Friday, October 12, 2007

It Matters Not To Me

A few reading the revolutionary ideas presented on this board on conditioning, will object that the old ideas of conditioning “work” -- for the small minority of people that persist at them, until one day they can’t -- and have no way of getting back into the fine condition/shape that allowed them to do what kept them in top condition. That’s the easy part: when one is in top condition, one can do virtually anything, including surviving near-death experiences, but more critically, how can one transform and empower a weakened condition -- before one is in shape to get in shape?

Most people going to physical therapists stop going as soon as the insurance stops paying for them -- and by then, they realize they have to “cure themselves,” of so little benefit are such physical therapies other than what one could figure out for themselves. And so a lot of those operations have an impressive array of machinery that will infatuate most people for a few weeks/visits. Most people “heal” themselves rather than benefitting from any enhanced insight by physical therapists over physical education teachers -- because they’re working from the same playbooks of ideas that seem plausible, but don’t hold up to any independent challenge, which is the hallmark of scientific investigation. Instead, they usually enlist people to “prove” exactly what it is they want to prove. That’s the flaw in most so-called scientific studies. Not surprisingly, they see the results they want to see -- and if they don’t, they eliminate the aberrations so as to eliminate any doubt.

Some people actually think they are being very scientific and objective by throwing out the highest and lowest scores -- and then measuring the rest to determine the average as the ideal, when in fact, the experiences at the extremes, is the most important information. The extremes is where the information undergoes its most rigorous challenges -- often to unexpected great discoveries. For that reason, many studies “fail” in that what they may actually observe, is not what they expect to observe, and thus, will not be observed, and often as not, be eliminated from the study.

Determining an “average” is usually not the most useful information in the performance of human achievement; it is exploring the range of the possibilities, which is what we wish to determine and delight in. So we go to concerts to hear the best perform -- and not just the “average.” Yet that average has been elevated in popular culture and the mass media as the ideal with which we must try to conform to. The result of such conditioning is that most people fail to become average -- which does not mean they cannot improve. But their improvement may take them further from that average -- rather than closer to it.

One of the most important work in the study of human beings was done by Roger Williams at the University of Texas in the ‘60s, on the amazing diversity and variability of experience -- at a time when the counter-prevailing thought was the desirability of making everybody the same -- first advocated by the Nazis, and then merely the Nazis of political correctness at the universities throughout the world. His finding was that people tended to vary in difference not by percentages but several magnitudes -- in their tolerance for foods, exercise, and every conditioning experience, so that a primary order of business for each and everyone, was recognizing the very unique person they are -- as the underlying basis of their ultimate success and efforts -- rather than mindless obeisance to the generalizations and generalities that won that day of academic faddism but eventually prove counterproductive in the understanding of human fulfillment and performance.

Generalizations tell us very little of that which is most significant to know, but have become very important in coerrcing conformity of thought that is at best a veneer of the truth of any matter.


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