How To Be Good At Lots Of Stuff

1. Luck – Start Young
Ideally, your parents would have started interacting with you constructively before you had any idea that you were alive: Mozart on the swollen baby-mama belly, face-in-face moving talking and playing like an obsessive parent, encouraging curiosity and exploring, treating child with respect, multiple environments and quiet time to digest the day.

If you’ve already been born and mama didn’t play mozart while you were chillin in the amniotic jacuzzi, no worries, just start now.

2. Efficiency – Train Smart
If you want to be good at something, learn about it, break it down, understand the pieces, and learn appropriately for your goal. If you want to know how to play piano, don’t learn a song, if you want to know one song on piano, don’t music theory.

3. Discipline – Be Consistent
In almost all cases, it is far more beneficial to train regularly than in binges. I’d suggest that practicing piano for 5 minutes in the morning and night has been far more beneficial than for 2 hours twice a week. Do the math; it also saves time for lots of other stuff.

Training regularly trains your body, your muscles, your synapsis, your mood to grow for a certain purpose. Once you feel yourself growing appropriately, learn to add variety to your training to strengthen and accelerate through the learning curve while not leaving yourself in the dust.

4. Perception – Internalize Abstract Lessons
You will never be good at lots of stuff by memorizing. You might be great at something, but that’s another post for another day. To be good at lots of stuff, it’s important to be able to apply lessons learned today to new situations tomorrow.

5. Conclusion – Bringing It All Together
Now that we’ve reduced practice time by Training Smart, we can further exploit Abstraction by incorporating it into our training. By training generally to run and jump and throw in a variety of ways, instead of how to throw a frisbee, run downhill, and jump out of planes, we prepare by arming ourselves with the potential to be good at many things, instead of just pulling disc, out-running an avalanche, or tempting the parachute gods.

Formal Definition of Random Variable

Let (Ω, ℱ, P) be a probability space, and (E, ℰ) a measurable space. Then an (E, ℰ)-valued random variable is a function X: Ω→E, which is (ℱ, ℰ)-measurable. That is, such function that for every subset B ∈ ℰ, its preimage lies in ℱ: X −1(B) ∈ ℱ, where X −1(B) = {ω: X(ω) ∈ B}.

(Wikipedia: Random Variable: Formal Definition)

Thought I’d share one the few things that brought a smile to my face today. I love and miss math.

More Accurately Evaluating Life Choices

I’m not the only one unable to ignore a fluctuating though undeniably ever-present repulsive environmental tension. I wonder if man has always felt this way or if our modern sense of empowerment and ability curses us with an insatiable perfectionism. I expect I will always request improvement of myself and of my world, but the resulting perpetual state of unsatisfaction is not justification for sitting still and accepting a static fate. My life or my mood will be dynamic, one to the relief of the other. External or internal pressure will build and support the truth of that which is constant and inevitable: change. Stagnation will depress and newness will stimulate, and I can’t help but wonder if there is an inherent shortcoming in my evaluation of life choices.

Is it the goal that matters, the direction, the target, or is it the transition, the journey? Is it fair to consider the state or would I be doing my soul a service to consider the space between? We know life is about the journey, and many of us believe we embrace this, but many of us still identify the journey as a path to get to a particular somewhere. Perhaps we would better suit our dynamic nature and unsettling souls by recognizing ourselves as transient and our journies as significant and the supposed goals we pursue not as states but as events that will pass as mere moments in our life-long transition from dust through momentous life to dust.

A Brief History of Disease, Science and Medicine by Michael Kennedy

A Brief History of Disease, Science and Medicine:
From the ice age to the genome project
By Michael Kennedy MD FACS

“‘Those who compare the age in which their lot has fallen with a golden age which exists only in imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past will be disposed to take a morose or desponding view of the present.’ (Macaulay, History of England, v. 1, ch. 1, 1848.)”

“The invention of agriculture marks the transition to the Neolithic, or ‘new stone age,’ period. With it came the development of larger social groups and the advent of infectious disease.”

“Prior to agriculture, with few carbohydrates in the diet, the incidence of caries (cavities) was about one percent in skeletal remains (and none are found in the Iceman). In the Neolithic period, with a diet including cereals and other carbohydrates, this incidence rose about five fold, still far below the incidence after the introduction of sucrose in the seventeenth century.”

“Ancient cities were so unhealthy that, until the nineteenth century, the mortality rate of the city-dwellers exceeded their birth rate and the population was only maintained by an influx of rural immigrants. Rome was an exception because of the high quality of sanitary facilities but other factors intervened…”

“Imhotep, an Egyptian physician in the archaic period and vizier to Pharaoh Zozer about 2600BCE, became a revered and, finally, god-like figure in later dynasties, establishing a following somewhat like that of Asclepius in Greek medicine. By the sixth century BCE he had replaced Thoth as god of healing.”

(to be continued…)

How To Eat Food

Thought eating was as simple as putting food in your mouth? Well, maybe it is. Chew on this!

These simple rules will help you adopt a bio-consumption-healthy lifestyle. Don’t try to make lifestyle changes in leaps and bounds. Can you say relapse? Start at the top and work your way down. Bon apetite! Continue reading How To Eat Food

My Workout Adjustments

More Rest Days
As follows every 1-2 week near-full vacation from working out, I feel better, healthier and stronger, and look better than ever while I torture myself. I am going to attempt to keep myself away from the gym and out of my running shoes for 2-3 days per week.

More Warm Up and Stretching Time
Before runs and most workouts I will take a hot shower, a warm up walk and jog, and do light dynamic stretching. I will do dynamic and static stretching after my workouts as usual.

More Variety and Better Balance
I will not focus only on running; I will add biking. Lower body workouts will alternate focus and will occasionally be in the gym including dead lifts, squats, lunges, and step ups. I am also reducing my push up efforts to within range of my pulling efforts: pull ups, chin ups, and body rows. My upper body workouts will continue to be body weight focused including push ups, dips, pull ups, chin ups, body rows, and sit ups and will occasionally be free weights and cables instead.

Tempt Some Pains
I will continue to stay fully aware of my body signals and address warning signs appropriately, but I will push further into the types of pain that have demonstrated no correlation to injury.

Less Barefoot Running
As a matter of convenience and in the interest of experimentation, running will be performed primarily with shoes. I will continue to warm down, walk and hike barefoot on occasion.

All of these changes will increase health benefits and reduce proneness to injury.

Understanding Yourself And The Universe

Terence McKenna – Nobody Is Smarter Than You Are

We all must try to understand what is happening. We need to try to understand what is happening. In my humble opinion, ideology is only going to get in your way. Nobody understands what is happening. Not Buddhists. Not Christians. Not government scientists. Not… you know. No one!… understands what is happening. So, forget ideology. They betray. They limit. They lead astray. Just deal with the raw data and trust yourself. Nobody is smarter than you are. Continue reading Understanding Yourself And The Universe

In Defense Of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Notes and Quotes:

The entire book is an elaboration on:
“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Interesting Quotes:
“A few years ago, Rozin presented a group of Americans with the following scenario: ‘Assume you are alone on a desert island for one year and you can have water and one other food. Pick the food that you think would be best for your health.’
“The choices were corn, alfalfa sprouts, hot dogs, spinach, peaches, bananas, and milk chocolate. The most popular choice was bananas (42%), followed by spinach (27%), corn (12%), alfalfa sprouts (7%), peaches (5%), hot dogs (4%), and milk chocolate (3%). Only 7 percent of the participants chose one of the two foods that would in fact best support survival: hot dogs and milk chocolate.”

“For a more complete (and fascinating) account of the biochemistry of these fats and the story of their discovery read Susan Allport’s The Queen of Fats.”

“Wild greens like purslane have substantially higher levels of omega-3s than most domesticated plants.”

“Two of the most nutritious plants in the world are weeds – lamb’s quarters and purslane…”

“Gas stations have become processed-corn stations: ethanol outside for your car and high-fructose corn syrup inside for you.”

Turf Toe

I recently sprained my big toe from barefoot Ultimate Frisbee. I should not have assumed that an ability to barefoot run for 40 minutes corresponded to being able to perform the side-to-side, twisting, and rapid acceleration and deceleration involved in Ultimate Frisbee for a full hour. Luckily, while I had to stay in Saturday night and walking has been a pain, I don’t expect this is more than a minor sprain. I’m recovering quickly and expect to be walking normally in 72 hours and back to the trails in a week or two. Unfortunately, if this is turf toe, this could be a serious problem. Continue reading Turf Toe