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08-10-2012, 01:37 PM
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Pure Talent

Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
I agree with all of this. That is the modern player bias in a nutshell and it should make sense to everyone.

At the other end is the bias against modern players when people act as if the talent pool hasn't grown substantially over time. They pretend as if being the best player in the 30's, 50's, or 70's meant those players rose to the top over the same talent pool as we have today. It's simply not the case. Hockey participation has grown a lot, whether it's due to increased popularity, increases in population that resulted in more participation, or branching out to other countries or regions. Generally, all of these have occurred and will hopefully continue to happen for the sake of the sport we all love.
If we have, say, 5 times the amount of people playing the game now, logic and reasoning would say we have more "pure talent" striving to be the best even after you take away everything else (training, equipment, strategies, etc.). It's by no means a given that the best player in 2012 has more "pure talent" than the best player in 1940, and it really is impossible to scientifically compare the two players, but that player from the 40's better have completely dominated his peers (a la Orr) if someone want to provide a reasonable argument IMO. Even then we are just guessing at how their "pure talent" would stack up against the sheer numbers of today.

The player in the 40's wasn't competing with as many humans to have the most "pure talent" and therefore, from what we do know about human potential, with more sheer numbers not only would more people challenge that person for top spot but the next guy would probably close the gap and # 1 would seem less dominant. That's how I see it and I haven't seen any convincing arguments that have changed my mind. If someone has a counter for this logic then please present it. I'm all ears.
Today we have more "Pure Talent" in all academic fields since more people in more countries have access to higher education than was the case in the time of William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci or other great contributors. Plus there is the advantage of computer generated research in various field.

Typical high school student knows more about science, literature or the arts than each of the aforementioned but the high school students are not better writers, scientests, artists, etc.

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