An interesting proposal to fix the unfair genetic advantage that some people have over other people in the olympics (or any competition at all). He proposes:

“To begin with, Olympic athletes all start out with a completely unfair advantage over those of us who will never snatch, clean or jerk at a world-class level: genetics. Just like supermodels need to be born with the genetic code for high cheekbones and UNIX sysadmins need to be born with the genetic code for answering perfectly reasonable questions in a snotty tone of voice, an Olympic back-stroker must be born of ancestors who had to escape waterborne predators while keeping an eye out for flying predators.

Why not level the genetic playing field?

Here’s the plan: We use genetic engineering to create a human being who is genetically average in every way, clone him — or her, we can flip a coin — and issue one Average Athlete Baby to each country to raise as they choose. Then, 18 years later, every country brings their Average Athlete Adult to whichever world-class city hasn’t suffered enough, and all the AAAs compete. In every event. They all must run a sprint, and a marathon, and shoot arrows and wrestle each other and do whatever “dressage” is. (I don’t know, but it sounds even kinkier than clone wrestling.)”

One problem with such a proposal: Half the world’s population will have better genes than the olympic athletes! That makes for pretty boring sport, where amateurs are better than professionals.

In general, this will clearly be a problem in the future when we start making actually good drugs and nanobots that boost performance. Then amateurs will become vastly superior to ‘undoped’ (not proven to be doping at least) professional athletes. Since that wont work, publicum wise, then sooner or later they are going to have to change their no-doping policy. It is also kind of strange, as the author notes:

“The whole concept of doping is a weird one. Taking a young girl with athletic promise, severing her from any chance of a normal childhood, shipping her off to another country, training her day and night, then subjecting her to the sort of pressure that would crush a seafloor crab into mucus and shards — that’s normal.

Topping off with a little more testosterone than your genome saw fit to give you — that’s abhorrent.”

Even just multiplying one’s own cells also is cheating. At least, if it is done in vitro.

“However, I’m not going to suggest that we just let people dope all they want, mostly because a couple hundred comedians have already trod that one into the tarmac. Instead, I have a plan to restore the Olympics to what they originally were: a chance for Greeks to run around naked. Wait, no, I’m sure the Greeks can handle that one themselves.”

He isnt? But i am! This is another case of prohibitionism.

Also, with doping free, athletes will become much better, and thus more cool to watch.


Leave a Reply