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Logical depth from social media

by on November 8, 2013

No excuses tonight, but no new videos either. Instead, I humbly offer a few tidbits curated from my social media feeds.

Not too long ago I finished The User Illusion by Tor Nørretranders. One of the many profound concepts he discusses is logical depth and its relation to information.

“The notion of logical depth is epochmaking. It implies that it is not the face value of the information but the prior process of discarding information that is central to understanding complexity. What is important is the information that was once present but is no longer there.” [Nørretranders, 80]

My Facebook and RSS feeds fill to the brim daily with tantalizing posts. A greater proportion than I would care to admit are on aikido. Not having the time to read them all, I often catalog them for later reading or viewing. It’s comforting to think they will be there, waiting for me, but of course, it’s futile. When am I ever going to slog my way through the backlog, when each new day only brings a fresh onslaught? I don’t need a more extensive cataloging system, I need a better way to ignore things in the first place. When bandwidth (or attention span) is at a premium, it is the discarding of information that creates value.

(This is the point where I’m forced to acknowledge that blogging is my contribution to the societal information glut, and drivel like this certainly cannot help.)

So, I rarely turn to my archive of videos to watch, or articles to read. For me to actually devote time to it, a post must cross a certain threshold of perceived value in the moment, at which point I’ll check it out on the spot, or else trigger a loop in my brain which remains active until I finally acquiesce. Archiving links might as well be erasing them, and perhaps I should face up to that fact and begin acting accordingly.

There are two people in my RSS feed whose posts I find myself reading almost without fail. This is not because I always agree with them, or even because I always understand them, because quite often I don’t on either count. I find myself reading these blogs because I’m never quite sure what they’re going to say, but I know they won’t pull any punches, and it’s likely to be entertaining. Richard Nikoley might not have the best paleo blog, and I don’t agree with all of his politics, but I respect his viewpoint, I find myself reading his posts more than anyone else’s. In a very similar vein, I think I understand less that 50% of what Jerry Bray talks about (and I’m guessing he’d say it’s about the same for him) but I’m reading his posts more and more.

In this post Jerry uses stray dogs to describe an approach to aikido that might as well be my own. Well said sir. Bravo.

In the stray dog spirit, I’ll finish off with two videos which came across my Facebook feed recently – and I actually watched.

The first one, via Алексей Щепихин is to offend all of you softies:

And the second, via Henry Huang, to bemuse all of the meatheads:

Both are great examples of aikido as I would like to perform it. You’ll notice that Shimada makes a number of appearances in the first video. No doubt this is partly because they were following him with the camera – but of course there is a very good reason they were following him.

As for the second video, Henry, this is exactly what we’ve been talking about, just with different words. Henry (Kono) talks about the center and being out to the edge, I’ve started telling people to find ways to push and pull simultaneously. It’s all the same thing, and we’ll have to try these particular exercises out next week!

  1. Now that’s one nice compliment paid. Thank you, sir.

  2. I’ve got a freezer full of liver and a jar full of plantain chips, so thank you.

    I wasn’t planning to pull back the curtain on this one yet, but I’m hoping to start adding add a little value in the paleosphere sometime soon. For now though, Reanderthal is just a short youtube playlist.


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