Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Arts’

Commoditized Ideas

Uncategorized | Posted by Kayla Castro
Jul 17 2014


“Knowledge is subtractive, not additive – what we subtract (reduction by what does not work, what not do to), not what we add (what do do).” -”The Bed of Procrustes”, Taleb

You can look at this as a mirror image of the health and wellness question in terms of positive empiricism, or searching for data and finding something that supports your model. My second biggest concern in my business is convincing myself that a certain model works and sticking with that model regardless of evidence. Every major post-Descartes philosopher repeatedly cautions against this because it is part of human nature.

Taleb’s has another quote from TBoP, that describes this problem elegantly: “We humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life into commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies, and prepackaged narratives, which, on occasion, has explosive consequences.”

I see this a lot with the Paleo Diet, the Paleo Challenge, and CrossFit because people generally don’t accept “you should do it because it works.” The major challenges I get are based on “commoditized ideas” about saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease; calories in versus calories out; and “that looks dangerous!”

Those models are all critically flawed, as they put a pattern together in a way that’s comforting to the psyche but wholly inaccurate. And the explosive consequences are evident (at least to those that have changed their thinking and embraced a Paleo/CrossFit methodology): sickness and decrepitude.


[Originally posted Potomac CrossFit 140107]

Cafeteria Style Fitness

Uncategorized | Posted by Kayla Castro
May 27 2014

“My subject is liberal education, and today more than ever the term requires definition, especially as to the questions: What is a liberal education and what it is for? From Cicero’s artes liberales, to the attempts at common curricula in more recent times, to the chaotic cafeteria that passes for a curriculum in most American universities today, the concept has suffered from vagueness, confusion, and contradiction.” –Farewell Speech, Donald Kagan

“The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of master thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere.”Letters to a Stoic, Letter 2, Seneca

I think folks that align their “goals” (even though I hate that term) with their actions with respect to fitness get the best results. While CrossFit is a “general, inclusive” program and we should be able to do a random amount of fitness stuff, those that spend time doing spin, yoga, pilates, jogging, etc, are not going to get the same results as someone who digs in and goes hard at just CrossFit.

[Originally published Potomac CrossFit 130610]