Operated by John-Riley Harper. Dedicated to archiving photography from Utah's underground scenes, as well as other personal projects.

Winning the Special Olympics..
I remember a time when it seemed everyone's signature had a picture of a small retarded boy with a face full of glee breaking through the finish line. The text underneath said, "Arguing on the internet is like winning the special Olympics, even if you win, you're still retarded." Many people have thought this has been one of the more brilliant pieces that the internet has produced. Ironically, the statement is both an argument in itself, and one that has spread prevalently on the internet.

But when I got to thinking about it, I wondered what it would be like to switch the image's argument to something like: "Arguing on the internet is like winning the world Olympics, even if you win, you're still human." The point, of course, is that there isn't that much difference between being limited by a mental retardation and being limitation by our own bodies and minds. Joe Frank once said, "Your cat will never be able to read Plato, your dog will never understand mathematics; why do we think that we would be any less limited?" It's a sad but important perspective.

So, we may be able to make small intellectual developments, but because our mental fluttering can only bring us slightly closer to a limit, what's important in life is not elevation, it's distinction. This is why the hierarchical social world is so important while human evolution is not. We strive for recognition about being a very tiny amount better in a tiny area than someone else. In this sense, there is no real difference in winning the special Olympics, an argument on the internet, or the world Olympics-- only the number people who take note of your superiority to other retards.

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