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Old 10-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #721
rico2072
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
Here goes. :)

The "Fuck it" attitude was literally learned--it came directly from studying rationalism (gotta love the irony). Specifically Cartesian rationalism. Exposure to Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy really fucked me up, so to speak, and completely changed the way I viewed my own thoughts, beliefs and the world. Most know Descartes for the “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I exist) argument, but what led him to that conclusion (and what it really means in context) is rarely discussed outside of the ivory tower. In summary, the statement is the end result of Descartes' efforts to arrive at absolute certainty. His attempt to find truth required the eradication of all beliefs based on sensory experience (the senses can be deceived) and then he continues to cast aside intellectual beliefs before arriving at the only single idea that we can be certain of: I think, therefore I exist. (Because the act of thought demands we exist and even if we were being deceived in to thinking we’re thinking we exist.)

It wasn’t the conclusion that really got to me—it was the idea that just because we think something or have ideas or opinions (even from direct experience) doesn’t make them true. So I began to systematically examine and tear down all of my own ideas that I had about the world. I dispensed with opinions about things I knew nothing about ("it’s dangerous in that city," for instance), and the end result was my head emptied. If I had a thought or an idea, I’d quickly trace back the history—and found that about 90% of everything I thought I knew was based on conjecture or second-hand information or my own plain stupidity. In the span of about a week I went from ‘knowing’ something about everything to knowing nothing. (This is what I mean by ‘fucked me up’.)

As I ran these mental ‘inventories’ I began to see a pattern—I knew the least about things that scared me. So if it frightened me I went out and did it. This is where the first form of the physical ‘fuck-it’/adrenaline junkie started. Things like mountain biking were insane ascents (2000’ in 3 miles in the mud) or riding said mountain bike to SF and back after work (100 mile round trip). The more I did the more personal boundaries I pushed. I felt fucking alive! Even when I was had to sleep outside (lost and exhausted) or was doubled up with muscle cramps on some trail in the middle of nowhere, I’d never felt so alive. Happiness became finding an edge and pushing it. These types of situations gave me immediate and direct feedback about who I was, what I was capable of surviving and enduring--and provided me with an accurate mental landscape of what the world was really like.

The tests to 'get to know myself' continued with experiments that I called things that 'cultivated my will'. Exposure to cold, heat and various forms of deprivation taught me how far I can push myself into discomfort. In one particularly poignant exercise, after 3 days without sleep I stopped eating, just to see how long I could go with no nutrition. My intention was to run my body into the ground to get a baseline of my own limits and find out how long I can survive. On the 6th night my heart started ‘missing’, I felt like I was going to die and had to have my step mom drive me to the hospital. Got an IV for the dehydration, antibiotics for the strep throat and a warning from the ER Doc to knock it off. But since then whenever I get a little hungry or think of how tired I am I know it’s just a suggestion from my body, not a mandate. (Cross country on a Panigale seems easy in comparison, no?) Shootfighting and kickboxing, Ironman—all of these accomplishments were all a physical test of a philosophical idea and a desire to live in ‘truth’, to not deceive myself according to what is comfortable and what’s not. (While taking ice-cold showers I used to tell myself 'the rider is not responsible for the shivering of his horse' ;) .)

That ‘fuck-it’ attitude is a way (maybe the only?) of discovering what’s real and what’s possible. I pushed myself the same way mentally and academically, artistically and occupationally as I did physically. (Pic below, btw, demonstrates what you can accomplish over 5 nights of 'enforced insomnia'.)



It’s exceptionally uncomfortable to challenge yourself over and over and over. Your ego goes to shit as you test what you think you know and who you think you are. But after doing it over the period of years a sort of innocent fearlessness and a curious insensitivity to adversity develops; and the ability to engage the environment in uncomfortable--even abnormal--ways, produces a version of the world that very few feel, see or experience.
Wow, I'm going to have to read this a few times to let it all completely sink in and think of how to make it work for me.
You already have me wanting to take a college class in rationalism and philosophy. Courses that I never even thought about while attending college. I was always better with math and working with my hands.

The other things I thought about are my fear of heights and fear of sharks.....strangely I was raised in Puerto Rico and had no problem swimming out to the coral islands 1/2 a mile out, when I was young. Not to mention I also grew up on on the 15th floor of a 21 story building....once again no problem climbing on the railing.

Thanks...I think! lol
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #722
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EDIT: Damn, I just saw the suggestions to take this philosophical discussion to another thread / let it lie so as not to ruin the RR. If there is another thread, I'll cut & paste this reply over. I don't want to ruin this RR with more noise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldBoldPilot View Post
You don't need to say anything. Your point was quite clear -- and quite valid -- to the less argumentative and less defensive of your many fascinated readers.

And I'll just add one small point: I believe that we ARE all created equal; we're just not created the same. Any of us can go as far as we want to as long as we understand where our particular skills and talents lie, and as long as we act with that knowledge in mind.
Exactly.
The problem with answering in writing is that, it’s always a time and space limited sub-set of what you’re really thinking. I always see it as trying to take a 32 million 50MP picture full of complexity, and reducing it down to a 256 color compressed version. Without taking a lot of time and effort, others won't see the full picture. It’s not worth the effort sometimes.

The truth is, both AntiHero and ItsNotTheBike are correct – it’s not the bike, but it is, also the bike. My Uncle is the world’s leading researcher in EpiGenetics, and we talk about the topic quite a lot. Long story short, every organism is a selection of compromises; in order to be optimised for certain strengths, you have to be weak in others. I’ve got a lot of gifted people in my family, and they’re all borderline extremes. My father was headhunted by NASA, and is literally a genius. He can comprehend the highest levels of mathematics at speeds that seem absurd. He’ll do very difficult calculations in his head, holding the products of each step in memory whilst performing all the calculations, corrections, etc, whilst driving the car and telling you about why that step has to be done and this correction is needed for these variables etc. But socially, he’s really awkward. BUT – he worked VERY hard on social interaction and he’s learned how to socialise like normal people through incredible hard work and effort. But when he gets tired, most of that drops away and he’s back to being completely unintelligibly eccentric, and totally socially inept.

So, he’s proof that we CAN learn to do almost anything through persistence, effort, and sweat, BUT if that function is not innately genetically enhanced/optimised, we will never be as good at that function as someone who genetically is gifted to do that.

My cousin recently graduated as a doctor, and, one of his classmates is obsessed with being a surgeon. But, he doesn’t have the coordination and tremor-free hands a surgeon needs. He’s almost driven himself mad practicing surgery in his own time but has never managed to quite get his hands to the level of dexterity that will enable him to go down that path. Once again, genetics. He’s a better surgeon through his obsessive hard work than many in his class who are gifted naturally yet have never bothered to work that gifting, BUT those people would eclipse him in 3 weeks if they decided they wanted to.

I read Sir Jackie Stewart’s autobiography, and he has quite severe dyslexia. Teachers called him stupid, and he felt like he was retarded. YET, Jackie has a perfect photographic memory, impeccable timing and depth perception, and recounts one story where he desperately needed to win the formula 1 in order to keep his family financially afloat. This meant winning the Nurburgring race, so he would remain within reach of the title.

The race was held in torrential rain, and Jackie raced the entire track in torrential rain purely from his photographic memory. He drove the nurburgring by memory. When he finished the race, he was something like 7 minutes ahead of the next person!! Jackie always thought he was no-one special, that everyone else was like him and could do what he could but he realised after this that, this dyslexia was not a disability but a gift. An incredible, amazing genetic optimisation. To be able to race the Nurburgring by memory, to drive the track literally from the complete video recording he had in his head… this was something no-one else in the race could do. Now, there is no shadow of a doubt if one of the other racers devoted 6 years and every day of those 6 years to memorising the track that they would then achieve what Jackie did ‘accidentally’ through his genetic gift; there’s no doubt that others *through extreme hard work, sweat, application and focus* could match that feat… but having the innate gifting genetically made this task a LOT easier.

A discussion like this which has unfolded is one in which every party reading what other’s have written must be able to comprehend all the most finely grained nuances of meaning from each participant; not only that, timbre, tone, and cadence of how the writer has intended their message must also be correctly imputed as well. The exact same piece of text can be read by me to be a calm, pragmatic, scientifically explanatory piece of prose; another can read it and feel anger, conflict, and attack. This is why it is so hard to really have these sorts of debates in a public forum – because, given our drama-based, offence-addicted societies, it is almost instinctive to feel offence, conflict, anger and opposition from things other people write.

I had a period with a previous girlfriend where I used to preface some of the stuff I wrote with a very vivid and clear description of the tone it should be read in. I worked really hard on the cadence and rhythm of this prescriptive paragraph, so that the very flow of the words themselves were soothing and calming. So by the time she read what I wrote she would hopefully be reading it, and hearing in her mind the right tone of voice and the right kind of vibe I was imagining when I was writing it. She (being a girl) got pretty offended when I first did it (as girls generally do) but after patiently explaining why I was going to do it for important emails from then on, begrudgingly agreed it was probably a good idea. FWIW, it really worked – it cut down so much conflict and misunderstanding.

However, back to the matter at hand of ‘all being created equal’, the genetic facts are all are not created equal. FOR ANY GIVEN TASK. Every single person is gifted genetically with a strength that, should they find it and exploit it, gives them a natural advantage over others in that arena. I’m just finishing reading a book about mine defusers in WW2 Britain; some of the best mine defusers were Aussies from backwater country lives. One guy defused 2,000lb double booby-trapped acoustic & magnetic fused mines 7-12m underwater in tidal flow with ZERO visibility purely by feeling alone, THROUGH A DIVING SUIT getting buffered by water, seaweed, debris, etc. The guy could perform mine microsurgery in these conditions with no visibility. But back home, he couldn’t hold down a job, was a bum that got kicked out of the navy, a drunk, and what most people would consider a complete waste of resources. But somehow he was insanely gifted at this kind of manual dexterity. An Aussie guy who was a no-one good for nothing earned a George Cross from the British Crown for his extremely impossible exploits in the theatre of war. Of course, in this capacity it was not just genetic ability which caused him to become the best in this field, there was a lot of reward, desire, and obsession; but one could say that when you find what it is you’re ‘built’ for, then doing that will be rewarding. Thus you enter a feedback loop of effort-reward that brings incredible satisfaction.

I’ve got a mate who’s insanely gifted at riding and driving. I’ll never be as good as he will. BUT, I know if I work really hard, apply myself and focus I’ll be faster around the track than he will one day. He doesn’t care to develop that skill, so it stays at the level of incredible natural talent. If I work hard, I can force my brain and body to perform. But should he do 1/10th of the learning and application I do, he’ll leapfrog me again. It’s annoying knowing that, but, them’s the genetic dice. However, that being said, he cannot write or think anywhere close to my capacity. He could get close, but I am innately gifted with seeing information in ways his brain never will. My genetics have imbued me with awesome information processing short-cuts.

Quite often we humans fall into the mistake of thinking there’s only 2 sides to a coin. There is generally many more.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:17 AM   #723
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Coast to Coast (and back?) with an Italian Supermodel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinumgrit View Post
EDIT: Damn, I just saw the suggestions to take this philosophical discussion to another thread / let it lie so as not to ruin the RR. If there is another thread, I'll cut & paste this reply over. I don't want to ruin this RR with more noise...



Exactly.
The problem with answering in writing is that, it’s always a time and space limited sub-set of what you’re really thinking. I always see it as trying to take a 32 million 50MP picture full of complexity, and reducing it down to a 256 color compressed version. Without taking a lot of time and effort, others won't see the full picture. It’s not worth the effort sometimes.

The truth is, both AntiHero and ItsNotTheBike are correct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Quite often we humans fall into the mistake of thinking there’s only 2 sides to a coin. There is generally many more.

Well written, sir.

Mike
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:06 AM   #724
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If my coverage of the great city of NY seems a bit sparse it's because I've been there 4 or 5 times before. I didn't go to Times Square or Radio City Music Hall or the Statue of Liberty (I did go to the Met, but the guards made sure I didn't make it past the entrance). As with most of the other cities I've gone to on this trip, I'm there to 'feel' the city and get a good vibe for what it's like to be an inhabitant rather than a spectator. I think the mistake a lot of people make while visiting foreign cities is to make the mistake of trying to cover as much ground as possible to not miss anything. But sometimes the best way to see the city is to let it pass you by while, say, sitting on the steps of a building eating halal lamb from a pie tin on 53rd and 6th.



While I'm on the topic of food (pastrami and corned beef):




Paleo Style at Churrasqueira Bairrada in Mineola w/Dr. J:




More meat (in the form of a skateboarding dog):




Central Park:




What it's like to ride a motorbike in NYC (stoplights and threading traffic):






Can't forget my new GPS device:


AntiHero screwed with this post 10-22-2012 at 06:12 AM
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:28 AM   #725
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Dejected, on the steps of the met:




More wandering:




And after a long day my new GPS stopped functioning and i had to resort once again to using my terrible sense of direction:




I only made it into NYC twice. Partly because I've been there so many times, partly because I was/am feeling particularly introverted, and partly because I was thoroughly enjoying the Doc's Harbor experience, I didn't cover NY the way I had originally anticipated. But if you're curious about NY and have never been there, GO! You don't need to spend a week there (it's expensive!), but there really is no city like it. You can get a great feel of the place in 2-3 days and provided you go around Sept./October, the weather will be conducive to walking everywhere. The first couple times I went I just set out in the morning with a tourist map and started walking from point of interest to point of interest. The museums are incredible and despite what everyone says, I find the people in NY (in general, not just NYC) to be really fucking awesome. They're friendly if you engage them--and even friendly when you don't (unlike fearful and apprehensive San Franciscans).

Oh I should also mention that one of the parking garages I parked in scratched the hell out of my front fairing. If you look closely at the parking garage pic, you'll notice a small storage place where they kept rugs and mats....it looked like junk to me, but apparently they do haul them in and out quite frequently (which would explain why they use that spot for motorbikes). Dr. J gave the supermodel a bit of a nose job when we swapped out my brake pads, though, which helped to hide the horror.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:07 AM   #726
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Final wrenching on the bike in Dr. J's driveway prior to leaving NY:




A midnight stroll past Satan's Bed and Breakfast:




Last night in the harbor:






Where I hibernate:




Leaving in the morning:



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Old 10-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #727
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On to Baltimore, DC and Alexandria, VA

Route (why the hell did I take Route 1?).



The New Jersey Turnpike is an awful road. Avoid at all costs. I had to piss and there's just nothing around for miles and miles. I had to drain the lizard and mistakenly got off on a "NO CASH" exit. Not having a transit pass and running the gate means it was one of the most expensive leaks I'll ever take I'm sure. I did get this very seductive picture of what New Jersey looks like in the process, though:

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:50 AM   #728
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A note on your 'fuck it' post: I've thought about my response to this interesting post and......I retired early, turning down a big promotion and more $$$$, due to being TOTALLY disgusted with the 'internal dynamics' at work. My wife really wanted me out of my job and we agreed together. I retired, walked away and into the 'promised land'....onto our 20 acres, a house, barn, etc I had built and realized that I had never been more content! Nine months later, a big piece of space junk hit me in back of the head--------my wife of 26 years handed me divorce papers!!!! POOF!!! Envy thing I had worked for, the last 25 years was gone and..........

I crawled off, while stuffing my guts back in, and tried to heal up/make sense of it all. I came to ONE MAJOR CONCLUSION (a bunch of semi-major ones too!): EVERYTHING IS DEFINITIONS!!!! You and your significant other had better have the same DEFINITION(S) on the major points in the relationship or.......

Where am I going with this? Well, this 'I think, therefore I am'...........

In my career, I learned that most (99+%) people don't think and don't ever plan too. It's way to HARD for them! They might have to push themselves mentally and actually use a few brain cells to back up some of their ludicrous beliefs. So, I'd like to have a definition on 'think' and 'I am'.

Now, many of my acquaintances and former workmates think I'm semi-nuts for some of the things I've done, not only participated in, but accomplished. I've pushed myself in ways, where a mistake, either mine, or a teammates, could have lead to serious to fatal consequences, but there is a clarity that comes with those moments.

Clarity like riding NOT listening to anything but letting your mind wander and slip into neutral......
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:56 AM   #729
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Excuse my ignorance on the GPS issue but is this the same GPS that comes standard with the Tri-Color? Are their apps to use for tracking etc?
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:59 AM   #730
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Thoroughly enjoying your Life Report Antihero. I meant to hit Detroit the last two years and haven't. It's on my list again for next spring.
Looks like you might be heading for the Smokies. If you are take the WV route down. Pick a road, any WV road, you'll enjoy it.
Keep up the great writing and photos.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
Final wrenching on the bike in Dr. J's driveway prior to leaving NY:




A midnight stroll past Satan's Bed and Breakfast:




Last night in the harbor:






Where I hibernate:




Leaving in the morning:



Mr Antihero, Sir... I've avoided lavishing even more praise upon ye for your damn good writing, as it seems just when I think your story crafting cannot get any better, it does; now... you come out with some seriously beautiful photography? These photos are so beautiful I want to lick them!

Is there any communicative art form you are NOT damn good at!?

Seriously, I can see how much painstaking hard work has gone into your posts to make them look and seem so effortlessly smooth, so hat's off to you mate on work very well done. But this photography... very, very nice.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:06 PM   #732
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Thanks, Platinumgrit. :) I wished I had a tripod for the dark shots requiring long exposures....

Somewhere in Maryland, I believe (fall colors are starting):






Baltimore:



(Poe in background)


And finally, Alexandria (narrowest house in the US, I believe):

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #733
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...0_1_Black.html

Should of picked up one of these when you were in the city. 14 bucks. Fits in a small pocket. I strap one to my FZ1.

Brilliant writing as always.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #734
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Anti Hero, this is pure gold , Thanks so much for the time and effort you've put into this. And please keep it coming. I'll be the first one in line if you decide to write a book
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:05 PM   #735
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Excuse my ignorance on the GPS issue but is this the same GPS that comes standard with the Tri-Color? Are their apps to use for tracking etc?
GPS isn't an option on any Ducati. If you look closely at that picture you'll see a piece of paper stuffed in the fairing (handwritten directions). ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nivs View Post
Should of picked up one of these when you were in the city. 14 bucks. Fits in a small pocket. I strap one to my FZ1.

Brilliant writing as always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prometheus rising View Post
Anti Hero, this is pure gold , Thanks so much for the time and effort you've put into this. And please keep it coming. I'll be the first one in line if you decide to write a book
Thanks, guys. There will be a book.

And doh! Should have gone to BH while in NY! I've bought pretty much every camera and laptop I've had from them. (Then again, probably a good idea I didn't go in.)

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