What is an optimal number of Pamplona bull gorings?

Two or more each year?:

Longtime runners voiced their frustration that the event had been “totally adulterated” and said it was time to “say enough to the distortion of the run”.

The problem for purists is not just that the run, known as the encierro, has become too safe — with only two gorings last year, the least since 1984 — but that the bulls are unable to break free from the highly trained steers that accompany them. This makes the adrenaline-fuelled race less dangerous but also less exciting.

“For the runners, this is the end of the encierro as they know it,” said Joe Distler, a semi-retired American who ran the bulls for 50 years and took part in the protest in solidarity.

For regular runners, a good day is when the bulls break free from the cabestros — the castrated steers that accompany them over the 875-metre course to the city bullring — and one can feel the adrenaline-drenched thrill of running half a block directly in the front of a bull’s horns before letting it pass.

Here is more from Ian Mount at the FT.  As you wish folks, but I for one am content to live “inside the algorithm.”


My birthday falls on the start of the Festival of San Fermin. I went some years ago to run, and figured out what the hell Hemingway was on about. Reading a book might change your life, but running certainly will.

Oh, and it wasn’t technically a goring, but an Aussie chap near me got his nuts stomped on by a bull. I think he might rather have had a horn to the kidney? Probably total major injuries is the best way to keep score. I imagine those are down as well.

Can someone explain the inside the algorithm reference? I googled it up but I’m still confused.

The cabestros are the algorithm. I didn't know about them, but if there was a time before cabestros, it was probably quite bloody.

Only idiots run with the bulls.

postmodern "princeton" historian!!
area 51

Time for a private event? For a certain price, it can be arranged that the strongest and deadliest bulls run behind you. Albeit, half the kick comes from doing it in front of the multitude. Perhaps that is precisely what they defend, they right to be eviscerated in front of other people. If the public also wants gore, everyone is happy.

There are lots of alternative dangerous runs all over Spain. These guys are just anxious and frustrated and that's their rationalisation. If anything there's dearth of daring runners these days.

Another question: how many Everest deaths per year are optimal?

More than nil. Less than a million. By Social Science standards that's a pretty tight estimate.

How many children held in detention without parents is optimal to discourage families from seeking asylum?

How many children who die is optimal?

Putting unaccompanied minors in camps on Everest does, to this taxpayer, seem fiscally irresponsible.

I don't know. They might become criminals and rapists, and very nasty people.

People say this.

I suspect that it's not just a matter of quantity, but whether people are dying because it's hard to climb and therefore dangerous, vs dying because they are stuck waiting too long in a line.

"and one can feel the adrenaline-drenched thrill of running half a block directly in the front of a bull’s horns before letting it pass."

Flow junkies.

I have an old friend who retired in Denia, Spain. He ran with the bulls in a local Denia festival, which although much smaller, still allows the bulls to run free and lets people run alongside them. You can still run with the bulls, just not in Pamploma. There are traditional local festivals where they do it the traditional way.

Let's make this more interesting and put lasers on the bulls. The high body count should make bull running great again.

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