A site I just discovered

“..Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile…” Abu Bakr

I recommend this link.
http://www.strongerman.com/

I am not an affiliate, nor have I commercial interests in this site. The guy behind it has some useful instructional quick videos on various Kettle bell based conditioning workouts – basically just working the ever so humble swing.

Myself, I’m more of a fan of the AKC tradition – authentic Girevoy sport – style of lifting. However the RKC “Hardstyle” – which Girevoy sport purists always take pains to emphasize is not “real” kettlebell lifting – does have its real uses, in particular it’s a great conditioning tool, though not very gentle for extremely high repetition lifting.

What’s illustrated, by the gentleman at the above linked site, are typical “hard style” swings – which again, though are not quite authentic Eastern European Girevoy Sport lifting, are a form of kettlebell lifting with many advantages.

If you have an AKC certified coach in your area do make the effort to pay for at least a couple of sessions of coaching, the style of Kettle bell lifting taught by the AKC is traditional Girevoy sport lifting, which involves among other things high volumes of timed sets lifted for time, not exactly reps, e.g. you are lifting at a rate of x reps per minute per Y minutes, not just “50 reps”.

Russian style Girevoy sport is a competitive sport style of lifting and should not be underestimated by any means, it confers superb conditioning, it is also what the entire world pretty much seems to mean by “Kettlebell lifting.

The RKC “hard style” seems favored by American combat artists, and should not be underestimated. The RKC approach taught by Pavel Tsatsoline is a hybrid, no doubt, of tradtional Russian Girevoy lifting with insights gained from other branches of sports and medicine.

The polemics between both camps seem rather silly, and it’s interesting to note that Pavel Tsatsoline himself is always extremely deferential and humble in reference to lifters like Valery Fedorenko. This is professionalism.

Though by no means an expert, nor an athlete by any stretch, my personal experiences have brought me beneficial results either way. I will say that getting some coaching in Girevoy sport style lifting enabled me to work much higher rep sets with much less lower back pain. I support the AKC’s attempts to spread the art and science of girevoy lifting in America and think that anyone out there seeking their coaches will get a good solid foundation of safe and effective lifting principles.

General advice, it’s good to use lower poundage bells in high rep sets. If you intend on churning out 500 reps a day and are not built like the guy in this video don’t be ashamed to use a 16 or even 12 kg bell, you would be shocked at how effective of a conditioning workout you can get with lighter bells in good form with massive sets.

You want to work your way up to higher volumes of lifting, if you can’t lift in correct form a certain weight for a real length of time don’t just up the pounds because “I’m a real man dude, I can lift a 45 pound ball”

Also to be noted the AKC coach I ran into, at least, emphasized to me that Swings really aren’t the essence, snatches and jerks done to time are, swings in eyes seem to be more of a warm-up type of exercise. In the RKC approach high volumes of swings are deliberately cultivated as conditioning tools with a harder style of breath control and muscular tension.

Both actually have their advantages, the advantages of the AKC approach are more subtle and someone used the the RKC approach may not fully see them.

The right tool for the right task, anything else becomes fanaticism. Gain the knowledge and put it into action in a way relevant to your life and circumstance.

But cultivate the knowledge, and gain it from those who have it. Books and videos can only take you so far.

Then practice what you have learned. It’s the same thing with everything in life.
_EOF

Some thoughts on writing, speaking, manipulation and influence

A few thoughts off the top of my head.

William S. Burroughs had interesting things to say on the idea of language being a virus from outer space.

It would be naive to take him at face value. Actually, it would verge on insanity.
It would be equally naive to simply assume he was being cute, provocative, or “symbolic” – he was trying to make a point, an interesting point I leave to you to distill (his writings are as fascinating as they are obscenely.. weird)

We can observe something, in every discourse and every human transaction, there is a front door and a back door.

If we do a literature review on the topics of influence and persuasion, from marketing, public relations, propaganda, we can go beyond conventional treatments of the matter and look for deeper insights from disciplines like social and mass psychology, behavioral psychology and conditioning, linguistics and neurology.

My impression, and yours may differ, is that this becomes clear – from the end of the 19th century to the dawn of the 21st century, a veritable explosion of technique has occurred, concerning mass manipulation and influence of opinion, and the regimenting of tastes and opinions in both free democratic societies and totalitarian ones.

We are, perhaps, a long way away from Aldus Huxley’s speculations on the necessity of making people love their servitude.. but it is clear that there has been a coup of sorts in the ability to order and mold mass opinion, and that modern techniques easily allow the co-opting and redirection of even fringe views.

Of course we have that cliché – that everything old is new again. There is a very difficult to obtain, mid 20th century, review of hypnotic techniques observed in old poetry. (Whitman as good at this) The author seems to express some surprise that certain things, seemingly only recently discovered, were performed by certain poets (either consciously or unconsciously as a byproduct of craft and art) for centuries. Specifically trance inducing techniques.

Certain “tricks” of Erikson can be observed in disparate sources as far removed as Shakespeare and Hafez.

Is there anything wrong with this? No, language is a tool, a wonderful tool, much fun can be had shaping and using language.

Language is the vehicle of expressing meaning.

Something spiffy was once said by Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Imam of the Zaytuna Institute, and much derided by certain right wing, so-called “anti-jihadists” as being a crypto-evil Muslim fundamentalist terrorist agitator in drag

“Poetry is a breeze from one heart blown into another by the force of its meanings”

It sounds artsy, but there is a secret hidden in this, for those with perception.

(ironically, real so-called “jihadists” also condemn Shaykh Hamza as a manufactured, peacenik, Rand Institute produced, pseudo-Imam designed to lull the Muslims into enslaved conformity to the new world order.. it really does seem like you can’t please everyone !)

You can observe the following; naming things influences how we perceive them.

Once you put a name on something, this allows you to dismiss it, for you have simplified it’s complex reality into a byte, or bite, sized plaything to throw in the scrap heap. Ideologues do this a lot.

Observe anyone reducing someone’s thoughts and ideas by calling that one by an emotive label. Read a bunch of HBD, radical feminist, leftist, or right wing blogs, and you can observe creative use of such rhetorical techniques…

Another neat trick in naming a thing, is that you can, instead of dismissing it, elevate it to a sacred cow.

Much formal rhetoric (both classical Greek, neo-Classical Western, and Classical Islamic Balagha) has strong resonance with techniques of modern persuasive speaking and communication.

It is possible to stumble on something that William Blake, for example, happened to do and say “Ah, he’s trying to hypnotize us and perform a Ericksonian re-frame” – but by doing so you have partially cloaked the reality of William Blake.

Techniques are independent of intent, the excessive use of a technique by an individual displaying one intent does not disqualify the possible alternative usages of that technique.

There is a matter of not seeing a tree, but instead counting every pine needle. True art requires craft, craft is composed of technique, technique is independent of worldview or intent though bodies of technique, imposed into the framework of a discipline, reflect often, in subtle ways, the biases and worldviews of the founders of that discipline.

An example, speaking is a component of “Neuro-linguistic programming” [which as an interdisciplinary body of technique may possibly have some real and useful insights into how language affects human psychology – in spite of having a bad reputation among cheap used car salesmen and dubious Ross Jefferies inspired “pick up artists”]

From this should we conclude that speaking is evil, because cheap salesmen use it to sell clunkers and manipulative emotionally damaged creeps try to pick up waffle house waitresses?

Something that you might want to pay attention to, however, is this –
Inherent in studying a body of technique, is exposure to the expectations and assumptions of those who codified that body.

For how things are articulated affects how we conceive of them – how a body of theory and technique are articulated can color our worldview, depending on – of course – how conscious we are at reading sub-texts “between the lines”. and on how vigilant we are in our reading.

Modern techniques of manipulation are the equivalent of the sorcery of old. This isn’t a metaphor, it is more true to the fact than you might want to imagine.

Something that you may want to do, is to make a careful study of the propaganda techniques of every single totalitarian regime in the 20th century (some techniques were actually more crude and less effective versions of techniques employed in peacetime in Democratic free regimes)

In society, we are constantly trying to persuade others, inform others, articulate our views, and generate support for them. At work you have a project or a proposal, you have a view you want others to adopt, you suggest, to state, you demand, or you insinuate.

You want to influence your child not to touch a hot stove, if you do not then may well be a fool. You want to influence your child into not running into traffic to chase a ball. The reasons are obvious.

In some sense influence, or seeking to influence, is timeless and as old as human speech.

However there are two ways that one may persuade, two approaches, and one is through the Front Door, and the second is through the Back Door.

If at times, in life, it is necessary to convince others, to present our opinions and views to them, we should do so with facts. But people are not primarily rational, often. It is well known that emotive appeals trump well reasoned arguments.

Misogynists are fond of pointing out that this is the case with women, well know this – so too is this the case with the vast majority of men. Look into the lives of most men that you know, their decisions and why they made certain decisions, and you will see more often than not an emotive motivation underneath the seemingly rational.

My primary motive triggers are emotive, and I bet yours are too.

I do not think that people are primarily rational, in the narrow sense, we have reason, we use it, but a lot of what motivates us is emotional, and concerns our hearts.

When we try to motivate others or convince others, we should do this by going in through the front door, and not the back door. This means using facts, and reasoning with people. If you have to make an emotive appeal do not subtly coerce them, but back up your appeals with facts.

The trouble with learning about back doors is that it can actually become a mortal danger to your soul. Some types of knowledge can transform you and your perceptions, and in doing so leave a treacle like tar over your heart. If you are not careful, you can gradually be influenced yourself, along lines of the framers of the methods of opening backdoors.

If a guy looks at Gonzo porn all day long, he will eventually start to see women in a certain way, even his own sisters and mother. This is important to understand. If a man sits around several hours a week, looking at young looking girls with bukkake on their face, this may subtly influence his sexual tastes.

What we consume conditions us. what we take into our bodies, and into our minds, conditions our bodies, and our minds.

You are free to doubt this, but I recommend considering the point and thinking it over well, before you throw it in the scrap heap.

None of this is difficult to understand. F. Nietzsche once said something pithy.

“..when you stare into the abyss, the abyss also stares into you..”

Consider yourself warned.

Again, it is unwise to dismiss some quotes as simply figurative language. But it is wiser for us to consider them, think them over, mull them in our mind, as we observe people around us.

There is a word in Arabic and Persian – Adab, it expresses a concept of etiquette, however one that goes beyond social niceties and encompasses active ethics. In many matters it just is not a good thing to go around skulking through back doors, no matter how noble your intent.

Or as the Quran puts it:
“It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back…. Enter houses through the proper doors” (Surah Baqara : The Heifer, 2:189)

This verse has never been interpreted just in its outward sense. Except by children, and those lacking imagination.

I contend that it is always “better” to go through the front door. Now better does not mean more effective, but I’m not a utilitarian. I think there are many things important in life beyond just “getting ‘er done”

Going through the back door is a sign of being a coward and a thief. It exposes you to getting your eye poked out or getting shot.

Adopting rhetorical techniques in presenting facts, or opinions honestly presented as opinion or interpretation, is one thing.

Because rhetoric and the craft of meter, metaphor, analogy, adopting specific structures of argumentation, are intent neutral. They are technique, part of craft, and one of the most naive things that occurs in writers heads nowadays is that technique is artificial. Well so is text, a fact concerning which they seem blindingly unaware. Artificiality is not, in itself, a bad thing. Anyone reading this on a computer who has a bone to shake against the artificial is not exercising her discernment.

Certain techniques in the crafts of speech and writing are mostly lost arts (except for PR and marketing folks, speech writers, professional speakers, or propagandists well steeped in their tradecraft) – partially because, by and large, our education system today displays certain deficiencies, and partially because of an engrained fear of technique and the artificial among the writing classes today. Poets and prose writers alike should reflect on the fact that artificial technique has underlain poetry and prose alike for about 3000 years, and even our objections to this are artificial.

A different matter is adopting techniques to manipulate, coerce, or control others. Now, covert verbal coercion cannot be placed on the same level as overt physical coercion, because the later is backed by the threat of force. I think it’s stupid to place them on the same level.

Each, however, can be very “bad” as I see it. Sometimes physical coercion is needed. I lean towards a libertarian view on society but it seems clear to me that physically coercing violent criminals is a good thing.

Rapists and murderers, or those intent on committing rape or murder, should be physically resisted and coerced by whatever means necessary into abandoning their course of action, where such coercion does not create greater harm than it would avert.

But you and I are not criminals, and if our thoughts and beliefs are criminalized by society or the state, then society, or the state respectively, itself has gone rogue and criminal. And this means that it need not enjoy our allegiance any longer.

That is a dangerous thought, but consider it. Some coercion must be regarded by as as simply unjust and tyrannical. And injustice perpetuated on us removes from us the ethical necessity to abide by the sources of our injustice.

If others around us seek to coerce us for their own advantage, then they have overstepped their boundaries and should be resisted and told to shove off. You have one life on this mortal coil, it is stupidity to abide by those actively trying to destroy us when we were not at fault. If we overstep boundaries and oppress others, then we have earned coercion to push us out of the way of those we seek to hurt, but if others oppress us then all bets are off.

Retribution for our own crimes and evils is just, oppression when we are blameless is unjust, our support of injustice or the unjust places us in their category by proxy, our rejection of the unjust and those coercing others spares us from what they deserve..

Which is a swift kick in the arse.

_EOF

Monkeys, meanderings, bodies exhibits, and Bill Manchester was a real man. Are you ?

Caveat lector..

“..Truly created beings are meanings set up in images.
All who grasp this are among the people of discernment..”

Ibn Habib: al-Maghribi. Gnostics see from the heart, which is the intellect’s seat.

‘ahlil ‘ibar – people of discernment, people of discrimination.

I discriminate.

“..Smash the control images. Smash the control machine…”

William S. Burroughs: Gentleman Junkie? Slacker? Poet? Insane and gibbering broken shell who shot his wife in the head while drunk somewhere south of the border? A bit of all, or a bit of none.

William Manchester: fueled by yogurt and brief naps, withstood 50 hour writing sessions, but yet succumbed to grief stricken inability to concentrate on even a simple Television Program.

“What a Mensch !”
Fucking A.
Men don’t really seem to exist, ’round these parts, anymore.
We’ve sort of been killed off.  So me, myself, I’m going on vacation.

Prince of those with faith, Ali Abu Talib’s son
Once observed, something obvious to one,
with eyes.
“Every time I argue with a fool, I lose..”
Credibility, a precious gem, given rarely. If you lose it,
that which is not given lightly, it is gone forever, when lost.

Hard Corps, is not spelt hardcore. Civitas Dei, is lost.
Commonwealth? A fraud. Lionel Curtis? Mendacious twit.

There is no commonwealth, only empire. Your perceptions otherwise

are an administrative error. Ask Harry Buttle.

Empire: it requires self-medication. Try consciously living in it.

Addiction? Is a symptom, for our lusts but mask our pains. What I seek and gain from arms soft and perfumed, and lips moist, is but a simple numbing.
But this is need, and need be weakness. But how I enjoy such weaknesses..

Be those dammed? Who fail to heed their intellect?

I do not know, fa la yaqiluun.  Fa ‘ayna tadhhabun…

I just realized, with a shudder, how corrupt my soul and mind..

Bodies: pickled in plastic resin, art fit for slaves detestable.
Who fail to realize, the bodies seen, hanging in museums,
were once loving, fearing, curious beings, with life in veins,
they loved, they hated, they feared. Courageous, were some. The stains
of a humanity, too debauched to see their ends,
entombed in resin, on display, to gawking rubes,
too stupid or heedless to see, those bodies were once, you and me.

Gawking gimps staring at pickled bodies on skateboards, this is art indeed.
For people with weak minds, and no discernment or creed,
worthy of respect.

Fundamental to human psychology, is a dissonance.
A failure to realize, we are each other’s reflection,
so when we murder others, by means direct, or indirect,
we actually murder our selves. Everyone who has killed,
or who has witnessed death
has some inkling of this intuition
though they deny, though we deny.

So to vote for one man’s accidental murder, is to slay him yourself.
So to knowingly elect a criminal, is to participate in crime yourself
So partisans pigeonhole reality, or at least tend to.
They should bend over and kiss their pigeonholes.
For this will, at least, keep them occupied, while the rest of us persist
in life.
To remove God from the world, is to place a hole, a hole in reality itself.

Most Christians and most atheists alike, are united on one affair

Single affair – they know not what, or who, God is
and they know not what, or to whom, reality points.

Nota beni: exceptions exist. Generalities can be useful at times.

No offense: I like Christians, they have soft hearts, and are often full
of love. Many, anyway.

Atheists, I like some. By in large, they have sharp minds.

In analytics, they tend to excel. Christians, they tend to be intuitive, in a fuzzy warm, Oprah like way.

Caveat lector: There are, of course, exceptions.
The heart without the mind, is useless.
The mind without the heart, is useless.
Both are blind, by themselves.

No man chooses an ideology out of sincere conviction by reason,
there is always emotion, we judge the world by our pains.
Subjectivity always colors objectivity, for the finite cannot compass the infinite. Erudition gives you options, though not always sexy to the fairer sex, often.

Some facts are manifest, to those who contemplate, though you wish
to deny. I respect your wishes.

Ibn Habib, once wrote:
“..If you were to reflect on physical bodies and their marvelous forms
and how they are arranged with great precision, like a string of pearls;

And if you were to think about the mysteries of the tongue and speech with it, and how it articulates and conveys what you conceal in your breast;

And if you were to think about the secrets of all the limbs and how easily they are subject and in thrall to the heart’s command..”

And if.. and if.  Reality can be observed, by those with insight and discretion. Discretion is discernment, and discrimination. To discriminate the real from the unreal, is a science known to few. Often the real causes pain, and fantasy balms. But I swear to God, the real’s delicious, water iced in crystal glass, beneath the sun’s heat. The sun punched out of the clouds, in a pale grey sky.

In a static grey sky.

Under a grey sky.

Cast not pearls before those who believe they are swine, and are unwilling to consider the manifest fact, of their humanity.

Cast not pearls before apes flinging turds, and painting their walls with the black fertile earth. Monkeys surpass men in physical strength. In main and might, a bitch chimp can pull half a ton.

A man, maybe 100 pounds. On juice, and cretine.

Exceptions exist, the lesson is, don’t piss off monkeys, they can rip your arm off

and beat your head with it, and then fuck you in the ass with it when they are done.

Then, they shall smear you with poo.  Why?

Because they are monkeys. Silly. Goose.

And that’s what monkeys do. Monkeys are monkeys, white or black, some baboons look gray. Yellow or red, monkeys all. Do not feed the monkeys.

Because they can rip your arm off and sodomize you with it. Simple lesson.

Have you ever observed that monkeys in cages behave in most eccentric ways. Surpassing the strangeness of monkeys in the wilderness?

What we call civilization, is a cage. It has some uses, I’ma  utilitarian.

But call it what it is. Mendacity annoys me. Perfidy annoys me. And now I’m off, to flirt with the Barrista.

“The perceptive man is he who knows about himself,
for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.”
Khushal Khan Khattak:knew a thing or two…