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<   No. 1642   2007-07-26   >

Comic #1642

1 Julius: Ave, Marcus! I have an extra ticket to the games tomorrow night. Do you want to come?
2 Marcus: Ugh. You know sport is nothing but a formalised proxy for warfare?
3 Marcus: Forcing prisoners to fight one another to the death for the amusement of the masses!
4 Marcus: It's barbaric!
4 Julius: Well, they are barbarians.

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The term barbarian was originally used by the Ancient Greeks, as a descriptive word to apply to anyone whose first language wasn't Greek. Originally it had no pejorative meaning associated with it, being merely a descriptive word. The Romans adopted the word to refer to anyone who wasn't Roman.

Modern usage has turned the word into a pejorative to refer to people less cultured than oneself.

Since the Ancient Greeks would have meant the Ancient Greek language, not Modern Greek, by the original definition everyone in the world today is a barbarian.

2017-11-11 Rerun commentary: My own opinion of sport is...

I love it. I'm a big fan of sport and enjoy watching games across many different sports: cricket, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, baseball, American football, athletics, swimming. Heck, I've even watched and enjoyed competitive lawn bowls and dressage.

I'm a hard core geek/nerd/whatever the more appropriate term is these days: I write code, read fantasy, play Dungeons & Dragons, watch science fiction, etc., etc. But I've never seen this as incompatible with a love of sport, and it constantly befuddles me why so many other geeks/nerds look down on sport. Rather than rant on, I found a pretty cool essay on the topic.

I wonder if anyone's done some proper research on what fraction of the general population like sport, versus what fraction fo the nerd/geek subculture likes sport. I'd be very interested to see the numbers. (I couldn't find anything with a few minutes of Google searching. Maybe someone else can.)

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