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I loved the world of roller derby because I thought it was such an empowering metaphor, that you get out there and do it. It's such a rocker, athletic, capable, cool exhibitionist sport; it's about this great sort of camaraderie.
We speak of 'software eating the world,' 'the Internet of Things,' and we massify 'data' by declaring it 'Big.' But these concepts remain for the most part abstract. It's hard for many of us to grasp the impact of digital technology on the 'real world' of things like rocks, homes, cars, and trees. We lack a metaphor that hits home.
I discovered that the horse is life itself, a metaphor but also an example of life's mystery and unpredictability, of life's generosity and beauty, a worthy object of repeated and ever changing contemplation.
I do genuinely believe that young people who play sport at a competitive level, sensibly controlled, sensibly organised, that has to be a good thing. It will teach them to win, it will teach them to lose with dignity and magnanimity - all the things you want. It's a pretty good metaphor for life.
I'm a believer in getting punched in the face. I know it sounds cliched, but to me, fighting is a metaphor for life.