According to very smart guy Dan Dennett, we use very different kinds of thinking tools to predict the behavior of different systems, depending in part on the system’s complexity. In this post I'll describe three levels of analysis described by Dennett that we can use to understand the body: the physical stance, the design stance and the intentional stance.
What’s the difference between a guru and an expert? The dictionary assigns the two words the same basic meaning: someone with a high level of knowledge in a particular field. But the term guru definitely has an unwholesome connotation. People respect experts, but worship gurus, imagining they have totally unrealistic levels of knowledge and power. In the context of science, that's a problem.
Predictive coding is a hip new model for perception that I have been studying lately. In some ways it is very common sense and intuitive, and in others it is very challenging and mind expanding. I see it as a useful bridge between conventional ways of thinking about perception and something completely new and different. Here’s a post describing what I’ve learned that I find interesting and practical
Here's some information for a workshop I am doing on November 11, 2016 in Emeryville, California. If you are interested, click here to register, or if you have questions, you can send me a message here. Below are details.
Description: A fun and informative one-day workshop on the science of play, motor learning, pain, and the role of the nervous system in movement and perception.
We will use movement lessons based on the Feldenkrais Method to understand and apply the science.
Students will learn a play-based perspective on movement work that can be applied in any context to move better and feel better.
Date: November 11, 2016. 9:15 am - 4:15 p.m.
Location: Athletic Playground, Emeryville, CA
Price: $200 ($180 for members). Get 25% off if you enroll by 9/23!
I recently finished the above-titled book by Frans Bosch. It's one of those books where you do a lot of underlining. It's also one of the best books on movement I’ve read in a while so I decided to write a review and (rather lengthy) summary of the some of the ideas I found interesting.
Here are some semi-random thoughts on play that I have been accumulating.
Pain and movement are pretty complicated right? In a sense yes. But in another sense no. Pain and movement are not complicated, they are complex, which is a different animal.
Imagine you are Elon Musk trying to send a rocket ship to the moon. What sort of thinking process, analysis, modeling, research, predictions, and methods of control would help solve this problem? How would that process be different from solving the problem of say, raising a child?
A baseball player walks into the batter’s box. He shifts weight from front foot to back while circling the bat. Rotates his right heel into the ground. Orients his gaze to the pitcher while pointing his bat to center field. Slowly swings his bat three or four times to an imagined contact point with the ball. What’s the point of all this seemingly useless motion?
I recently watched a short talk by Andy Clark, a philosopher of mind who studies how humans perceive their bodies, control their bodies, and interact with the environment in a meaningful way. (Short summary of Clark’s ideas - these three seemingly different functions are basically just One function.)
I will be doing a one hour presentation and a four-hour workshop February 24-26, 2016 at the San Diego Pain Summit.
It's sunny there.
Mice make a cute pucker expression when they are tasting something bitter. Scientists recently found they could make a mouse pucker by stimulating a part of its brain involved in the perception of bitterness. Here are several other interesting facts (and some factoids!) about taste that inform my understanding of what causes pain and how to change it.
Why exactly does someone feel better after massage? Or acupuncture? Or foam rolling? Or a chiropractic adjustment, or wearing K-tape, or doing mobility drills, or a hamstring stretch? There are some good answers to these questions, and the interesting thing I’d like to point out in this post is that quite often, the therapist doesn’t know them. Or even care about them!
Well I've redesigned the blog a little as you can see. Hope you like the new look, which is cleaner and easier on the eyes (on mine at least.)
I spoke with a client yesterday about his resistance training program. It seemed like he had a solid plan and was making good progress. But I did disagree with one aspect of his approach, which was his workout motto: Working Out Sucks™. His motto is a reminder that he won’t achieve his goals without working hard enough to be fairly miserable for at least part of the workout.
Here's a few cool quotes about movement that you may find inspiring or interesting. In the modern world we tend to value "higher" mental functions like reasoning and language over "lower" functions like motor control and body awareness. And therefore kids spend less time in recess, adults spend more time in office chairs looking at computers, and our mental lives become more virtual and abstract as opposed to concrete and embodied.
Many people have asked me to record some audio versions of the written movement lessons in my book: A Guide to Better Movement: The Science and Practice of Moving with More Skill and Less Pain.
Below is a 10 minute audio file with a lesson about arranging your posture in sitting.