-- 4x4Community VB4-012 -- 4x4Community VB4-013 -- Default Mobile Style
J oe Strummer argued that the future is unwritten, and he’ll be correct about that forever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. Is there an irrefutable dead end to the 100-meter dash? Is there a speed at which a human body would just break down and disintegrate, no different than a machine pushed beyond the capacity of its individual components? Some have been arguing “yes” for years. Reza Noubary, a professor of mathematics, computer science, and statistics at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, has estimated “with 95 percent confidence” that the ultimate time for the 100-meter dash is . That number seems as good a guess as anything else. But if Noubary is correct, it would force us to accept a depressing, unreliable notion — it would essentially mean we’re about 25 years away from the pinnacle of human performance. It would mean that most of us will see the fastest man that could ever exist within our own lifetimes. And something about that just seems unlikely. Beyond the (pretty clear) evidence that people are getting bigger, faster, and stronger at the same time, there’s also been a massive uptick in cultural motivation: There has never been a time when being the fastest man in the world 3 was worth so much money (particularly in the 100 meters, where the difference in notoriety between who’s no. 1 and no. 2 is especially vast).