30 July, 2021

Bloodsport: A Sequel

Is sport across borders always about nationalistic assertion? Well, if history is any indicator, there's no escaping the ruse.

Sanjoy Ghosh
Bloodsport: A Sequel
Commentators on modern sport often claim it is a fundamental component of 21st century society. Witness Australian journalist Greg Bearne on India-Pakistan cricket clashes and on the threat of cancellation on the eve of the February 2004 tour: "Pakistan is a country that has never lacked great drama, in the past few months alone its President was nearly blown up twice, its nuclear scientists were exposed as having sold more atomic secrets than Gerry Harvey has sold televisions, and then, Osama was spotted in the hills on the border. But all these events come to nothing compared with the drama of a series against the Indians..." Is this merely amusing journalistic logorrhoea?

Martin Rees in Our Final Century considers the threat of unpredictable science and bolting technology. "Humanity is more at risk," he argues, "than at any earlier phase of its history"—from dangers present and possible: the N-bomb, terrorism, lethal engineered air-borne viruses, character-changing drugs and experimental science. He reviews the hazards of human error, ideological terror and...

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