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Buster
Second place Golden Gala winner (and double amputee) Oscar Pistorius probably won't get to run in the Olympics this year (even though he qualifies) because his cyber legs are "too good".

I already have my 20/13 lasik eyes, when can I buy my leg upgrades?

Site includes amazing video of him running in the race: http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technolog...r-too-able.html
James McMurray
Cool. I've been following this guy a little bit and hope they eventually let him in.
FrankTrollman
The lack of effective traction makes him unable to compete effectively in rough terrain or slippery conditions, but at the olympics they are supposed to guaranty a good running surface over which he'd be competitive.

I definitely want him in. If nothing else simply because watching athletes saw their own legs off for competitive advantage is something I don't want to miss out on.

-Frank
Unarmed
There is some debate about whether or not he'd be able to make the South African Men's 400m team if he was allowed to compete in qualification for the Olympics, but I'd love to see him try.
Buster
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
I definitely want him in. If nothing else simply because watching athletes saw their own legs off for competitive advantage is something I don't want to miss out on.

-Frank

Yeah and I thought the Olympic swimmers shaving off all their body hair was hardcore.
eidolon
That guy is pretty amazing. I read an article on him in Wired a while back. I definitely want him to get in.
Demerzel
NRP's Talk of the Nation did a piece on the topic, hear it here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.p...toryId=10580771

Lindt
Wow, he covers the last hundred feet just astoundingly fast. He was like 8 strides from passing the guy in first...

Either way, wickedly impressed.
James McMurray
Makes me wonder if the guy who beat him is part of those claiming it's unfair.
hobgoblin
im guessing its the IOC thats claiming unfairness, and those are mostly overweight, balding men in suits...

all in all i dont really know what to say, at the one hand i would love to see it happen, on the other hand it can open all kinds of cans of worms and other stuff...
hyzmarca
Knowing the IOC's obsession with normalizing blood oxygen levels, it'll probably require that all athletes be full cyborgs with precisely tuned bodies once the technology comes to fruition, all in the name of fairness. After all, an ideal Olympic game is one in which there is a complete tie.
Rotbart van Dainig
Hey, it works for car racing...
hyzmarca
Stock Car Racing is a game of strategy and teamwork; drivers work as a team and, at the end of the day, their team points matter more than who crossed the finish line first. The 400m dash is a game of running as fast as you can for 400 meters; the only that that matters is who crossed the finish line first.

Really, the IOA has no right to discriminate based on how many red blood cells a person has or what a person's legs are made out of any more than they have the right to discriminate based on what skin color a person has or whether or not he's circumcised.

And disallowing his competition probably violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Demerzel
Are you also pro doping? Do you advocate allowing all sterioids and drugs in all sports?
hyzmarca
Yes, I am pro doping. I'm in favor of applying 1) any thick liquid or pasty preparation, as a lubricant, used in preparing a surface and 2) an absorbent material used to absorb and hold a liquid, as in the manufacture of dynamite.


I'm in favor of not discriminating against differently abled people, whether they are less abled or more abled.

I'm also in favor of not being so anal-retentive as to count people's blood cells and measure people's hormone levels.




I'm also in favor of using real words, which doping, when used in the context of drug use, is not.
toturi
The question would be where do you draw the line? If an athlete has a condition that requires steriod treatment or some drug that has a side effect of enhancing performance, do you allow it? The man has a disability and technology has provided a way to overcome it. If they allow this man to enter the Olympics(I wouldn't dispute his right to join the Para-Olympics), then why not allow athletes to take their drugs?
James McMurray
For an unreal word it sure seems to appear in an inordinate amount of dictionaries. Sorry hyz, but not liking a word doesn't make it stop being one.
Buster
The Olympics are nice, but I'd love to see Augmented Olympics where all steroids, drugs, and cybernetics are fair game. I'd pay big money to see a 'roid-raged cyborg toss a caber into the parking lot. biggrin.gif
hyzmarca
QUOTE (toturi)
The question would be where do you draw the line? If an athlete has a condition that requires steriod treatment or some drug that has a side effect of enhancing performance, do you allow it? The man has a disability and technology has provided a way to overcome it. If they allow this man to enter the Olympics(I wouldn't dispute his right to join the Para-Olympics), then why not allow athletes to take their drugs?

Well yes, that's the entire point of not being anal retentive.

If an athlete has a medical condition that requires treatment, then it is simply inhuman to punish that athlete for it. Athletic competitions are never going to be "fair" everybody has different DNA, different heights, different builds, different natural hormone levels, and etc. This is quite normal and natural. It is literally impossible to make athletic competitions fair without disqualifying everyone who is not a robot or a literal clone of their standard athlete. And people shouldn't try because when they try we end up in the world of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, a whole different type a dystopia where exceptional people are brutally executed by the Handicapper General if they dare to remove the heavy weights that hold them down.

Of course, allowing unrestricted steroid use would create an unstoppable spiral amongst anal-retentive athletes who are under the extremely bizarre delusion that the potential for Olympic glory is more important than being paid, which is why it should only be allowed under a doctor's supervision.


And it isn't a real word in relation to drug use. It is a slang word. Its use by official agencies, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency is nothing less than the cold-blooded murder of the English language and should be punished by fiery nuclear death. sarcastic.gif
James McMurray
Then sign up Miriam-Webster for the death squads. Despite being one of the most respected dictionaries in the world they've given in and made it a real word, without even the slang tag.
Demerzel
I'm with James, I'm going to take Merriam-Webster's word on this one.

Where is the line drawn? Can a paraplegic use an electric wheelchair? Can I shoot myself out of a cannon? Is it still running if you don't have an ankle?
hyzmarca
Miriam-Webster has become rather candy-ass in recent years. They let "ginormous" in, for crying out loud. You can't get any more candy-assed than that.
Demerzel
They are more of an authority than you, regardless of their supposed candyassedness. Now there's a word for you.
Buster
Rules: bipedal humanoid form without wheels, rockets, or anti-grav and within the maximum range of pre-genetically-modified human size and weight. In other words: a munchkin.
eidolon
Show me that he isn't working as hard as a "regular" athlete, and you might begin to have a point in barring him from competing. As I recall, one major point of the story that I read about him had to do with the fact that due to not having lower legs, his quads/glutes/etc. were working overtime. I'm paraphrasing, but you get my point.

Here we go, Wired's article on him: Blade Runner

Excerpt that I was thinking about:
QUOTE (Wired magazine @ Blade Runner)
The lower legs of able-bodied sprinters return all the energy pumped into them by the muscles at the hips and knees — and they give back more, thanks to power from the calves and ankles. Pistorius doesn’t have feet, ankles, or calves, of course, so he compensates: His strength trainer estimates that 85 percent of his power comes from his hips and the rest comes from the knees.


And that's just it. Detractors say that he isn't having to work as hard, but I have yet to see any actual evidence or measurements that show one way or the other. I tend to give less weight to naysayers when they come in the form of whiners that got smoked by who they're whining about (or that are worried they will be). Personal bias, I know.
toturi
Look among normal athletes, you can be sure that if the said athlete isn't working as hard, he has the same basic physical makeup as the other. There is simply no proof either way that the new guy isn't benefitting from his blades any more than a normal person would from his lower limbs. What I have read is that his blades has improved his performance. So at this juncture without widely accepted definite proof, his blades is still a performance enhancement tool that the other athletes do not have access to, unless they want to cut their legs off and replace them.

I'm not in competition with that guy and I'm saying he's got an edge(not to be confused with the Edge biggrin.gif)
odinson
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Miriam-Webster has become rather candy-ass in recent years. They let "ginormous" in, for crying out loud. You can't get any more candy-assed than that.

I think if it's not in the scrabble dictionary then it shouldn't be a word.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (toturi)
Look among normal athletes, you can be sure that if the said athlete isn't working as hard, he has the same basic physical makeup as the other. There is simply no proof either way that the new guy isn't benefitting from his blades any more than a normal person would from his lower limbs. What I have read is that his blades has improved his performance. So at this juncture without widely accepted definite proof, his blades is still a performance enhancement tool that the other athletes do not have access to, unless they want to cut their legs off and replace them.

I'm not in competition with that guy and I'm saying he's got an edge(not to be confused with the Edge biggrin.gif)

I'm sure that the months of physical therapy required for him to learn how to run with his new legs certainly contributed to the enhanced performance. It isn't like you can just cut off a leg and slap on a new one like in Shadowrun. Adapting to the artificial limb is an arduous process. If they're going to ban anything that can result in enhanced performance when accompanied by several months of intense exercise, you'd end up banning everything. It would be must easier just to ban exercise altogether.

They might as well make it illegal for a run to employ months of excruciatingly painful leg-lengthening surgeries and accompanying physical therapy, but if they did that then you'd also have to set a single standardized leg-length just to be fair.
eidolon
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
It isn't like you can just cut off a leg and slap on a new one like in Shadowrun.


Isn't there some fluff in one of the books about the therapy you go through to acclimatize to your new cyber? Like how a good shadow clinic is one that does follow up, not just slaps the part on/in.

If it's not in a SR book, I read it in a novel or something. Interesting fluff to add to the game, IMO.
Cheops
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Jul 17 2007, 01:20 AM)
QUOTE (toturi @ Jul 16 2007, 07:34 PM)
The question would be where do you draw the line? If an athlete has a condition that requires steriod treatment or some drug that has a side effect of enhancing performance, do you allow it? The man has a disability and technology has provided a way to overcome it. If they allow this man to enter the Olympics(I wouldn't dispute his right to join the Para-Olympics), then why not allow athletes to take their drugs?

Well yes, that's the entire point of not being anal retentive.

If an athlete has a medical condition that requires treatment, then it is simply inhuman to punish that athlete for it. Athletic competitions are never going to be "fair" everybody has different DNA, different heights, different builds, different natural hormone levels, and etc. This is quite normal and natural. It is literally impossible to make athletic competitions fair without disqualifying everyone who is not a robot or a literal clone of their standard athlete. And people shouldn't try because when they try we end up in the world of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, a whole different type a dystopia where exceptional people are brutally executed by the Handicapper General if they dare to remove the heavy weights that hold them down.

Of course, allowing unrestricted steroid use would create an unstoppable spiral amongst anal-retentive athletes who are under the extremely bizarre delusion that the potential for Olympic glory is more important than being paid, which is why it should only be allowed under a doctor's supervision.


And it isn't a real word in relation to drug use. It is a slang word. Its use by official agencies, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency is nothing less than the cold-blooded murder of the English language and should be punished by fiery nuclear death. sarcastic.gif

The reason that the IOC wants to maintain Olympic Athletes as "pure" and "on the same playing surface" (ie. no drugs or bionics):

1. Economics: big surprise, some countries are wealthier than others! If you allow people to augment their body with technology only those in the wealthier countries, who have some disposable income to spend on such technology will be competitive. That runner from Kenya who scrapes by on several hundred dollars a year won't be able to afford Steriod treatments that cost several thousand every month.

2. Human Rights: National Athletics Programs and victories in international competitions are a major measure of the prestige of a country and how prosperous it is. Countries invest millions (if not billions) of dollars into their athletes to try and win gold medals. What happens when a country falls prey to the effects of above? What if you could find a way to circumvent that? Suddenly you'd end up with Mengele's wet dream--dozens of poor, LDCs who have 0 human rights and allow all sorts of testing and abuse on their citizens. "Hmm...you want to test out this new super drug that makes people stronger and faster? Well, test it here and we'll see how many medals it brings. If it works you will provide me with enough to turn my army into super soldiers that can wipe out the rebels pestering me. If it doesn't then I always have more people. In the mean time, give me lots of money, I'll make whatever laws you need and I can use the money to fund private security companies to keep me in power and you testing."

Of course considering what forum this is and some of the people who frequent it I imagine lots of you won't see these as a problem.
Ikirouta
I have to say that I'd like to see him run in Olympics. Is it fair? I don't know, since it's kind of hard to say how much those blades help him, if at all. Heck, he's faster than any of the Finnish 400 m runners eek.gif

What comes to doping, please! I don't believe that there are anyone at any sport (that can benefit from it) who doesn't use doping (at least those who are at the top). Kenyan runners might be an exception because long distance running is not as sexy sport as 100 m dash so maybe richer countries just don't want to invest to long distance running enough to use doping.

Obviously I don't have any evidence but since top athletes get busted for doping every now and then it's a pretty good indication, don't you think?
toturi
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Adapting to the artificial limb is an arduous process. If they're going to ban anything that can result in enhanced performance when accompanied by several months of intense exercise, you'd end up banning everything. It would be must easier just to ban exercise altogether.

Can drugs increase performance without intense exercise?
ShadowDragon8685
Cheops, welcome to the Olympics, 2070 style.

(And yes, assuming no major changes, the Winter Olympics will be held in the year 2070. I calculated it.)
Ryu
So we wait for the first competitors who get their legs hacked of once this tech is allowed?

Right about now he seems to be at an acceptable point of performance and should be allowed to race. We as SR-players know what is comeing up, for sure.
nezumi
I would have to agree with Cheops. The question does not end at whether it's fair for this person.

Additionally, in response to those people who have tried to apply disability laws and such, remember that if any trait results in the person being unable to perform the duties indicated, there is no requirement that person get hired on. This is doubly true since the Olympics are not hiring these people, but rather offering a service, and the fact that I do not believe they are based out of the US, and therefore US law does not apply. However, simply said, the idea of the Olympics is a competition between natural men performing at the best of their natural ability. Just like we wouldn't hire a black man to play Abraham Lincoln, we wouldn't hire a person with substantial augmentation to compete as a non-augmented person. It's discrimination on the same level of denying someone a job because he doesn't have a college degree or doesn't live in the right city. It sucks, but that's life.

As someone else said, I'd love to see him in the para-olympics, and considering how Olympics viewing rates have been going down, I imagine the para-Olympics really might be the 'way of the future'.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (Buster)
The Olympics are nice, but I'd love to see Augmented Olympics where all steroids, drugs, and cybernetics are fair game. I'd pay big money to see a 'roid-raged cyborg toss a caber into the parking lot. biggrin.gif
James McMurray
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
It would be must easier just to ban exercise altogether.

I'd tune in to watch the Whale-ympics.
pestulens
Sorry to be anil retentive about this but he is not technically a cyborg, there is no control integration involved ie he cant bend at the aicle or flex. Cybernetics is the study of control sistoms.


wate a second, I'm not sorry!
Moon-Hawk
So if letting this guy compete with his prosthetic is unfair, what about:
Someone who has artificial implants in his eyes to improve vision? Implanted contact lenses are a rarely-used, but allowable, alternative to laser surgery, I believe.
Someone who has had tendons replaced with stronger tissue? Baseball pitchers sometimes have torn tendons in their elbows replaced using tissue from their legs, which just happens to be stronger.
Someone who has metal bones, which are stronger than regular bones? The metals and ceramics used in reconstructive surgery aren't weak.
Someone who wears an external device on their feet that allows them to run faster and longer? They're called shoes.

My point is, human modification is a spectrum. This guy is a little farther down the spectrum than we're used to, but that doesn't mean that his situation is a whole new thing and is fundamentally any different than all sorts of crap that's already allowed. I admit that, at some point, a line must be drawn, but it's tough to come up with a condition that specifically excludes him that doesn't exclude something that's already been allowed, and doesn't sound contrived and silly.
Xenith
Let the man run. If its his dream, let him. If an astronaut or racer had an artifical heart, would you keep him from doing what he loves to do? How about an archer with an artificial eye?

Seriously, people whine and complain about piddly shit, but then ignore the important things... like breathing fresh air for instance.
Cheops
I'm not against this sort of stuff in the Olympics of 2070. I could understand why you'd have augmented athletes in the world of SR. However, not everyone is talking about SR athletes. The discussion is primarily RL about this runner in particular.

The problem with this guy, is does this give him an unfair advantage? He says it doesn't but the governing body for Athletics (track and field) says it does. The IOC gives the governing body the right to adjudicate its own sport and only steps in when it feels something fishy is going on.

Lol...Moon-Hawk. I don't think anyone is worried about shoes for athletes. The world is doing a much better job at making sure that LDCs are getting access to sports and necessary equipment (shoes, balls, nets, etc). See Right to Play and all the effort that FIFA is making. However the stuff you mentioned above that is definitely valid.

For starters I've never heard of a baseball pitcher doing that when it wasn't a serious injury (ie. not mandatory). That Kenyan runner who gets his legs chopped off by the local rebels because they thought he was a threat is not going to be able to afford the surgery to replace his legs. His days of competition are over. The Para-Olympics are almost entirely a developed country sporting event. And I believe that the IOC and various governing bodies DO have guidelines about how far you can go before it is "unnatural."
Moon-Hawk
I can certainly see the arguments of unfairness.
I think at the very least he should be given a lane and allowed to run, but told that officially he won't be competing for a medal. No one can possibly bitch that it's unfair, 'cause he can't get in anyone's way of the gold, but if he does well then the world will have seen him do it, and if in 50 years we decide that he definitely should have been allowed to compete than we can give him or his family a medal and revise the records. But if he's not given a lane then the world will simply never know.
Xenith
An interesting compromise. I'm impressed, if not entirely convinced.
Demerzel
I did some looking into these, I remember from a while ago seeing similar prosthetics in the news. Aimee Mullins was showing them off on the Rosie O’Donnel show in 1998, and doing magazine covers with them on as a model in addition to running in them. She used an earlier version of them, but they were similar. Jami Goldman wrote a book about her experience with amputation and it includes her using “cheetah legs?, possibly the same or a similar prosthetic to the one in the originally posted story. You can google their names for more details.

As to your comments Mook-Hawk:
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)

So if letting this guy compete with his prosthetic is unfair, what about:
Someone who has artificial implants in his eyes to improve vision? Implanted contact lenses are a rarely-used, but allowable, alternative to laser surgery, I believe.

This example was brought up in the NRP link I posted above. In that case the example was Tiger Woods had laser eye surgery and now sees better than 20/20. The thing is anyone can get eyeglasses that correct their vision to greater than 20/20, so being better than 20/20 isn’t a competitive advantage.

QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)

Someone who has had tendons replaced with stronger tissue? Baseball pitchers sometimes have torn tendons in their elbows replaced using tissue from their legs, which just happens to be stronger.

This one I don’t know about. Perhaps there’s something to be said about it being a part of them, but I’m not about to get behind transplanting a leg into an arm socket for extra strength….

QUOTE ( Moon-Hawk)

Someone who has metal bones, which are stronger than regular bones? The metals and ceramics used in reconstructive surgery aren't weak.

What are some examples where this would create a competitive example? What sports are currently limited by how far you can go before breaking a bone? What performance advantage is granted here?

QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)

Someone who wears an external device on their feet that allows them to run faster and longer? They're called shoes.

Anyone can wear shoes, however IAAP does place limits on what kind of shoes you may use. They may not incorporate springs or wheels in such a way that they grant you a competitive advantage.

The thing that stood out from the Talk of the Nation segment on this was the desire to prevent these sports from becoming about manufacturer’s abilities rather than athlete’s abilities. While this pair of legs may or may not be a competitive advantage, the technology is not going to stop here, and at what point does this stop being a gold medal for a runner and end up a gold medal for the manufacturer.
nezumi
Demerzel basically answered the specific examples Moonhawk brought up, however I"d say that there's also a substantial difference between modifications for a player in a US-only sport who is actually paid to participate (and so is an employee) and an Olympic athlete. I'd see no problem with this guy joining the NFL or the NBA, as long as he's obeying federal and appropriate local laws. I would see a problem with him joining a soccer team that might go off to play in the World Cup, however (although not so much as compared to the Olympics).
Moon-Hawk
Incidentally, my point was not that any of my examples were abusive, only that human modification for recovery and/or enhancement is already taken as a matter of course. It's just a question of where to draw the line. I agree that the line must be drawn somewhere, but for now I think he should be allowed to run, let the world see how he does, and just don't let him place, officially.
Anyone who thinks it isn't fair can't complain, since he wasn't officially competing anyway, but anyone who believes he should be able to compete, well, at least the world saw him and everyone knows who crossed that finish line before him and after him.
hobgoblin
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.01/b...betterbody.html

i also recall reading about special contacts that filtered out blue light to give a batter contrast on grassy fields. interestingly they made the users eyes look red. some athlete's that used them talked about enjoying that recoloring as it spooked the opponents. makes one think of cyber-psychosis...
Demerzel
The problem I see with letting him run and saying it doesn’t count is that if he does do well, then the winner(s) of record has to defend his victory in a stupid way. Then you place this burden that right now is on the community as a whole onto the medallist(s). Then not only does he have to defend against the allegations that he’s on drugs but he’ll also have to defend that he deserves it over Mr. Cheetah Legs.

What precedent would we be setting anyhow? Should we let the gold medallist in the Special Olympics race also, because it doesn’t count so why would it matter? Can we reserve a lane for the Tesla Roadster so we can show the world how much faster the current fastest production zero emissions car is compared to a meat athlete? Can I race my horse in a spare lane also? She’s half quarter horse, you should see how fast she can accelerate, it’s impressive.
Heimdalol
QUOTE (Moon Hawk)
I agree that the line must be drawn somewhere, but for now I think he should be allowed to run, let the world see how he does, and just don't let him place, officially.
Anyone who thinks it isn't fair can't complain, since he wasn't officially competing anyway, but anyone who believes he should be able to compete, well, at least the world saw him and everyone knows who crossed that finish line before him and after him.


QUOTE (Demerzel @ Jul 17 2007, 04:25 PM)
The problem I see with letting him run and saying it doesn’t count is that if he does do well, then the winner(s) of record has to defend his victory in a stupid way.  Then you place this burden that right now is on the community as a whole onto the medallist(s).  Then not only does he have to defend against the allegations that he’s on drugs but he’ll also have to defend that he deserves it over Mr. Cheetah Legs. 

What precedent would we be setting anyhow?  Should we let the gold medallist in the Special Olympics race also, because it doesn’t count so why would it matter?  Can we reserve a lane for the Tesla Roadster so we can show the world how much faster the current fastest production zero emissions car is compared to a meat athlete?  Can I race my horse in a spare lane also?  She’s half quarter horse, you should see how fast she can accelerate, it’s impressive.


The winner of the special olympics should compete too if they could actually make the qualifying times for the real olympics.

The point isn't whether his foot acts like a spring (it does.) It matters whether the cheetahs actually confer to him an advantage over an able bodied runner. Most of the studies done for this kind of running shows that the runner has to work harder than an able bodied person and cannot use tried an perfected running techniques as well.

If the retooling of his legs has improved his times it's because he's at less of a disadvantage. The olympics will just have to test and rule on each model or brand of prosthesis and ban any that confer an unfair advantage, like they already do with all manners of drugs and training. I think we'll see him running in the olympics soon if he can make the qualifying times.
Demerzel
QUOTE (Heimdalol)
This is all nonsense. The winner of the special olympics should compete too if they could actually make the qualifying times for the real olympics.

That is a response to the suggestion that you allow him to run without competing. Just run, be there, for posterity or something...
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