Monday, August 19, 2013
I'm a big believer in mutts. All dogs have been mutts, and they've been great animals. Problems arise when animals are bred to fit some artificial ideal of pedigree. This BBC documentary reveals the horrible things that have been to dogs breeding for show. If you are dog lover this will break your heart.
The quest for “better,” can cause all kind of problems, especially when those rules are artificial. It goes way beyond the dog world.
Rules on what a proper car must have limits opportunities for innovation. We don't see very many dramatic departures in automobile design. Sometimes engineers will design a radical concept car, but they never go into production. Racing has had a big impact on car design, but should that be the departure point for building a family utility vehicle where speed and handling are not the main concerns? I know I don't have a pit crew to put my car together every ten minutes.
Sailboat racing is the worse. It's my opinion that racing rules have set back sailboat design 100 years. They lock in hull and rig designs so as to be competitive within a class. Weird and unsafe “innovations” are employed to bend the rules. None of that has any value to a sailor who wants a good solid easy to sail boat. They can be hard to find as designers are influenced by the race boats. People see them out racing and think they need something like that. It's a vicious circle.
Maybe sailboats aren't the worse. How about the pedigree of royalty and the elite? That's a pretty inbred bunch with a lot of arbitrary rules and requirements. They are worse than show dogs, with their hemophilia and insanity. At least those poor show dogs aren't in a position to ruin the lives of millions of us regular mutts.