Friday, January 24, 2014

Beating The System

I’ve never really been a big fan of cycling, and although I’m into cycling these days, I’m still pretty much ignorant of the happenings in the cycling world. I don’t know who’s who; or who won what in the latest elite races. Whenever my friends whom are more experienced in cycling start to talk about technical cycling matters, I would shy away to the corner of the chatroom and just play the role of an observer. Perhaps every now and then, I’d throw in a question or two. 

For the most part, I keep things very simple about cycling—I pedal with my legs, and the wheels turn, and the bike moves forward. If it’s too stressful on my legs, I’d shift the gears to make it a little easier, and vice versa. 

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I did not know much about the man named Lance Armstrong, except that he’s the fellow who won the Tour de France many times before. But I read a bit more about the man after it was proven (and he confessed) that he had cheated in his races, and then stripped off his titles. I shall not delve into the controversy of the cheating itself, but I want to say that I’m truly impressed with his brilliance, or those working together with him, in beating the system! With my limited knowledge in the sport, it seemed to me that it was extremely difficult to cheat in the race, since the organizer conducted regular tests for banned substances throughout the many stages of the event. He was able to beat the system not just once, but many times. Furthermore, I’m also in awe of the simplicity of how it’s done! It all boils down to the simple trick of carrying out blood transfusions throughout the race. The simplicity of the trick is just too fantastic, even though I don’t condone cheating in sports!

But anyway, there is a psychological significance in this. Maybe I'm not speaking about the majority of people, but I suspect that there's still a huge number of people who derive some sort of strange pleasure and thrill either when they're able to beat the system, or when they see others able to pull it off!

There have been cases of people whom are not exactly poor, but in the habit of stealing things from the shelves in the stores just for the thrill of being able to pull it off without getting caught. I'm also aware of people meddling with the electricity meters so that they can either escape paying for electricity consumption or pay substantially lesser than the actual cost. The same is true for water consumptions. And there are many other examples where people beat the system all the time. Those who don't have the guts to do it themselves, secretly cheer for those who can devise the plan to beat the system.

I read with interest about how a man got free meals for almost a year by beating the system as reported here. But the part that attracted my attention the most is the last paragraph of the article which indicates that there are many people who are cheering for this fellow instead of condemning him. They may enjoy seeing how these big companies got outsmarted. 

However, these people have forgotten that when the electricity and water suppliers; and airlines companies and the likes suffer the loss of revenues because of these brilliant folks, they will one way or another pass on the cost to the rest of the consumers; and who do you think will pay for it in the end?

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