[Taxacom] Sports vs biodiversity

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Mon Dec 20 09:55:58 CST 2010

Hi Cristian,
      I agree that biologists could probably do a better job of making
our work more interesting for the public.  However, it seems to me that
it's more a problem of hundred of millions of people being FAR too
passionate about sports.  After all, these started out as games to keep
people fit and healthy.  Professional sports in particular has
transformed games into businesses which are largely counterproductive to
the society as a whole (and extremely expensive).      
      Sports for children and even college are generally okay for
fitness and even entertainment, but professional sports take it to an
extreme that is no longer a productive "game", and it sucks up too much
time and money that could be spent on other endeavours (including
learning more about nature).  I think professional sports (as a career)
is a bad idea, and now even the steroid problem has become alarmingly
more common in our high schools.  Anyway, we need more hikers and
bird-watchers out on the weekends, but far too many people are glued to
their television sets.  It's just not healthy or truly productive for a
society to be so obsessed with sports, and it certainly does nothing to
help the biodiversity problem.  
Cristian wrote: 
Well, billions into sports make sense in a capitalist economy --people
pay and get what they like and value. So, in the absence of a better
alternative, either we keep up our envy, or enter the game and get a
good share. Not impossible. 
The problem is, in my own experience, quite simple: all of sports TV
relies on passionate people who know the game and can transmit the
excitement of a competition, but most often nature programs are
conducted and presented by boring non-specialist reporters, or even
worse boring nerds. How many programs can you remember with David
Attenborough's thrill? And how many vibrant matches could you find every
It's a problem of us taxonomists, who have largely not been able to show
the world what they we are doing and how incredibly amazing it is. 

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