Big Mig - honest, dishonest?



On May 27, 7:40 pm, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
wrote:
> On May 27, 1:29 pm, [email protected] wrote:>
>
> > If there was a magic elixir that made
> > airline pilots more alert and better able to perform their job (and
> > made mathematicians able to produce more and better theorems), would
> > you suspend them if they used it?

>
> dumbass,
>
> there is. uppers. military pilots are given uppers to stay alert and
> offset the effects of airsickness medication (i was part of a study
> that looked at this). and everyone on rbr knows about erdos and
> uppers.


Dumbass,

Yeah, I know -- that's why I used those two examples.
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] wrote:

> On May 27, 6:59 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> > But "how far is too far?"

>
> How far is too far with alcohol?
>
> > Well, this is the problem. Even at the amateur level, I don't want
> > cycling to be a sport where one has to say "good, you have shown ability
> > enough to get this far. Now retire, because to go further is to
> > compromise your ethics and reputation."

>
> Why would going further compromise ethics?


Well, the key case I envision is where the kid shows enough talent to
enter the pro or Div-III ranks, but finds that there is tremendous
pressure from teammates and DSes to "maximize his potential" so to speak.

I mean, the reason drugs are widespread, despite huge penalties for use,
is because they work.

> > Because sure, there's going to be kids who through sheer will drive
> > themselves to high levels of achievement. But there's also going to be
> > kids who just come out, shoot through every level of competition
> > available, and through no fault of their own, are naturals to go to
> > Europe at age 20 and join up with a neo-pro team.
> >
> > At that point do you say "now stop: go get a degree or a trade, and if
> > you like you can still race the Tuesday Nighters and the Tour de
> > Gastown."
> >
> > Seems kinda sad.

>
> It only seems sad because you think sports are important.


Sports are important. I took up cycling very late (commuter at age 28,
racer at age 30) and I think it has added immensely to my life. What is
important if not being healthy, generating endorphins, and creating
excuses to have the aprés-race beers?

Pro sports are entertainment, for sure, and not important in and of
themselves. The problem is that any sport or game, whether pro or
amateur, is primarily interesting because of the shared rules. This
allows us to work within the context of the game, and the rules (at
least for well-structured games) are there primarily to keep the game
fun and from being too serious.

> Dumbass, doping among airline pilots, bus drivers, nuclear power plant
> operators, and the guy who does my taxes is important. Hitting
> baseballs over fences, kicking a ball into a net, and riding a bike
> fast isn't important -- what's more, the dope they take enhances
> performance, not degrades it. If there was a magic elixir that made
> airline pilots more alert and better able to perform their job (and
> made mathematicians able to produce more and better theorems), would
> you suspend them if they used it?


I'd force 'em to use it.

But as I've pointed out before, maybe we got better work from Erdös
because he was on uppers. Maybe. But we don't get better sport because
the top riders are on EPO, especially if part of the reason they're the
top twenty is because ten of them are replacing the five riders who
won't dope and the five riders who died in their sleep from getting
their EPO dosages wrong.

But more importantly, it doesn't "enhance" competition, which is what we
really want. This is how people get to arguing in favour of the "libre"
peloton, but the trouble is that they probably don't realize how many
crazy performance-enhancing drugs are off the "program" only because
they can be detected so easily there's no point in even trying.

Amusingly, cycling has, arguably, only one prestigious "performance"
record (as opposed to "competition" records, like how many Giros you
have won): the Athlete's Hour. A handful of other performance records
are kept (200m sprint, Kilo, the hotly debated Ventoux timings...) and
contested. I don't think these are the core of the sport, even the Hour.

Well, maybe the hour. But there the UCI has tried harder to level the
field than anywhere else, what with banning...everything after the year
1972.

The actual racing isn't really helped by drugs, or at least not helped
enough. What are we talking about, a 1-2 km/h improvement in typical
racing speeds? You can't see that, it doesn't make the racing better,
and for that matter, the faster the race speed the harder it is for a
breakaway to succeed, for aerodynamic reasons.

If we really wanted the speeds higher, screw drugs: we need to get those
boys into faired recumbents. How about 100+ km/h sprint finishes?

Shall we look to the shining example of pro bodybuilding for our
sporting example?

There's a lot of schizophrenia in cycling (and more generally, in
sports) right now. Doping is widespread, part of the culture, and
absolutely forbidden by extremely strict penalties. I understand the
temptation to suggest that it's the last part that we should get rid of,
but I would caution that just because the lid of Pandora's Box is easy
to open, doesn't mean that's a good idea.

--
Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
RonSonic <[email protected]> wrote:

> On 26 May 2007 14:09:11 -0700, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
> >On May 26, 11:45 am, RonSonic <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> "Risible." From the Latin "ris" for laugh - the root word of ridicule and
> >> derision.

> >
> >Thank you. I knew, as soon as I popped "send", I would be called into
> >account for leaving the hyphen out, between ision and able.

>
> Oh, it certainly was clear without a hyphen.
>
> >However, my intent in posting was not based on "laughter" but on
> >"laffer". Hidden protocols ("get me a positive reader"), personal
> >vendettas, bad rules, worse enforcement-- none of that is very funny.
> >Like having an apparent deep and real hatred for someone you've never
> >met; who, at worst, might only have been doing the same as everyone
> >else, if being more successful at it... because he saluted too
> >vigorously when he won some stupid bicycle race? (just guessing,
> >there) --D-y

>
> Risible is good for that. While it just means laughable it doesn't mean funny as
> much as that it should be laughed at as ridiculous and bordering on
> contemptable. A sort of one snort laugh. You know like the guys who say you can
> tell the dopers by either their super human consistency or by their super human
> recovery from having a bad day.


They laughed at ****** too.

--
Michael Press
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
Bill C <[email protected]> wrote:

> On May 26, 11:43 am, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
> > On May 25, 11:36 pm, "Carl Sundquist" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > > The situation that made Brian such a focal point of derision was not that he
> > > was necessarily wrong, but that his zealousness was focused on one
> > > individual to the degree of appearing of indifferent about doping throughout
> > > the remainder of peloton.

> >
> > I believe Brian stated (and then quoted himself at least once) he was
> > actually in favor of letting riders use whatever they wanted. Which
> > made his personal hatred of someone he's never met personally even
> > more derisionable IMHO.
> >
> > Well, some people just can't stand others' feeling good about
> > themselves, you know? Such is life! --D-y

>
> Actually that was one of the options Brian threw out there. I believe
> his point was that, at least that way, we'd have an honest system
> where everyone knew what was going on, what they were getting into,
> and it would allow close medical supervision for practices that are
> now underground.
> Proabably better for and afer for riders than the current mess where
> the majority feel the need to dope to compete, but are having to do it
> themselves or with quacks.
> Lot's of reasonable thoughts got lost in Brian's crusade against
> Lance and everyone who has every even met him.


Where the reasonable thoughts got lost is in Brian's refusal to acknowledge
that people actually agreed with him regularly. It had to be a
one man crusade.

--
Michael Press
 
On May 27, 9:51 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> But as I've pointed out before, maybe we got better work from Erdös
> because he was on uppers. Maybe. But we don't get better sport because
> the top riders are on EPO


If you think that, then you're saying performance doesn't enhance
sports. How odd.

> especially if part of the reason they're the
> top twenty is because ten of them are replacing the five riders who
> won't dope and the five riders who died in their sleep from getting
> their EPO dosages wrong.


That's an argument for safety, not against performance enhancement.
 
D

Donald Munro

Guest
[email protected] schreef:
>> How far is too far with alcohol?


Ewoud Dronkert wrote:
> I always forget, and remember again the next morning.


According to the LIVEDRUNK philosophy you're not supposed to remember
anything the next morning, not even the name of the entity you wake up
next to.
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>
,
Bill C <[email protected]> wrote:

> Can't say he did, or didn't, but it's very reasonable to question his
> performances. When you've got a guy who weighs 40 lbs more dropping
> people on steep climbs all day long, or lightweights smoking TTs then
> you've really got to wonder.


No, I do not have to wonder. I watch and enjoy the
race. There is no PED for good strategy, tactics, or
bike handling. The riders do not suffer less when
using a PED, they just go faster; and faster is way
down on my list of things to watch for. In fact
lanterne rouge is more important to me than speed. I
cannot tell the difference unless I look at the
statistics.

--
Michael Press
 
B

Bob Schwartz

Guest
Ryan Cousineau wrote:
> Well, the key case I envision is where the kid shows enough talent to
> enter the pro or Div-III ranks, but finds that there is tremendous
> pressure from teammates and DSes to "maximize his potential" so to speak.


This is only a problem if the kid thinks sport is important. It's
not. Div-III pros live like ****. Kids that walk away from it take
jobs that pay more for less work. If the kid views sport in the
proper perspective they'll make the right decision, regardless
of which way they go.

Bob Schwartz
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] wrote:

> On May 27, 9:51 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> > But as I've pointed out before, maybe we got better work from Erdös
> > because he was on uppers. Maybe. But we don't get better sport because
> > the top riders are on EPO

>
> If you think that, then you're saying performance doesn't enhance
> sports. How odd.


It doesn't change the relative performance. I want to see the best
riders against the best riders in the best events. If some dope and some
don't, there's an obfuscating asymmetry. If nobody dopes, it's just a
competition. If everybody dopes, it's a competition where maybe one or
two riders didn't make it to the start because the doping killed them.

> > especially if part of the reason they're the
> > top twenty is because ten of them are replacing the five riders who
> > won't dope and the five riders who died in their sleep from getting
> > their EPO dosages wrong.

>
> That's an argument for safety, not against performance enhancement.


Well, I'll take that. The question you seem to be asking is "what does
doping take away from the sport?" The question I ask is "what does it
add?"

The interesting question is also what qualifies as normal training.
Honestly, if I thought the riders would stay at orange juice doses of
EPO, I would be more sanguine (except for the long-term RBC production
problems it will probably cause...), but I think they'd end up on wacky
loads of amphetamines instead. And I think they'd create a norm that
would be a model for fattie masters and amateurs: we're already
vulnerable to buying overpriced carbon goodies because the pros have
them; now we can buy the same drugs they use, too!

Sure, they may have done that already, but I don't want it to be worse.

Back to the "performance doesn't enhance sports" argument, we're always
operating within the constraints of the rules. If we let the pros use
libre bicycles, there would be 4 kg bikes going up the hillclimbs, and
Varna Diablos would be the standard TT machine. We don't, for some
pretty good reasons.

I think of drugs as in the same category as 4 kg road bikes: not a good
plan.

--
Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos
 
On May 27, 11:13 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> If some dope and some
> don't, there's an obfuscating asymmetry.


Yup. But that's always been the case. You just didn't know it before.

> Well, I'll take that. The question you seem to be asking is "what does
> doping take away from the sport?" The question I ask is "what does it
> add?"


You mean, besides informational asymmetry? I'm not sure -- in part,
because I don't know who dopes and with what level of effectiveness.
But then, I don't know who trains hardest, or who sleeps in an
altitude tent, or who has naturally high hematocrit, or who's been
reading Coggan's book. All of those things are potentially performance
enhancing

> If we let the pros use
> libre bicycles, there would be 4 kg bikes going up the hillclimbs, and
> Varna Diablos would be the standard TT machine. We don't, for some
> pretty good reasons.
>
> I think of drugs as in the same category as 4 kg road bikes: not a good
> plan.


Hmmm. The 6.8kg limit on UCI bikes is crazy: it was intended to
prevent stupid light bikes that are unsafe. A better standard is one
that would ensure safety, and let bike manufacturers do whatever they
need to do to be safe.
 
On May 27, 12:51 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
> > On May 27, 6:59 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > But "how far is too far?"

>
> > How far is too far with alcohol?

>
> > > Well, this is the problem. Even at the amateur level, I don't want
> > > cycling to be a sport where one has to say "good, you have shown ability
> > > enough to get this far. Now retire, because to go further is to
> > > compromise your ethics and reputation."

>
> > Why would going further compromise ethics?

>
> Well, the key case I envision is where the kid shows enough talent to
> enter the pro or Div-III ranks, but finds that there is tremendous
> pressure from teammates and DSes to "maximize his potential" so to speak.
>
> I mean, the reason drugs are widespread, despite huge penalties for use,
> is because they work.


Would you encourage a kid to study mathematics,
knowing that math is hard, that not many of the
people who study it make it to a PhD, not many
of those become practicing academic mathematicians,
and that the path to becoming successful may eventually
require personal, professional, and ethical compromises
that a naive youth would not anticipate on opening
her first calculus textbook?

Plus, although there's relatively little physical
danger, you might turn out a total geek. Look at
Chung.

> Sports are important. I took up cycling very late (commuter at age 28,
> racer at age 30) and I think it has added immensely to my life. What is
> important if not being healthy, generating endorphins, and creating
> excuses to have the aprés-race beers?
>
> Pro sports are entertainment, for sure, and not important in and of
> themselves. The problem is that any sport or game, whether pro or
> amateur, is primarily interesting because of the shared rules. This
> allows us to work within the context of the game, and the rules (at
> least for well-structured games) are there primarily to keep the game
> fun and from being too serious.


> There's a lot of schizophrenia in cycling (and more generally, in
> sports) right now. Doping is widespread, part of the culture, and
> absolutely forbidden by extremely strict penalties. I understand the
> temptation to suggest that it's the last part that we should get rid of,
> but I would caution that just because the lid of Pandora's Box is easy
> to open, doesn't mean that's a good idea.


I'm not a fan of doping. I'm more not a fan of very
naive ideas about getting rid of doping, though. I
think the present extremely strict penalties are
an expression of naive ideas. As Bart v.H. pointed
out once, criminologists will tell you that strictness
of penalty is not nearly as big a deterrent against
crime as the likelihood of getting caught (and, I think,
the uniformity of catching and penalization). What
we have now are haphazardly applied infrequent strict
penalties, which are the worst possible case. The
strictness is one of the reasons we have rampant hypocrisy
and omerta. The tendency has been to make the penalties
stricter (2+2 year suspensions from ProTour) and I
don't think it is helping.

Ben
No amount of dope can turn a mathematician into
a racehorse.
 
On May 27, 8:24 pm, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
wrote:


> I'm not a fan of doping. I'm more not a fan of very
> naive ideas about getting rid of doping, though. I
> think the present extremely strict penalties are
> an expression of naive ideas. As Bart v.H. pointed
> out once, criminologists will tell you that strictness
> of penalty is not nearly as big a deterrent against
> crime as the likelihood of getting caught (and, I think,
> the uniformity of catching and penalization). What
> we have now are haphazardly applied infrequent strict
> penalties, which are the worst possible case. The
> strictness is one of the reasons we have rampant hypocrisy
> and omerta. The tendency has been to make the penalties
> stricter (2+2 year suspensions from ProTour) and I
> don't think it is helping.


dumbass,

that seems true. one thing i got out of the joe papp testimony was the
fatalistic attitude he had towards doping. if you're caught you deny,
deny, deny (or even 'fess up) and take your lumps and either leave the
sport or serve a suspension. but you probably got further in the sport
than you would have otherwise.
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

> The actual racing isn't really helped by drugs, or at least not helped
> enough. What are we talking about, a 1-2 km/h improvement in typical
> racing speeds? You can't see that, it doesn't make the racing better,
> and for that matter, the faster the race speed the harder it is for a
> breakaway to succeed, for aerodynamic reasons.


As you say we cannot see speed until we read the timed
results. The fun of watching races is in strategy and
tactics. So let's stop chasing dopers. Only enforce
against the drugs with extremely high detection rates,
and minuscule false positive rates. Let's test most
riders all the time. Dozens every day. Three month
suspensions and no record rewriting.

--
Michael Press
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>
,
"[email protected]" <[email protected]>
wrote:

> Would you encourage a kid to study mathematics,
> knowing that math is hard, that not many of the
> people who study it make it to a PhD, not many
> of those become practicing academic mathematicians,
> and that the path to becoming successful may eventually
> require personal, professional, and ethical compromises
> that a naive youth would not anticipate on opening
> her first calculus textbook?


The thing about a mathematics degree is the number of
high paying jobs the degree holder can step into. In
college I knew an unwashed guy in the dormitory whose
room was utterly rank take a bachelor's mathematics
degree directly into a programmer's job for a high
priced government contractor at a ten-year veteran's
salary.

A doctorate in mathematics is often parlayed into
extremely high salaries these days. Academics is not
the only option.

--
Michael Press
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] wrote:

> On May 27, 11:13 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > If some dope and some
> > don't, there's an obfuscating asymmetry.

>
> Yup. But that's always been the case. You just didn't know it before.


What I mean is that a peloton a deux vitesses is because it is a peloton
avec deux reglements (apologies for butchering the language of nos
ancêtres, les Gaulois).

> > Well, I'll take that. The question you seem to be asking is "what does
> > doping take away from the sport?" The question I ask is "what does it
> > add?"

>
> You mean, besides informational asymmetry? I'm not sure -- in part,
> because I don't know who dopes and with what level of effectiveness.
> But then, I don't know who trains hardest, or who sleeps in an
> altitude tent, or who has naturally high hematocrit, or who's been
> reading Coggan's book. All of those things are potentially performance
> enhancing


Yes. But we don't worry about enforcing things that are allowed. At the
risk of dragging those bloody children into this argument again [there
should be a special text colour to set off my rhetorical cheap
shots...], I don't think I'd be worried if generic talented junior
trained had a good hematocrit and was reading Coggan and doing his
intervals. As the theoretical parent of this theoretical talent, I'd be
the one responsible for making sure he didn't overtrain, or neglect his
homework, or use non-junior gears and blow his knees out early. The
altitude tent? No way the kid gets one of those, but that's only because
I'm cheap, and the worst that will happen if he's shorted on altitude
training before the age of 19 is that he'll just get way faster all of a
sudden when he goes and enrols at CU Boulder ("come to Boulder: a
natural high!").

Basically, I consider all of the above things that bike racing tests
for. If you're lazy and don't do your training, then you're an inferior
bike racer, and you will lose. If you're bad at tactics and pull your
opponent to the finish line like Young Lance did a few times, then
you're a dumb bike racer, and you will lose. If you keep listening to
your dumb coach who has you doing pointless junk miles or sign up with
CTS, then you're a dumb bike racer and you will not maximize your
potential with that training, and you will lose.

Of course, if you do everything else right but picked your parents
badly, as so many of us have, you will also lose. Aerobic performance
sports are a harsh mistress, and it's nice that we amateurs can at least
resort to categorized races where we get dumped in with a bunch of
riders at the same level of inability.

Right, doping: I think I've articulated how I think doping differs from
bread, water, intervals, and even altitude tents, but I'm willing to
express it explicitly and at great length if necessary. As to the
question of what to do when you have a hard-to-detect proscription, um,
anti-dopers and their fellow travelers (which includes me) don't get a
free pass on that question. The best answers I can give amount to
"transform the culture, improve the documentation, do everything
possible to make it easier to not cheat, and keep competitor safety at
the forefront of all principles of anti-doping."

Is that too weaselly?

> > If we let the pros use
> > libre bicycles, there would be 4 kg bikes going up the hillclimbs, and
> > Varna Diablos would be the standard TT machine. We don't, for some
> > pretty good reasons.
> >
> > I think of drugs as in the same category as 4 kg road bikes: not a good
> > plan.

>
> Hmmm. The 6.8kg limit on UCI bikes is crazy: it was intended to
> prevent stupid light bikes that are unsafe. A better standard is one
> that would ensure safety, and let bike manufacturers do whatever they
> need to do to be safe.


Aha! But the 6.8 kilo limit is an _easily enforceable_ safety standard.
It makes the bikes so heavy that, given current technology, they're
within the margins of non-craziness. There's no incentive to mess around.

The apt comparison is to the fancy-wheel "burst test", which some
makers, while changing their wheels to conform, have criticized for
testing for the wrong thing in the wrong way, and generally having
little effect on wheel safety either way. That wasn't so much a useful
line as a complex test that would be easy to cheat if anyone could
figure out a reason they needed to cheat it. In practice, it was about
as functional as the locally beloved no-knee-warmers regulation.

There's another, non-safety reason for that limit: it tends to keep the
bikes out of the realm of stupid-boutique components like aluminum
cassettes, which are available, are very light, and have a service life
in the high hundreds of kilometres. The advantage to that is that the
pros really are racing on bikes that are very "normal": I would have no
problem with taking any frame from a pro that was 52cm and riding it to
work on a routine basis.

http://www.kultbike.com/shop/cnc-shim10.html
~120g, "...perfect for race day use."

Well, I might have to change the stem on the pro bike.

I

--
Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos
 
K

Kurgan Gringioni

Guest
On May 25, 1:05 pm, Jeff Jones <[email protected]> wrote:


> But it's changed, with cycling being one
> of the first targets. I wonder if there's enough money and power to
> keep things quiet about some of the bigger sports like football and
> tennis?




Dumbass -


I think it will stay quiet in the bigger sports.

There are powerful entities that will lose $$$$ if there are big
doping controversies. What powerful entities will gain dollars from
big doping controversies? Newspapers? Doubtful, they can't afford to
alienate the big advertisers.

Prediction: it will not disappear, but it will be "contained", at
least from a publicity standpoint in the major sports.

The way cycling has handled it illustrates the incompetence of the
UCI. There is more talk of the doping soap opera than there is about
the actual racing.


thanks,

K. Gringioni.
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:

> On May 27, 12:51 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> > [email protected] wrote:
> > > On May 27, 6:59 pm, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > > But "how far is too far?"

> >
> > > How far is too far with alcohol?

> >
> > > > Well, this is the problem. Even at the amateur level, I don't want
> > > > cycling to be a sport where one has to say "good, you have shown ability
> > > > enough to get this far. Now retire, because to go further is to
> > > > compromise your ethics and reputation."

> >
> > > Why would going further compromise ethics?

> >
> > Well, the key case I envision is where the kid shows enough talent to
> > enter the pro or Div-III ranks, but finds that there is tremendous
> > pressure from teammates and DSes to "maximize his potential" so to speak.
> >
> > I mean, the reason drugs are widespread, despite huge penalties for use,
> > is because they work.

>
> Would you encourage a kid to study mathematics,
> knowing that math is hard, that not many of the
> people who study it make it to a PhD, not many
> of those become practicing academic mathematicians,
> and that the path to becoming successful may eventually
> require personal, professional, and ethical compromises
> that a naive youth would not anticipate on opening
> her first calculus textbook?


I would say that while it is possible to be an ethically compromised
mathematician, it is quite easy to enter the realm of the successful
mathematical career without um, cheating the rules of mathematics. Or of
the profession.

I should say this is not theoretical, though. If math is generally less
susceptible to academic fraud (harder to fake and obfuscate your data
like those naughty soft-science academics occasionally do), I did once
work for a math-research group where a disgruntled member of the group
publicly accused the director and another mathematician of improperly
taking credit for his work (long boring story: the three were listed as
co-authors, disgruntled mathematician now claims the other two added
almost nothing to his original work, and went and hogged all the
credit). And there were also behind-the-scenes intrigues that I only
have half-heard rumors of, so there you go.

But that's about as bad as math gets, it's the kind of story that is
considered bad form (though the problem of marginal co-authors and
credit haunts all of academia), but it's considered an unusual case, not
the norm. The great mathematicians the discipline are almost never
heralded for disputed work: for all I know there are
credit-and-attribution whispers about one or two of Erdös' papers, but
nobody disputes that he did a ton of good mathematics.

Math doesn't seem to have an inverse relationship between the number of
ethical shortcuts a mathematician takes and the success of their career.
Indeed, in math if you cut corners once too often you're likely to find
your job offers dry up and nobody wants to write papers with you or
publish your stuff.

Math is also a broader, more useful, and bigger field than pro cycling.
Lots of people do undergrad math studies which don't lead to a math
degree, but do lead to satisfying and useful careers. Many more
successful careers than the semi-pros and not-quites who become coaches,
DSes, or bike shop owners. There are surely more tenured math jobs
globally than there are pro cyclists making as much as a tenured math
prof.

Also, the best mathematicians make way, way more money than the best pro
cyclists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harris_Simons

Jim Simons, multi-billionaire. Suck it, Lance.

I also don't think there's a lot of moral hazards in grad school that
lead to unnatural deaths. Well, maybe frat hazings, but a major in
mathematics is almost invincible proof against that danger.

> Plus, although there's relatively little physical
> danger, you might turn out a total geek. Look at
> Chung.


That's not the goal?

> Ben
> No amount of dope can turn a mathematician into
> a racehorse.


There is that. But if it could (and eventually, it probably will...) we
may have an ethical dilemma on our hands.

This isn't entirely theoretical, either. Virtually every person I know
is convinced I have ADHD (drug ads work!). I've never sought a formal
diagnosis. Somehow, I've managed to hold down a job, not kill my dog,
and not been smothered in my sleep by my wife, so I guess the coping
strategies work.

But damn, every time I read about Ritalin or Adderall, they sure sound
like kick-ass drugs. The thought of being able to just finish what I
start as if I had a natural instinct for doing so (as my wife does...)
is really tempting.

And yet I don't. Partly because that is some serious **** with serious
side effects, and I don't want to toy with those unless it becomes clear
I can't live a normal life. The trade-off seems unreasonable.

Moreover, even if I had a script, I don't think I would be tempted to
use it during a race, any more than I'm tempted to try to cheat the
free-lap rule in a crit or draft during a TT. It's Cat 4: who would I be
cheating? What would I win? What would be the point?

Now, that may reflect as much the fact that for me, cycling is basically
an especially masochistic hobby. Pros do id for a living, and while I
love to pretend that I'm so all "honest in small things, honest in great
things" that I don't cheat, if some rider is right on the margins of
being sent home to get a job at the box factory and the opportunity to
get an advantage outside of the rules presents itself, well, one could
sympathize with a cheater even as one could condemn them.

--
Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos
 
H

Howard Kveck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

> The actual racing isn't really helped by drugs, or at least not helped
> enough. What are we talking about, a 1-2 km/h improvement in typical
> racing speeds? You can't see that, it doesn't make the racing better,
> and for that matter, the faster the race speed the harder it is for a
> breakaway to succeed, for aerodynamic reasons.


I completely agree with you that the actual racing isn't made better by the drugs,
particularly from the spectator's standpoint. It probably isn't made better for the
participants either; however, they may (okay, probably *do*) think that it does,
simply because of the suspicion that the other riders may be using. So if rider A
doesn't use, he may think he'll never win, therefore he won't get a good contract,
and so on. In the long run, that aspect is also of value to the DS, the manager, the
team owner and the sponsor (whichis why I get annoyed when those characters get all
indignant when a rider gets caught). Of course, if everyone (more or less) is using,
then the overall picture hasn't really changed, except that the whole bunch is going
faster.

--
tanx,
Howard

Never take a tenant with a monkey.

remove YOUR SHOES to reply, ok?
 
On May 28, 6:00 am, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

> Yes. But we don't worry about enforcing things that are allowed.


Hmmm. Don't you see the circularity there? (In addition, it appears
many people didn't much worry about enforcing disallowed things as
long as they didn't know about them).

> At the
> risk of dragging those bloody children into this argument again [there
> should be a special text colour to set off my rhetorical cheap
> shots...], I don't think I'd be worried if generic talented junior
> trained had a good hematocrit and was reading Coggan and doing his
> intervals.


Why not? What if you were wealthy and could afford wind-tunnel time,
while other kids couldn't? Which performance-enhancing substances,
devices, training, and knowledge should be allowed, and which
shouldn't?

> Right, doping: I think I've articulated how I think doping differs from
> bread, water, intervals, and even altitude tents, but I'm willing to
> express it explicitly and at great length if necessary.


Perhaps you have, but I missed it. Is it necessary?

> Aha! But the 6.8 kilo limit is an _easily enforceable_ safety standard.
> It makes the bikes so heavy that, given current technology, they're
> within the margins of non-craziness. There's no incentive to mess around.


Dude, they're building bikes lighter than that and then adding weights
to bring them up to 6.8kg.