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Competition widely exists in modern society. The relatively developed part of the world represented by the United States are largely driven by commercial competition. This competition had impacts beyond commerce but to different aspects of the society as whole, notably education. Nelson et al. examined competition based on historical philosophies from the perspectives of arts and sports. Competition brought the world many art, educational and athletic achievements. Nevertheless, excessive competition leads to the deviation of outcomes. Thus, adequate competition leads to the maximization of achievements.
Nelson et al. pointed out the creation of arts takes competition; meanwhile it is beyond competition. The maximization of outcomes in arts needs to find a point where competition is adequate. The authors quoted the statements from well-known historical figures as normative structure. Nietzsche was well-known nineteenth century philosopher, while Vasari was a famous painter from Renaissance. On one hand, Nietzsche said art creation was excitement driven, such as love and events. On the other hand, the famous painter Vasari believed the highest level of arts was beyond competition. To sum up, the competition level in arts should not go extreme, neither excessive competition nor no competition. Take modern painting competition for example, the winners of the painting competition are proven to acquire advanced painting skills. However, few of them become masters with paintings lasting from generation to generation. Only painters with strong inspirations from life events, such as love, are able to produce long-lasting artwork. Competition from real life provides ground for art creation, while pure competition limits the depth of artwork.
Nelson et al. believed that ranking based education makes the outcome of education deviate from original purpose. Students would apply more tactics in order to become the winner in competition rather than settling down for deep thinking. Linda Hutcheon also criticized the wolfish education. Hutcheon used the same word “agony,” as Nelson et al. Hutcheon used “agony” as a rhetorical move to give the idea that competition leads to violence even in academia. Agony is a representative of extreme competition. When Hutcheon used it in academic competition, she was implying the academia was extremely competitive which she opposed against. Nelson et al. further explained that rank based education makes academia too wolfish and that ruins students’ curiosity. As a result, criteria based education can generate adequate competition more than rank based education does.
Nelson et al. also brought up tennis to give an example of pure competition. The goal of tennis is to win rather than bringing up friendship according to tennis rule. Under the set rule, tennis player would have the fastest way to build up skills. As discussed on the previous class, sport players tend to use drugs to improve their performance. Compared with the drug usage in sports for the winning purpose, the regular match has an adequate level of competition. @kostaxinos6906 had brought up the drug usage issue in the post Competition in Sports and the PED Debate. From my perspective, the usage is breaking the boundary of adequate competition whose aim is to motivate the physical competency of human. In addition, sports are also a motivation for a healthy lifestyle for modern society. With drug usage, it destroys the original goal of sport games. Nelson et al. mentioned the rank based education makes students focus on boosting GPA rather than deep thinking under the guidance of curiosity. Similarly, Sport participants would possibly spend more time on drug development rather than training athletes. As a result, adequate competition leads to a desired goal, while excessive competition deviated the goal.
Adequate competition brings progress on artwork, education and sports. Excessive competition may seem to bring a better result in statistics, such as higher GPA or higher scores in tennis. In reality, over competition reduces the desired achievement by deviating the attention of competition participants. In conclusion, adequate competition maximizes the desired outcomes.