Rivalry is another way of looking in the mirror. You measure yourself by what you see looking back at you. But perhaps, as a cultural theme, it is now overplayed, becoming a feature that lays too much stress on winning. Sometimes winning is not the point. Sometimes winning is just another name for conforming to a glaring expectation. Losing is a virtue too little regarded as a motor of artistic invention.
The comeback of a culture of rivalry (telegraph, 14.02.05)