This past year has been a tough one for confidence in my peers. Historically, I’ve had some form of ethical event about every five years. This year’s developments in cycling, and triathlon, have impacted me quite deeply.
My wife, thinks that I’ve been focusing on cycling but it’s the implications, from cycling and local ‘scandals’, that have been most difficult for me. What’s toughest for me is the second order effects, and implications, of discovering (yet again) secret lives.
However, it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been able to kick another large chunk of my internet habit (online news).
If you read Charlie Munger then you’ll find excellent writing about the corrosive effects of creating incentives for people to lie. An individual tragedy happens from the rationalizations that we tell ourselves. Having a society that is filled with individuals with secret lives damages all of us. Similar to my approach to parenting, I prefer wide latitude for personal freedom with clear, and certain, punishments for crossing the line.
Secret lives come in many forms – drug use, alcoholism, theft, marital infidelity, disordered eating – I shared some tips on what to look for in two previous articles (URL and URL).
Coming out of the revelations in cycling, the best confession (for personal ethics) that I read was Floyd saying the he did it, it was fun and he’d probably do it again. Pretty much everybody else has fallen back on the “I had a dream” defense and/or “I was only following orders.”
If you have a dream to sleep with my wife, or are told to steal from a business of mine, then I’d hope that you’d do yourself a favor and make a better choice.
Perhaps the Floyd approach is what they’re telling each other behind closed doors – it’s better in the long run.
In Boulder, I take comfort that the doping cheats have, to date, mostly left town. Our athletic society is highly intolerant of doping cheats. However, we’re surprisingly lax about other forms of cheating that have a much greater impact on families. I wonder if the doping-haters would be as venomous if they knew the breadth of the moral abiguity present in elite sport. Perhaps they’d share my 2012 crisis of confidence.
Reading the USADA report was interesting but I didn’t have the direct personal connection that’s shared by some of my pals. However, with the passage of time, the second-, and third-, degree connections became apparent to me. Laying those connections over my previous thoughts on triathlon, left me feeling sad.
Would helping you connect the dots increase, or decrease, suffering? I’m mulling that over. Suffice to say, the public only knows a faction on what’s happening.
Anyhow, I have come up with an idea to be part of the solution with respect to the top level of elite sport and I’ll share that idea in early 2013 over at Endurance Corner (URL).
I’m straight, don’t smoke weed and limit my tablet use to a iron and B-vitamins. Not withstanding my ability to fit in, and succeed, under the existing rules, I think we’re doing ourselves a tremendous disservice by forcing many of our peers to lie in order to maintain appearances.
If we’re not willing to come down hard on people then best to lean towards tolerance.
Don’t force people underground
Corrosive effect on how they view themselves and the world.
Sexual preference, eating disorders, recreational drug use
What we see in doping – tolerate or make it criminal – doping leads to insurance fraud, sporting fraud (bought races) and tax evasion. Small decisions gradual lead people down the path of becoming “full gangster”.
The first marital indiscretion leading, ultimately, to a web of lies, disease and pain for many people – it all traces back to the first error in judgement.
Link Conspiracy article
Intolerance corrodes society
Eating disorders – victims of abuse