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The Static Institution of Sport

James Smith



The Static Institution of Sport

“Infinite ignorance is a necessary condition for there to be infinite potential for knowledge. Rejecting the idea that we are ‘nearly there’ is a necessary condition for the avoidance of dogmatism, stagnation, and tyranny.”
-David Deutsch

Yet sport remains entrenched in these progress halting factors and the solution to amending this requires a perceptual change.

In “The Beginning of Infinity” physicist David Deutsch provides one of the more information dense (i.e. knowledge per sentence) books that one might come across; apart from his first book “The Fabric of Reality”. 

   Of particular note, due to one of the book’s many principles of universal relevance, is the description of static and dynamic societies, that will heretofore be referenced in terms of the institution of sport. In short, static societies are ultimately authoritarian and tyrannical due to their resistance to 

and supression of criticism and creativity. As a result, these societies are built upon dogma, as opposed to reason, that is forced upon its population and the lack of a tradition of criticism prevents progress. Dynamic societies, on the other hand, are built upon traditions of criticism that support creativity and, as a result, ongoing progress.     

   Perhaps to the surprise of many, is that sport is very much a static institution. The proof of this is relatively straight forward: Consider the accolades awarded to coaches based upon their athlete’s/team’s achievements and how these achievements are equated with said coaches method of coaching. In the context of logical argument this is known as affirming the consequent and is regarded as invalid and a fallacy. Simply put, one cannot utilize a ‘result’ as an opportunity to rationalize what led to the result. The reason- because of how many other possible causes there are for the same result to happen. Yet in sport, this logical truth is, and has been, violated since the dawn of sport. Further, this self-deception by which many individuals operate contributes to the authoritarian nature of how the majority of sport organizations are led in which culture’s are highly resistant to criticism and creativity is constrained to highly finite infrastructural boundaries. In order for sport teams/organizations to achieve objective progress, relative to the set of achievable possibilities, this fact must be recognized and steps must be taken to recitfy it.  The size of the differential separating what is done in sport and what is actually doable, must not be underestimated.    

  Email james@globalsportconcepts.net for consulting information 




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