Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some See Only Solutions

The world view of the 20th century, was to see as many problems as possible -- to create the need for the many newly trained experts the universities were minting at the peak of the specialization and fragmentation of knowledge -- just before the great integration we now recognize as the Worldwide Web of intelligence came together.

“Intelligence,” in the new paradigm (underlying way of seeing things), is the total intelligence available to every individual as a shared enterprise and achievement, and not, as in a previous time, that which one knew -- that others did not. It seems almost unbelievable now, that that is what was regarded as intelligence in a previous understanding (of it). Unfortunately, it is still the perception of it that a lot of people still have -- and will probably die with. It is the source of the 20th century problem of alienation and isolation -- that are solved with the new paradigm of understanding, and why it is so necessary to embrace at a moment of endless, overwhelming possibilities for fragmentation and disintegration. It is the very basis of mental health -- and not just the luxury of more “enlightened” people.

About 2,000 years ago, Aristotle created the concept that “knowledge” was simply putting everything into its proper category, and once labeled properly, that was all one needed to know. Then for 2,000 years, that’s what the business of knowledge was -- simply classifying and categorizing everything -- because nothing could ever change from one thing to another. It was not a world of change but of stasis; change was merely regarded as a disruption to the “normal” status quo -- until it came to be realized, that change was the normal -- and not the permanent and unchanging.

That led to the important insight of “Evolution” -- that change and diversity, was the objective in ensuring greater survival capabilities, and not unvarying conformity -- that when threatened, decimates the entire population because it has no alternative but the unvarying, single response. But diversity is not the superficiality of appearances behaving essentially the same. Real diversity are differences that make a difference, that really matter.

When one is clear about that, they know a “solution” when they see one -- and not just a better explanation of why things continue to go wrong. That is not the answer to any problem but merely the continuation and justification for these problems -- as though they are inevitable, which is not knowledge worth cultivating, propagating and perpetuating. That is the despair of lives in desperation and futility.

It’s a crime that people are still conditioned (educated), in that way of being -- often as the height of sophistication for those with no meaning and purpose for their lives to be productive and positive. It’s fairly unique to affluent societies. In an age in which the miraculous is possible and commonplace, the novelty for the bored, is to convince themselves and one another, that nothing is possible, or can make a difference. But that is not a sign of intelligent life in the universe.


At May 15, 2007 12:34 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The most interesting person doing infomercials on exercise and conditioning, is Greer Childers, 61,who is a good advertisement for how a person should/can look at that age.

Her latest idea though is one that is probably a backward step that has been done throughout the history of fitness as a new idea -- and that is the idea of working one muscle against another, and calling it "dynamic tension" (Charles Atlas), "isometrics" (no movement).

The "problem" is that one is conditioning one's muscles to work against each other -- eventually producing a lot of negative effects that are initially thought to be beneficial in exercise -- like the raising of the heart rate, increasing the amount of effort and (dis)tress, which eventually caused researchers to conclude, that these were counterproductive effects for health purposes.

The practitioners of the previous recommendation of "isometric" quickly achieved the ability to produce hypertension in themselves -- because of their ability to elevate their heart rates and stress. That led to the abandonment of those principles -- since many of these world-class athletes could cause themselves to black-out.

Once the furor is forgotten, such ideas have a tendency to be resurrected -- and a generation later, it is re-introduced as the next, latest great idea.

A far better metaphor, is to use one's muscles together against the natural forces it encounters living in the real world -- that even flights into outer space do not negate -- and that is working against atmospheric pressure, which must be maintained as a constant to sustain life.

If the airplanes could not maintain this pressure at high altitudes, life is not sustainable. The curious thing about pressure is that it is related to the volume maintained in a container, such as the chest cavity -- which varied, causes movement of air in and out.

That difference in volume is reliably the difference in the flow. When all the muscles of the body are contracted at once (and not merely against each other), the chest cavity must be at its minimum. When all the muscles of the body are relaxed, the chest cavity attains its maximum volume -- as its natural state. Relaxation is the natural state -- so one desires to learn the proper maximum effort -- that effects change.

In olden days, many were confused about this and thought that relaxation was actually the effort -- and one needed to be taught to relax. In modern times, we recognize the importance of just allowing this to happen -- and those who don't, are hypertense, which is not allowing oneself to relax properly and fully.

That is a problem among many who think hypertension is muscle tone -- and so they go around constantly in that state of hypertension, thinking to show it off as "muscle tone." A muscle under constant tension, loses its tone, or responsiveness.

It's varying the state of tension, that maintains the tone and responsiveness -- in muscles, and all the other organs of responsiveness in the body -- the muscles being the most obvious. The muscles are the most apparent at effecting momentary change.

That is its desirability -- because it is the capacity to change, which is fitness.

At May 17, 2007 2:43 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

A major objection to exercise "without movement," is that any effect is difficult, if not impossible to measure -- which need not be the movement of a stack of weights, or bending rods -- but actually the discernible movement at the joint of the extremities of the head, hands and feet.

When there is movement at that joint (articulation), one knows that the nerve impulses to that axis of rotation is intact -- because the nerve impulse from the brain has to travel through the nerves on the way out there.

That transmission is not by radio waves -- but has to be hardwired into the system. So the problem with exercise with no movement, is that it is impossible to readily discern whether one has effective control to that point of movement (if any).

People who do have that excellent hand-eye-foot coordination are impressive -- no matter what they're doing because such movement is largely absent in most people, even those who think they are remarkably fit -- because their measurement at other locations tell them so. That is the fallacy of measuring fitness only at the heart; even a person who is otherwise totally paralyzed, could have a healthy heart (rate).

But what one really desires to accomplish and know, is what extent they have control over their body -- and so the proper indicator of that, would be at the furthest extremity, and the greatest range of its movement and fine-motor control.

That movement alone -- ensures one's responsiveness -- because it is the maximum responsiveness, at that axis of rotation, that implies the supportive and enabling capacity. As much as is made of the sedentary nature of contemporary lifestyles, it is at these axes (joints) of movement, that there is the greatest impact -- of lack of movement.

Generally, one has to move their entire mass to get to the refrigerator or snack cache -- but it is not necessary to articulate the wrist, ankles and neck in doing so. One can wobble over immobilely. But those individuals who do move consciously and unconsciously at those junctures, are usually the dancers and expressive performers of the world -- who look that way.

At May 17, 2007 8:10 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Another thing i don't like to see on the infomercials are these people exhaling through their mouth -- or in the case of the tennis players, wasting their energy shouting. That might serve some purpose in a martial arts hoping to intimidate an opponent rather than fighting -- but it really is an unnecessary drain on energy, and teaches one to make even breathing an extra effort.

Millions of years of evolution has gone to perfecting the nasal passages for breathing. Every person exhibiting a shortness of breath is invariably through their mouth; breathing through nose (both inhaling and exhaling produces deep, lengthy breathing), which is efficient breathing.

As soon as one breathes through the mouth, either on the inhalation or exhalation, air flow through the nasal passage must cease, and so the air directly absorbed by the capillaries in the nose that go cirectly to the brain. That immediately results in a sense of distress -- setting off a negative chain reaction of decreasing functionality.

Mouth-breathing is avery bad practice and particularly noticeable in television personalities who have to stop talking while conspicuously breathing in through their mouth. Their manner of speaking is of one running out of breath just in talking -- rather than being able to carry on that conversation effortlessly, and unself-consciously. There's something really wrong with a person who can breathe and talk at the same time.

God forbid the negative effect it has on a more strenuous activity. The worst effect of mouth-breathing at any time, is that it immediately shuts off the oxygen availability to the brain -- which promptly degrades the performance of every other function -- because is the regulator of every other function.

If one maintains the movement of air only through the nasal passages, the muscles of the torso are strengthened by having to articulate the change from greatest relaxation to greatest contraction -- to cause breathing.

Forcing breathing through the mouth, does not require this change of torso volume but actually freezes it. As one gets older, the conservation of energy and effort becomes an overriding problem, and so one does not want to have to make an extra effort of those functions for which millions of years of evolution, have perfected.


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