August 16, 2012

A rant

I'm reminded of something else I wanted to mention: how fans often don't really notice when there's something odd-looking about some star. Take the example of Dora Ratjen, who came in fourth in the women's high jump in front of (I'm presuming) 80,000 fans in the Berlin Olympics. A couple of years later, a train conductor objected that that the women's world record holder was just a young man in lady's clothing, and so he decided to give up the charade and go by the name Heinrich Ratjen. But it's not like he was hiding out until then.

Or extremely famous people can change their shape radically and it doesn't really come up. For example, Tiger Woods became extremely muscular over a couple of years around age 30 because he was working out like crazy in case he decided to give up golf and enlist in the Navy Seals. Now, that's pretty interesting, but it's not at all clear how many golf fans consciously noticed that the most publicized golfer in history was changing shape from month to month in front of their eyes. When I wrote an article about it in 2009, I did a bunch of Googling and found a lot of pictures, but it just didn't seem to be a topic of written interest to people interested in Tiger Woods.

Or people can be famous for their shapes and it never seems to come up that there's anything doubtful about why they are shaped like that. The craziest example is that in the 2003 California gubernatorial election, the Democrats almost never got around to bringing up the fact that Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger was the world's most famous steroid user and that electing him governor of the largest state in the Union was the highest endorsement possible (Arnold being ineligible for the Presidency) to young people of society's approval of building a career on steroids.

It was hardly a secret -- Arnold admitted to steroid use in his autobiography -- and it wasn't some mistake of his foolish past -- he had just been paid $30 million to star in Terminator 3, which was released just days before he started his campaign. Heck, Arnold did a nude scene in Terminator 3 to show off his regained massiveness. I wrote an article a few months before the election pointing all this out. But the Democratic operatives instead mostly went with the sex scandal stuff that they thought would be electoral dynamite: Hollywood star likes the ladies!

This is not to say that the steroid stuff would have hurt Arnold's run for governor, either. No doubt it wouldn't have. Democratic operative Gary South had brought it up the year before. I don't know why so little attention was drawn to it in 2003, when he was obviously back on the juice for Terminator 3: perhaps it didn't poll well. Or it didn't get much traction in 2002 when South faxed around a scandal sheet of sex and steroid stuff.

What's the explanation for this weird phenomenon? I'm reminded of the scene at the end of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Hunter S. Thompson goes to Circus Circus to buy an ape:
I found Bruce at the bar, but there was no sign of the ape. "Where is it?" I demanded. "I'm ready to write a check. I want to take the bastard back home on the plane with me. I've already reserved two first-class seats -- R. Duke and Son."  
"Take him on the plane?"  
"Hell yes," I said. "You think they'd say anything? Call attention to my son's infirmities?" 

Still, I don't think politeness is the full explanation. Maybe if somebody is presented in a socially approving way, like on TV or in Hitler's Olympic Stadium, people naturally just say to themselves, "Well, of course, that's what people who work out look like. I could probably look like that myself with some exercise."

Also, Hunter S. Thompson was probably onto something with booking first-class seats. He and his pet ape would no doubt get thrown out of coach, but they had a shot in first-class.

Another aspect is access journalism. If you want Tiger Woods on the cover of your magazine ever again, you don't ask him questions about him lifting weights every day ... unless you have a picture of him with a waitress in a parking lot.

Finally, let me come back to my recurrent theme of the inadequacy of tacit understandings. I am constantly being informed that we don't need horrible persons like me pointing out in writing things that we all understand perfectly well on an unspoken level. But it constantly turns out that we don't understand implicit knowledge when framed in a slightly different way. The Obama staffers who can judge what's a safe enough street in gentrifying Washington within a half block just by watching pedestrians stroll by will go back to the office and sue school districts for racial disparities in suspension rates.

The reason I have a relatively good understanding of the impact of PEDs on sports and movies is because in 1996-97 I spent a huge amount of time constructing and analyzing a database of Olympic running results by sex. By the time I was done, this vague hunch I had had that the narrowing of the gender gap after some point in the 1970s was largely due to artificial male hormones having a bigger impact on women was seared into me. I think the media as a whole is slowly catching on to that, finally, but without spelling it out over and over, people don't learn lessons well enough to apply them in slightly novel settings.

Finally, what people do notice are hair cuts. You don't even have to change hair styles, just get a haircut and other people will notice. You can grow a beard for a year, shave it off one evening, then go into work the next day and maybe one person will mention it. But, get your routine haircut, and five people will mention it the next day, even though there's not a lot to be said about it: "Yeah, I uh hadn't gotten a haircut for six or seven weeks, so I uh got one."

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

People don't like to notice the obvious, it can be unPC...

dearieme said...

I was struck by how many of the women medallists this year didn't have huge arm muscles. Even the rowers.

Anonymous said...

What are PEDs?

Big Bill said...

Race is the same way. People are blind to it. They refuse to notice it.

There is nothing that stops you from telling HR you are black when you are hired.

There may be an instant of unease when the girl in HR looks over your form the very first time, but she will ruthlessly suppress that instinct knowing that it is pure crimethink.

The data enters the system and that's that. You get promoted as usual (or more than usual) yet no one says a word. Who would? Other white folks bend over backward not to notice or comment. Your coworkers never know or care.

For HR, advancing you means the pressure on them to promot eminorities is reduced, so they never resist or challenge your promotions.

Think of it as a silent, never mentioned "plus" factor in your hiring and advancement.

Trust me. The white girls in HR follow PC in lockstep. They are sheep. Always will be.

Oliver said...

The hideousness of following the google trail of Dora into what was going on down south shall haunt my nightmares for 10,000 eves...

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Steve - this rant is a good starting point for the larger picture: sports are scaled beyond sustainability. This happened when the amateur ideal died.

Football, who could have imagined this, is at its zenith but Tyler Cowen is right: the internal contradictions are building up and the fanbase will leave. The Olympics have become gigantic, budget-busting, secular orgies for the elite.

London was a joke. The government locked up all the tickets and the tourists went elsewhere. The TV coverage followed the lead of its gay, female viewership. A big story in women's shotput illustrative of everything in your rant played out right in front of everybody's eyes. Who cares? Let's talk about Munich 1972 and Gabby Douglas's hair.

torporify said...

To judge from the photo you supplied in an earlier thread, jumper Anna Chicherova looks like an alien being. Her arms are not normal--way too long, and she does not appear to have orangutang genes. I think some of the athletes from the former Soviet countries have been genetically modified.

wild chicken said...

There are a lot of things like this that go on. I've recently been reading Larry Kramer's Faggots, his memoirish novel of the 70s gay scene in NYC, and it's amazing, like Bosch painting. Their promiscuity and jaded practices were SO over the top, and various illnesses brewing so long, it's no wonder they had an AIDS epidemic in the 80s.

But nice straight white ladies persisted in believing these were just the boys next door, acting out their innocent puppy love, who just happened to get these terrible diseases, can't we spend more money, more billions, pass more laws, convince heteros it's their problem too.

Because no one wanted to talk about how the gays got sick. It was too sickening to think about.

FWG said...

It's certainly interesting what people do and do not notice. I tend to think of myself as more perceptive than most (not to blow my own trumpet). I'm glad you mentioned this, as I now know I'm not alone in this perceptiveness.

Tiger Woods' change in physique is certainly noticeable to me, as I am a huge golf fan. I think he needs to quite being so technical about his swing, but that's just me (a 30-handicapper).

JustAClown said...

great column, steve.

I have long wondered about similar phenomenon.


for example, we have hundreds of well known political pundits or at the least hundreds of these sorts of people who write about politics on the internet. They write column after column, post after post about politics. We have literally thousands of americans who frequently write blog posts about politics. All these people writes thousands and thousands of dense, analytical posts about politics. They analyze politics to the nth degree. Over and over they go over the same ground. Salon, slate, taki, democraticunderground, free republic, etc, ny times, la times, and many many other sites and papers write continuously on the subject of politics. The same topics come up again and again and again and again...


Now, with all this writing going on over so many years, how many times have you read one of these people, these writers and commentators of politics, how many times has it happened that one of the people has taken a plank and the GOP platform and matched it up with one of the planks of the democratic platform. How many times has one of these writers/commentors said something like this: "I like the GOP idea of stopping immigration AND I like the Democratic idea of taxing the rich. We ought to do both!"
No one has EVER said anything like that! EVER! What an amazing statistical anomaly!

And I am not just speaking strictly of the example I gave above, i.e., taxing the rich AND stopping immigration. Take any other well-known plank of the GOP party and the same for the Dem party. Have you ever seen even a blog comment that explicitly advocates that sort of thing?

I never have. And I have been reading posts on the internet for over 15 years and following media political news since the 70s.

Why is this?

I have some theories, not well developed yet, however. The sociobiologist EO Wilson said that homo sapiens is a species of ant-like primates. I am paraphrasing here. But I think that explains something about this topic.

I would like to discuss this further in the future. I know that the comments for this blog post will miss much of what this topic is about, and that is perhaps important to this idea. And I know that I have only addressed part of what you wrote about today. Another post, perhaps....

Anonymous said...

"What's the explanation for this weird phenomenon?"

It's a variation on the big lie or the emperor's new clothes. If the media says something - a something people would consider significant - isn't true or even if they simply ignore it then the average trusting person will assume it's not true or not significant.

This doesn't apply to things that people don't consider significant as in that case they'd simply assume it's not significant enough to be on the news.

I don't know if this is simply a function of television or a function of television within a high trust culture.

Mr. Anon said...

I hate the fact that many people seem compelled to notice you got a haircut. What is so remarkable about it? People are not in the habit of saying: "Hey, you clipped your fingernails" or "Hey, you showered and changed your skivvies".

Anonymous said...

According to one of my medical textbooks at least one leading lady in Hollywood was biologically a man (XY chromosome) but somatically female. S/he had a form of complete androgen insensitivity. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_androgen_insensitivity_syndrome ). One of the interesting things about this syndrome is that the males who have it tend to develop into what appear to be very sexually attractive females. see the Wikipedia article for illustrations of this. Every time I see an olde Hollywood movie I wind up wondering if the leading lady was the one in my textbook.

August said...

For most of my life I was overweight and assumed that if I tried hard enough, I could look like these steroid users. Now I have lost all the weight, and I know that the best I could hope to do is build up to about 200lbs- that's 25lbs more than I am now.
I used to assume that 230lbs was doable drug-free. I was, like many Americans, simply not in touch with the reality of my own body.

ATBOTL said...

Tiger Woods did not become "extremely muscular" except by the standards of computer nerds.

NOTA said...

I'm pretty convinced at this point that one of the biggest powers of TV media (particularly th 24 hour cable news channels and the talking-head sports shows that so resemble them) is the ability to model the discussions they want us to have. I think for a lot of people, they never hear or have even a tenth the amount of actual in-person conversation on any issue that they hear/see on TV. That provides the model for what people are thinking about some issue, and how you should think and speak and react, in order to fit in.

If you can make sure that those conversations *don't* raise some issues or *don't* point out some pretty-obvious-looking facts, then most people somehow leave them out of their model. That's not what people seem to be talking about. Must not be very interesting.

Presumably, there is some explicit decisonmaking going on about what ought not to be discussed--things that piss off too many advertisers or viewers, or that trigger retaliation from sources in media or sports or entertainment, or that run counter to the interests of the media company you work for (like having commentators on the Olympics coverage opine that probably everyone competing with any chance of winning is doping) probably get an explicit rule. Similarly, some issues are sufficiently politicized to get a rule by media organizations, like not referring to the race of criminals when they're black, or not calling anything Americans do torture.

But probably a huge amount happens implicitly--some topics just aren't discussed in the community from which their commenters are drawn, or are universally seen as improper for public discussion. Even if there isn't an explicit rule saying that you can't speculate about Americans doping, it's just a whole lot less acceptable to bring up the issue about American gold medalists than foreigners.

It's very much worth noticing and pointing out these blind spots. However, it's also important to realize that most stuff they don't talk about is really not interesting for whatever reason--just because nobody in the MSM is talking about the scourge of alien abductions doesn't mean that there really is a scourge of alien abductions that needs investigating. Knowing what kinds of blind spots exist help there, but only so much: plenty of things that aren't there would be inside the media's blind spots, if they were.

jeanne said...

yeah it's pretty obvous that *everyone* is juicing now, in sports or just Joe Blow. It doesn't come without a price - the juices I have to put up with are more aggressive, belligerent, in your face. And mysteriously massive!

George said...

When Tiger suddenly appeared looking extremely buff my first thought was PED's. However I wasn't holding my breath waiting for Feherty or McCord to start making wisecracks about this sudden transformation. I'm sure no one needed to tell them to lay off.

Power Child said...

I heard somewhere that over half of all steroid users aren't serious athletes, but just civilians who go to the gym a lot and want to look hulkish. Living in southern California one gets a sense of the plausibility of that claim. If it's true, then there must be a sizable chunk of the public that's unsurprisingly apathetic to or even privately supportive of high-profile steroid use.

Couple that with the fact that it's easy for even the mildly intellectual to forgive steroid use: so much else in sports, from fancy equipment to special training methods, amounts to an arms race of "performance enhancement". (How much for a pair of those high-tech Speedos the swimmers were all wearing? How many of the runners sleep in low-oxygen chambers? Etc.)

Kylie said...

"...there's something odd-looking about some star. Take the example of Dora Ratjen, who came in fourth in the women's high jump in front of (I'm presuming) 80,000 fans in the Berlin Olympics. A couple of years later, a train conductor objected that that the women's world record holder was just a young man in lady's clothing..."

It just occurred to me that given his penchant for cruel in-jokes, Billy Wilder may well have had this incident in mind when he made Some Like It Hot. Josephine and Daphne even make their first public appearance while boarding a train. When I saw "Dora's" photo yesterday, I instantly thought of them. The resemblance is unmistakeable.

Josephine, Daphne...where's Dora?

Anonymous said...

Obama no longer believes in AmeriKKK. He believes in Ameri-gay-gay-gay.

pat said...

The reason no one much cared about Arnold's use of steroids is simple.

Seteroids are good.

People are animals who live in a gravity field. They need to move up and down and from side to side. As you age you lose muscle mass and the ability to move. Movement feels good. Movement is good. If steroids help you move better who can deny that steroids are good.

I never wanted to look like Schwartzenegger. I wanted a body like that of Woody Strode. Tall, lean and muscular. Schwartzenegger looked hypertrophied, Strode looked optimum. He looked like he could win the decathlon at any time if he could just find the time in his busy schedule to compete.

I suspect Woody felt good in his body. I think in the near future medicine will be able to give others that sort of feeling. This will probably be from some genetic engineering and the use of steroids. This will be seen as a legitimate medical technology and humankind will be the better for it.

It just happens that athletes and body builders have pioneered the use of this technology. But self medication is unwise. I take at least three prescription drugs everyday that are deadly poisons. Soon steroids will be like that - administered under medical supervision with routine checkups and tests.

Voters didn't resent Arnold's use of steroids because, unlike you, they like the idea of steroids - a clear odorless substance that that can give you a more vibrant life.

Albertosaurus

NOTA said...

Power Child:

Also, it's not quite clear what would even be wrong with PEDs outside of competitions. I mean, plenty of people accept the risks of liposuction or other plastic surgery, or tanning beds, to look better. Why would PEDs be worse? How about if you find yourself slowing down and recovering from injuries slower as you age, and don't like that. Why would it be wrong to use some PED to help you recover faster, but okay to get cortisone shots in an arthritic joint or even get joints replaced?

If low-dose asprin, blood pressure medicine, and statins lengthen your expected lifespan a few years, isn't that cheating in some sense, too? I mean, you might have gotten the same effect with more time in the gym and a better diet.

If there were a reasonably safe drug that made it easy to lose weight, would it be a PED that would be morally wrong to use?

Anonymous said...

Tiger Woods did not become "extremely muscular" except by the standards of computer nerds ..

.. and golfers.

Just fyi, I had a computer nerd boss at one company who was also a juicer.

Anonymous said...

Couple that with the fact that it's easy for even the mildly intellectual to forgive steroid use: so much else in sports, from fancy equipment to special training methods, amounts to an arms race of "performance enhancement".


{snicker} I guess the "mildly intellectual" are fatally infected with the liberal disease of being unable to make distinctions. "Taking steroids, lifting weights .. what's the difference, really?"

Anonymous said...

it's not quite clear what would even be wrong with PEDs outside of competitions.

Why, no, it's just not clear at all, is it?


if low-dose asprin, blood pressure medicine, and statins lengthen your expected lifespan a few years, isn't that cheating in some sense, too?

The capacity of people to lie to themselves is fascinating. And, come to think of it, it is also the topic of Steve's post.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why such inconsistencies...

like...

why, when Jews hurt white Americans so much, does Sailer favor Jews over Palestnians?

why, when Buchanan rejects evolution, does Sailer praise him as a teller of truth?

why, when the GOP is clearly the tool of Zionists anf globalists, does Sailer invest any hope in it?

Anonymous said...

Movement feels good. Movement is good. If steroids help you move better who can deny that steroids are good.


All sorts of drugs can make you feel "good". So who can deny that they are "good"? I'm pretty sure that the percentage of the general public using PED's is tiny, but I've noticed before that HBD blogs seem to have an unusually large number of guys who either are using or wish they were. In the case of Pat, perhaps it has something to do with his oft-expressed "sexual envy of black men".

Anonymous said...

"There are a lot of things like this that go on. I've recently been reading Larry Kramer's Faggots, his memoirish novel of the 70s gay scene in NYC, and it's amazing, like Bosch painting. Their promiscuity and jaded practices were SO over the top, and various illnesses brewing so long, it's no wonder they had an AIDS epidemic in the 80s.

"But nice straight white ladies persisted in believing these were just the boys next door, acting out their innocent puppy love, who just happened to get these terrible diseases, can't we spend more money, more billions, pass more laws, convince heteros it's their problem too.

"Because no one wanted to talk about how the gays got sick. It was too sickening to think about."

Speaking of not noticing, not paying attention: have heard virtually nothing in the press about the CDC's warning that we are down to one final antibiotic that works (and it's having an increasingly difficult time of it) on gonorrhea.

To talk about it might lead to questions the progressive press doesn't wish to discuss and that includes gay behavior.

Anonymous said...

"I think for a lot of people, they never hear or have even a tenth the amount of actual in-person conversation on any issue that they hear/see on TV."

I think that's the crux of it. In the past the balance of information / opinion an individual recieved included a lot more input from family, friends, workmates etc whereas now TV seems to dominate.

Mark Mallarde said...

Agree completely. I reported on precisely this phenomenon. It is going on gangbusters with respect to the Miami Heat's big stars. How can no one see this? I'm surprised Mr. Sailer omitted the twin freaks of Wade and James. Here are my takes:

http://www.lightlybraisedturnip.com/wades-jaw-size/

http://www.lightlybraisedturnip.com/wade-to-star-as-chipmunk/

http://www.lightlybraisedturnip.com/wade-and-james-asked-to-stop-p/

Steve Sailer said...

Good stuff. Here's basketballer D. Wade's before and after pictures:

http://www.lightlybraisedturnip.com/wade-before-and-after/wade-before-and-after-photos/

I have an aversion to thinking about him, though, because I'll never remember how to spell his first name.

Beefy Levinson said...

U mad bro?

In all seriousness, I think it's partly Holocaust hangover. The thinking goes, if you notice obvious things like black or gay disfunction, then that means you're making distinctions about people. It's only one short step from that to concentration camps. Or something.

Nobody wants to be called a Nazi so we ruthlessly train ourselves to not notice distinctions between groups of people. When it becomes too obvious to ignore, we're quick to throw off a line about how there are plenty of wonderful blacks, Mexicans, gays, Jews, or whathaveyou. Generalizations = Nazism in the liberal mind. Ockham is most well known for his razor, but more importantly in my view he's the father of Nominalism. Ockham, thou hast triumphed.

Anonymous said...

If this is gonna be the thread where we get to rag on what people look like, then check out Supreme Court Justice-ette, Sonia Sotomayor, sitting next to Maria Figueroa Rodriguez:

Sesame Street: Sonia Sotomayor: "The Justice Hears a Case."

I've mentioned it before here at iSteve, but in addition to the obvious fact that Sesame Street has become a truly odious sewer of Frankfurt School propaganda and disinformation, in this particular case, Sotomayor looks like she's [quite literally] large enough to eat poor Maria for dinner.

Maybe Justice-ette Sotomayor better not spend too much time on Sesame Street, or else Cookie Monster might give her some ideas [lately Queen LaVaughn Robinson has decreed that Cookie should rap about broccoli and cauliflower and beets - I kid you not].

Anonymous said...

ATBOTL said...
Tiger Woods did not become "extremely muscular" except by the standards of computer nerds.


Exactly. If Tiger had started out looking like D. J. Qualls and a year later looked the way he does now, I might be suspicious. But he started out somewhat slim but very athletic and ended up two or three years later with an extra 25 or 30 lbs. of muscle, which is completely doable without steroids. (On the other hand, the actor Christian Bale went from an extremely emaciated state in The Machinist to very buff in Batman Begins less than a year later, which seems implausible without a bit of chemical assistance.)

Kylie said...

"The hideousness of following the google trail of Dora into what was going on down south shall haunt my nightmares for 10,000 eves..."

You, too?

Yet again I was compelled to rue the curiosity that mandates I always click on the highlighted links in Wikipedia entries.

Anonymous said...

If low-dose asprin, blood pressure medicine, and statins lengthen your expected lifespan a few years

Actually, statins probably shorten your life. A few decades from now we're going to look back at the statin craze and wonder WTF we were thinking.

Mark Mallarde said...

The ultimate example of this must be home run king Mark McQwire who was the most famous athlete at the same time his body was morphing into a WWF freak. No one said a word.

Anonymous said...

yeah it's pretty obvous that *everyone* is juicing now, in sports or just Joe Blow. It doesn't come without a price - the juices I have to put up with are more aggressive, belligerent, in your face. And mysteriously massive!

Yes. There are not a few normal guys at the gym who lift weights and juice.

Anonymous said...

Roissy bait ?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2189106/Womens-dancing-away-fertility-cycle-researchers-claimed.html

Even though the men had no idea that fertility was even being studied, the results showed they judged the fertile women as more attractive dancers than the others in their non-fertile phase.

Dr Fink and his colleagues speculate that fluctuations in oestrogen - the female sex hormone, which can affect muscle, ligament and tendon strength - may have an effect on women's movements when fertile.

Not everyone is convinced by the results. Doug Barry, a writer for women's website Jezebel poured scorn on the Göttingen team's findings, labelling the study 'questionable' and accusing it of 'dehumanising' its test subjects.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of not noticing, not paying attention: have heard virtually nothing in the press about the CDC's warning that we are down to one final antibiotic that works (and it's having an increasingly difficult time of it) on gonorrhea.

To talk about it might lead to questions the progressive press doesn't wish to discuss and that includes gay behavior.


Yes this is a major public health issue that should be all over the news, but it's too politically incorrect since the main drivers behind this are gays and blacks.

Anonymous said...

I was struck by how many of the women medallists this year didn't have huge arm muscles. Even the rowers.

Rowing is all legs and back. Rowers usually have large legs, glutes, back.

Hedgerow said...

Serena Williams is a case in point. Few people ask about her strange build for a woman or what hidden, underlying factor may account for her rages. Neither do they ask about the strange diseases that she and Venus come down with at such young ages. There have been other women playing professional tennis who looked odd as well.

A college football player who lived next door to me in the dorms was hired as an extra in Arnold Schwarzenegger's early film "Pumping Iron." My defensive lineman neighbor was talented, but NFL teams wanted bigger guys than him for the position he played. Steroids did not get so much attention at that time, and his aggressiveness was hard for me to understand. I thought he was a bit crazy. Later, I surmised he might well have been taking steroids to try to make the pros, which he never did.

carol said...

There are not a few normal guys at the gym who lift weights and juice

My local U is going through some football-related rape scandals, and it's got me wondering if there is some PEDs-related aggression going on - ? Granted, the circumstances are often fishy, the woman's identity protected at all costs!1! so that we never really find out what really went on.

As it happens, these Tom-Wolfesque rape scandals are going on all over the country, a fact lost on our insular bunch here (Penn State excepted but that's different).

Was it always like this? I mean, the college athletes' juicing is pretty much accepted now, right?

Carol said...

HBD blogs seem to have an unusually large number of guys who either are using or wish they were.

It's tough to wake up and realize everyone else is cheating. Me, sometimes I wish I had the Ritalin or Adderal advantage that younger people have had. My mother would give me a diet pill once in awhile, and they were great for my academic enthusiasm.

I coulda been a contender!

Anonymous said...

My local U is going through some football-related rape scandals, and it's got me wondering if there is some PEDs-related aggression going on - ?

My local U is going through the football-related scandal of Julius Peppers's academic transcript being posted on the internet.

Turns out Mr Peppers basically flunked everything except his utterly fraudulent Afro-American Studies courses.

Around here, the die-hards are arguing about whether this is a real scandal or whether the local U is simply the first school nationally to get caught.

sligo said...

"Every time I see an olde Hollywood movie I wind up wondering if the leading lady was the one in my textbook."

Could be Joan Crawford. That dame always gives me the willies when I see her in old movies. Something cartoonish about her.
Still, might not be as long ago as you think. Jamie Lee Curtis has something like that going on. Apparently her parents delayed somtime in naming her (or some such custom) because of some ambiguity about her(?) gender. She does appear androgenous.

Anonymous said...

Me, sometimes I wish I had the Ritalin or Adderal advantage that younger people have had. My mother would give me a diet pill once in awhile, and they were great for my academic enthusiasm.


I can't help noticing that the "Ritalin generation" do rather poorly academically. They are certainly not superior to their non-drugged ancestors of a few generations ago.

peterike said...

You can grow a beard for a year, shave it off one evening, then go into work the next day and maybe one person will mention it.

Indeed, the French even made a mildly entertaining film about just such a thing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0428856/

As for PEDs, it seems worse to me when you have some using and some not. Which you will always have. So let 'em all use them. Who really cares? Do I care if some guy hits 150 home runs in a year or runs the 100 meters in 8 seconds? And why shouldn't achievement in athletic events include achievements in doping yourself better than the next guy?

Yeah, sure, I'd prefer it if everyone were clean. I'd also prefer it if America were 100% white. I'm not going to get either of those things.

Kylie said...

"Could be Joan Crawford. That dame always gives me the willies when I see her in old movies. Something cartoonish about her."

As a young woman, Crawford had an extraordinarily beautiful and expressive face. What gives me the willies is what Hollywood did to her. You can see it in her face from, say, the late 30's on. Here's the earlier, non-cartoonish Crawford photographed by George Hurrell:

Crawford


Crawford c. 1933

This last one is unretouched:

Crawford

Anonymous said...

Who really cares?


I do. And so, it appears, do you, or you would not be writing such impassioned comments on the subject.

And why shouldn't achievement in athletic events include achievements in doping yourself better than the next guy?

If that's your attitude then why should "athletic events" be restricted to mere athletics? Let me hop on my motorcycle and I can whip Usain Bolt in the 100m! Why shouldn't I be able to do so?

Kylie said...

"This last one is unretouched:

Crawford"


Dang, no, it's not. It's a repeat of the previous link. I knew I couldn't trust myself to post multiple links.

Here's the unretouched photo of Crawford:

Crawford in an retouched photo by Hurrell

And finally, here's Joan dancing in the 1931 movie, "Dance, Fools, Dance". She's wonderfully free-spirited but unfortunately gives new meaning to the word, "hoofer".

Joan the hoofer

not a hacker said...

Her arms are not normal--way too long...

Forget the arms. How about the length of that thigh?

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://atlechic.webcindario.com/chicherova13.jpg&imgrefurl=http://atlechic.webcindario.com/anna_chicherova.htm&h=450&w=450&sz=35&tbnid=AplVugzUZYk_fM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=90&prev=/search%3Fq%3DAnna%2BChicherova%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=Anna+Chicherova&usg=__Igvks47qlkaxE3djF6LdyK1DgW4=&docid=S-ExQ511DaTrcM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=UmEtUJqSIqrtygGexoHoAg&ved=0CF0Q9QEwAw&dur=484

alonzo portfolio said...

But nice straight white ladies persisted in believing...

It wasn't just women. I once tried to tell my Brown-educated, Saab-driving, Democratic Convention-volunteering friend that analingus was a favorite bathhouse practice, and he didn't believe me.

fnn said...

"I like the GOP idea of stopping immigration AND I like the Democratic idea of taxing the rich. We ought to do both!"
No one has EVER said anything like that! EVER! What an amazing statistical anomaly!


They do it in Finland. Google "True Finns."

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9fg-hKzxmY&feature=share&list=UUpwvZwUam-URkxB7g4USKpg

Uh oh.

smead jolley said...

ATBOTL you are a moron. Woods is extremely muscular compared to me, someone who played college baseball, swam 6 days a week for 20yrs., currently hikes 30 miles a week, and hits his driver down the middle almost every time, seldom more than 230 yds.

peterike said...

Let me hop on my motorcycle and I can whip Usain Bolt in the 100m! Why shouldn't I be able to do so?

That's not a serious question.

Chicago said...

Is there anything left on this planet that we don't lie about, to others as well as to ourselves?

Whiskey said...

Not noticing things is a female specialty. Women's modern society is built on it, while for men noticing things can bring advantage, after ridicule. Bill James and SABRE-metrics guys were outcasts, now everyone wants their edge. Bill Belicheck was a no-namer, until his method of identifying cheap, role-playing talent became so obvious with a couple of Superbowl wins that everyone wanted to copy him.

And that's the dynamic -- men CAN change cultural notions by noticing things IF it gives them a competitive advantage. Men and male oriented societies/sub-groups are all about competition. Women, all about status. No women "wins" something and becomes higher in status, status is achieved by being fabulous, basically a variant on Kin Kardashian celebrity.

Anonymous said...

"I mean, the college athletes' juicing is pretty much accepted now, right? "

what? no waii

Anonymous said...

"There have been other women playing professional tennis who looked odd as well."

"They were once cute little girls. Nowadays, the big bad wolf would be scared to meet them in the wood!"

or maybe it's Federer who has the anorexia problem.

helene edwards said...

we ruthlessly train ourselves to not notice distinctions between groups of people

On Monday, I went swimming at one of the U.C. Berkeley pools, which has signs saying, "no food or drink." There were a few blacks eating and drinking on the pool deck in plain view of the lifeguard, so I asked him if there was an exemption from the rules for blacks. He said, "what?" I repeated, "are black people exempted from the rule against food and drink?" He replied, "I don't - I'm not comfortable with your question."

Steve Sailer said...

Bill James did a GREAT job of noticing steroids in baseball. He didn't notice the 2 steroid cheaters on his own team who were batting third and fourth in the lineup.

Anonymous said...

Hmm googled that cheerleader, and found an article that's almost the same as steve's post.

Take for example, Mark McGwire. The dude went from a slim, freckle-faced boyish slugger to a jacked, Popeye-armed, acne-coated behemoth, and yet no one dared to question (or even bring up) the issue of steroids in the face of Mark’s tell-tale visual markers. No, a stray bottle of a legal supplement ‘accidentally’ left in public view in his locker was all the excuse anyone needed to overlook the obvious.

Or take Marion Jones, the muscular, Gold-medal winning, uber-athlete track star. She was married to and coached by a known steroid user, exhibited many of the physical traits (squared up jawline, enhanced muscularity, and extremely low bodyfat) of a steroid user, and most importantly, was running faster than any woman in the history of the world. And yet, not a single member of the mainstream media had the balls to mention what was so obvious in bodybuilding circles: The gal was juiced.

So while I’m not entirely surprised by the media’s reaction, I AM somewhat surprised by some of the public comments rolling in. After all, the media has an obligation to fact-check and must be wary of speculating on a negative sports angle too much, so as to avoid losing press passes, access to players or locker room privileges. But what’s the public’s excuse for being so stupid and naive? How is it that after having nearly EVERY single top baseball player of the 90′s (Bonds, McGwire, Canseco, Sosa, Rodriguez, Bagwell, Palmeiro, Clemens) admit to or get caught juicing, after the world’s fastest men (Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis, Tim Montgomery, Dwaine Chambers, Justin Gatlin, Kelli White) get caught juicing, after the best defensive player in the NFL(Merriweather) gets caught juicing, after the top cyclists admit to doping, after every muscular UFC fighter gets caught using steroids, there somehow remains MILLIONS of morons who refuse to accept that STEROIDS ARE EVERYWHERE."


Depressing, much to agree with albertosaurus, though not the part where steroids will become medication, TPTB know better than that.

Anonymous said...

The public's excuse for being naive about steroids is that the media encourages athlete worship to the extreme. So the public doesn't notice when the the athletes look and perform extremely. It just confirms what they're lead to believe anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Let me hop on my motorcycle and I can whip Usain Bolt in the 100m! Why shouldn't I be able to do so?"


That's not a serious question.


It's as serious a question as: "why shouldn't achievement in athletic events include achievements in doping yourself better than the next guy?"

The answer in both cases is that the thing you are using to "achieve" is something which somebody else has created (steroids, motorcycles) and which you have merely purchased and used.

sligo said...

"Kylie said...
"Could be Joan Crawford. That dame always gives me the willies when I see her in old movies. Something cartoonish about her."

As a young woman, Crawford had an extraordinarily beautiful and expressive face. What gives me the willies is what Hollywood did to her. You can see it in her face from, say, the late 30's on. Here's the earlier, non-cartoonish Crawford photographed by George Hurrell"

You're right. Makes you wonder what Hollyweird does to people, and why. They didn't leave well enough alone even then. Pretty as a sunshiney day. No resemblance to the iron jaw and horror-show eyes she had later on.
Wonder why they did her face that way though. Blank canvas? She kept it up. A friend of mine saw her on a train in the 1960s and said he thought she was still a looker, but her face was still too painted and packed with pancake.

Dahlia said...

"Speaking of not noticing, not paying attention: have heard virtually nothing in the press about the CDC's warning that we are down to one final antibiotic that works (and it's having an increasingly difficult time of it) on gonorrhea.

To talk about it might lead to questions the progressive press doesn't wish to discuss and that includes gay behavior.

Yes this is a major public health issue that should be all over the news, but it's too politically incorrect since the main drivers behind this are gays and blacks."

One of my aunt's few, undeniable truths of life is that people do not want to hear anything bad about sex. I would amend that to anyone who has rejected God and/or the straight and narrow.

She said this when I asked, ten years ago before the layman heard of HPV how nobody except doctors, even the intelligent RNs I was related to, knew cervical cancer was caused by a bug.
A few minutes on the internet, confirmed by my doctor the next day, taught me this.
(I've never had HPV, but it's common for women who've just given birth to come back with an abnormal pap; I was surprised to learn the main point of a pap was to search for signs of stds!)
______________________

As far as the topic at hand, I believe Steve is correct about authority figures needed to point out the obvious.

About a year or so ago, he completely opened my eyes about steroids and I realized that a relative of mine had been juicing and it even explained his infidelity which seemed to come out of left field.

I think class is another, though minor, factor. The problems, desires, and ambitions of the lower classes go unnoticed by the elite. But as you've pointed out, Steve, testosterone affects personality, not just making oneself look more prole, and that can definitely affect even the elites. See Maria Shriver and Kennedy clan.

Anonymous said...

"Depressing, much to agree with albertosaurus, though not the part where steroids will become medication, TPTB know better than that."


I think the TPTB are a little more worried about guns (and IEDs) than anabolics.

Anonymous said...

Asking the average person to take knowledge and apply it in novel situations takes IQ, pure and simple. Some people just don't have what it takes. Read Feynman's experiences on lecturing in Brazil, he has some great anecdotes about this in relation to rote learning. The mental leap that Feynman wasn't making was that for a nation of people too low in IQ to "understand", the only option is to rote learn the most common solutions to problems in the hope that they will be of some use.

While he railed against rote learning, even someone as smart as Feynman didn't have the concept of IQ in his intellectual toolbox to realize what was going on. Or if he did, he was too polite to say it. As a result, the mass of people who think of Feynman as some sort of omniscient demigod come away from reading that book with an epicyclist view of education in Brazil, as if just by doing away with rote learning somehow you'd end up with an South American renaissance in theoretical physics to rival what went on in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.

Back to applying knowledge in novel situations - doing this correctly in a situation where near-consensus opinion says that your answer is wrong (or that some people claim that other people realize it, it just shouldn't be written about) - that takes more than just IQ, or knowledge. It takes cojones. Probably literally. Testosterone makes people more irritable, argumentative, disagreeable. To want to disagree with lots of people at once - it's virtually the definition of disagreeable.

I guess also an outsized IQ can provide the same confidence in your own intellect (if you are always right, why should your judgment fail now?), but it seems to me that many otherwise very smart people do not back themselves when the rest of the world is against them. There is a minimum level of balls required in addition to IQ.

That is not to say that making a career of speaking the truth about stupidly taboo subjects is not a useful thing, it is. There is a continuum of agreement along which each person feels capable of bucking the majority. Some people would not be comfortable siding with the minority in more than a 70/30 split. Others a 90/10 split. It takes a rare person to be the 1/1000 or more voice of dissent, to think they can be or would even want to be Galileo.

It takes a similar set of balls to be the person who asks a question in a lecture hall, when the professor has failed to adequately explain something. How many times have you thought "Oh thank Christ that guy asked the question, I thought I was the only idiot in the class not comprehending what was going on?" Or asked it yourself and had someone else thank you for having the courage to ask that question?

By raising an issue, by putting it on the table, you encourage others to do so as well. All you have to do to realize this is see the ratio of comments to blogger, it's large here at isteve. And when you know that there are other journalists and writers reading your work, you know an impact is being made. Thanks Steve.

Wade Nichols said...

I don't follow baseball as much as I'd like to, but I think Steve's thinking also applies to the recent revelation about Melky Cabrera (SF Giants) and his positive test for testosterone.

I read this about his stats:

Cabrera was a lifetime .275 hitter before this year, but he was hitting .346 this season.

And his 2012 numbers were a significant improvement over his 162-game average from 2006-2011, roughly the span in which he's been a full-time player:

Full season average entering this season: 139 hits, 67 runs, 43 extra-base hits, 10 home runs, 60 RBI.

Projected 2012 stats before his suspension: 220 hits, 116 runs, 64 extra-base hits, 15 homers, 83 RBI.

No one suspected this guy was on the "juice" until his test results came positive?

peterike said...

It's as serious a question as: "why shouldn't achievement in athletic events include achievements in doping yourself better than the next guy?"

The answer in both cases is that the thing you are using to "achieve" is something which somebody else has created (steroids, motorcycles) and which you have merely purchased and used.


So would that be like the food you eat while training, or the Gatorade you drink, which somebody else created? Or the vitamins you take? Or the protein powder? Or the weights and other training gear you use? Or your track shoes? Did Bolt make his own shoes? This is a silly argument.

Really, athletes ingest endless "unnatural" things into their bodies. Why are some allowed and some not? Why is a protein shake ok and a steroid shot not? Why is it ok to take a decongestant if you're stuffy on the day of an event?

I don't care either way, I just think it's an open question with very gray lines. And actually, it might make things more interesting if we openly pursued every avenue of physical enhancement. We might learn very significant useful information about human biology. Which we are, in fact, with the "world's strongest man" competitions, which are pretty openly doping fests.

The fact that a wide open doping policy would leave a trail of broken bodies in its wake.... well, you signed up for it, not me. And football leaves a trail of broken bodies as is.

Sports of all kinds create massive collateral damage. How many little girls waste their youths pursuing hopeless dreams of being a skating or gymnastics princess? How many black kids throw away what little hope they have of success pursuing basketball or football careers they will never attain?

What we really need to remove from athletics is the money, not the PEDs.

wild chicken said...

Steve, I know this isn't your specialty, but I've been reading your old gay/lesbian/AIDS posts and it seems like it's time for an update! After all, you are in LA Vicinity, a place I left in 1975 for its sheer gayness.

Gay Love in the a Age of Viagra...(Has anyone done this yet?).

wild chicken said...

Steve, I know this isn't your specialty, but I've been reading your old gay/lesbian/AIDS posts and it seems like it's time for an update! After all, you are in LA Vicinity, a place I left in 1975 for its sheer gayness.

Gay Love in the a Age of Viagra...(Has anyone done this yet?).

Anonymous said...

Sailer is a wasp alright. What he calls a rant would be considered an homily in most circles.

Now, THIS is a rant:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swjH4gdPoWg

as said...

Maybe if somebody is presented in a socially approving way, like on TV or in Hitler's Olympic Stadium, people naturally just say to themselves, "Well, of course, that's what people who work out look like. I could probably look like that myself with some exercise."

People like me are dumb and clueless when it comes to sports. So I'm not sure what's natural looking and what's not.

I remember what the athletes at school looked like of course, and I kind of assumed that world class athletes look different from everyone else.

Also, great fun post.

as said...

What do you think of Caster Semenya?

(Also, really great fun post. Two in a row).

Anonymous said...

Is this the mildest, kindest sounding rant or what? Call the Guinness book of world records.

Instead of something like "Effing A, I wanna get something off my chest...", it begins with

"I'm reminded of something else I wanted to mention"

On Tiger Woods:

"Now, that's pretty interesting, but it's not at all clear how many golf fans consciously noticed that the most publicized golfer in history was changing shape from month to month in front of their eyes."

Oh dear, it's awful nice sounding.

"This is not to say that the steroid stuff would have hurt Arnold's run for governor, either. No doubt it wouldn't have."

'This is not to say?' You don't talk nice like that if you're throwing a hissy fit.

"Finally, let me come back to my recurrent theme of the inadequacy of tacit understandings. I am constantly being informed that we don't need horrible persons like me pointing out in writing things that we all understand perfectly well on an unspoken level."

What kind of rant has phrases like 'recurrent theme of the inadequacy of tacit understandings'? That is rhetoric, not ranting.

"The reason I have a relatively good understanding of the impact of PEDs on sports and movies is because in 1996-97 I spent a huge amount of time constructing and analyzing a database of Olympic running results by sex."

That's a resume, not a rant!


Matra said...

Could be Joan Crawford. That dame always gives me the willies when I see her in old movies.

For some reason Marlene Dietrich came to my mind even though when watching her in movies I'd never thought anything unusual - in that way - about her.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't understand that PEDs were a problem with athletes, then it should have registered when the goalkeeper for the U.S. women's soccer team tested positive.

If female soccer goalkeepers are taking PEDs, then you can assume that almost every other athlete is doing the same.

Power Child said...

In response to my last comment, an anonymous commenter snickered: I guess the "mildly intellectual" are fatally infected with the liberal disease of being unable to make distinctions. "Taking steroids, lifting weights .. what's the difference, really?"

8/16/12 at 10:46 AM


Well, since we're making distinctions, you ought to know that steroids aren't like Popeye's canned spinach: you don't just take PEDs and then huge muscles magically bulge out of your body. Steroids (a catch-all term that describes any number of substances) are designed, essentially, to increase your body's ability to train harder and for longer periods of time.

On a typical day at the gym I find that after 60-90 minutes I'm usually ready to call it quits, and that it takes me at least a few weeks of steady training (3 times a week) before I can make a permanent increase to the reps or weight for any given exercise. I would imagine that if I used some kind of PED, I would soon find that after 60-90 minutes I still felt pretty fresh, and that after only a few days I was ready to permanently increase my resistance weight or number of reps, or both.

The reason the distinction between banned steroids and accepted performance enhancement remains is blurry is because, well, it's inherently blurry! There are even legal chemicals you can take which do essentially the same thing as steroids (increase your ability to train for longer periods of time and/or with greater resistance). That's why the list of banned substances has to keep growing every year. (Coffee probably won't be banned any time soon, but alcohol once was.)

The predominating (though, as Steve points out, often amnesic) disapproval of steroid use in sports seems, in my opinion, to be based mostly upon steroids' thematic association with hard drugs. After all, outcry against steroid use in sports started around the same period of time as the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, our first federal anti-drug law (brought to us courtesy of the Progressives). Steroid use in sports, however, has been going on much longer than that. "It's unfair" is just the easy way to package the anti-steroids argument to the +/-100 IQ public masses (and occasionally, blog commenters), for whom nuance is challenging.

As for the central question of Steve's blog post ("Why don't more people talk about the obvious steroid use among many high-profile athletes?"), I'll suggest another* answer: the public has a high amount of faith in drug testing. Why? The answer probably has more to do with Stanley Milgram than with drug testing's effectiveness.

*My other hypothesis was that because a large portion of the non-athlete public uses steroids, there are a lot of people walking around out there who are apathetic to or privately supportive of high-profile steroid use. Remember, most steroids are not illegal, just banned by sporting organizations.

Anonymous said...

@Power Child-- Of course you have to work hard to get the benefits of PEDs, but the benefits are enormous. I've seen people do things that they would never be able to do without steroids. Using is at the very least dishonest.

Power Child said...

@Anonymous of 11:13 PM: "Using [PEDs] is at the very least dishonest."

That begs the question, though. If you're a serious athlete, using steroids is dishonest because your organization doesn't allow you to use them, so if you're going to use them you can't be honest about it!

As for the benefits, they certainly can be huge in the short-run, but what about in the long-run? Chemically, our bodies are finely-tuned instruments. I think our anxiety about damaging that balance is probably well-placed. If only it could be tempered with reason, though...

By the way, I wonder if Cal Ripken Jr. used steroids, and if he did, is his long, gracious, and successful career an example of responsible steroid use?

Anonymous said...

Finally, what people do notice are hair cuts. You don't even have to change hair styles, just get a haircut and other people will notice.

Maybe it's because it's more polite to notice and comment on new haircuts, since haircuts can be fixed even if they're bad.

Whereas it's impolite to notice or comment on a deformity, or a large birth mark on someone's face, etc.

Anonymous said...

What we really need to remove from athletics is the money, not the PEDs.

I would largely agree with this, although I do think we need to keep steroids away from kids and teens. While the dangers of steroids have been greatly exaggerated by the media, they really do "stunt your growth" if you take them before you've finished your adolescent growth spurt. And they do grotesque things to a girl's appearance. But if grown men want to shoot test to get swole, I say let 'em do so.

neil craig said...

A quite large proportion of steroid abusers end up dead in bar fights (a lot have heart attacks too). I think that tendency would be of considerable relevance to anybody standing for the presidency or even Congress, who are suppoded to be the ones who declare war.

However Califonia is unlikely to invade anubody. Also Arnie has no reputation for starting fights, which suggests he must, be fore steroids, be a remarkably laid back guy or else that anybody he picks a fight with backs down - I would, in person but not online.

Anonymous said...

Some experts posit that there is no such thing as steroid rage. They maintain that steroids only exacerbate what's already there. As one doctor says in Chris Bell's Bigger, Stronger, Faster, a lot of steroid users (85% of steroid users are gym rats, not athletes) come from the asshole end of the personality spectrum, which is why they start to use in the first place. The steroids just make them mega assholes.

Anonymous said...

"I have some theories, not well developed yet, however. The sociobiologist EO Wilson said that homo sapiens is a species of ant-like primates. I am paraphrasing here."

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Edward-O-Wilsons-New-Take-on-Human-Nature.html

Anonymous said...

Well, since we're making distinctions, you ought to know that steroids aren't like Popeye's canned spinach: you don't just take PEDs and then huge muscles magically bulge out of your body.

Well, yes, actually, that is essentially what the taking of anabolic steroids results in - bigger muscles even without exercise.



Steroids (a catch-all term that describes any number of substances) are designed, essentially, to increase your body's ability to train harder and for longer periods of time.


No, they are not designed to do that. Like most steroid promoters, you are almost entirely ignorant of the subject you are talking about.


My other hypothesis was that because a large portion of the non-athlete public uses steroids, there are a lot of people walking around out there who are apathetic to or privately supportive of high-profile steroid use


It is a logical error to project ones own behavior onto the public at large. It is simply untrue that "a large portion of the non-athlete public uses steroids".


Even if you define "the public at large" as just meaning men (I've noticed that many libertarians prefer to act as if women do not exist) it is not the case that a large proportion of men use steroids. The proportion of men who use or have used steroids is a small fraction of those who use or have used marijuana.


outcry against steroid use in sports started around the same period of time as the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, our first federal anti-drug law


Anabolic steroids were added to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act in 1990. That is not "around" 1914. Of course they were banned by all professional sporting organizations well before this. But surely as a libertarian you accept the right of private organizations to make their own rules?

pat said...

I'm a little surprised that some people are embarrassed to find that they agree with me. I don't think of myself as particularly controversial. Maybe a little prescient, but generally logical and mainstream.

I think that testosterone will become rather like Vitamin D. My doctor wanted me to take Vitanin D. I asked for a test and read a book. I now take Vitamin D everyday.

I asked for a testosterone test, but my levels were normal. I don't take Testosterone supplements.

Ten years ago your doctor probably told you to take Vitamin E. But E is out now, and D is in. In ten years it could well be that the medical community recommends higher Testosterone levels and will prescribe daily T supplements. Who knows?

Right now T is treated like Viatmin C. The recommended Vitamin C levels are based on scurvy avoidance. We are told to take just enough to avoid that disease. But forty years ago Linus Pauling developed that wonderful theory that mega doses of C would cure the Common Cold. The great pity is that that beautiful theory doesn't seem to be true. But today there are still those who take extra C to cures colds, cancer and whatever.

Juicers are like vitamin mega dosers. Personally I wouldn't take extra T because I'm aware of the risks, but medical science knows very little about T and its effects. Ten years from now there may very well be routine prescriptions for T.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

In ten years it could well be that the medical community recommends higher Testosterone levels and will prescribe daily T supplements.


In ten years the medical community "could well" recommend higher testosterone levels for the average healthy man and prescribe daily T to accomplish this?

Dude, you are neither logical nor mainstream.

Truth said...

"I don't think of myself as particularly controversial."

You were here on SWPL-stomfront.com saying that you wanted a body like Woody Strode, yesterday. I think that qualifies.

Anonymous said...

SWPL-stomfront.com

LOL

Anonymous said...

I asked for a testosterone test, but my levels were normal. I don't take Testosterone supplements.

What's "normal"? If everyone's juicing, there's going to be a new "normal".

Anonymous said...

Some experts posit that there is no such thing as steroid rage. They maintain that steroids only exacerbate what's already there. As one doctor says in Chris Bell's Bigger, Stronger, Faster, a lot of steroid users (85% of steroid users are gym rats, not athletes) come from the asshole end of the personality spectrum, which is why they start to use in the first place. The steroids just make them mega assholes.

There might not be "steroid rage" in the sense that steroids directly cause "rage". But steroids do raise test levels which raises confidence, energy, confrontation seeking, aggression, all of which raise the probability that you will get into situations involving rage. I mean if you become more confrontational and aggressive, you'll get in more confrontational situations where the other guy will do or say something that will make you very angry.

Anonymous said...

This is also relevant outside of sport.

For example, Paul Erdos is the most published mathematician in history.

It turns out he used amphetamines.

Anonymous said...

Paul Erdos is the most published mathematician in history.


He was far from the best though.

Power Child said...

Anonymous of 8/17/12 10:42 AM said...

Anabolic steroids were added to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act in 1990. That is not "around" 1914. Of course they were banned by all professional sporting organizations well before this. But surely as a libertarian you accept the right of private organizations to make their own rules?

I said that outcry against steroids ("outcry" = using them is called cheating, special attention is paid to their dangers, etc.) began around the same time as the Harrison Act. You mentioned marijuana, so perhaps you're aware of the fact that public opinion about a substance isn't necessarily right in step with how the federal government schedules it.

By the way, I'm probably too far right to be considered a libertarian, and many sporting organizations aren't really privatized, but I do think they ought to be able to determine their own rules about steroid use. I am not rallying for their right to determine these rules to be revoked, I just think their decision in this matter is logically inconsistent, and more importantly it seems to be creating more problems than it solves.

Case in point: wrestlers frequently speed-diet to get below their natural weight so they can qualify for a lower weight class, then they bulk up again before the match. That issue, like steroid use, involves potentially dangerous changes to the body and questionable advantage-gaining tactics. Yet to my knowledge, it's an accepted practice, and no coach is going to get fired for helping his team members do it. Is it pervasive, dangerous, and unfair? Yes. But it would still be pervasive, and be even more dangerous and unfair, if it were banned.

Anonymous said...

Power Child:

I said that outcry against steroids ("outcry" = using them is called cheating, special attention is paid to their dangers, etc.) began around the same time as the Harrison Act. You mentioned marijuana...

The real issue is the superstitious terror of drugs that started with the Harrison Act.* First it was opiates and "narcotics", then alcohol, then marijuana, then psychedelics. The march goes on, to find a new class of Enemy Drugs. Anyone who lacks these anti-drug blinders is labelled as a drug addict himself, or a hippie, anarchist, libertarian, or communist (never mind that real communist regimes are notoriously anti-drug themselves.)

* Strangely enough neither the medieval theocrats nor the Victorian do-gooders had such a ghastly fear of drugs (with the possible exception of alcohol for the latter.) It was really something new, that started with the Harrison Act.

wrestlers frequently speed-diet to get below their natural weight so they can qualify for a lower weight class, then they bulk up again before the match. That issue, like steroid use, involves potentially dangerous changes to the body and questionable advantage-gaining tactics.

Good point. This form of body manipulation does not involve drugs, but can be just as dangerous. The fact that is free of drugs makes the difference.

Power Child said...

@Anonymous of 8/20/12 8:13 PM:

The march goes on, to find a new class of Enemy Drugs.

Yes. Crack, meth, K2, and where are we at now? "Bath salts"? "Watch out, this new drug spells doom for us all!" "Real Soon Now," as Steve says.

Anyone who lacks these anti-drug blinders is labelled as a drug addict himself, or a hippie, anarchist, libertarian...Strangely enough neither the medieval theocrats nor the Victorian do-gooders had such a ghastly fear of drugs (with the possible exception of alcohol for the latter.) It was really something new, that started with the Harrison Act.

Indeed: though it undoubtedly existed in pockets here and there beforehand, the superstitious terror of drugs was first mass-manufactured by the Progressives of the turn of the 20th century. Substance prohibition is a Leftist heritage. When conservatives took up the baton in the 1960s, they were really just participating--via mimicry--in the cultural arms race that their political counterparts had started a generation or three earlier.

Any surprise that the new substance-control fronts such as bans on smoking, fast food, and large colas are pioneered by liberals like Michelle Obama and Mayor Bloomberg?

Cautiousness is supposed to be the true conservative disposition. Conservatives are the grown-ups, who carefully weigh costs and benefits, allow the States to experiment, and don't rush into huge sweeping changes. It'd be nice if on the drugs issue, as on so many others, conservatives would act like conservatives again.

Anonymous said...

Substance prohibition is a Leftist heritage. When conservatives took up the baton in the 1960s,

Earlier than that; the War on Hemp in the 1930s was a conservative passion fueled not so much by anti-drug hysteria but by racial and economic factors.

they were really just participating--via mimicry--in the cultural arms race that their political counterparts had started a generation or three earlier.

The 1960s were a time of cross-breeding between the Left and Right. The New Right (neocons) got the skinhead puritanism, factory consciousness, and Israel-fetishism of the Old Left.

Any surprise that the new substance-control fronts such as bans on smoking, fast food, and large colas are pioneered by liberals like Michelle Obama and Mayor Bloomberg?

Lifestyle fascism ... no it doesn't surprise me. Another example is that socialist Sweden, contrary to neo-con delusions, is extremely anti-drug. For the Left, it is a matter of "being bad for your body", as if one's own body belongs to the state. For the Right, it's a moral and religious affair: "bad for your soul".

Cautiousness is supposed to be the true conservative disposition. Conservatives are the grown-ups, who carefully weigh costs and benefits, allow the States to experiment, and don't rush into huge sweeping changes. It'd be nice if on the drugs issue, as on so many others, conservatives would act like conservatives again.

Paleo-conservatives and libertarians are mostly "live and let live". The Sixties Neocons (a largely unacknowledged remnant of that decade) are the foaming crusaders, not much different or better than left-wing student protestors occupying Wall Street. Drugs, particularly psychedelics, are their blind spot. I wonder just how many of neo-con elders were ex-hippies who dropped out of hippiedom after traumatized by a super-bad acid trip?