Thursday, March 09, 2023

Indoor Mile Record

This 2019 video of a world record set in the indoor mile really shows how incredibly fast these runners run:

I mean, I could never have run that fast, even for a single lap, when I was young. Not even half a lap. Not even down the back stretch.

I know the runner who set a world record here is genetically gifted, thin and tall, with a long stride. Sometimes I think this ruins world class athletics, that it's really only open to those who have the exact genome to excel in their event. Consider sprinters (Usain Bolt) versus this mile sprinter versus a champion weight lifter. All built very differently, and their events aren't open to those who aren't similarly born.

I'm not suggesting that everyone be weighted down a la Kurt Vonnegut. (Did Vonnegut ever assess his own advantages?) I guess most people enjoy watching a genetically gifted person run a mile in a record time. I do too.

But the same also applies to society at large. Smart people, people born smart for no reason of their own, will tend to do well in high-powered jobs in engineering or science or finance, while those who aren't as genetically blessed will not. No one ever wants to talk about this. Everyone feels they worked their way into their success an never wants to recall all their advantages, whether genetic, the environment of their youth, or luck. 

It's the ultimate discrimination.


Layzej said...

Here's a speed skating record: over 100km/h!

David Appell said...

Wow. And he hardly seems to be working hard at all.