn't just become a novel idea. But the "bigger is better" and "win at all costs" and "greed is good" mentality has been on the increase for the last few decades and you don't have to look any farther than the current state of the world economy to see it's effects. Short term thinking with disregard for the long term consequences is very much in force and too many people allow businessmen and politicians to get away with it. Formula One, which is, in fact, just another industry, is simply no different. I don't think that it is fair to tar everyone in the sport with the same brush but there is enough of a suspiciously soulless undercurrent up and down the paddock to allow scandalous behavior of one sort or another to occur all too often.

By the way when I raise question of morals and ethics I have no hidden agenda, and there is most definitely no religion behind my views. I don't think for a minute that people need to be forever guided by divine intervention to be generally honest, well-grounded, considerate and compassionate. Sorry, I feel myself straying here...

Again, thank you for the solid post.

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:lol:

I didn't mean to offend anyone! This issue of cheating gets people's goat because there are popular misconceptions that folk don't want to give up.

I'm not trying to justify being a bad person, or at least not an especially bad person. It's just a fact that human nature is selfish. We all care more about ourselves and perhaps our families than anyone else. There are people in desperate need in Africa and elsewhere and I'm not doing much to help them out, and neither is (almost) anyone else. I might write a blog entry about this.

Don't worry about offence - I like a good debate and no one's going to resort to personal insults here.

I agree far more with this post than your last - but still essentially disagree with your premis.

You bring up some important things for discussion though, so let's crack on.

Your first point - 'people are basically selfish by nature' is flatly incorrect. Almost everyone manages to be predominantly good. We do far more good than bad as individuals. There is an inate satisfaction in helping someone. There are many people doing charity work, relief work, emergency medical volunteers etc.

What is selfish by nature is not individuals, but economic/social/political collectives of people (businesses/countries/races/religions). When we work as proxy for those bodies we find actions far easier to excuse. When a bank manager reposesses a house - 'I'm just doing my job'. When a Doctor refuses medical care in the US for lack of insurance - 'I want to help, but I'm not allowed'. When a thief robs a granny - 'I've got kids to feed'. When a man tells a 5 year old child she's going to rot in hell unless she repent her sins - 'I'm trying to save her soul'.

You see - the perceived economic/social/political imperative excuses all sorts of bad behaviour.

Now, let's look at the evolutionary imperative for the opposite of such behaviour...

If you look at the evolutionary advantages of being selfless individually, in a community or to greater society, it's where our development as a species has come from. Language is a result of cooperation - societal structures have been entirely necessary for the survival of the individual throughout human history. What is education if it is not essentially helping people to improve their future life? Look at the animal kingdom and tell me what percentage is entirely individualistic and which depends on family/pack/hive etc for survival. Now you might say that they still fight over breeding rights and that individuals get turfed out if they don't act in the interest of the group. To the first - that is still in the interest of the over all group's survival - to the second - that supports my point again. Social Dawinianists of the 1800's would have said - 'survival of the fittest, let the poor and diseased die off'. But I think we've moved on from that kind of malappropriation of evolutionary theory by now - if not, here's a quick outline of why that would not be a sound understanding of evolutionary theory - As a species, we have long taken care of our older/sicker members precisely because we know of their value to our societies. It is from them that knowledge is gained and so we, as a group, survive and develop. This is just one instance in which caring for the week is beneficial. In fact, the more a species cares for it's sick and old, the more developed it tends to be - there's a pretty solid correlation through out the animal kingdom.

To preempt the other argument against the evolutionary imperative for cooperation - you may say 'but each society fights with the next'. Here there are two issues - 1) that is again because of perceived economic/social/political/religious imperative - or more precisely a greed for resources including money but also food, technology etc etc. We go back to excuses being made for selfish deeds when we are acting on behalf of a larger structure of which we are part 2) societies that do NOT fight with the next (Switzerland, Norway, Sweden to name some countries) tend to do rather beter for themselves, IN THE LONG TERM than those who scwabble - most governments just haven't learnt that yet.

To your second point - What you're saying here boils down to 'inaction is different from concious, selfish action'.

Actually I think you're wrong here too...

Inactionis, in and of itself, a concious decision and can equate to selfishnessdepending on circumstance and the results of not acting. Unfortunatelymany people act when it's in their economic interest and don't act whenthat's in their economic interest too. However, when all it takes istime rather than money, people choose to act rather than not in orderto help others much more of the time.

Geopolitically - Look at thenumber of 'friendly' dictators that the west have "not interfeeredwith" - Batista, Branco, Botha, Cedras, Duvalier, Chang Kai Shek(that's just some recent B's and C's) - was that selfish/generous orneither? Inaction can be selfish too - but on a national scale it'sexpected.

Individually however, things are different - would you notfeel bad if you witnessed a rape and did nothing to stop it? Mostlikely you would call the police no?

The second (already hinted at) issue here is that inaction becomes action by proxy when you benefit from the ill-gotten gains.

SayBilly bullies Barney (a like the alliteration), and gives you half themoney to keep quiet. You do nothing. Think about it - that is a goodmetaphor for what happens daily in this world, just on a much moremassive scale.

EDIT - sorry - having read this post again, I realise I went around in a circle - I wrote it bleary eyed without my morning coffee when I got up this morning - any way - the basic jist is there. ;)

EDIT EDIT- just edited it to make a bit more sense.

"adamstrags": Thank you for the post. A number of your points are well made specifically because they are not about Formula One but rather the suspect state of morals and ethics in the world circa 2009. As racing - particularly at the level of F1 - is very much a business then it is invariably stricken with the same foibles, the same shortcomings as much of the greater business world is today. Cheating didn't just happen in the last couple of years and a desire to win didn't just become a novel idea. But the "bigger is better" and "win at all costs" and "greed is good" mentality has been on the increase for the last few decades and you don't have to look any farther than the current state of the world economy to see it's effects. Short term thinking with disregard for the long term consequences is very much in force and too many people allow businessmen and politicians to get away with it. Formula One, which is, in fact, just another industry, is simply no different. I don't think that it is fair to tar everyone in the sport with the same brush but there is enough of a suspiciously soulless undercurrent up and down the paddock to allow scandalous behavior of one sort or another to occur all too often.

By the way when I raise question of morals and ethics I have no hidden agenda, and there is most definitely no religion behind my views. I don't think for a minute that people need to be forever guided by divine intervention to be generally honest, well-grounded, considerate and compassionate. Sorry, I feel myself straying here...

Again, thank you for the solid post.

i) I agree - it started about sport in general and is now a conversation much more suited to toiling in the chat category - oops.

ii) I'm an atheist - the worst place we could look for moral guidance would be religious texts which perscribe killing, mutilating, raping, you name it

Edited by adamstrags

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I didn't mean for this to be another thread about piq/flav/syms - we already have a thread for that. (Not that it really maters.)

I was more curious to talk about how the culture of winning by all means even if that means cheating that seems to have spread accross the sport (and as Max pointed out throughout many sports at the moment).

I think there are many factors for this, but here are what I believe are the main few...

1 - sport has become far bigger business and winning has too great a financial reward these days - rather than running for the fun of running, people are now professional runners with a much bigger vested interest in winning when they run. sponsorship, TV rights, merchandise sales - so much money can be made of lost by people other than the competitors as a result of that competitor's performance. Many of those people find it hard not to interfere in the sport as a consequence.

2 - gradually disintergrating morality - we are still moral beings (don't get me wrong), but if Reaganism/Thatcherism/80's politics had any lasting affect it was to ingrain the idea that for the strong to survive they are quite within their rights to do it on the backs of the weak - that turned from being fundamentally poor form (after the togetherness and progress after WWII - when government/people had (for the large part) realised that we sink and swim together) to being acceptable practice. For me, that was one of the greatest steps back in cultural integrity since the dark ages - greed became good and economic fuedalism returned. The governments of today have done nothing to reverse that trend and capitalism has been the economic representation of that process of thought - leading to the wealthier nations plundering the poor ones for ill-gotten gains.

3 - a press dominated by comment rather than jounalism; led by sales rather than quality. When sensationalism leads the day, it is hardly surprising that people begin to act in sensationalist ways (thinking its the norm) - especially those in the public eye. Look at the celebrity of today and how they crave for the limelight (there are exceptions, but this is far more acceptable than in times past). When publicity (good or bad) becomes more important than doing what you do well and not being publically recognised for it, we start down a slippery slope.

4 - short term gain over long term stability (and so real gain) has become the language of the day. politicians cut taxes to win the next election, they govern for the term only and not for the good of the county 50 years hence. sportspeople have limited career spans and grab as much as they can, however they can, while they can.

I'll stop there before I start on the erosion of the NHS and free, universal education - grrr.

What we see accross the sporting arena is a culture where doping, tampering and stretching the boundaries of fairplay become commonplace and trust in the character of both the competitors and the organisers disintegrates - it saddens me.

Anectdotal evidence of this...

When I was playing football the other day a ref called a foul against another guy when he had beaten me to a header. There was no foul and I told the ref so. I could only be dissapointed by the faces of both sets of players who were surprised, shocked, even a little p**sed off, that I had been honest and not wanted to take advantage. When we were kids, we played in the park and there was no need for a ref, and rarely ever any arguments at all - we were playing for fun. At what point did enjoyment become a far off second to winning?

Great post :thbup:

Fernando Alonso's quote at Monza 2006, is ringing through my head whilst reading this great thread. Here it is again:

"I am a sportsman. I love sport, I love the fans. I don't consider Formula One like a sport anymore"

Edited by aussief1

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Great post :thbup:

Fernando Alonso's quote at Monza 2006, is ringing through my head whilst reading this great thread. Here it is again:

"I am a sportsman. I love sport, I love the fans. I don't consider Formula One like a sport anymore"

Yea, and during the following seasons, to which ever team he walked in seemed to get into trouble! :P

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What has become of F1?? As what maure has said before, a sitcom, particularly, cos what's currently going on ATM, EAverybody Loves Raymond!

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Hi Adam, thanks for the detailed reply. :P

What you say sounds to me like endearingly positive, but also wishful, thinking. An average person in Britain earns 100 times more than the typical African and we donate less than 1/200th of our wealth to all poor countries put together. The vast majority of that pitiful amount is given by the government, not individuals making donations voluntarily. I find it hard to square that reality with the idea that we're all selfless, caring people.

You're right that we do care to some extent. If I witnessed a serious crime, I probably would call the police - but this is hardly a great sacrifice or risk on my part. And frankly most people wouldn't even go as far as you or I would. There are endless reports of witnesses not reporting serious crimes: video cameras show at least 10 people failed to report a brutal 90 minute rape in the corridor of their apartment block, and the British Crime Survey shows that only 14% of Britons report witnessing an assault. Again, I find it hard to reconcile the awkward reality with wishful thinking about how much our neighbours care about us.

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Miserable b*ggers :)

Sorry don't buy all this negative bollocks.

Sounds like you read too many newspapers. If there was ever a scourge of society its our damn media.

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Well I think most people would act if they saw a violent crime too, at least I like to think so. Still though, I don't think that has much to do with morality really.

Most people are still predominately selfish and greedy and that will always be the case because those are the easier options. That is how people passed on their genes for quite a while, by acting in their own interests; it's only in "civilised" society that it makes more sense to act in the interests of society and not just yourself and those you know (because we rely more on relationships with other people to get by).

These days it's more a case of acting in your own interests, but also acting in the interests of others when it counts (networking, basically), and that is usually how people get to the top now. People didn't get better or worse as we evolved, they just got more civilisied and controlled (I'm sure there are enough examples of what happens when governments lose control of their people), and we learned to exploit the weak in the ways that are allowed (accepted) in whatever state of society we are in. That does not fit in with a model of humanity which says we are selfless, compassionate people ;)

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Miserable b*ggers :)

Sorry don't buy all this negative bollocks.

Sounds like you read too many newspapers. If there was ever a scourge of society its our damn media.

That's why I get my news on Twitter. "omg ppl r dyin wrld end 2day" may be negative, I don't know, I can't really tell.

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Hi Adam, thanks for the detailed reply. :P

What you say sounds to me like endearingly positive, but also wishful, thinking. An average person in Britain earns 100 times more than the typical African and we donate less than 1/200th of our wealth to all poor countries put together. The vast majority of that pitiful amount is given by the government, not individuals making donations voluntarily. I find it hard to square that reality with the idea that we're all selfless, caring people.

Charitable giving is again something done by proxy. That supports my point. You see, less people are likely to be altruistic through a 3rd party (a charitable organisation) than they are face to face (i.e. when you visit Africa, you are much more likely to help as indeed I do when I see beggars in the street in China).

That supports precisely what I was saying in my last post and does not mean that people are basically selfish at all.

You're right that we do care to some extent. If I witnessed a serious crime, I probably would call the police - but this is hardly a great sacrifice or risk on my part. And frankly most people wouldn't even go as far as you or I would. There are endless reports of witnesses not reporting serious crimes: video cameras show at least 10 people failed to report a brutal 90 minute rape in the corridor of their apartment block, and the British Crime Survey shows that only 14% of Britons report witnessing an assault. Again, I find it hard to reconcile the awkward reality with wishful thinking about how much our neighbours care about us.

Compare those figures to the figures of how many people DO report a crime and you'll feel a lot less pessimistic. Of course the press concentrates on the negative - the positive is not newsworthy and doesn't sell papers. Think about this scientifically rather than emotionally.

But even so - this still supports rather than disproves my argument that people are becoming more selfish than in the past (or more precisely that selfishnessis becoming more acceptable). I would say that in the past most of those 10 people would have reported the rape. So if that is an indication of selfishness, then it again proves my point. Your argument would be that people have always been like this - if that were the case then why would it make the news. It makes it into the papers precisely BECAUSE it represents deteriorating morality.

The difference between our arguments is not really what we see now, but what we think of the past as compared to now. I think people were kinder, more caring, more generous and less selfish 30 years ago - you think that they've always been this selfish and that they are inately so. That is why I say that there has been a moral disintegration since the 80's and that is where you disagree.

I also carried myself away from this point with my evolutionary explanation as to why cooperation is good and why I believe that individuals are basically good - but that is connected.

My chief concern is that I see that the increasing selfishness will lead to a slow down (if not, reversal) in cultural/scientific advancement, which I see as very dangerous - a repeat of the dark ages looms.

But then again, my confidence in human nature allows me to believe that we will pull ourselves out of it. That progress and kindness is the norm and that blips in that progress caused by mistaken politics, economics and by limited resources will inevitably be overcome.

Were I to think that selfishness is the norm (as you do), then I simply wouldn't be able to explain any of our historical progress up until now - our evolution as a species has depended upon our basic instincts to be kind, helpful, sharing and morally decent - without our fundamentally good human nature we could never have developed as we have

When we say 'people are naturally selfish' we have our excuse ready made for our failure. We allow for greed and by so doing encourage it. If we say 'people are inately good, but it is not easy and you must work to be so', I see a far more posiive future - one where we do not allow ourselves to become lazy and corruptable, but rather stick to our morals as we have prooved ourselves capable of in the past - most recently in WWII.

I'm generally an optimist about human nature and therefore our future as a species - If I weren't I'd be making excuses for our ultimate downfall and therefore aiding and abeting in that very downfall. Belief has always helped create the fact.

Remember when everyone feared a fuel shortage and so rushed out to buy fuel - thus creating the fuel shortage they feared. So it is with regards to our future in general.

Edited by adamstrags

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