Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Doing the Right Thing (It Doesn’t Take Much)

If you don’t do the “right” thing, it doesn’t matter "how much" of the wrong thing you do.

A big casualty of the rise (and subsequent decline) of mass media, was the loss of the ability to determine the right thing -- for oneself, because their featured (anointed) experts, told them what was “right,” and one had to follow the “weight” of that opinion -- as a “right” in itself. Whatever most people believed, or what they could convince most people believed, became the ultimate truth of anything -- and no further thought or research was necessary, or even possible. That was the power of mass media.

It no longer mattered how one arrived at one’s conclusions -- only that “the experts said,” and there was no authority beyond those experts. That was the brief rise and fall of mass media and popular culture -- before the re-emergence of authentic, independently-derived knowledge, which are those ideas rooted in thought, experiment and reflection rather than popular opinion and manipulation -- because one "owned" the pipelines of information propagation.

Popular opinion is that which is repeated so often that one is inclined to believe it is true -- rather than those profound insights that are always rare to come by -- but determines one’s ultimate quality of life. The critical difference is that only the right thing “makes a difference,” and the only value of the wrong things, is when they help get one to the right thing -- but no amount of the wrong thing is a substitute for just the right amount of the right thing.

Even too much of a good thing can become a bad thing -- while just a little of the right thing, makes all the difference in the world. When one is thirsty, a cup of water is perfect, while a pondful, is no better, and may create greater problems (of drowning in that weakened state). So one has to be careful about such generalizations as indiscriminately more always being better. Too much, may also be the problem.

In exercise and conditioning, too much may be the reason one will no longer do the little that makes all the difference between being in optimal condition and not caring to distinguish the difference anymore, because one associates such activities with unreasonable and increasing demands for involvement beyond one’s control and enjoyment. One is always forced to do more than one wants to -- or to give up personal control over those aspects of their life to some authoritarian figure who merely insists they "know better than one does what is good for everybody else."

The right amount must be sought foremost -- in order to achieve that objective. Yet for many years, presumably intelligent people went around thinking that every excess would be balanced out -- by some mysterious court of nature, rather than that they are allowed to run their course until a serious breakdown.

At such a moment of truth, the intelligent and determined, will make drastic changes to survive and remain viable. A few others, will continue to deteriorate with periodic interventions that merely delay the inevitable “total failure,” because they’ve been convinced that the cure is worse than the disease.


At August 15, 2007 6:51 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The worst of the popular notions and misconceptions, is the widely repeated belief that the "reason" for exercise is to increase the work of the heart -- instead of all the other voluntary muscles that usually don't do anything anymore.

The heart doesn't have that option -- along with a few others, so the heart is the MOST worked muscle of the body -- AND NOT THE LEAST!

This is the simplest and most fundamental understanding that MUST be mastered before anything in this realm of activity will make sense.

The purpose of the fitness and conditioning exercise is to maximize as much of the circulatory process to the voluntary muscles as possible -- rather than strain the heart further. The heart, like every other organ of the human body, has a finite lifespan and usefulness -- and is not to be expended arbitrarily and unnecessarily.

Many researchers have noted that across all species, there is a definitive fixed number of heartbeats -- and those who are noted for cardiovascular efficiencies, are those with the slowest heart rates -- and the fastest!!!

Nevertheless, self-proclaimed experts responsible for many premature heart episodes undoubtedly, insist, one has to strain those capacities in the least fit and able -- as though that was some inviolable and unquestionable good, for such individuals and society.

Those who challenge those notions (and there are credible many), are suppressed because they merely promote common sense moderation as the key to personal mastery and independence -- which is not a good thing in a society cultivating increasing "dependence" as the glue that holds that society together.

Increasing dependence is the objective of mass media societies in which "they" insist on doing all the thinking for everybody else.

At August 15, 2007 7:16 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Up to a few decades ago, there was an increasing trend to this specialization and ultimately increasing centralization of control in mass media societies -- that eventually gave way to personal empowering technologies and strategies.

Many people will recall several years back when gyms would have people line up and be personally guided through their workouts by personal trainers -- until people rebelled against the increasing loss of control over their own lives. That turning point came in the 1980s -- along with other revolutionary technologies, the most notable being the increasing acceptance of the "personal" computer.

Up to the 1970s, computing was still largely the province of computer science departments that processed everybody else's data and information -- as their schedule permitted. Until then, nobody could proceed with anything else -- until the results from the centralized processing plant were available.

That was a vision of a previous generation -- of centralized mass media. That was why the world of George Orwell's 1984 did not materialize and it was not necessary to rebel against it; that world was subsumed and supplanted by the beginnings of personalized experience, processing and communications.

These days, we witness the dying of those institutions of mass information processing -- the (mass) media, schools and universities -- for something greater. The old institutions, insist as they always have, that that society is in decline because they are no longer central to it -- rather than acknowledge that they have been superseded, and a much greater vision of the world is now accessible to all.

The key and limits to it is each individual's understanding of the wholeness (connectedness) of that world -- rather than breadth of unrelated information that has no power or value because it is not connected to any other piece of information and reality, that gives a greater comprehension and effectiveness to individualized (actualized) realities.

This knowledge is not difficult to grasp -- but is notable for its simplicity. clarity and obviousness. Recognizing the confusion, deception and manipulation, is the habit many conditioned to the old ways, have to merely let go of, because that is what they were conditioned to be.


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