Knowing When to Stop: An Analysis of Technological Interventions

Posted on November 15, 2011 by


When we speak about the issue of intervention of technology within any sort of field, we ask not only about the purposes of such intervention, but also a very important question to consider for any such interventions. The question asked is that of “how much is too much?” In order to at least serve as an aid to answering the question, Cornell Sun Times commentator, Yael Borofsky says, addressing the issue of technological intervention in sports:

How do you compare Sidney Crosby to Wayne Gretzky or Barry Bonds to Hank Aaron, when the current star has the advantage of so much more technology than the sports legend. Suddenly, world records and all-time statistics lose their validity and technologically advanced equipment doesn’t look quite so innocuous.

The above is an example of how technology can not only create issues with legitimizing claims of performance, but also with determining the root of one’s performance on the field (be it through the technology or through the person’s physical attributes). In essence, when comparing the performance of two different people, it’s just like comparing one running against the wind to another with the wind to his back! As a result, there do need to be fixed standards on what sorts of equipment sports will utilize in order to determine performance levels, and thus, mitigate any unfair advantages not too different from those presented by steroids. It will only be then that we will still have some form of validity to the world records which people may set.

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