Why Do Pundits Feel Compelled to Say "Talent Must be Distributed Equally?"
Print Friendly and PDF

From the New York Times:

Is Our Country as Good as Our Athletes Are?

David Brooks AUG. 19, 2016

… Moreover, America doesn’t win because we have better athletes (talent must be distributed equally).

Why do people say things like “talent must be distributed equally” when all the evidence of our eyes from watching the Olympics is that talent is not distributed equally? Instead, talent is distributed in complex patterns by nature, which are in turn made even more complex by nurture.

For example, Jamaica has seven medals with the sprint relays still to come, while all of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) so far has only one bronze in any sport. Yet, South Asia has about 500 times more people than Jamaica.

On the other hand, out of Jamaica’s 73 medals down through history, one was in cycling in 1980 and the other 72 have been in track and field. In fact, all 72 were in track and none in field. And, indeed, all 72 track medals were in distances of no more than 800 meters. It’s not that Jamaicans wouldn’t like to win the 1500, much less the marathon, it’s just that that’s getting kind of far for them.

Jamaica’s big distance success in this Olympics was Aisha Praught making it through the first round of the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase and finishing 14th in the final.

But it turns out that Aisha Praught was from Moline, Illinois and runs for an Oregon track team.

Screenshot 2016-08-19 03.25.07Aisha’s the one on the right, which suggests she is less West African than is, say, Usain Bolt’s mom.

And of all the Olympic athletes in history, Usain Bolt gives the least indication of being the product of 10,000 hours of systematic practice.

This kind of patterning is everywhere at the Olympics.

Do pundits feel particularly compelled to testify to their faith in anti-empirical egalitarianism during the Olympics when the evidence of human biodiversity is so obvious?

[Comment at Unz.com]

Print Friendly and PDF