Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Where do you draw the line with dope cheats?

Finally, they have thrown Lance Armstrong out of cycling because of his underworld type exploitation of his own sport, cycling.  Using his illness to hide a deep desire to win, he has perhaps changed the way we think of dope cheating in future.  In the past, it was one man or woman’s sole desire to be the best at any cost, before that it was one nations desire to be the best.  Now with Armstrong we realise it was one man’s desire corrupt an entire sport and bend it to his will.  Does this go beyond the boundaries of other drug cheats and so does it set a new precedent? 

If they decide as I have read this morning, to remove all trace of the years between Armstrong’s first win in 99 to his last in 05, do we have to do this with all sports blighted with the evil of enhanced athletes whose sole purpose was cheating to win and being the best.  This is not a simple task, there are many sports, some major ones where doping is used extensively even if it is not headline news.

Alternatively, do we take a different view and start enhanced versions of sports, allowing athletes who want to use performance-enhancing drugs to win, to play-off against each other.  ‘Super Cycling’, ‘Super Boxing’, ‘Super Athletics’; is it a good idea to allow this to happen or is it the natural evolution of competitive sport. 

Would anyone really be interested?  Is the danger of the drug or use of the drug an issue now?  Is the sport more dangerous with the use of drugs?  Is there a significant advantage to using a specific drug in that sport?  Will it change our attitudes towards drugs?  Many more questions come to mind, beyond are they cheating.  

I occasionally watch American Football, and to see the size of those linebackers, those big blokes on the line of scrimmage, whatever they are doing to their bodies in the name of their sport.  I bet it is not all good, even if it is not drug enhanced.  Athletes put their bodies through a massive amount of stress and pressure just to reach the top.  Yes they seem healthy when they are young, but what will most of them be like in the forties and fifties, especially in the heavy hitting contact sports.  For every great legend, you see on TV, still looking healthy and full of life, there probably is many more, in agony unable to walk properly or move without painkillers.

I am not condoning cheating; I think it is vile and disrespectful to one’s self and ones fellow competitors.  Saying that, if all the cheaters cheat, and they are all on a level playing field and no one can cheat further and it makes it even, then we will know definitely, whom the best is.  If control and legislation do not work then we need to find new avenues.  What if they legalised performance-enhancing drugs, what if because of a change, the sport became more popular made more money, more profit.  What if because the sport allowed access to drugs they found, newer, better ways to enhance, and it helped humanity.  It might be a long shot but it is a possibility.
Modern day sport is part of the consumer cycle.  Modern sport creates competitors, competitors increase the sports popularity.  The best competitors are watched, and the best win to become so popular that they enhance the sport.  Allowing other commercial companies to invest in that sport so they can make more profit.  The products are then sold on mass to the competitors and also the spectators of that sport.  A perfect cycle.

Or do we continue with the present format, trying to find drug cheats and never truly knowing who is the best because being the best may just mean you are the best at cheating.  Until they sort it out in sport, we will know this period of history as the uncertain period before we realised the way to go forward.  The time when we cannot be certain, how good someone truly is, because of people like Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, the East Germans, and the many others from many sports who know they cheated to win.  The ones who cheated and got away with it, and worst of all, the ones who cheated, got away with it, and won.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Matter might be a living object and Dark Energy consciousness

I wrote a post some months ago about Dark Energy and what it might be, my conclusion was a philosophical one.  It must be some kind of memory or storage for knowledge.  I used the title of the piece ‘Could Dark Energy be Heaven?’

I had another thought continuing in that vein.  The known Universe as we perceive it, only started to expand after the creation of dark energy (If we start after the great expansion called inflation).  Dark Energy makes up approximately 74% of mass of our known Universe, so we could argue that for every one part of matter there are three parts of none matter.  What if the expansion of the Universe, started when matter became alive and emitted a new form of energy similar to consciousness?  If we were the hot cup of tea, and the heat given off through entropy is our consciousness over our lifetime, changing into a new form of energy, which we know as dark energy. 

I know it’s a long shot but why not, surely some clever mathematician, physicist, or cosmologist can create an equation for thought, for consciousness.  One part living matter gives off three parts of dark energy through consciousness – memory, thoughts, experiences, and information.  And if you use Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2  then the amount of information, consciousness, etc. stored in the Universe is considerable.

I realise this may seem a bold statement with little evidence, but you can roughly work out the likelihood using probability.  When you take into account the age of the Universe and the likelihood of other sentient species having existed, as well as the many other types of living objects created throughout the history of the Universe, and if you take into account how long a sentient species may survive until extinction.  If you add the other life forms we cannot at this time comprehend because of our lack of information regarding the object we call the Universe.  Surely someone more knowledgeable than me can think of an equation that shows the correlation between probabilities of life existing since the Universe began, probability of it having conscious thought, the amount of dark energy in the Universe, and all the other variables involved.

The big problem with the Universe is we know next to nothing about it.  We are virtually working from a blank canvas.  We think we know a great deal about how it works but I doubt it.  I would suspect we know less than a quark on the great canvas on the Universe, as near to nothing as you can get on a Universal scale. 
I know this because we have only just started our quest, we have to understand our predicament and situation and realise that everything we believe to be true no matter how conclusive it may seem, is likely to be false or only a small part of the whole. 

Yet I believe because we are essentially one of the luckiest objects to be created by entropy, because we ended up with the power to think.  We seem like the anomaly, a freak happening, probably a billion, billion to one, yet still that number is insignificant when scaled against the whole of the Universe since its birth (if it was ever born).  As far as we know very few other species or anything for that matter can think and are self-aware, and we know for certain from our perspective no other thing can do it as well as we can.  This in itself using the laws of probably is unlikely.  Just because we believe we are the highest form of intelligence, does not mean we definitely are, from our perspective we are the highest, but maybe every living thing whatever we perceive it to be, whether alive or not, existing or not, may from its own perspective believe it is the highest form of intelligence in its reality.

If you think about it, it is just as likely for other living objects to believe they are unequalled. If every form of life believes it is the highest form of intelligence for its reality; or you could say to survive its environment, what would that say about the universe?  The Universe itself does not even follow its own laws as the continued formation of more dark energy pushing everything further apart can only give two conclusions either the first law of thermodynamics is wrong or the Universe stores energy in another way different to dark energy and matter related energy.  And if we use entropy, we can say that dark energy is a more dispersed form of the energy it was before it changed.  Perhaps that is the energy created by living objects (which might be all of matter) as they go about their existence in their own specific perspective of reality.

Science tries to use evidence from our perspective of reality, to create a viable plausible concept of the Universe and what it might be and how it might work.  But it is not conclusive, it is not certain, it is only ever appropriate at the time.  And it can always be proved wrong eventually.  History proves that, perhaps in two hundred years, scientists will look back on this time and think of our knowledge as similar to Newton, and Galileo.  Great steps forward but not quite right, and they will be in the same boat as we are in five hundred years.

Monday, 15 October 2012


As the leaves they turn from green to brown,
And the air starts to feel colder,
As the sun’s great warmth begins to wane,
And the world gets a little older,
As the nights close in and darkness descends,
And we light our fires to smoulder,
It’s autumn’s a slow death to the cold of winter,
And winter’s the sleeping coma.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Europe wins the Ryder Cup

Just before the final singles day began Jack Nicklaus was in the Sky studio, Butch Harmon had predicted a massive win for Team USA 18 -10, and even the European pundit couldn’t see a European win.  Yet wise old Jack, the greatest golfer of them all said, well I don’t quite see it like that. It will be close and I feel the class is on the European side; they might come back and just win this, Team USA need to watch out.

How right he was, in an amazing final days singles golf, the gods and Seve were smiling on Team Europe as they came back to win 14.5 to 13.5.  This has to be the greatest comeback of all, yes the Americans did it in ‘99 but that was on home soil, this was on foreign soil in front of a patriotic and noisy crowd.

You could sense from the beginning something special was about to unfold when the first four players all scored birdies off the first.  Ian Poulter the hero from Saturday night chipped in, then later Rory McIlroy chipped in as well, after only arriving ten minutes before his tee time.  Europe needed to get off to a great start and get some blue on the board and with Luke Donald winning the first match out, Europe won the first five matches.  After that it was a rollercoaster of high tension and energy as the loud, raucous, American crowded were slowly quietened by the brilliance of Europe’s play. 

The significant action seemed to happen on the last few holes, especially the 17th.  Team USA lead 1up in two matches involving Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk; Phil was in the bunker and played a delicate chip to within a few feet.  Then Justin Rose knocked in a 35 yard put to win the hole with a birdie, Mickelson then went long on the last and the impossible seemed probable as Rose won the hole to win the match 1up.  Furyk thinned his chip and could not put in the subsequent put back up the green on the 17th, he then lost the 18th and those two matches seemed to spell the end for Team USA.

Still it did go down to the wire, Martin Kaymar nearly gave us a scare on the 18th when 1up only needing to two put from  20 yards away he left himself a tricky winner but luckily he made it and the cup was retained, then Woods conceded the last hole to Molinari and the impossible became a miracle.  Europe had won the Ryder Cup.

The Ryder Cup is the best golf to watch on TV by miles and last night’s singles will go down as one of the greatest ever.