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    "Techno-Doping" and the New Olympics
    Project: The great enhancement debate
    Oscar Pistorius, AKA "Blade Runner" — the South African sprinter who uses carbon fiber prosthetics in place of the lower legs amputated as a child — has officially lost his bid to run in the 2008 Olympics. He's going to give one last appeal to the International Association of Athletics Federations, but his chances of success are slim. The official reason, according to the BBC:
    "...his prosthetic limbs give him an advantage over able-bodied opponents..."

    The evolution of technological augmentation is progressing faster than natural human biology, and it's clear that it won't be long until these physical enhancements will completely out-class natural human sports capabilities. The growing likelihood that, within the next decade, the fastest humans alive will be "disabled" holds the potential for profound "future shock." As I wrote about last year (in "The Accidental Cyborg"), young athletes facing the choice between rehabilitation and amputation for leg injuries are starting to pick amputation, knowing that the prosthetics could be an improvement, not an impairment.

    This article from Jamais Cascio, to read the rest go over at Open the Future

    ZDNet Definition for: Techno-doping
    (TECHNOlogy-DOPING) Using technology to increase the physical attributes of a human being. The term was coined for athletes such as Oscar Pistorius, the South African athlete, whose J-shaped, carbon fiber artificial legs enabled him to set Paralympic sprinting records. Pistorius, a double amputee since infancy, is expected to qualify for the 400 meter run in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

    The original BBC article "'Blade Runner' handed Olympic ban"

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    Spaceweaver     Tue, Jan 15, 2008  Permanent link
    Well, this is the beginning of an active Anthropo-chauvinism, the very early signs of a great conflict coming upon us.
    aeonbeat     Tue, Jan 15, 2008  Permanent link
    real time sci-fi
    Wildcat     Wed, Jan 16, 2008  Permanent link
    to Spaceweaver: I am not sure that a great conflict is upon us, actually it may very well be that we shall see integration arriving at our doorstep much faster than it appears at present in the form of a parallel Olympics, for the technologically upabled (just coined), augmented and chemically enhanced, or neurologically upgraded humans.
    in due course it is my firm belief that the 'regular/normal' Olympics will be relegated to the dustbin of history as a relic that had its glory but is no more relevant as the showoff of the best humanity has to offer , be it in sports or any other field in which humans compete to excel.
    hunter     Wed, Feb 27, 2008  Permanent link
    Maybe sports will be irrelevant alltogether - regardles of whether it be regular or upabled. As technology advances, humans will be upgraded on so many various levels that it will be hard to classify them and their achievements.
    Wildcat     Sat, Jun 21, 2008  Permanent link
    The amazing adventures of gene doping man

    THE breakout star of this year's Beijing Olympics just might be a name you've never heard before.

    Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the winners' podium . . . Gene.

    Gene is neither man nor woman, athlete nor coach.

    Gene doping is a sophisticated method of cheating and a phrase you'll be hearing a lot more of soon.

    It is the stuff of comic books - superhumans born from laboratory experiments, incredible bulk, designer viruses and alien incursions into human DNA.

    If it all sounds a little far-fetched, you haven't been keeping up as science streaks past science fiction.

    Many experts believe gene doping is already happening and warn that tinkering with human DNA to boost performance could seriously injure or even kill those who try it.

    Oh, and a test to detect it is years away - perhaps as much as a decade.

    At stake is the integrity of sport itself.

    Only years after Sydney's 2000 Olympics do we realise that the Games some dubbed "friendly" were more like pharmaceutical.

    keep on reading the article here
    meganmay     Sat, Jun 28, 2008  Permanent link
    The original post made me think of the US Democratic National Committee's decision to replace the terms handicapped or disabled with the term differently abled. I always thought that was actually fairly evolved terminology, a linguistic step beyond the idea of a standardized human intelligence that every individual is measured against.

    Indeed as the human race finds itself evolving in different genetic, prosthetic, or otherwise enhanced directions, perhaps this terminology can be considered a first step in tuning our minds to a much more radical selection of differently abled human beings.

    Funnily enough, the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius: faster, higher, stronger, may no longer apply. In a recent Nature article, Jean Francois Toussaint of research agency INRES in Paris reports that in 2008 90% of all records will have been maxed out. Whereas in 1945 it was still customary that every time around the records would be improved by 2%, now it is barely 1%, and in the spectrum human capability almost 99.95% has been reached in an increasing number of sports. In other words, it appears the un-augmented physical potential human beings is tapped out.

    I can't wait for the augmented olympics to go pro.
    Wildcat     Sat, Jun 28, 2008  Permanent link
    meganmay: though I share your enthusiasm concerning the augmented olympics to go pro, i find that the terminology you mention that was changed by USDNC, see: 'differently abled' is a kind of politically correct in between terminology, that is more in tune with the old fashion of making the 'new' comfortable to the uninitiated masses. I have offered the terminology :" technologically upabled" as a new phrase that will carry within it not only the elimination of the standardized human measurement but an actual incentive and value laden proposition for the future. as you know, i am a staunch believer in the power of language to change our views, and update both our minds and the consequent attitudes as well as the society which uses them, and in this case more than any other present field of human endeavor, the term we shall use will define the manner by which our future will be actuated.
    rene     Sat, Jun 28, 2008  Permanent link
    Coining new phrases is a hit and miss proposition. especially if you want them to stick. As you mentioned elsewhere it would be a worthwhile effort to create a glossary of newly proposed terminologies. Aside from that, I find it extremely intriguing that humans begin to exceed records through technological augmentation just when human biology appears to reach its evolutionary limits in terms of record breaking physical achievements. At the very minimum this should be considered an amazing coincidence.
    Wildcat     Sun, Jun 29, 2008  Permanent link
    actually rene, I do not think it is a coincidence, we are a specie that is fundamentally desiring to be forever greater than its origination. and though we have a tendency to, at times, put sticks in our own wheels, we 'must' upgrade continuously to reach some kind of compatibility between our inherent emotional drives and our physical attainments and capabilities. there is no doubt in my mind, that this so-called 'coincidence' is actually a nexus in the evolutionary pathway of a consciously aware specie that simply needs more time to understand itself and by extension spread the conscious active agent in the material universe. witness the latest SENS project, that will alter fundamentally our perception of life by eliminating at least aging if not death.

    and as an aside note i was thinking to indeed offer the collective a new project concerning new terminologies, somewhat on the lines of :" a possible alternative glossary". I will appreciate your thoughts on this.
    meganmay     Thu, Jul 31, 2008  Permanent link
    I just read about a dope new drug in the NYTimes science section:

    The drug is “pretty much pharmacological exercise,” Dr. Evans said....the drugs work off a person’s own genetics, pushing the body to an improved set-point that is otherwise gained only by strenuous training. “This is not just a free lunch, it’s pushing your genome toward a more enhanced genetic tone that impacts metabolism and muscle function. So instead of inheriting a great set-point you are using a drug to move your own genetics to a more activated metabolic state.”

    Genetic exercise. Interesting.
    aeonbeat     Fri, Aug 1, 2008  Permanent link
    I think I read about that on Wired today