Dec 31, 2009, 2:56 PM EDT
You think the Hall of Fame debates about Mark McGwire are thorny? Wait until my son strikes out 500 dudes in 2030 with the help of a bionic elbow:
As advances make robots act more like us, titanium parts and
artificial aids can give humans bionic capabilities. “I think this will
be the decade when we cross over from people who consider having
implants to tackle disabilities to people who consider surgery for
their healthy bodies to improve performance,” says Mr Saffo.
people are already exploring the possibilities – for example, baseball
pitchers have been seeking surgery to replace a tendon in their
throwing arm in a procedure that can make them pitch faster.
Bill James, as he usually is, was right when he wrote this past summer that, in the future, everybody is going to be using steroids or their pharmaceutical — or in this case mechanical — descendants. Rather than freak out about this, we’ll be better served to actually think about it a bit.
The key issues here are (a) risks and (b) disclosure. Once the risks of any performance-enhancing measure are limited or eliminated, and once everyone knows what everyone else is doing, we’re going to be in a totally different world, PED-wise.
And then, just like we’ve done with every other technological advancement, we’re going to have to figure out, as a society, how to think about it all in the grand scheme of things.
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