Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am not alone!

From Marcel O'Gorman's "Swimming to Obsolescence":
When I was about halfway through the essays collected by Harold W. Baillie and Timothy K. Casey in Is Human Nature Obsolete? Genetics, Bioengineering, and the Future of the Human Condition (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005, $24.95), I took a few days off to compete in my first triathlon, the off-road type. This might seem inconsequential to a review of the book, but as this excellent anthology reminds us, there is no such thing as "inconsequential." No act is without consequence, and nothing, in the end, is safe from sequencing.

Swimming is a primitive, even atavistic, sport. This is especially true if one adheres to the theory that we evolved from aquatic ancestors. Like running, swimming requires no conspicuous technological implements—no sticks, no projectiles, no protective equipment. And yet I could easily argue that running is more "natural" than swimming, at least for a human being. Running is primary, a universal response to danger. Swimming, on the other hand, is a provocation, an embracing of danger in defiance of human limitations.

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