“What I call Platonicity, after the ideas (and personality of the philosopher Plato) is our tendency to mistake the map for the territory, to focus on pure and well-defined “forms,” whether objects, like triangles, or social notions, like utopias (societies built according to some blueprint of what “makes sense”), even nationalities. When these ideas and crisp constructs inhabit our minds, we privilege them over other less elegant objects, those with messier and less tractable structures….Platonicity is what makes us think that we understand more than we actually do.” -Nicholas Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan page xxv.
“Dialectic, in fact, is the only procedure which proceeds by the destruction of assumptions to the very first principle, so as to give itself a firm base.” Plato, The Republic 533d, Lee Translation.
You’ll find a lot of this kind of back and forth flipping through NNT and Plato.
What I try to remember in fitness is that you should apply the fundamentals (the “first principles”) relentlessly: hard work, consistency, attitude, team work. But also be flexible and innovative in how you do it. Keep what works, throw out what doesn’t. Also remember, the more you learn the more uncertain you should be about what the “right” answer is.
ST. LOUIS—A group of fully grown men felt inspired Saturday by a stupid little sign hanging in a locker room and expressed their exhilaration by shouting, clapping their hands, and jumping around, baffled eyewitnesses confirmed.
“It motivates me,” an otherwise reasonable adult said of the sappy phrase featured on the dumb and embarrassing 11-by-14-inch sign, which is prominently displayed high on a wall where anyone can see it. “Makes me want to be the best I can.”
The collection of men, who by all accounts are grown-ups and not small children easily tricked by phrases constructed of nonsense buzzwords, publicly admitted that the insipid, saccharine message resonates with them so much they feel compelled to shout the idiotic slogan together before taking the field of play. In addition, without smirking, sneering, or bursting into laughter, the full-fledged adults said the pathetic sign makes them believe anything is possible.
“After reading it, you realize how you should live your life,” a completely serious grown man said of the placard, which would not look out of place in a kindergarten classroom. “Those words are filled with so much wisdom. They’re quite powerful words that really strike a chord. Makes me want to give it my all.”
The group of adult men also told reporters the sign itself is important.