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Debates Forum

  1. Behind the scenes
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    10 Jun '18 16:463 edits
    America is a wonderful country in many ways, as a business owner, I'm thankful to live in a place where free market enterprises are encouraged. American's however, are hurting themselves in many ways in thinking if you don't finish # 1, you've failed. This stands in stark contrast to thinking in other parts of the world.

    In a former NY Times bestseller a young Harvard grad from New York was watching his girlfriend from the Netherlands in a tennis match,. After losing to her American competitor, her boyfriend took her to lunch and said "you could be the best in the world if you really worked at tennis" his lady answered, "If I really worked at it, tennis would become a job. I'm practicing tennis enough to be a good tennis player, and studying medicine hard enough to be a good doctor, that's what I want" The young man from Harvard began to realize (contrary to what he was taught in America) being number 1 isn't everything, and his girlfriend's balanced approach to life made a great deal of sense.

    It's interesting that Harvard Business Review recently published an article on this very subject.

    https://hbr.org/2012/08/our-unhealthy-obsession-with-winning.html
  2. Standard membervivify
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    10 Jun '18 16:592 edits
    Obsession with winning certainly is limited to America. Andres Escobar was soccer goalie killed for accidentally scoring in his own goal.

    The riots and fanaticism of soccer players are well known, so I go on to long about this. But here's a link about soccer players who've faced severe consequences for losing:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/19/iraq.football

    For decades, China has had "sport schools", a place where children train their whole lives to win at an Olympic sport. This comes at the sacrifice of any semblance of a normal childhood; they either don't or rarely get to see any friends or family. The training is often cruel, and for long hours, at the expense of any real education the children can use after they've competed.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3597978/Inside-China-s-cruel-gold-medal-factories.html
  3. SubscriberWOLFE63
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    10 Jun '18 17:05
    Originally posted by @mchill
    America is a wonderful country in many ways, as a business owner, I'm thankful to live in a place where free market enterprises are encouraged. American's however, are hurting themselves in many ways in thinking if you don't finish # 1, you've failed. This stands in stark contrast to thinking in other parts of the world.

    In a former NY Times bestseller a ...[text shortened]... icle on this very subject.

    https://hbr.org/2012/08/our-unhealthy-obsession-with-winning.html
    This "paradigm shift" to the "zero sum game" philosophy seems to have occurred in the last 40 years or so.

    There is likely more than one reason for this...but I feel the primary one is greed.
  4. SubscriberTom Wolsey
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    10 Jun '18 19:01
    America sucks. The USA should get on board with the rest of the world and embrace losing.
  5. Behind the scenes
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    10 Jun '18 19:31
    Originally posted by @tom-wolsey
    America sucks. The USA should get on board with the rest of the world and embrace losing.
    Maybe you should get on board with actually reading this article before bashing it. 😲
  6. SubscriberWOLFE63
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    10 Jun '18 20:13
    Originally posted by @tom-wolsey
    America sucks. The USA should get on board with the rest of the world and embrace losing.
    The "ugly American" on display.

    Seriously, what kind of parent will teach their child that "winning is the ONLY thing?"
    As if every child was fully enabled and deficit-free. So short-sighted.

    No wonder we have so many children with distorted perceptions of reality. It's as if they're being told:
    "Don't feel pretty, daughter...afraid of thugs? Take some drugs."
    "Don't like the way things are son; change it by getting a gun!"
  7. SubscriberTom Wolsey
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    10 Jun '18 20:53
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Maybe you should get on board with actually reading this article before bashing it. 😲
    I was reacting to vivify who claims only America has a thing about winning. Sorry I didn't quote him/her.
  8. SubscriberTom Wolsey
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    10 Jun '18 20:562 edits
    Originally posted by @wolfe63
    The "ugly American" on display.

    Seriously, what kind of parent will teach their child that "winning is the ONLY thing?"
    As if every child was fully enabled and deficit-free. So short-sighted.

    No wonder we have so many children with distorted perceptions of reality. It's as if they're being told:
    "Don't feel pretty, daughter...afraid of thugs? Take some drugs."
    "Don't like the way things are son; change it by getting a gun!"
    I don't obsess about winning and I wouldn't encourage anyone to obsess over it. But--winning is important. This axiom applies broadly to the human experience.. even down to the principles of evolution theory. By and large, liberals are seen by the rest of us as a group that literally embraces losing. While that does seem humble, it also appropriately correlates to self-loathing, even stupidity.
  9. SubscriberWOLFE63
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    10 Jun '18 21:361 edit
    Originally posted by @tom-wolsey
    I don't obsess about winning and I wouldn't encourage anyone to obsess over it. But--winning is important. This axiom applies broadly to the human experience.. even down to the principles of evolution theory. By and large, liberals are seen by the rest of us as a group that literally embraces losing. While that does seem humble, it also appropriately correlates to self-loathing, even stupidity.
    While I do abhor excessive self-pity. I wouldn't say that it exclusively resides in the domain of all liberals. That's a brush just a tad too broad my friend.
  10. Zugzwang
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    10 Jun '18 21:465 edits
    Originally posted by @vivify
    Obsession with winning certainly is limited to America. Andres Escobar was soccer goalie killed for accidentally scoring in his own goal.

    The riots and fanaticism of soccer players are well known, so I go on to long about this. But here's a link about soccer players who've faced severe consequences for losing:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003 ...[text shortened]...
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3597978/Inside-China-s-cruel-gold-medal-factories.html
    Vivify apparently swallows a rather sensationalist story about China.
    When Westerners are ignorant of Chinese culture and history, they typically fail to grasp
    what may be exaggerated or misleading in such stories.

    "China's sports system has been enormously successful since the country returned to the Olympic fold in 1980."
    In fact, the People's Republic of China participated in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time in 1984.

    Here are some statements from that article that Vivify did not quote:
    "A higher emphasis is being placed on education at schools rather than just focusing on sports."

    "Fewer parents are willing to let their children endure gruelling training routines, leading to
    a fall in student numbers. Some schools have closed and others are adjusting the way they work."

    During the Cultural Revolution, China withdrew from participation in international sport.
    Afterward, the 1970s became known as the decade of 'Friendship first, competition second'
    (a Chinese slogan) in which top Chinese athletes WERE ROUTINELY ORDERED TO LOSE
    to foreign athletes in individual events in order that China should NOT WIN TOO MUCH.
    (The Maoist ideal was that a Chinese should not draw too much individual attention by winning big.)
    An example was the men's singles final at the 1977 World Table Tennis championship in
    Birmingham, UK, when it was clear enough that China's Guo Yuehua was ordered to lose
    to Japan's Mitsuru Kohno (whom Guo had easily defeated earlier). Even Western commentators
    at that time noted that Guo was 'throwing' the match to Kohno. The Maoist policy of
    'Friendship first, competition second' (ordering athletes to lose) came to an end by 1981.

    My point is that traditional Chinese culture does NOT place great value on sports.
    And China's government has NOT always been concerned with winning in international sport.

    As an ethnocentric American, Vivify seems completely ignorant of the cultural context.
    Traditionally, the Chinese have been much less obsessed than Americans with sports.
    Almost all Chinese parents prefer to encourage their children to excel in academics, not athletics.
    So sports schools were introduced to counter this Chinese cultural bias against sports.

    Chinese parents are not foolish enough to put much stock in dreaming of athletic glory for their children.
    They know the long odds against their children ever becoming professional athletes.
    Sport schools graduates may attempt to become coaches (typically a modest livelihood).

    So which Chinese parents send their children to sports schools? Usually the poor and desperate.
    Education's no longer free in China. The sports schools may offer free room and board
    and *some* non-sports education, which is better than none. Would not poor parents who
    cannot otherwise afford to send their child to school be tempted by sending a (hungry)
    child to a sports school, where one will receive a basic education and three meals every day?

    The DDR (East Germany) had sports schools; China has sports schools.
    But there's a big difference in cultural context. The Germans traditionally have put much
    more emphasis than the Chinese on sport. And the DDR lacked the extreme poverty
    that still afflicts many in China. So it's wrong to conflate the East German and Chinese
    experiences of sports schools.
  11. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    10 Jun '18 21:53
    Originally posted by @tom-wolsey
    But--winning is important. This axiom applies broadly to the human experience.. .
    It isn't an axiom and it isn't always important.
    Consider the Prisoners' Dilemma.
  12. SubscriberWOLFE63
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    10 Jun '18 21:56
    Intentionally losing at sport can be seen as a manifestation of corruption. Corruption: Something which is not anathema to the Chinese in political history.
  13. Zugzwang
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    10 Jun '18 22:042 edits
    Originally posted by @wolfe63
    Intentionally losing at sport can be seen as a manifestation of corruption.
    Corruption: Something which is not anathema to the Chinese in political history.
    "The Maoist policy of 'Friendship first, competition second' (ordering athletes to lose) came to an end by 1981."
    --Duchess64

    Wolfe63 may prefer to ignore the reality that China has changed greatly since Mao's death.

    Contrary to Wolfe63's ignorant presumption, there's no evidence that foreigners were
    bribing the Chinese authorities to order Chinese athletes to lose to foreign athletes.
    Again, under Maoist ideology, it was fine for the Chinese to excel collectively (such as by
    winning team competitions), but it was considered 'politically incorrect' (to use an anachronism)
    for a Chinese to draw too much individual attention to oneself by winning too much.

    Sadly, some great Chinese athletes were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution.
    (Rong Guotuan, a former world champion in table tennis, committed suicide in 1968.)
    Sometimes it was safer for a Chinese NOT to win, but to finish second or third, in order
    to avoid the extra scrutiny placed upon a champion.
  14. Joined
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    10 Jun '18 22:161 edit
    Many Chinese athletes success during their early years in the Olympics are tarnished by drug enhanced performances. Not always 'pinged' at the time, defended by bizarre "drinking turtle blood' training techniques, but since seen to be what it was.

    Suffice to say Chinese success at the Olympics has considerably diminished in recent, more stringent, testing times

    Ah...I see a 'thumbs down'. From whom I wonder? Why doesn't that poster challenge the above view?
  15. Zugzwang
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    10 Jun '18 22:513 edits
    Originally posted by @blood-on-the-tracks
    Many Chinese athletes success during their early years in the Olympics are tarnished by drug enhanced performances.
    Not always 'pinged' at the time, defended by bizarre "drinking turtle blood' training techniques, but since seen to be what it was.

    Suffice to say Chinese success at the Olympics has considerably diminished in recent, more stringent, testing times
    Using performance-enhanced drugs was very common among non-Chinese athletes,
    including an American hero such as Lance Armstrong. Several years ago, most of the
    'patriotic' Americans here long refused to concede that Lance Armstrong could have cheated.
    Even after he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, some Americans here
    still attempted to rationalize that Lance Armstrong had done nothing unfair or wrong.
    Of course, if Lance Armstrong were Chinese, their response would have been extremely different.

    Chinese athletes should NOT be held to a different standard from non-Chinese athletes.
    The international sports authorities have not found evidence of systematic cheating in China
    as they found in Russia. Given the large number of coaches and trainers (with varying ethical
    standards--or all Chinese supposed to be exactly alike?) and the cut-throat nature of
    domestic competition in China, there may be some coaches or trainers who may try
    anything to get an advantage over their rivals. That has more to do with the specific
    conditions of competition rather than with Chinese culture.

    Blood on the Tracks may be ignorant of the fact that Ma Junren, a notorious Chinese athletics
    coach, has long been kicked out of coaching in response to many strong criticisms by
    other Chinese (including some of his former athletes). It's wrong to believe that all or
    even most Chinese condone wrongdoing by individual Chinese coaches or athletes.

    There's a racist belief of 'The Chinese are racially inferior, so no Chinese athlete could
    defeat a top Western athlete without cheating." This kind of racism influences popular
    uncorroborated accusations of cheating against Chinese. (The racist troll AThousandYoung
    also prefers to attribute Chinese success in academics to cheating.) There's also a
    racist belief that the Chinese must be more dishonest or evil than all other people.
    These racist beliefs may be popular in this forum dominated by racist white men.
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