The Purpose of Technology in Sports
3 minute read · Issue Number 71 · June 4th, 2021
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Today’s article is a short reflection on the purpose of technology.
The Purpose of Technology
“Technology is not only the thing that moves the human race forward, but it’s the only thing that ever has. Without technology, we’re just monkeys playing in the dirt.”
Why we develop technology? And I’m not referring to technology as a digital enabler – but to the concept of improvement through innovation.
Tech exists to help humans do things easier, faster, smaller, and cheaper — it serves as powerful leverage to execute more with less.
Balaji Srinivasan argues that the short-term purpose of technology is to reduce scarcity. It feels counterintuitive at first, but then it clicks.
ESPN made all sports news and information available for anyone with an internet connection in a digital world, and Twitter created free real-time engagement between sports fans worldwide.
In a physical world, innovations in apparel design or the electrification of racing cars allow us to produce more with less.
Hence, technology (even in sports) does aim to reduce scarcity.
Balaji says that eliminating the primary source of scarcity (in life) – namely mortality – is the ultimate purpose of technology.
But what about the long-term purpose of technology in sports?
What will happen once technology eliminates scarcity in sports?
What is the ultimate source of scarcity in sports?
Is it talent? Status? Money? The level of fun and entertainment? The franchises themselves?
Or is it something else? Something bigger than us?
I think it’s a very complex question that may not have a concrete answer. However, I believe that reflecting on this question has a lot of value.
Whatever you think the ultimate source of scarcity in sports is, technology is coming for it.
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