Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Peoples Republic of Aotearoa athletes lacking medal lustre

Congratulations to the sixteen NZ medal winners. To the rest of you, may I have my money back please?

If they were handing out medals for coming fourth -- or just for participation, as they do in some New Zealand schools -- we'd be stars. But they don't. And we're not. The People's Republic of Aotearoa currently lies ninth in the medal table behind Malaysia, Jamaica and Scotland, and equal with Nigeria, Kenya and Wales (Wales!).

With $30 million of taxpayers' money spent on making NZ atheletes beneficiaries -- that's $1.875 million per medal -- does it even begin to look like it was in any way money "well spent"? And have we got a right to complain about atheletes' performances when we've been forced to pay for them, and the money appears to have been pissed up against a wall?

Do graduates from the Soviet-modelled Australian Institute of Sport do so well because the AIS is so good, or because Australians generally know how to win? $30 million for 16 medals versus $110 million for 121 medals (and counting) suggests there's something other than just throwing-money-at-the-problem going on in Oz -- perhaps a difference in attitude? And as Greg Barns asks, is there anything particularly noble in 'Going for Gold via the Eastern Bloc' anyway?

SPARC chief executive Nick Hill suggested a "dream forecast" of 58 medals for athletes from the People's Republic of Aotearoa, and a "realistic target" of 46. A Stuff website poll suggested two-thirds of respondents expected fewer than 10 medals, and one-third fewer than five. So who had the more realistic expectation? And who was just bloody dreaming?

Does forced funding of sportsmen work? And even if it did work, should the government take money from you to keep sportsmen and women in the manner to which they've now become accustomed?

The problem with NZ sportsmen is not lack of funding. As Chris Lewis explained some years ago, the problem is lack of will to win. Stolen taxpayer money is not the solution, it is part of the problem he says:
Whether it's a gap-closing, egalitarian, envy-motivated tax regime that punishes ambition and success - while rewarding sloth and failure - or a state education system that encourages mediocrity and participation - while discouraging excellence and competition - the insidious effect is the same: it sends an implicit message that to stand out from the masses by rising above them, or earning more than them, or doing better than them, is bad, but to remain as part of an anonymous throng is good.

It is why the best New Zealanders are leaving the country in droves, and why our best and most talented athletes, with few exceptions, have had the passion to excel knocked out of them since they were children. It is not only what's wrong with New Zealand sport, but also what's wrong with New Zealand.
Read on here. There is an alternative, says Chris Lewis, to the all-pervasive, envy-ridden, egalitarian, anti-achievement, anti-success mentality so prevalent in New Zealand -- what he calls the 'crab bucket mentality.' Find out his answer to the 'crab bucket mentality' here.

LINK: Forced funding vs freedom - Chris Lewis, The Free Radical
The crab bucket mentality and The Fountainhead - Chris Lewis, The Free Radical
Going for gold via the Eastern Bloc - Greg Barns, On Line Opinion
Full medal table - NZ Herald
Cartoon by Nick Kim from The Free Radical

TAGS: Sports, New_Zealand, Political_Correctness

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

$30 million for 16 medals versus $110 milion million for 121 medals

Peter, from your figures it seems like we got a MUCH better deal. $1.85 million per medal for us, while the Australians paid $909 billion (US billion) for theirs.

Andrew Bannister

3/22/2006 10:14:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Thanks for spotting the typo Andrew (now corrected). You're no relation to Roger, I suppose?

3/22/2006 10:42:00 am  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

Chris Lewis complaining about "stolen taxpayer's money" is a bit rich considering he was employed as a coach by Tennis Auckland Inc. for some time. And where do you think Tennis Auckland, or Tennis NZ for that matter, get a significant portion of their income from???

3/22/2006 12:49:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Chris was not employed by New Zealand Tennis, (with whom he had significiant disagreements, not least about their funding) but as the head of Auckland Tennis's Junior Tennis Programme.

From the Auckland Tennis website: "The Auckland Tennis Inc. Junior Coaching Programme is on a user-pays basis."

Your ball, Rob.

3/22/2006 12:56:00 pm  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

Not my point. My point is he was working WITHIN an infrastructure that is significantly reliant on government funding to survive. The fact the coaching programme was on a user-pays basis is not relevant.

So if using "stolen taxpayer's money" is part of the problem with NZ sport, why did he need the connection with an organisation that needs some of this stolen money to be able to run their affairs.

If he was so against the use of "stolen taxpayer's money" for NZ sport, why not just offer his services on a purely commercial basis, without any reference to the organisation that govern the game?

3/22/2006 01:06:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

The fact the coaching programme was on a user-pays basis is entirely relevant, since it was in that programme that Chris was employed, and over that programme that he had a say. No-one can be responsible for things for which they aren't responsible, or for what they find when they begin work on something; only for what they can do and do do therefter.

You ask, Rob, "why did he need the connection with an organisation" like NZ Tennis? He didn't. They needed him. And still do.

"If he was so against the use of 'stolen taxpayer's money' for NZ sport, why not just offer his services on a purely commercial basis..." I thnk you'll find that if he had charged on a purely commercial basis that they couldn't have afforded him. :-) And as I said before, his services were charged on a user-pays basis.

In any case, Rob, even if your charge were true -- which it isn't -- how would that in any way alter Chris's argument, which I notice you haven't addressed?

3/22/2006 01:37:00 pm  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

Sigh. I'm well aware that Chris's relationship was with Auckland (not NZ) Tennis - see my original comment. I'm also well aware about how most REGIONAL (e.g. Auckland Tennis) and NATIONAL (e.g. Tennis NZ) sporting organisations operate and are funded in this country. There is a link, they are not mutually exclusive, but I won't labour the point.

But I thank you for your comment "I thnk you'll find that if he had charged on a purely commercial basis that they couldn't have afforded him".

I assume you think having Chris Lewis in NZ coaching tennis would be a good thing. So do I. So here's a question: if Auckland Tennis are currently unable to afford the services of a Chris Lewis on a commercial basis, then perhaps we should be using more "stolen taxpayer's money" so that we can afford the likes of him? What would be your solution for Tennis Auckland to enable them to employ Chris Lewis on a commercial basis?

I haven't addressed Chris's argument because (unlike yours)it does have some validity. I just find it hypocritical that someone who has CHOSEN to work within an organisational structure that is dependent to some extent on government funding can imply in an article that using taxpayers money to fund sport is akin to theft. Don't bother responding - I know you don't see my point.

I also find it mildly amusing that despite his well documented "spats" with Tennis NZ, he still remains a life member of that organisation.

As for your comments, I chose not to respond to them because they do show a lack of knowledge about how high performance sport is funded in this country. Your implication that NZ taxpayers have spent $30 million "to keep sportsmen and women in the manner to which they've now become accustomed" is way off the mark.

3/22/2006 02:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know any Rogers.

I was also wondering Peter, given that the Australians put MORE money into their sports, are you suggesting we should do the same? I wonder how many medals we could collect with $120 million?

3/22/2006 03:02:00 pm  
Anonymous SWS said...

PC,

There are another 4 days to go. Maybe there's a skew to NZ medal hopes being loaded into the back half of the competition. We'll see.

A little digging into stats of CWGs shows that NZ has averaged a total of 45 medals over the last 4 games. (That may in part be why Nick Hill thought 46 was realistic). Over same 4 games, Australia has bagged 187. 187/45 is 4.1. Their popn vs ours is 5.0 over this period, so we're at least punching over our popn weight.

Suggests their spend per athlete is more efficient than ours though - we're both winning similar numbers of medals per capita but we're spending twice as much to do it (1.9 vs under 0.9).I know you don't want to spend a cent, but if we're going to, perhaps we could learn how to do it better...

Since 1938, NZ's CWG ranking has hovered around the 5th spot. Suggests that the nauseating latter-day tendency to grade everyone a winner has not, in fact, undermined our performance. And Australia has been #1, or near it, with about 40% medals in Gold for years too, suggesting their
AIS has not dramatically turned things around.

(But never let data ruin a good rant, eh?)

I met the mgmt and top athletes of Rowing NZ recently (not a CWG sport at present, alas). They have a high performance programme that seemed to pay off in spades at World Champs in Japan last year - 4 golds in under an hour. Key principle is they don't send people who haven't got a demonstrable chance of winning. So it seems some NZ athletes have the winning mentality clear. No, I don't know spend per medal. Maybe it'd even be up with the Aussies in both colour and $!

3/22/2006 03:36:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

"A little digging into stats of CWGs shows that NZ has averaged a total of 45 medals over the last 4 games. (That may in part be why Nick Hill thought 46 was realistic). Over same 4 games, Australia has bagged 187. 187/45 is 4.1. Their popn vs ours is 5.0 over this period, so we're at least punching over our popn weight."

So NZ's figure has dipped considerably (now 17). And Australia's figure (142 at present) looks to have increased.

"Since 1938, NZ's CWG ranking has hovered around the 5th spot...

And have headed down to ninth!

Suggests that the nauseating latter-day tendency to grade everyone a winner has not, in fact, undermined our performance.

I'd suggest it shows evidence of just the reverse.

And Australia has been #1, or near it, with about 40% medals in Gold for years too, suggesting their AIS has not dramatically turned things around."

Indeed. Part of my original point, I think.

"I was also wondering Peter, given that the Australians put MORE money into their sports, are you suggesting we should do the same?"

No. The reverse.
"I wonder how many medals we could collect with $120 million?"

Given the current trend, probably even fewer.

3/22/2006 04:52:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Rob, you appear to be having a different conversation than me.

"What would be your solution for Auckland Tennis to enable them to employ Chris Lewis on a commercial basis?"

To continue as they were, on the basis on which Chris was happy, with the only difference being that the tax-paid wankers at Tennis NZ be got out of his hair. Too late now, but!

"I haven't addressed Chris's argument because (unlike yours)it does have some validity."

You're saying you agree with his arguments? In which case, we have no argument.

"I just find it hypocritical that someone who has CHOSEN to work within an organisational structure that is dependent to some extent on government funding can imply in an article that using taxpayers money to fund sport is akin to theft."

Asked and answered. No one can be responsible for what's outside their control, but they can be admired for trying to change something for the better. And I should reiterate that Chris did not merely imply that using taxpayers money to fund sport is akin to theft, he pointed out quite clearly that it is theft. Which it is.

"Your implication that NZ taxpayers have spent $30 million "to keep sportsmen and women in the manner to which they've now become accustomed" is way off the mark."

Off the mark in what manner?

BTW, interesting site you have -- I agree with you about the haka. Which sport do you help administer? And what is your own solution to the Commonwealth Games failure? More money? ;^)

3/22/2006 05:04:00 pm  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

Different wavelengths indeed. But I won't rehash old ground. However you have asked some questions.

"SOME validity" means I agree with some, but not all, of what he said.

Off the mark in respect that anyone with half a clue about sports funding in this country would know that not all of (in fact a reasonable proportion of it doesn't) the $30 million ends up in the athlete's pockets. They are not "beneficiaries" (your choice of word) bludging $30 million off the taxpayer so they don't have to work and can drive to their (paid for) massage session in a flash car.

You seem to be an intelligent fellow, probably more intelligent than a voluntary sports administrator and past NZ sports representative such as myself, so if you are really interested in where that $30 million goes, hop off to the SPARC website and download their accounts and see for yourself.

The link to my site doesn't work by the way, and my sport is obvious through the profile (although I'll be surprised if you have heard of it).

As to the solution to the current "failure"? Well I agree with you (and Chris) about one thing - money is not necessarily the answer. So no, I don't advocate spending more money. As you say yourself, increased money does not guarantee increased success.

What annoys me about the growing debate about the lack of success at the CG is that people are quick to jump on the "money" aspect - for further explanation please read the column titled "the knives are out already" at www.sportsfreak.co.nz

The criticism about the lack of success is warranted. What I don't agree with is people such as yourself linking the spending in an attempt to achieve sporting success with the results achieved. If our team was coming home with 60 medals this debate would not be rearing it's ugly head, would it?

By all means criticise our lack of success at the Commonwealth Games (it is probably deserved). By all means have a philosophical chinwag about whether taxpayers should fund sport in NZ and if so, to what level. My beef is linking the two together, and using the fact that because as a nation (as have most developed countries in the world) we have chosen to fund sport to some extent out of central coffers, provides a justification to criticise sporting performance.

3/22/2006 06:09:00 pm  
Anonymous SWS said...

PC - I agree that NZ's 2006 ranking and stats in medias res don't look good at all. But let's wait for the final tally before writing off the NZ athletes.

Even if it's a poor showing this time, I'd hesitate to say Kiwis have forgotten how to win and/or lost the will to win in four short years. In Manchester in 2002, NZ ranked fifth with nearly a quarter of our medals Gold! Sometimes you're not in the "zone". And remember Australia has home turf advantage. NZ did noticeably better in Auckland in 1990...

3/22/2006 06:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

Just a couple of points before I answer Rob's charge that Chris Lewis is a hypocrite:

1) PC has represented NZ in at least one sport and has voluntarily coached (and possibly administered) at one club where that sport was played.

2) I noticed in the comments section related to the Australian author's article mention that Ian Thorpe never trained at the AIS. This further backs up Chris Lewis's claim that you can get to the top without seeking out state funds to support your endeavours.

3/23/2006 02:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

Rob said, "If our team was coming home with 60 medals this debate would not be rearing it's ugly head, would it?"

PC has made two points that are being debated in the comments section:
1) That the state should not fund athletes out of money taken from taxpayers by force;
2) That given the amount being spent in this way, the return is pretty hopeless.

PC suggests a possible cultural difference explains the latter. I am not particularly interested in that issue (notwithstanding living here in Sydney where my flatmate gloats every time their anthem gets played). I would like to answer Rob's charge that Chris Lewis is a hypocrite, however.

PC's succinct explanation has sailed over Rob's head twice. I think I will have to explain it to Rob as if he were a six year old(to borrow from the movie Philadelphia).
[Continued below.]

3/23/2006 03:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

I don't think the government should do anything more than provide police, justice and defence to uphold individual rights (which can only be breached by an initiation of force). It should not fund roads, hospitals, schools, arts or sports. In order to give money to organisations for such purposes, the government must take the money from some taxpayer who may or may not support the way his or her money is spent - the government cannot magically create the weatlh.

In doing so, the government crowds out private investment in activities and infrastructure projects in two ways. First, it takes the money from the private individuals who would spend their money on such activities and projects. Secondly, it reduces the number of economically justifiable projects available to private investors. In some cases (universities), the government even bans private competition.

Now, do my political beliefs mean that in order to avoid being a hypocrite I have to not use government roads, schools, universities, hospitals, parks, etc? No. My political beliefs do not impose on me a duty to make a martyr of myself, to live the life of a hermit.

[Continued below.]

3/23/2006 03:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

In order to avoid being a hypocrite while advocating the least government, I have to avoid calling for funding of activities and projects I support while calling for an end for funding of activities and projects I don't. I can still make use of things I think should be privately controlled but which I cannot privatise (my taxes paid for them too, after all) so long as my position on the question of funding is consistent.

Chris Lewis calls for an end to funding for all sports (among other things), not for all sports other than Tennis. It is not his fault that Auckland Tennis affiliates with a national organisation that the government, in its infinite socialist wisdom, decides to give the proceeds of its theft to. He does not undermine himself by not turning away students who come to him for training on a user-pays basis.

One further thing, if the government were to extricate itself from all things other than police, justice and defence and removed the tax-funded, bureaucratic burden it places on the productive citizens of NZ, the country would be a far more prosperous and vibrant place and organisations like Auckland Tennis would be able hire coaches like Chris Lewis on a commercial basis.
-------------
Great post PC. Thanks for finding that Australian author's article. I couldn't have put the likeness between the AIS and the Soviets in the movie Rocky IV better myself.

3/23/2006 03:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

Andrew, that explanation was spot on. Clear and concise.

I've taken the liberty of sending the last two posts in their entirety to Leighton Smith, in an endeavour to combat the myriad of callers (almost) universally bleating for a NZ AIS equivalent, in the wake of our limited Games' success.

I've been bombarding him with emails myself on the subject, but I fear they're getting lost in the tsunami of statist shit!

(Always did have a soft spot for alliteration). :)

3/23/2006 04:29:00 pm  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

Thanks Andrew for your posts. As a six-year old I'll continue to throw my toys out of the cot.

"Now, do my political beliefs mean that in order to avoid being a hypocrite I have to not use government roads, schools, universities, hospitals, parks, etc?"

Drawing a long bow indeed. Of course not, but as an individual you do have a choice as to who you work for and what individuals and organisations you choose to associate with.

Chris was a successful coach overseas before coming home, he could have chosen if he wanted to to coach on an entirely private basis - without any reference to the organisational structures in this country that manage the game, and no-one has answered (probably because only Chris can) the question as to why he didn't go down that route. I guess the answer is he wouldn't be able to earn enough if he did so.

Whatever. I'm also reasonably sure that during his time in NZ he was for a period on the Board of Tennis NZ which I find rather amusing. Director's expenses in 2004 (the latest Annual Accounts on the website of Tennis NZ) were around $20,000. So if Chris was on the Board, I'm sure he paid for his own lunch, accommodation and travel and refused director's fees (if there were any) as a matter of principle.

So perhaps hypocrite is too strong a word, as a six-year old my vocabulary is not yet fully developed.

Andrew, I have been President of a National Sporting Organisation for the last 6 years. If I held similar beliefs as Chris about the funding of sport in NZ I think I would find another way to give my time and effort into helping a sport, than serving on the board of an organisation that is partially funded by the taxpayer.

I'm sure you'll agree that as an individual we all have the right to have our beliefs and choose our own actions. In this case, I find them a little inconsistent. Perhaps I'm coloured by the fact that when I first read Chris's articles in "Free Radical" he made the following comment:

"Can an athlete get to the top without stolen money. I did. So did Jeremy Yates."

No doubt you swallowed that hook, line and sinker, but I found it ridiculous. First, he was extremely fortunate that he was talented in one of the few sports in this world that you can make a good living from if you are good enough.

Secondly, I'm sure that as a junior he would have had the benefit of coaching and tours overseas that would have been mainly funded out of the coffers of Tennis NZ.

Sure, the success Chris achieved is 99% (plus) down to his own efforts but to say he did it without "stolen money" is a little fanciful.

Chris currently coaches Marina Erakovic, a junior who receives a grant of $18,000 I believe from Tennis NZ, not to mention the support she has had from the same body during her junior development (e.g. funding to compete overseas in junior events). I'm sure if and when she reaches No. 1 in the world she'll be singing "I did it my way", too.

I don't have a problem with Chris and his belief that sport in NZ should not be funded by the taxpayer. In some repsects, I agree with him. But when he says in the same breath I got to the top without the help of "stolen money" and then CHOOSES to associate and work within the (partly) taxpayer-funded organisations that manage the game in this country, I'm afraid I can't take him seriously.

3/24/2006 01:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

Rob,

You have provided a lot of information, but you haven't answered the essence of my post. That is, when the government funds things you don't think should be funded you don't have to make a martyr of yourself and abstain from using them but you do have to abstain from making inconsistent calls about what government should fund.

You say that if you held Chris's views on state funding of sports, you would pay for your own lunch, accommodation and travel and refuse director's fees (if there were any) as a matter of principle. Furthermore, you "would find another way to give [your] time and effort into helping a sport, than serving on the board of an organisation that is partially funded by the taxpayer."

You would do so if you accepted Chris's political views but not his fundamental ethical views.

Now I won't claim to speak for Chris about his fundamental ethical views but you'll note he makes approving mention of the novel The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. The author advocates rational egoism in ethics and rejects altruism. That is, she rejects the idea that man exists for the sake of others, that the stronger he is the more he must sacrifice himself to some other, be that other some mystical god or social collective (and in particular, its weakest members). Rather, she says that it is moral for man to live to pursue his goals and happiness, to recognise that others are also ends to themselves and to interact with others on a mutually beneficial basis.

Chris's not divorcing himself from organisations that tennis players are guided into from an early age, his accepting compensation for his work with organisations and his coaching someone who receives funding from the government (whose parents, if they pay him, no doubt pay tax they would otherwise happily contribute to their daughter's development) would be entirely consistent with this latter view.

You uphold self-sacrifial behaviour (e.g. not accepting recompense for your work, finding a way to give to a sport) as moral. Like many of our fellow KC old boys, it seems you've swallowed the nobility of self-sacrifice hook, line and sinker. You make mention of "one of the few sports in this world," suggesting you believe there is another world and another life which makes me think the particular source of your advocacy of self-sacrifice is the KC Chapel.

You haven't shown any inconsistencies between Chris's behaviour and stated beliefs (only with yours), you have only shown you believe that treating yourself as a slave to others is moral and provided evidence to suggest your justification for this view is a belief in ghosts.

So who should we take seriously, a mystic who is president of an organisation that no doubt receives state-funding or a principled Wimbledon finalist?

3/24/2006 05:14:00 pm  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

"You have provided a lot of information, but you haven't answered the essence of my post"

Pot Kettle Black.

"when the government funds things you don't think should be funded you don't have to make a martyr of yourself and abstain from using them"

Answered - see the words "of course not" in the third line. But you have missed or (more likely)are ignoring the essence of my post. That is, Chris's assertion that he has had no benefit from the use of "stolen money" as support for his arguments regarding the funding of sport in NZ is IMO not, in your words, the actions of a "principled Wimbledon finalist"

You quote Ayn Rand - "that it is moral for man ... to interact with others on a mutually beneficial basis". I fail to see how the public criticism Chris dished out at times regarding Tennis NZ, who he was "interacting" with at the time, was done on a "mutually beneficial basis".

You make some rather interesting assumptions about myself - "you uphold self-sacrifial behaviour as moral", "suggesting you believe there is another world", "a mystic" - and implied there is inconsistency with my behaviour and beliefs.

With respect Andrew, you don't know me or the first thing about my beliefs, by all means continue to make such assumptions about me and my beliefs based on a few posts on an internet forum - it injects some humour into the day.

3/25/2006 08:29:00 am  
Blogger Rob Crawford said...

P.S. Andrew - I noticed in your original contribution you stated:

"2) I noticed in the comments section related to the Australian author's article mention that Ian Thorpe never trained at the AIS. This further backs up Chris Lewis's claim that you can get to the top without seeking out state funds to support your endeavours."

Just because Ian Thorpe never trained at the AIS does not mean that he had no state funds to support his endeavours. The AIS is not the 100% recipient of state funding in Australian sport. Another assumption of yours gone haywire.

3/25/2006 08:44:00 am  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

Rob,

You say that I "missed or (more likely)are [sic] ignoring the essence of my post. That is, Chris's assertion that he has had no benefit from the use of "stolen money" as support for his arguments regarding the funding of sport in NZ is IMO not, in your words, the actions of a 'principled Wimbledon finalist'[sic]"

My arguments were focussed on what your arguments were - not what you are now making them out to be. Your arguments were that it was hypocritical for him to say that the government shouldn't fund sport because of his association [tenuous and tumultuous, I would remind you] with NZ Tennis, which receives state funding.

Here is your first post:
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/03/peoples-republic-of-aotearoa-athletes.html#114298859504379654
"Chris Lewis complaining about "stolen taxpayer's money" is a bit rich considering he was employed as a coach by Tennis Auckland Inc. for some time. And where do you think Tennis Auckland, or Tennis NZ for that matter, get a significant portion of their income from???"

This is from your second:
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/03/peoples-republic-of-aotearoa-athletes.html#114298961146369352
"Not my point. My point is he was working WITHIN an infrastructure that is significantly reliant on government funding to survive. The fact the coaching programme was on a user-pays basis is not relevant."

This is from your third:
http://pc.blogspot.com/2006/03/peoples-republic-of-aotearoa-athletes.html#114299529300993885
"I just find it hypocritical that someone who has CHOSEN to work within an organisational structure that is dependent to some extent on government funding can imply in an article that using taxpayers money to fund sport is akin to theft. Don't bother responding - I know you don't see my point."

Actually, I think PC's grasp of your point was better than that of your last post.

3/27/2006 11:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew Bates said...

To answer your minor points:

Re: "a mutually beneficial basis". Chris was being asked to sacrifice his interests for the sake of NZ Tennis (in reality, the people running it). When other people stop recognising you as an end unto yourself, it's quite proper to rebuke their behaviour.

Re: Thorpedo. This would be a hard concept for a mystic to integrate by he who asserts the positive must provide the proof. If you assert Thorpe received state funds (or that god/other lives/ other worlds exist), you must provide the proof. The burden is not on me to prove the negative (that at no time in his development did Thorpe benefit in some way from state funding) - that would be an epistemologically impossible task (I can explain why if needs be, just ask). Hardly an assumption gone "haywire."

Re: You, your behaviour and your beliefs. Where did I imply they were inconsistent? I specifically said your judgements of Chris were consistent with an adherence to mystic-altruist beliefs, which I thought there was evidence (which I quoted) to suggest you embraced.
P.S. Care to tell us whether you're a Christian?

3/27/2006 11:59:00 pm  

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