Saturday, December 04, 2010

Being in Shape is a Skill and Not a State

People are often surprised that the strongest people, are often not the most muscular-looking people, but in fact, have looked very out of shape -- mainly because they didn't think that looking "in shape," in the conventional sense of that word, was very important. In fact, in the old days before bodybuilding became mainstream popular in the '60s, it was regarded largely as a "gay" thing, just like being a "metrosexual" male is presently.

Undoubtedly, many bodybuilders do tend to narcissism, as many do who are overly dependent on the approbation of others, as their chief motivation and meaning, which then makes them very susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous others. That is the typical experience in being young and in the schools and other mass institutions, where conformity to the norm of "political and intellectual correctness" is demanded for participation and validation, of which the unsuspecting novices in any activity are very vulnerable to.

In time and persistence, they come to realize the validity of their own (personal) experiences and experiments, over the conventional wisdom, and particularly, recognize the insidious way truths come into being, largely by their repetition, and often plagiarism, of those claiming those ideas as the inventor, or at least, one of its first disciples. But the test of that originality (authorship), is whether they can produce another, and a next, etc. -- rather than simply repeating and replicating the conventional wisdom, as though they thought of everything themselves -- which is authoritarianism rather than the authority it hopes to imitate.

Being an "authority" means being the author, or originator of that idea, while the authoritarian, claims that authority, simply as an entitlement -- as many "teachers" do, but wonder why they don't "command" that respect, and frequently, are even ridiculed and disrespected so that they cannot face an audience any more, but have to be promoted to a position as an "educational administrator," because they no longer have a visceral credibility beyond their past honors and achievements.

But that is what "science" and "art" really is -- that productiveness and inquiry into the present great quandary, and not simply repeating the old as though it were the new, to a more uninformed audience.


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