I break articles into serials. Usually weekly serials. Four to five parts or more.
My least favorite time is when one series is ending and I don’t have the foggiest as to what the next will be. It’s at times like these I focus on inputs. I’ll watch documentaries and listen to podcasts. I’m foraging for ideas.
One such idea I use over I got from a podcast was when you’re stuck as to what to write, write what makes you angry. That’s something I usually stay away from. As Banner says, “I’m always angry.”
I usually try to limit my writing to thinking, feeling, and doing better. But in this article, I’m going to talk about the opposite. I’m going to look at fitness, nutrition, psychology, martial arts, politics, science, academics, and who knows what else…that makes me angry.
What characterizes my anger in any area is usually not the merchant of that area. It’s the consumer. It’s no different in fitness.
Consumers are somewhat easy targets for what fitness is selling. And what fitness is selling is “look like this.” Intrinsic to that is, “it’s not ok to look the way you look.”
For so many, the superficial never changes because the depths are never reached. There is no depth in their understanding of fitness. And there is certainly no depth in their understanding of what drives their personal need for fitness, or rather, how they just just want to look better naked. Yes, that makes me angry.
In much the say way as exercise, nutrition is often relegated to fat loss or muscle gain aka “the way you look.” But even that isn’t what makes me the angriest. There are two things about nutrition as sold sticks out to me.
Again, these things are due to superficial understanding of nutrition. The first is that to be ripped is to be healthy. Having low levels of body fat is the furthest thing from health for the majority of us. And in order to most us to achieve fitness model leanness, we have to take unhealthy measures.
The second thing is that people relate leanness to fitness. Low levels of body fat can correlate to higher levels of speed. They can also correlate to higher levels of endurance…but you can get lean without either. You can be lean without being specifically fit. If you want to be fit, focus on what you do…and not how you look.
At our inaugural BioPsychology course, I asked our students, “How many Psychology books have you read?” I thought the average answer would have been in the 1-5 range. The average was less than 1.
And it’s not that my students were unintelligent. They were likely of above average intelligence. But they were ignorant.
And ignorance is acceptable, but ignorance of ignorance is unacceptable. When I look at my social media feeds, I see people so sure of their opinions, it makes me angry. Their confidence is inverse to their competence.
How can people think well if they don’t know what they’re thinking with? Short answer, they can’t. And the fact they think they’re thinking well, well….makes me angry.
Beyond my wife and kids, probably the greatest love of my life is the martial arts. While I could write volumes about what I love about martial arts, this is about what I hate. There’s plenty to hate, too.
What does a Star Trek convention, Comic-Con, and Martial Arts have in common? It’s a lot of people that like playing dress up. Some are playing dress up because it’s easier to pretend to be someone of value rather than becoming someone of value.
And it’s easier pretend they have powers instead of doing the work to actually get what powers they can have. It’s easier to become part of something else than it to become more than what one was before. And easy shouldn’t be what the Martial Arts are about, at all.
For regular readers, you know I’m very libertarian leaning, even minarchist. There’s a good reason for this. It has to do with the science I teach.
BioFeedback teaches people how to follow their own inner compass…to allow their sensations to guide their actions. BioFeedback maximizes localization of power. In doing so, it minimizes centralization of power.
When people allows their sensations to guide their actions, they get more sensitive and more active. When they feel something needs to be done, they do it. When peoples’ actions are guided by something outside of themselves, like a strong central state, it disrupts their motivation…and both activity and sensitivity go down. People can’t sense what needs to be done and can’t do what needs to be done, either…this makes me angry.
I am a scientist. I say that without irony or grandiosity. But I say in it the same way someone might say, “I’m a Christian.”
Like religion, science is a belief system. Science is a belief in a set of principles and practices. Just as many people say, “I love Christ but hate Christians,” I often feel the same way about other so-called scientists.
I find the minority of scientists perform good science. They overestimate their understanding of other sciences, they poorly design their own experiments, misinterpret their experimental results, they don’t understand the limits of empiricism, under value both anecdotal and outlying evidence, and don’t sufficiently question the premises of their respective science, and more importantly, their own assumptions. Many scientists are giving science a bad name…and that’s something that angers me.
I love learning. I love good teachers. But unfortunately learning and good teaching is a rare feature in academics.
In what should be a meritorious environment, upper learning is ruined by those who frame it. What’s behind the facade of college is high school. It’s politics and those who can play it best teach the rest of us.
Education and Knowledge/Wisdom/Intelligence are at cross purposes. It makes sacred profane. This is something that makes me angry.
All of these areas that make me angry share one thing in common: they’re all products of human beings. They’re flawed because we’re flawed. It’s the flaws that anger me…especially my own.
Every emotion evolved and remains because it serves a purpose, anger included. Anger likely iterated from the simpler emotion of rage. Rage was the emotion an animal felt when fighting for its life.
For most of us, if we’re angry, it’s not because our life is in imminent danger. There may be an impediment to what we’re trying to accomplish or avoid…and not being able to overcome it or navigate it “makes us angry.”
But us to change the conditions that make us angry, we can’t remain angry. We have to calm down, get our wits about us and take a different tact. And that’s why I so rarely write about what makes me angry. I don’t want to be any more angry than I have to be. I want things to change…for the better….and that’s why I usually don’t write about anger.