Sorry for the multi-posting but I can't edit my post yet
I've just got hit by the idea and it is springing into my head so I've to share my thoughts.
Words are so powerful they define how and what we think. "Freestyle" in swimming comes from an experimental era. it is freestyle no more, it is canon, the standard, the pinnacle, etc. whatever you want to call it.
Freestyle should be compared to the gold standard in surface swimming: front crawling. It is really weird we are living in a completely nonsensical era and I just discovered it applies to swimming to. What does means "free" as far as swimming is concern? Every body does the same thing and actually every body has to do the same thing to keep up: there is nothing free in modern freestyle swimming.
What freestyle should be? If free one can decide to do 50m with underwater dolphin only if he can. For 100m mostly same. I mean who cares if it is mostly underwater swimming, it is FREEstyle. Above a given distance, sprint and long spring, mostly underwater swimming won't cut it anymore. Freestyler will go with another BLEND of techniques.
My distinction I made between alternate and symmetrical in my previous post was not pertinent, the core of the matter is deeper. It is indeed the standard (crawl) vs free forms attempts. as I see thing conceptually "butterfly" is wronger than breaststroke. Breaststroke can be swum underwater or above at any pace, in many different ways. Butterfly sure alleviates the underwater recovery but ultimately it is an attempt at taking over front crawling that can't succeed. Front crawling is the gold standard of surface swimming.
So the real topic should be this, why "front crawling" the gold standard prevents others form of swimming to compete or simply in fact evolve and find their own path.
Ones will notice that the issue is broader than swimming, societal in fact as that applies to many topics...
The worse part is that the technique, front crawling, will remain no matter which style old the record at any given distance (I suspect only front crawling can lose only the really short distances), the most efficient way to swim at the surface of the water.
It is a sad trait of the modern western societies on many topic...