Communicating Ideas

Posted by Brian PCF
Oct 25 2011

“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.

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