martin morrissey

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martin morrissey
Posted 6 months ago
David Epstein: Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?
This is a great presentation and I would like to hear more from him as there are some tantalising leads that can be elaborated on, performance enhancing drugs being one of them. There was a fascinating doco I saw on EPO testing in the 2000 Sydney Olympics where a French urine test and an Australian blood test were found to be almost 100% effective but were not implemented in a way that was likely to catch the celebrity athletes. This ineffectual testing protocol bewildered the scientists who were questioned about it. These same scientists were equally surprised by the hot and cold attitudes of the IOC officials in Lucerne when they presented their EPO test. I think there is a great deal of corruption in elite sport that is obviously driven by money. Sport is very political too, just watch those preening politicians trying to share the dias with sporting champions. Perhaps the biggest driver of this is the pursuit of records, it is a given that there will always be a winner but can you imagine an Olympics where no records were broken? it would be considered by many to be an embarrassing failure. I find it really curious how we really care about fairness and honesty in sport but are so tolerant of dishonesty and cheating in politics and business, despite the fact that elite sport doesn't really have any impact on how we live and politics and business have enormous consequences for us. What does this say about us?
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martin morrissey
Posted 7 months ago
Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work
I couldn't agree more, concrete and glass can look good on the drawing board but are invariably disappointing when they become a reality, the wind and the shadows and the echo of traffic noise I find depressing even post-apocalyptic. We forget we are part of nature at our own peril.
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martin morrissey
Posted 7 months ago
Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
I think the biggest problem is with defining an objective to tackle this problem are the assumptions we all make about "commonly shared values". Since the economy is a reflection of our values it is easy for people to get very touchy about things that might contradict or challenge their values. Some of the most strongly christian people I know for instance are very pro free market capitalism which was maybe a reaction against communism but there is good evidence to suggest that in the earliest christian communities nobody had more than the next person, they were all poor and needed to work cooperatively to survive. We are often not what we think we are and dealing with this on a personal, community, community, religious and national level is very difficult. How do we get left and wingers, atheists and the religious, the rich and the poor, conservationists and developers, the country and the city etc to listen to each other and negotiate mutually acceptable outcomes? When we learn to do this we will get rid of corruption to a large extent.
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martin morrissey
Posted 7 months ago
Charmian Gooch: My wish: To launch a new era of openness in business
I think you should watch "The Corporation" Mukesh, it won an academy award in the early 90's for best feature length documentary. I see nothing rational about placing faith in "The Market" to answer humanities needs, despite all it's faults governments are still by and large way more publicly accountable than corporations are, especially anonymous corporations where there is no pubic accountability at all. Yes some corporations are no doubt are more benevolent than others but our well being is not their mandate, nor is democracy or justice. Nation states' around the planet are falling more and more under the control of large corporations whose only responsibility is to make their sacred share holders richer, anonymous companies are just adding further grease to this slippery slope.