November 20, 2015

Imperfect Theories

About a month ago a piece I did for Ride Channel was published -- it was all about searching for lost tricks. Or figuring out where they go or why, beyond getting older and not skating and all the very real reasons, on some conjectured metaphysical level. It was fun. One thing that Randy Ploesser told me about where the lost tricks go started metaphysically but moved into thoughts on the passage of time:
MM: What happens to lost tricks?

RP: Where do they go? I think maybe they transfer spiritually to another person, and it’s like a power-suck kind of thing. The older you get, all the youthful energy just transfers to the youth and they get all your moves. You know how they got ‘em: They can only do it because someone was doing it before them, for the most part. Someone’s getting them.

The can only do it because someone was doing it before them...

Pretty simple concept, yeah? It's progression in a direction, motivated by factors outside the individual. A week or so back I was listening to the Longform Podcast with Ed Caesar on it. He, among other things, has written about long distance runners -- marathoners and the like -- diving into the psychological and scientific factors of what the limits of the human body really are. A part of what he's trying to nail down is just how fast a marathon can be run. Here's a bit from a Guardian review of Caesar's book, "Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon" that sums up where the speeds/times began, and where they are now:

"In the past two or three decades, marathon record times have been falling. In 1896, at the first modern marathon, only the winning runner managed to complete the distance in less than three hours. As Caesar points out, any old amateur club runner can do that now. Not that long ago, for elite runners, the very idea of finishing in two hours and six minutes was like science fiction. Now it is almost commonplace - but two hours and (just under) three minutes seems to be the current limit of human longdistance capability."
That line about "any old amateur club runner* can do that now" strikes me as fitting in with "everybody's good." The baseline is higher and it's believable at its current level. The folks who stand out then, are the ones who, like Ploesser said, are the ones doing things first. It's mysterious how that happens. Speaking on the podcast, Caesar cited an interesting study conducted in the northeast of England. That's how specific he got; my transcription here:
“Cyclists were made to race against their personal bests, but the scientists had fooled them. Because the avatar that they were racing they thought represented their personal best, but in fact it was 2 percent faster and all of them beat the avatar. So they went more than 2 percent faster than their personal best because they were trying to beat their personal best -- in fact they made a huge improvement. There was no way that they thought they could race that time; they thought it was possible to just beat their personal best, instead they’d gone way past it.”
How do we best fool ourselves? Another Caesar line from the audio: "Our brains are telling us weird stuff all the time and its because our brains don’t want us to die."

With that in mind one wonders how Pat Duffy overcame to do all that shit 25 years ago, if he's indeed not a malfunctioning cybernetic organism.


-Playing catchup: If you haven't yet watched the Wiskate clip from them dudes' trip here last month, there it is.

-Fawning over that Boys of Summer movie? Fine. But, leaning on the guys linked above, they already did the Real Genius ending and did it better.

-Does Tanner Van Vark have a skate blog sponsor?

-Cody Davis has likely done more nutso shit in (and into) the Lair's bowl than just about anyone. Did his brain want him to die?

-RIP #VikingShipHalfpipe.

*The good Amish homie killing it.


The Lair Video. December 30, 730pm. Bell Museum. 💥💥💥 📷: @tallesttree

A photo posted by 3rd Lair SkatePark & SkateShop (@3rdlair) on

1 comment:

Jonathan Richman said...

Clints KF into the bowl B-)