Posts Tagged ‘Naivety’


May 16, 2016

Sorry for those who cling to the notion of “Politically Correct” like rats do, with a sinking ship. This title is probably rather discombobulating for them. I will justify it thereafter. Yes, it can be smart to ignore much. Yes, it can be cruel and vicious to be naïve. Yes, it can be enlightened, to hate.

Yet, what does the Dark Side thinks of the text “Vous n’aurez pas ma haine/You will not have my hatred”? Does it smirk? Or does it approve of the text, totally? Surely, the latter. The technique advised by Leiris, a selective shut down of one’s mental, not to say neurological, system, is a basic functionality the Dark Side needs to operate, selective attention. There are indeed, neurological reasons for it.

Leiris’ text explores, advocates and celebrates, a crucial, actually life saving, strategy. It is a neurophilosophical approach. That is a neurological approach endorsed by the most sophisticated philosophy, as I will explain presently.

One can go much beyond what La Rochefoucauld smartly observed, more than three centuries ago.

All & Any Human Behavior Can, & Should, Be Used In All The Many Ways Circumstances May Require, For The Greater Good, Of The Greatest Sentience.

All & Any Human Behavior Can, & Should, Be Used In All The Many Ways Circumstances May Require, For The Greater Good, Of The Greatest Sentience.

The key observation is that one can be of many minds, on many things. More exactly, the brain can, and has to, use different Modi Operandi, according to circumstances.


The American People Is Too Naïve For Adult Material:

Is the preceding too ethereal, theoretical, vaporous, nothing to do with day-to-day reality? President Bush, the invader of Iraq, removed 28 pages of the official report on the 9/11 attack. Why? CIA Director John Brennan appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, on May 1, 2016, arguing that the 28 pages should not be released because the American people are incapable of evaluating them. Americans are incapables.

Brennan explained: “I think some people may seize upon that uncorroborated, unvetted information that was in there that was basically just a collation of this information that came out of FBI files, and to point to Saudi involvement, which I think would be very, very inaccurate.” High caste Saudis, of course had nothing to do with 9/11, as demonstrated by the fact that Bush ran several flights to allow them to flee the USA when no plane was allowed to fly, inside, or out of the US.

Brennan in his stupidity, let it slip by denying it: it is known Saudi “civil servants” seem to have help the Islamists of 9/11. That would be no surprise: the SIA and CIA activated Bin Laden, and launched him as a terrorist.

Not only naivety has a Dark Side, but it can be imposed on We The People.


Forgetfulness Can Be A Lifesaver:

When one fights for survival, nothing should matter to the brain, but for activity conducive to said survival. Neurological concentration on the situation can become close to 100%.

What happens in ultra emergency? Time stretches, while the brain mobilizes well beyond 100% (namely neurons, including motor neurons obviously work beyond their normal maximum. Thus superhuman strength and reflexes). The brain is fully in survival mode, and has no thought considered, only strategy implemented. Even sensations not useful for survival are not felt, especially pain.

This is what Mr. Leiris advocates, on the mental level. He excludes from his mind all what is not conducive to provide his son with what the baby needs, a maximally loving environment, even in harrowing circumstances. .

Had I been exactly in Antoine Leiris’ circumstances, I would have actually embraced the same mental strategy. I know, because I have already been in similar circumstances, where my mind had to concentrate absolutely: I was caught in avalanches twice, and saved my life through action which was nothing short of incredible, and resulted from extreme mental concentration. Once, an improvised Explosive Device was thrown on me by some fascists and exploded on a gentleman just in front, who acted as an unwitting human shield. from terrorism.

Why? Because at this point the brain has become god, master of life and death. Its mission is only about survival, whether insuring that of the brain, or the termination of the survival of the adversary. How does the brain focus on survival? It decides what the universe is. And it operates with an extremely simplified version of the universe, and not just of the universe of consideration. The brain also admits only a simplified version of the universe of sensation. The universe of sensations which matters for survival. The rest plain does not exist, because it is outright not perceived.


Naivety Is Part Of The Dark Side:

Naivety can be very useful. But naivety can also kill, has killed, and nearly got me a few times. Naivety is what enables much nefariousness to produce evil industrially. Reconsider Mr. Brennan, the CIA chief, above: why is he allowed to think We The People are a bunch of unteachable idiots, hopelessly infantile, a danger to ourselves, while keeping his job?

In “You will not have my hatred“, Mr. Leiris says that, sometimes, hatred is better left out of it. Is that a new idea? No. The idea is actually central to Christiano-Islamism.

Ironically, the Qur’an reminds us every few lines that “Allah is merciful” (however, it’s not clear we should be merciful too). That obsession, that Allah forgives all day long, was directly inherited from Christianism… Where, indeed, the faithful has to be merciful.

As there is much I dislike in Islamism and Christianism, does this mean I dislike all their concepts? Far from it. I actually love a beautiful mosque or church.

And I love mercifulness. Not just because it’s pretty, but also because it’s necessary.

I think mercifulness is totally fundamental. Mercifulness is not just wise: it’s a fundamental part of the behavior of any social animal. It’s a code to correct errors. A small human group could not function without an error correcting code. The name of that code is mercifulness.

But does that mean that hatred unworthy always? No. Far from it.


And what does “hatred” consists of, anyway?

Let’s suppose something that has happened before, on more than one continent: Patrice is out there, trying to terminate a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches are smart, fast and flat: they can squeeze in the smallest crack in the blink of an eye. So here I am, trying to kill lots of cockroaches, in all sizes from one millimeter to several centimeters. Am I animated by hatred? No. I am just concentrated on all the possibilities, the thinnest cracks. So, to commit mass murder, hatred is not necessary.

So what does hatred consist of? When is it called for? Why is it so bad? Well, the answers are rather surprising.

Hatred is called for, when it is needed. Hatred does not happen by accident. Hatred is, often a supplement of passion needed for an otherwise unsavory task. Faced with something objectively really bad, hatred is not called for. No need for hatred to eliminate mosquitoes. Hatred is needed when other passions are in the way, and these passions prevent the accomplishment of what is viewed, deep down, as a necessary task. For example, when common sense and decency are in the way. But not only. It could be love which is preventing the accomplishment of a needed task.

For example, the Nazis needed hatred to launch the Second World War. They needed the hatred to overwhelm decency, basic common sense, and whatever humanity they still harbored. However, as the war went on, the attitude of the top Nazis, say towards the French, changed. The Nazis did not need hatred anymore: the war was long launched, and was not going well. However, hatred was now in the way of many behaviors the Nazis needed to see deployed such as decency, mercifulness, common sense, humanity… and the more so, the more the war was turning against them. Well before the end, the top Nazis started to disobey Hitler’s orders.

In the end, even Himmler negotiated with the Swedes to save… Jews (they saved thousands!). It’s not just that Himmler was trying to save his precious skin from the cyanide pill in his mouth. It’s also that hatred was not needed anymore.

Hatred against the Islamist Pseudo State is obviously not needed. There is no love, decency, or common sense in the way, which we need to overcome, to accomplish the task at hand. Eradication will be plenty enough.

Finally, the president should tell the CIA that it is naïve, haughty and cruel,  to consider the American People too naïve, ignorant and malevolent, for the truth, while hoping that they are going to  live with that contempt and the trampling of their right to know, much longer.

Patrice Ayme’



Geoengineering: Unsafe & Ineffective Folly

January 6, 2016

The climate crisis is accelerating (as anticipated): weird fluctuations of temperatures all over. It was colder than at the North Pole in many areas, 6,000 kilometers to the south. Some scientists contribute to the crisis by claiming that the Earth could be fixed by “geoengineering”. The idea is to make the atmosphere reflective above its lowest, and warmest layers. The prospect of salvational geoengineering  gives a dangerous sense of hope, and enable cowards to change the conversation. The one and only conversation ought to be: how to reduce Greenhouse gases emissions before self-feeding natural processes take over, and the warming becomes not just non-linear, but self-amplifying.

Above freezing, at the North Pole, in the last few days of 2015: enormous warm masses of air or water moving powerfully is how ice gets destroyed.

Above freezing, at the North Pole, in the last few days of 2015: enormous warm masses of air or water moving powerfully is how ice gets destroyed.

Gregory Benford, astrophysicist and sci fi author is one of the advocates of the man-made volcano idea. See Climate controls, Reason Magazine, November 1997. In brief, one would spray a lot of micron-sized dust into the atmosphere above the Arctic Sea during the summer. Benford suggested diatomaceous earth as an option, because it’s chemically inert: just silica.

Then, thinking again, Benford suggested poisonous gases: SO2 and H2S. What could go wrong? Apprentice sorcerers would sprinkle those poisons to diminish sunlight in summer (they say). Simulations by the naive, for the naive, show it may mitigate sea ice retreat.

In reality, Polar hurricanes can shatter huge amounts of ice, while stuffing the Arctic for weeks with warm air, resulting in record sea ice loss. The spectacular shrinkage of the sea ice in August 2012 was caused by an extremely violent warm, hurricane like storm which physically broke thick ice with enormous waves.

There is evidence that ice melting is not just due to a warm sunshine, but to the secondary paroxysms of massive dynamic and potential (pressure) events. Sprinkling a hurricane with SO2 won’t do a thing, one may as well throw sugar at a tempest to pacify it.

When the Larsen B iceshelf in the Antarctica peninsula collapsed, something similar happened: four days of force one hurricane winds and a record high temperature of nearly 15 degrees centigrade (60 F).

Benford was quoted approvingly even recently on his general train of ideas: “Many fear if we lose the sea ice in summer ocean currents may alter; nobody really knows”. May alter? Well, that’s obsolete: currents are changing and they are warmer.

The naive idea that we have possible, feasible, potential geoengineering means to fight the melting of the polar ice. Delusion, illusion, obfuscation, prevarication, not to say fornication (with big oil).

Trying to put up a veil over polar areas (through various debris or SO2 suspended) will not work. But don’t volcanoes work? The enormous eruptions of Pinatubo, and the one, much worse of Indonesia’s Tambora in 1815, cooled the atmosphere dramatically (Tambora’s atmospheric veil caused freezing the following summer in Europe, and partial failure of crops).

The main problem is that the melting of the Arctic and even worse, the melting of the Antarctic, is going to happen from BELOW. Sneaky. It is oceanic water, densest at four degrees centigrades (nearly 40 degrees F) which is seeping below, and causing the melting.

An article just published in Science (December 2015) explains that one particular, giant glacier has retreated by tens of kilometers, after being exposed to oceanic currents which are just ONE degree centigrade higher than the old normal, along the north-east tip of Greenland. Those currents are the return currents from the Gulf Stream extension which hit Spitzberg.

To quote from the abstract: “After 8 years of decay of its ice shelf, Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major glacier of northeast Greenland that holds a 0.5-meter sea-level rise equivalent, entered a phase of accelerated retreat in fall 2012. The acceleration rate of its ice velocity tripled, melting of its residual ice shelf and thinning of its grounded portion doubled, and calving is now occurring at its grounding line. Warmer air and ocean temperatures have caused the glacier to detach from a stabilizing sill and retreat rapidly along a downward-sloping, marine-based bed. Its equal-ice-volume neighbor, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, is also melting rapidly but retreating slowly along an upward-sloping bed. The destabilization of this marine-based sector will increase sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet for decades to come.”

So the real problem is not to throw a veil above the Arctic, when the sun shines. The real problem is how to cool the Gulf Stream, (a portion of) the world’s master current. (Note to would-be geoengineers: putting a big refrigerator between Florida and the Bahamas, will not work, for a number of reasons.)

Measurements and a back of the envelope computation shows that the anomalous heat content so far stored in the upper 750 meters of the world ocean is about twenty times that stored in the atmosphere… And the ocean is playing catch up (the temperature of this layer is up only half that of the atmosphere; deeper parts are also warming up).

We are coming close to a tipping point on three giant basins in Antarctica (the WAIS, Aurora, and Wilke basins): oceanic water is boring through the sills there. After the sill, the basin slope down (under the weight of the ice), deeper than the Grand Canyon. The melting of each of these basins will rise sea level by seven meters.

Conclusion: only the outlawing, ASAP, of the burning of fossil fuels will mitigate the catastrophe. Anything else, like Elementary School engineering suggestions, is a distraction from the task at hand: decarbonification.

Engineering can work: modern nuclear energy, ever improving solar photovoltaic energy, and various storages, from dams, to molten salt tanks, to, of course hydrogen.

A hydrogen electric car equipped with existing fuel cells, an 40 kilograms of compressed hydrogen, safely stored in tanks resisting to 700 Bars, thus, to any collision), could cross the entire USA, without refueling.

This is exactly why the Obama administration yanked the research and deployment of those cars: otherwise pure electric vehicles and their abysmal small little range, would not have had a chance… Politics is a much twisted thing, but its Arianne thread is money… Such as the big money subtle corruption brings.

Solar PhotoVoltaics could split water, and make hydrogen to store energy, of course.

Patrice Ayme’

Pluto’s Crafty Anti-Intellectualism

April 29, 2014

Public Private Confusion, And Other Deliberate Craziness

The rise of plutocracy is stealthy. It rests in great part on having bought the economists serving in the influential “private” universities. Those economists were selected, during their graduate studies, to see only what would please the wealthy sponsors of said universities.

Thus, for example, the economist unlearned the fundamental reason for the existence of taxation: prevent the rise  of an all-consuming oligarchic plutocracy (that is having a few reigning satanically on We The People).

Krugman still does not get it (although he is trying, and pointing out, justly so, that “Paradigming Is Hard”):

“we have a body of economic theory built around the assumptions of perfectly rational behavior and perfectly functioning markets. Any economist with a grain of sense — which is to say, maybe half the profession? — knows that this is very much an abstraction…”

It’s not just an abstraction, it’s an error. What is the Genus Homo? Ms. And Mr. Market? What is the main motivation of the genus Homo? Perfect reason? Perfectly functioning markets?

No. For reminder, the genus Homo is the world’s top predator, in the process of killing the entire biosphere (by acidifying the phytoplankton, the main source of oxygen). Is that perfectly reasonable? Is that perfectly functioning? A market?

What have the economists been doing? Building little fables that completely neglect the real nature of man, while claiming they can predict the behavior of man (that is what, after all, economics claim to do, with consummate modesty).  Greenspan and similar characters of with a very low product of intelligence  and  morality, told us, over decades that all we needed was the intelligence of the markets.

But what are markets? Crowds. Tribes. What are tribes for? Ask Putin, he knows. War. Economists have hidden that breast that they could not possibly see. (Nota bene for the clueless: allusion to Moliere’s Tartuffe).

Their colossal, deliberate, venal naivety has led economists to oversee what was bound to happen: as the hyper rich reached a critical mass, their influence got so great that they have been able to dismantle the democracy that is in their way.

How? By reducing the taxes that prevented the hyper wealthy to go exponential (as Thomas Piketty noticed).

But also the hyper wealthy, through their purchase of politicians, established various confusions and legislation that served them well.

Any attempt to justify mass or individual behavior in humans, without pondering the Dark Side, makes one an accomplice of said Dark Side. I agree it’s hard to be hard when pondering the abyss, increasingly down below.

Many individuals from the far right and vampires from the plutocracy delve in convenient confusions between what is public and what is private. They make elaborate theories to exploit the public thing for their own private pursuits, but they hate the reciprocal.

For this system of exploitation covered up by denial to keep on going, they manage it with colossal anti-intellectualism. This way, they don’t have to answer questions, that, by playing the roles of stupid brutes, they could not possibly understand, let alone answer.

This sustainable parasitism is not just found with ranching and mining, but all over the large corporations, and especially in the so called financial industry. Private banks are little more than public institutions managed privately to benefit the few, always ready to be rescued by the public, in those cases when the transfer of property from We The People to the hyper rich suffers some sudden mishap.

The far right and the plutocrats are surrounded by an enormous cloud of hanger-ons, supporters, servants, plutophiles, and hired guns. That army of the mediocre is dedicated to the triumph of lies and the unreal. As they are, fundamentally, brutes, and admirers of brutality, they will never, ever, surrender to reason.

Quite the opposite. Anything outrageous denying reason, is experienced by the party of Pluto as a victory. Surrendering to reason would be like denying their entire strategy in life, which is centered on the neurohormones of predation, and of others suffering.

The rise of externalities in economic activities, such as mercury poisoning of the oceans, and the rising acidity, are not necessarily perceived by those who govern us as major inconveniences, but, in their universe of the inversion of all values, as major assets. This is the crux that all of economics, not to speak of sociology, has neglected.

This goes beyond Marx. It’s Marx, rolled over by tanks.

Patrice Aymé

Drugged-Out Mutant Olympics?

August 14, 2012


When It’s Too Good To Be True, It’s Too Bad To Be Swallowed.


Abstract: Drug usage is pervasive in sports… In some countries. That seems clear from the outsized results of some particular countries at the Olympics.  Yesterday sport medals were all about the DDR and the USSR, now it’s all about… (I stop here to not displease the corporate sponsors some readers may adulate…)

Solution? The Biological Passport used now for the Tour de France. Check anybody, any time. Worldwide. Some may say it will take manpower, but is not there an unemployment crisis?

That’s not all. As Nature puts it on July 19, 2012: “Are the games in fact a showcase for hardworking ‘mutants‘? And if Olympic rule-makers admit that the genetic landscape is uneven, should they then test every athlete and hold separate competitions for the genetically ungifted?”

Finally, having discarded colossal, jingoistic naivety, why not to embrace humanly engineered enhancement? Or is embracing honesty in sports a step in the wrong direction, that of eyes wide open, the one global plutocracy reviles?


Ah, the Olympics. I was listening to the announcements in London, and a young citizen of the USA, a distant relative, rose and asked her mother in an irritated voice:”What language do they speak?“. The mom said:”I think it’s French.” The youngster then sneered:“Why always French, why don’t they speak Chinese instead?

As this insolence was happening less than two meters from me, I had to intervene: “Learn this, little one. The Christians outlawed the Olympic games. The French restarted them, 15 centuries later. The French don’t talk Chinese, but French, and so, the Olympics were restarted with French as the official language.

France is not (yet) Tibet. The French introduced the metric system in the Olympics in 1796 CE, and the full Olympics in 1896; in 1924 the Winter Olympics were introduced in Chamonix, France, followed by Olympics again in Paris, a few months later. The official language of the Olympics is French (although some Anglo-Saxons claim it’s English). Another reason: French is the successor language of Latin, the games were held in that language for 6 centuries.

Moreover, on the face of it, France is the direct successor state of the Greco-Roman republic. England too, but less directly so: Greco-Roman civilization was transferred back through France (The Conqueror set-up Parliament). England seems to still have a way to go before mimiciking a Republic: England has a state religion, England has still no elected Senate, but a chamber of grotesque plutocrats called “Lords“, and a ridiculous monarch, basely adored by the simple minded, anathema to those who truly believe in SPQR.

In 393 CE, the fanatical Roman Catholic dictator Theodosius, originally a Spanish general, banned the Olympic Games, and other festivities, for being “too pagan“. OK, that was more lenient than condemning philosophers to death (another of Theodosius’ bright ideas).

Under the emperor’s orders, rabid Christians dressed in black closed and later tore down many wonders of the world. They had to destroy the world, so that their super hero the Crucified would swoop down again (as the Book of Apocalypse in the Bible had it). Most notably the Christian vampires destroyed the fabulous Temple of Zeus at Olympia and the giant Temple of Serapis in Alexandria (they also burned the library there, in Alexandria, later confusing that with a strictly Muslim blaze that happened 2 centuries later). Never mind that “zeus” and “deus” are two aspects of the same word (too brainy for vampires).

One of Theodosius’s successors, Theodosius II, ordered the Roman army to demolish the stadium of Olympia in 426 CE. That stadium could accommodate more than 40,000 spectators.

Thunderous universal applaud after the London Olympics. The corporate participants are very pleased, and they are making sure, in a huge propaganda campaign, that everybody claims to be pleased. Everybody else is a party pooper.

Never mind that the London Games cost twice more than expected, it’s the public who pays this sort of things. Meanwhile, let’s applaud, and consume simple stuff corporations sell us, starting with colossal amounts of naivety. Without colossal naivety, the plutocratic order would collapse, so it’s good to exercise the naivety muscle as much as possible.

OK, granted when one athlete from one tiny nation (Grenada) gets one gold medal, it gives that nation the highest count of medal per capita in the world (Grenada has about 100,000 souls). However, when Jamaica gets 12 medals, the anomaly becomes statistically significant, for someone who uniquely enjoys wisdom (tyrano-sophia).

Jamaica has long been famous in the 100 meters. The once hyper famous and most glorious Ben Johnson was born there. He later won a gold medal at the Seoul Olympic games, taken away from him three days later after he tested positive for some steroid. The hyper muscular Ben aggravated his case by claiming most athletes did this (‘40%’, he said).

He and his coach claimed Johnson had been deliberately contaminated by a third party, as he did not use that particular steroid (“because it made his body feel tight!”), but another one. International sport authorities were not amused. Woe onto the one who brings scandal! They treated Ben Johnson like the plague, claiming that any athlete competing with him would be viewed officially as “contaminated“, and barred from any competition. Mysteriously, when Johnson was disqualified, some of the athletes who went up as a result, had themselves tested positive.

(Plutocracy will not explain anything to you, but for what it wants…)

By the way the third sprinter at the London Olympics, the bronze medal, a USA citizen, was suspended for four years, for drug usage, in the past. No doubt he knows how not to get caught anymore.

How does one not get caught? Very simple. There are many ways. One way is masking agents. In France they are treated as the drugs themselves.

Or take the case of amphetamines. There are all sorts of variants in the chemical formulas. So what do greedy kitchen chemist contrive? They invent new one variants, not on the list of illegal amphetamine-like drugs. Those are not, strictly speaking, unlawful. Recently the customs in the Paris airports had a list they made themselves, of no less than 762 amphetamine variants, all not illegal, all of them that they informally seized (no charges, but no return of the drugs, either…)  

Before the London Olympics, Nature, the Britain based science weekly, published several articles on sports and drugs. The gist being that one should organize Enhanced Olympics (my term), and then some drug free Olympics. I agree with the idea, for a number of reasons that I will expose below. Moreover, how to do it.

One does not need to be a brain scientist to realize that, when some countries succeed as well as the DDR, the Deutsches Demokratiche Republic of old, there is got to be something not kosher going on. The DDR was the most successful country in the Olympics, per capita. For decades. DDR doctors gave drugs to their athletes, sometimes for decades, sometimes seconds before an event. Some guessed it at the time, and suspicions were confirmed after that police state was swallowed by West Germany, and tongues freed.

Jamaica, population 2.7 millions, got 12 medals in London 2012, no less. I am not trying to be racist and I am not suggesting that this is because the surviving slaves were those running the fastest away from their powerful white masters. Far from me such silly, traditional, half funny, anodyne remarks. I would instead direct my gaze towards the one in the know who suggested Jamaican athletes should be controlled around December.

Look at Senegal: same powerful West African genes as Jamaica, five times the population of Jamaica, and a very strong native and imported sport culture. Number of Olympic medals of Senegal? Zero. OK, one medal. Twenty years ago.

What’s the idea? Some drugs have long term effects: they build up muscles, tendons, ligaments and even the attending motor neurons. Do that in December, much of these physiological changes will last until July.

Control in July for a drug that one has stopped taking three months before, and unsurprisingly, it will not show up. Smart for chimps, but not too difficult for even a hare-brained sportsman to understand.

For decades, USA Olympic committees were in deliberate denial that drug usage was massive in USA sports. Corporate sponsors celebrated Marion Jones, all the way to the front cover of time magazine. The American media claimed she was going to get five gold medals. Even then, it was perfectly clear that Jones was officially connected to Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (a.k.a. BALCO). That was a drug factory, for the best. In the end, International instances told the USA that this could not be tolerated any longer, it was too blatant, and Marion Jones could not get as many drugs, and thus, medals, as she expected in Sidney. Further inquiries led to her going to prison, and returning five gold medals.  

The corruption of the system is obvious in the sense that not all the gold medals and titles attributed to the USA in connection to Marion Jones were rescinded. Never mind that IAAF president Lamine Diack, a Senegalese, stated that: “Marion Jones will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history.”

So what of the USA in all this? Well, athletes are not controlled for drugs in many USA sports. Not at all. A hint: life expectancy of so called American football linemen is barely fifty years of age (even the aficionado sport magazines admit they are stuffed with growth hormones).

I have a passing acquaintance with some sports. I was astounded when I saw routine drug controls for private events in France, even for exotic disciplines. The same sports (such as climbing) have rigorously no control in the USA, and individuals practicing them, in the USA, are routinely taking drugs, and showing all the symptoms, complete with swollen wrists and female with suddenly jutting chins. It was amusing to see French sport climbers downing two liters of water within seconds of winning an event, and then, much more (drug controls happening after the hysterical celebrations).

What to do?

Well, France was in a quandary: for about twenty years, not one Frenchman won a stage in the Tour de France… except for Richard Virenques, who got caught for drug usage by French authorities, and became a black sheep barred from cycling.

Drug controls are ferocious in France. Why? In the 1950s, the top British cyclist, Tom Simpson, would have won the Tour de France, except that he died on Mont Ventoux. The autopsy of this highly successful athlete showed heavy drug usage.

In the 2000s, there was the pathetic spectacle of Lance Armstrong, always winning, with a smirk. In the beginning, he was embraced, he met with the French president. Later, though, old samples analyzed with more modern techniques showed drug usage (for example EPO on Turin to Briancon, a stage I saw with my very eyes!). Not perhaps too keen to be called Anti-American by the umbrageous USA, the French authorities did nothing about it. Instead authorities in the USA are prosecuting Armstrong on their own. Systemic controls by surprise at 5am had changed nothing: the smart ones, as I said, trained with drugs. 

This year, 2012, was different: the French won a lot of stages, and the best climber. For a first time, a Brit won the Tour (this Wiggins is a well known track world champion, and won the gold in London). Three cyclists were caught cheating, two them quite famous, and immediately expelled and  punished. A past multiple winner from Spain was barred (like Ben Johnson, he argued somebody had contaminated the meat he ate). From the ways victories during stages happened, it is clear that the Tour is getting clean.

How did the Tour authorities do it?  

By instituting a BIOLOGICAL PASSPORT. Union Cycliste Internationale and the Federation Internationale de Ski are increasingly using it (yes, France did not just create the modern Olympic games, other sports speak French as a first language).

All and any cyclist engaging in the Tour de France has to declare where in the world he is, at any moment, all year long. And is exposed to immediate control. Cheating on this (it happened, an athlete claimed to be in Italy when he was in Argentina) results in immediate disqualification.

Meanwhile, all results, in all other sports, absent a biological passport, ought to be taken tongue in cheek. OK, Usain bolts certainly smarter than Ben. OK, the queen parachuted into the stadium with dozens of gold medals. Well done, quite hilarious. Nice spectacle for the children. Tongue in cheek for those with drugs in cheek.

Maybe, indeed, Jamaica has a superior sport culture, and Britain too. If so, prove it. And if you don’t want to prove it, allow us to laugh.

Another dirty secret in sport competitions is that most successful athletes have successful genes. Those genes are increasingly known. How do we know if they have been injected or not? And is it fair to have mutants competing against normal humans?

Why can’t normal people become mutants too? More than 200 gene variants are associated to high performance in sports. As Nature puts it in “Genetically enhanced Olympics are coming“: … an option, if safe, would be to allow athletes who did not win the genetic lottery to ‘upgrade’ through gene therapy — a practice that is now banned as ‘gene doping’.

More generally, what is wrong about enhancing human capabilities? Did not EPO, besides helping Mr. Armstrong to dress in a yellow jersey, save millions of lives? Indeed EPO has become a routine medical treatment.

So let’s embrace enhancement. But let’s do it above the table, for all to see. Let’s admit many cheaters are winning, and many of the others who also win, the gods favored. And common people on common diets, common blood, common genes can have their own common Olympics.

Indeed what is wrong is cheating, claiming one is clean, whereas one is winning, precisely because one is dirty. And making a world, Olympic size cover-up about all this cheating, is an even more worrisome meta cheating, as it requires Olympic naivety. Among Pluto’s characteristics is invisibility. By making massive cheating officially invisible, the Olympic committees do not help the forces of goodness.

Instead the sport authorities imprint people on something very subtle: deep down inside, people feel there is something not right about some countries getting so many medals. But then they are taught that it is fair, balanced and reflective to swallow this troubling feeling, and accept that any sense leading towards suspicion is in poor taste.

Outlawing suspicion is part of this general meta morality people learn so well in the USA: conspiracy theorists are crazy. Working hard, and taking no vacations is good, while believing that some people out there, important people, are conspiring, in very important conspiracies, sometimes, is crazy.

Can goodness come, when one cannot let one’s mind be suspicious? Can goodness come when one makes it a moral duty to believe whoever has an obvious interest to say whatever they say? Can goodness come when exposing some for the crooks, thieves, criminals and charlatans they may well be definitively something reflective people are not supposed to do?

And yet, is not goodness what the Olympic Games should show, and celebrate, before anything else?


Patrice Ayme