Re: Tuff Mudder race

1

From listening to someone describe it on a podcast, it seems like the really bad obstacle is the water pool filled with ice-cubes. That's going to really sap your energy, assuming you even make it without being hauled out by the medics.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:05 AM
horizontal rule
2

Eek. Doesn't anyone just run anymore? My race (one month from today) is 10K in the dark, with costumes, BYOFlashlight. At least it's better than the zombie run (only 5K but I don't like being chased).


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:12 AM
horizontal rule
3

#9, the Boa Constrictor, sounds the worst to me (though not the hardest). I absolutely cannot deal with small spaces, especially around my torso. That's just discounting the ones that are obviously insane, like running through a field of live wires.

Didn't one of our commenters do one of these last year?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
4

Something Thorstein Veblen something.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:27 AM
horizontal rule
5

Oh, I thought the Boa Constrictor and the getting electrocuted one sounded okay. There's no way I could do the monkey bars or the wall. Or run 10 miles in between! But some of them sound fun.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
6

3.2: We certainly had the discussion, but forget what prompted it. [searchity, search] Turns out it was Eggplant who was planning to do one. Discussion starts here--from February of this year.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
7

They keep saying "ice cold lake." Why the fuck would anybody do this? I think they should add some courses like "Field Appendectomy" and "Comcast Phone Menu Marathon" and "Nicole Kidman Film Festival" to weed out the people who only like a little voluntary unpleasantness.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
8

From the sounds of it, mine was much easier. I ended up not doing it because of some scheduling conflict. And then I stopped exercising.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:38 AM
horizontal rule
9

As I mentioned in that thread, I did a much tamer one 25 years back, and it was pretty hard. They seem to have gotten much more "creative" since then; this almost seems to be trending towards a Japanese game/reality show setup.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
10

Reading the FAQ, I can't see if as very intriguing: "The Tough Mudder series is being launched because there is not an event in America that tests toughness, fitness, strength, stamina, and mental grit all in one place and all in one day. Sure, there are a few that will test these things - for thousands of dollars and a week of your life. But in one day in one location? We don't think so. Other summer sun and fun mud runs? Forget it - unless you want to run alongside your 60-year-old grandmother. Tough Mudder is a truly exceptional event for truly exceptional people. Fair weather runners should stay at home."

I would stay home as instructed.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
11

Which one is the field of live wires? I'm not seeing that. That sounds stupid and dangerous. The others sound fun, generally, except for the supposed pitchfork buried in one of the hay bales. I assumed that was a joke, though.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
12

Hmm, there's something nearby me in a little under a month.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
13

I got tired and sweaty in a beginners yoga class, the other day. How quickly can one's endurance improve?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
14

||

Stupid netnanny just locked me out of the VU thread. Apparently because of my own last comment -- I could go to the thread to leave it, but not after it was there. Funny, I don't remember saying anything dirty.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
15

13: Pretty fast if you do intervals.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
16

Which one is the field of live wires? I'm not seeing that.

It's at the end of the course.

They have to have some event where they electrocute innocent people at random otherwise you wouldn't know it was in Texas.

This all sounds very similar to the Tough Guy races that they have over in the UK (plus electrocution, assuming that's not a joke too). They are not nearly as terrifying as the description makes them sound, and definitely worth having a crack at.

The main issue is that there are bottlenecks at each obstacle, so if it's winter and you aren't at the front of the pack you have to stand around (in wet kit) and get cold while you wait for your turn.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
17

10: You can just look down on anyone who hasn't done the Barkley Marathon instead. Only 8 people have ever finished.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
18

From that podcast discussion, the electric shocks are very mild.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:00 AM
horizontal rule
19

Jeebus. What the hell kind of waiver do you have to sign before you do something like this?

(I do like #3, "Walk the Plank," where you jump down 15 feet into a "fish-filled lake." Fishes -- oh noes!)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
20

Some guys from the gym did a Tuff Mudder last year and said it was easy. They are in pretty freakishly good shape though; it would prob be hardish for me. I'd say do it -- it's not the kind of thing which is really that competitive, and could be fun.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
21

How quickly can one's endurance improve?

For yoga, pretty quickly. Many of the poses are things it would be unusual to do in the everyday, but once you do them semi-regularly they get easier fast.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:21 AM
horizontal rule
22

I think you should do the Tuff Mudder.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
23

19.2: yes, that did have a slightly odd sound. "Throw him to the fish!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
24

You should at least try the "Carry Small Children in Snugli" division.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
25

I wonder if the rest breaks at the obstacles make the ten mile run easier. Ten miles is a long run for me, but half a mile, stop and do something, repeat twenty times sounds much easier as a run.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
26

I would definitely do something like this if I could ride a golf cart from obstacle to obstacle. But I hate running.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
27

25: "Rest breaks" doesn't sound like a very fair description of the obstacles. "Breaks from running", sure, but not rest.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
28

19, 23: A lake full of fish seems non-threatening until you find out they mean this.

Aaaaaugh! Swim faster!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
29

It looks like many of the obstacles are basically for show. Are you actually in danger from the fire or electric wires? No. The 12 foot wall would be a logistical challenge, and some of the others would get you wet. No biggie and a nice break from the running. Do it!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
30

PLEASE DON'T RUN THROUGH FIRE THX.


Posted by: WORRIED LURKER | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
31

Running through fire for fun and sport seems like a real slap in the face to burn victims.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
32

some of the others would get you wet

The female libido is inscrutable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
33

"Rest breaks" doesn't sound like a very fair description of the obstacles.

See 16. There's a lot of standing around waiting at each obstacle. (Think about it: you've got 200 people running, how long is it going to take them all to get over a wall?) That's why it's expected to take 2 hours 30 minutes to complete.

31: similarly, jumping into a lake filled with fish for fun is a real slap in the face to the crew of the USS Indianapolis.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
34

A lake full of fish seems non-threatening until you find out they mean this.

FTFY.

Anyway, this race was clearly designed by a bunch of those crazy Hashers who quit drinking during their races and replaced the drinking with more dangerous things.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
35

31: It's for similar reasons that I no longer swim.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
36

Pwning is a real slap in the face to those who've been pwned.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
37
I think we will decline, mostly because we don't know the teammates, and if you think you're going to be the weak link on a team, it's better to already have a friendship with your teammates.

FWIW, it can also be bad to be the strongest member of a team you don't know. A friend was on a team for an off-road bike race last year, and turned out to be one of the stronger members. There seem to have been some hard feelings when he dropped the rest of the team, whereas he thought he was just pushing on to try to help the team finish with a better showing.

Different story if you have to help each other over obstacles and such, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
38

FWIW, it can also be bad to be the strongest member of a team

"Strongest member of a team" - an experience beyond my ken.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
39

If I have been stronger than others it's because I've teamed up with the infirm.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
40

I was in a dragonboat that lost both to the amputees and to the mastectomy survivors. Granted, both those teams were pretty serious.

About the Mudders... Is it showing off that you don't physically work (d'you suppose we could get the crops picked?), or access to the outdoors for people who haven't any, or scripted fun for people who grew up with playdates? It's not that it doesn't sound fun in that awful way, but it irks me that nothing useful is being built or done.

There are regular English ivy pulls here, & we get footballers practicing their tackles.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
41

40: How is that different from all other sports? I mean, they're all useless physical exertion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
42

40 is kind of hilariously puritanical. Curse your useless fun!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
43

Sure, and the evolution of (eg) crew from imitating a job to the perfection of uselessness is a foretaste. But what makes this version of fake contractor, or maybe fake farmer, so fashionable right now?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
44

This post makes me think of that Allan Sherman song.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
45

42: but I'm not cursing the fun, just the scripted uselessness. Building Stuff is a ton of fun if you don't have a foreman.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
46

I think it's more faux-military -- combination of training-type obstacle courses and simulated combat-ish kinds of conditions, like the fake fire. At which point what makes it fashionable now (although it's still a pretty minority pastime) seems to have something to do with post-9/11 longing for toughness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
47

Because most people sit on their ass all day looking at a screen,and want to do something different? Also, how is this being a "fake farmer" and the race was suggested by a real contractor.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
48

45 -- I'm sure the fun you have is authentically more authentic.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:23 AM
horizontal rule
49

What do these faux farmers produce? Facon?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
50

Fauxva beans.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
51

To m-fun we can now add authentic c-fun!

(I'm not actually piling on clew; I have no dog in this fight.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
52

I got carried away -- there's nothing in the description to suggest that the fire isn't real.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
53

Dammit. The Slurpee machine busted at the 7-11. FML.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
54

Flip's 5 to 40 et. seq.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
55

Fauxranges?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
56

Sure one wants to be away from the screen -- but you can join a volunteer park trail crew, or do urban demo for reuse, or stack new haybales around the dogpark. All these are fun. Why make up a thing? If we actually fixed our own environments we might not have virility - envy of the military.


Farming, in my youth, *regularly* involved crawling under a live wire through the mud so I could sprint a mile after an escaped piglet. (Or the like: new mistakes every year.)

I am curious why the contractor is doing it, although "victory is sweet!" makes enough sense.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
57

Whoa we are now at the holier than thou moment where I have to exit the conversation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
58

I have to sympathize with Halford here.

Why make up a thing?

Because all mammals play games?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
59

Why make up a thing?

Because most of us don't live lives where we have easy access to projects where our unskilled hard physical labor would be useful. The fact that I have to point this out to you makes me want to be snippily self-deprecating about it ("Of course we're not all leading authentically virile farm-lives where we can have all the physical work/play we want except it's real, which means that we suck. So it's a way for people who suck to have fun pretending to be as good as people like you. Go away and let us pretend.") But I'm sure you didn't mean to be as obnoxious as you sounded to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
60

God knows why I said 'we' there. It does sound like fun, but I'm not likely to actually do any such thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
61

In Latin America the faux farmers grow no soy beans.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
62

57: Dude. Holiness and authenticity are your gifts to the discourse; I neither mentioned them nor care. I care, beyond a mild Veblenesque curiousity, because my society is running out of cheap energy, decent infrastructure, and non-desk jobs ail at once; would be nice to patch them all at once.

Mudder teams might make great recruiting grounds. Megan would be scary good at that.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
63

61 made me laugh.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
64

cheap energy
Anyone have a bumch of human hamster wheels?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
65

But I know there are people who do everything in 56.1 *in New York City* - by now they probably have pigs. There isn't anywhere that doesn't have stuff to fix.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
66

Faux farmers grow sprouts for non-authentic Vietnamese dishes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
67

I suspect that most of the people participating in this event wouldn't be particularly interested in doing it all day every day as a job.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
68

Holiness and authenticity are your gifts to the discourse

To be fair, you did use the phrases "fake farmer" and "fake contractor", which at least hint at some notion of authenticity.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
69

Honestly, if you can't figure out why a race like this might be more fun than volunteering to put up hay bales at a dog park, I don't know where to start. And I don't see why the existence of such fun should denigrate or in any way be relevant to the other work you seem to value.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
70

I have heard that large groups of enthusiastic but untrained volunteers are next to useless in most construction, especially if they show up for a few hours ready to drink beer and socialize, and then never return.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
71

Oh, you meant why don't people just get together on the weekends and stack hay bales at the dog park for fun?

No one is organizing or marketing it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
72

62: Do you do anything for fun that involves physical exertion and doesn't produce useful output? If you do (or if you don't, but most people do), that's why people do this sort of thing -- your bemusement is bizarre. If you want to complain that there aren't enough people volunteering to rebuild America's infrastructure, (a) I don't think volunteer unskilled labor is going to have a major impact, and (b) I don't think this sort of race is siphoning off energy that would have been spent volunteering. I would guess that sitting on one's ass siphons off the vast majority of the possible volunteering energy, and that people who do this sort of silly shit are often the same people who rebuild trails.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
73

But more importantly, to the question in 56: Fewer hippies. (More seriously, it's probably the fact that doing those sorts of volunteer projects feels suspiciously like work to a lot of people, particularly if you actually want to do any of them efficiently.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
74

I like that LB is explaining sports.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
75

65: There's a whole lot of stuff in NYC. That doesn't mean there's enough demand for unskilled physical labor to soak up everyone's need for exertion and amusement without anyone doing anything that seems pointless to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
76

74: Ironic, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
77

If you make the haybale stacking a COMPETITIVE CHALLENGE, it will get more participation. WHICH TEAM CAN STACK THE TALLEST STACK OF HAY BALES IN 30 MINUTES?? But then you just end up with 50-foot stacks of hay, which actually isn't all that useful and is actually pretty dangerous.

Without compeition or any sort of personal challenge, then, yeah, it's just work.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
78

I'm also curious as to why clew hates the unemployed? Surely the useful labor she's talking about should be done for pay by people earning a living wage, right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
79

Wait, why are we filling the dogpark with hay?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
80

I will stop being heated now. Something about 40 et seq. just raised my hackles.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
81

I know LB's already said this, but I don't understand how the critique in 62 couldn't be applied to any game of pickup basketball. Or trip to the gym. "Why are you going to push weights around on silly machines? You could get the same sort of workout repairing dams."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
82

If you make the haybale stacking a COMPETITIVE CHALLENGE, it will get more participation.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
83

Do you do anything for fun that involves physical exertion and doesn't produce useful output?

Does masturbation count?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
84

Is the output useful?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
85

67: not as a job; how about once in a while as a barn-raising?

68: Fair cop. What's a nonjudgemental reference to an unusual similarity?

69: Agree it's fun, suspect it replaces useful effort esp. As a status marker, don't see why it's more fun. You could explain if it's obvious.

70: perhaps the competitive angle could be directed @ competence? With Maker Badges?

71: that's why we need Megan!

72: I polka, but I think that's it. Am much in favor of idleness when possible. Am in comity with (b).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
86

I have a question about running races. If someone, as in the OP, runs 5 miles a day, can they realistically run a 10-mile race? Like obviously when I go out for my runs every day, I'm not doing anywhere near the length of the race, or my own red-line limit. But, before I go out there and die alone in the woods eaten by wolves, how much should I be running on a daily basis?

Most of these questions I've been leaving up to a friend who has written up a training schedule for us (who has run marathons), but I sometimes get the idea that... well I thought I would throw it out there.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
87

84: I guess I haven't been exploring all the possibilities.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
88

I think it's generally thought that you train to about ~3/4 of the actual race, and then push yourself on race day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
89

Stepping back to look at what got my hackles up, pretty much anything where someone is telling other people that their pastimes are stupid and they shouldn't do them annoys me a lot --- pretty much the only thing you can do for fun where no one will laugh at you for is watching TV, and I don't think we need to encourage more of that.

I don't actually do a whole lot (read: "any") organizing volunteer projects that need unskilled labor. If you do, and it's hard to get enough volunteers, that's a real shame, and I'd love to talk about how to encourage volunteers. Talking about how people exerting themselves in conspicuously frivolous ways should be volunteering instead, on the other hand, seems like an irrelevancy. Wouldn't it make just as much sense to say people watching football on TV or lying on blankets at the beach, sunbathing, should be volunteering?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
90

pretty much the only thing you can do for fun where no one will laugh at you for is watching TV

I don't even *own* a TV.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
91

The idea that sports (or undirected athletic endeavor more generally) consumes energy that would otherwise be spent elsewhere, as opposed to creating energy that allows people to be more productive, is amazing to me. I mean, clew, do you think that people who have active, physically tiring jobs are not interested in sports? Really? That is an amazing thing to think.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
92

"Oh, well. I have no need for physically active recreation. I'm a construction worker!"


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
93

"construction worker" s/b "parent"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
94

Not many people know this, but all of the ancient cultures with an interest in sport were focused on desk jobs. Half of all Inca peasants worked in IT. And ancient Greece, of course, was one big accounting consultancy.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
95

It really would be great to harness the energy of people exercising for some good. Bikes creating energy. etc.

Not required. But it does seem like that would be possible. (I know the bike energy thing doesnt really generate much energy.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
96

88: That sounds reasonable. Thanks!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
97

"Oh, well. I have no need for physically active recreation. I'm a construction worker!"

I dont think a lot of manual laborers are hitting the treadmill after work.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
98

40: d'you suppose we could get the crops picked?

85: how about once in a while as a barn-raising?

?!?! I'm going to assume lack of exposure to current-day farms.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
99

pretty much the only thing you can do for fun where no one will laugh at you for is watching TV

What? Mention a TV show that you watch, and I guarantee someone here will laugh at you for watching it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
100

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!


Posted by: Ralph Neville | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
101

But, before I go out there and die alone in the woods eaten by wolves, how much should I be running on a daily basis?

If that's your plan, I don't think it matters.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
102

98: I don't know much of anything about modern day farming myself, but yeah.

And I fully agree that volunteering to do physical work can be great fun. I really liked putting up drywall the one time I did it. Likewise the community garden across the street. It just doesn't have anything to do with not running silly races.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
103

Nothing makes me want to hit the gym like spending the day carrying sheetrock!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
104

97: right, because that's boring as shit. But are they playing flag football (or, for that matter, tackle football) (or, given the makeup of manual labor workforces in this day and age, soccer) on the weekend?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
105

yes to the soccer on the weekend. But, they certainly arent playing that because they want to burn calories.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
106

Bikes creating energy. etc.

They've got adaptor things for stationary bikes now that generate power. A neighbor has her tv plugged into one, rather than being plugged into a wall outlet. The tv loses power if she stops peddling.

I don't think it generates enough energy to power much more than a tv, though.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
107

Working-class Latinos in Upper Manhattan play a whole lot of volleyball. Not a stereotype I would have had until I started biking past the courts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
108

The tv loses power if she stops peddling.

What is she peddling? Not magazine subscriptions, I hope. What a scam that is.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
109

105: wait, so? Did I miss some part of the thread?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
110

adaptor things for stationary bikes now that generate power

Actually, that should be "capture the power generated", rather than "generate power", I think. Although I'm neither an electrician nor a physicist, so I'm not totally sure.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
111

89: the *new thing* here is a lot like light, brownfield, construction work, which is in fact fun, but you don't have ty wait for an official race to do it. Also, you might be able to build or clean something you'll continue using. Why is it OK to cite Veblen & imply it's all pointless, and not OK to try for an as-fun & more useful measure? It doesn't have to fix everything all at once, just make something better.

91: I am only perplexed by the new thing, not sports generally. Although all the heavy workers I know above 30 dyn't play active sports too, usually because their backs are ify.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
112

105.last: I think you and Sifu are talking past each other -- 'need for physically active recreation' wasn't, I think, meant to imply that it was necessary for weight-loss or calorie burning, but that people who are fit from working hard also want to amuse themselves physically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
113

Although I'm neither an electrician nor a physicist
Probably wasting your time playing games with you kids.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
114

112:

Gotcha. I havent been reading the thread carefully.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
115

111.1: Because there's no connection whatsoever between running silly races and not volunteering. The silly race isn't keeping people from volunteering, it isn't a substitute for volunteering, it has no impact whatsoever on whether or not someone volunteers except possibly to encourage them to get into better shape which might make volunteering more appealing.

What makes you think they're substitutes?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
116

Brownfield construction work involves running?!?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
117

"Why are you going to push weights around on silly machines? You could get the same sort of workout repairing dams."

There's a book on running training by Percy Wells Cerutty that sort of recommends this: why do weight training when you can work in a warehouse? Or something like that. Cerutty coached Herb Elliot, who set some world records in the 1500 and won the Olympics. I have no idea what Elliot actually did for strength training.

Also in that book, Cerutty advocated bathing with as little soap as possible. I can't remember why, but it seemed kind of crazy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
118

116: And flames. And jumping into 'fish-filled' lakes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
119

||
Fuck this country's fucking healthcare system.
|>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
120

119: What's wrong?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
121

I don't know if clew needs any defenders, but I certainly understand her point.

Actually, the rolls of people doing Crossfit and MuddFlap, sorry, Tuff Mudder, might be great for recruiting volunteers for trail reconstruction and whatnot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
122

Well, sure. And tossing hay bales around on a farm is genuinely a great strength building exercise, frequently recommended by h.s. football coaches as a summer job for their players. Some warehouse work is similar.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
123

Things I enjoy: 1. building shit. 2. riding my bike. Things which do not conflict with each other (except insofar as both of them take time, which I have in limited supply): 1. building shit. 2. riding my bike. Things I find that I accomplish more regularly when I'm cheerful and motivated: 1. building shit. 2. riding my bike. Things that make me generally more cheerful and motivated (due to, you know, well-documented physiological effects), and thus more likely to accomplish 1 and 2: riding my bike.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
124

How much does a Tuff Mudder cost compared to, say, a Sierra Club service trip (now called "volunteer vacations", I see), to which one has to actually travel?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
125

the rolls of people doing Crossfit and MuddFlap, sorry, Tuff Mudder, might be great for recruiting volunteers for trail reconstruction and whatnot

But, again, you have to have COMPETITION or CHALLENGE to make it fun.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
126

Bikes creating energy. etc.

They've got adaptor things for stationary bikes now that generate power. A neighbor has her tv plugged into one, rather than being plugged into a wall outlet. The tv loses power if she stops peddling.

I have always thought that those ubiquitous gyms in New York City should be at least energy-neutral. Those people visible through the windows seem to be working really hard! It might be more commercially successful not to trumpet the idea that your effort is being recaptured; I doubt the majority of their clientele likes to think of themselves as hamsters, or oxen.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
127

Things I find that I accomplish more regularly when I'm cheerful and motivated: 1. building shit. 2. riding my bike. Things that make me generally more cheerful and motivated (due to, you know, well-documented physiological effects), and thus more likely to accomplish 1 and 2: riding my bike.

This feedback look is really annoying when it's working against you. With one thing and another, I've had a couple of weeks where I haven't been bike commuting, and I'm having a heck of a time restarting. Work is sucking, and I'm kind of down generally, and getting on the bike in the morning sounds hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
128

This whole idea (that people who would do Tuff Mudder should be redirected to, like, building houses for wilderness trails or wahtever) is cracking me up so hard. Why would you watch a movie when you could do something more useful, like helping somebody type up their resume? A lot of movies are stupid, you know, and none of them can match the feeling of satisfaction you'll get from helping somebody get a job.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
129

120: I have COBRA coverage through my old job. I just got a contract gig, which offers health insurance... but it's a good thing I checked the benefits before signing up, because among other things the new plan only covers generic formulary prescriptions. Which category quite obviously excludes the insanely expensive medication I take weekly that allows me to do things like raise my arm over my head and turn my head more than about 40 degrees in either direction.

Luckily I've still got more than a year to go on my COBRA eligibility, so I'm not completely fucked, but a) it's going to be substantially more expensive than the new plan would have been and b) nobody thinks about this shit, so if I hadn't done my due diligence I'd be in a world of pain. (Quite literally.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
130

126: there are gyms that do that.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
131

I bet you'd get a lot more people watching through the gym windows if the treadmills were replaced with hamster-type wheels and there was an ever present chance that someone would fall.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
132

building houses for wilderness trails or wahtever

Homeless trails are so sad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
133

129: Jesus, that sucks. There's no exception for "If there's really no generic, you can have the drugs you need"? I mean, from what you said, there isn't, but that's just wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
134

Why would you watch a movie when you could do something more useful, like helping somebody type up their resume?

Well be a little charitable, Sifu, building shit on a trail is more similar to running a weirdo race than watching a movie is to helping someone with their resume.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
135

You could be watching video of them in a mock interview and critiquing their performance. That'd be kind of like watching a movie.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
136

Commenting on Unfogged is very similar to real work.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
137

This feedback look is really annoying when it's working against you.

Mise en abyme can be the cruelest thing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
138

133: Nope. Brand formulary drugs aren't covered but can be purchased at a discount; non-formulary drugs are explicitly not covered.

Nobody should have to think about this sort of thing. I'm fortunate that I have the time and energy to deal with it (and that I make enough that staying on COBRA is even an option); I can't imagine what it'd be like for someone who didn't have my advantages.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
139

Oh yeah and

"If there's really no generic, you can have the drugs you need"?

From the insurance company's perspective, I don't really *need* the drugs; I'm not going to die if I don't get them. I'll just be in more pain that I would have been in otherwise (and might eventually end up crippled, but I don't expect they really care about that).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
140

134: so let's see. Helping somebody with their resume involves 1. looking at a screen, 2. learning about the challenges and accomplishments of a person, 3. trying to understand a narrative. Sounds pretty much exactly like watching a movie to me. I mean, what is a movie? You sit there staring dumbly at a screen? If you're going to do that, why not at least try and get some good out of it? It's not like you're getting any exercise.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
141

139: Jesus fuck. Is this the sort of thing the Obamacare's supposed to fix -- once it's in operation, you'll have an easier time buying respectable insurance? I have the impression it might be, but not a firm enough grasp of the details to know if it'd solve your problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
142

Instead of playing chess I kill serfs from horseback.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
143

134: Seriously. You can't make a slippery slope argument whereby clew is claiming that anybody who spends any time doing anything whatsoever should better spend their time doing something helpful. The activities in question are roughly the same as those that are actually needed.

People keep mentioning the competition and challenge angle, but it's not hard to make trail-reconsruction into a competition if you really need that. (I don't know why you'd need that, but okay, whatever.)

I suspect that it's really the "it feels suspiciously like work" aspect that's dominant: people decline to do something that benefits others unless they're paid for it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
144

The activities in question are roughly the same as those that are actually needed.

What precisely is needed by whom where that this race is interfering with?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
145

The activities in question are roughly the same as those that are actually needed.

Bullshit.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
146

The activities in question are roughly the same as those that are actually needed

No, they aren't. At all.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
147

That too, unless there's a fishfilled lake that really needs jumping into.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
148

Is this the sort of thing the Obamacare's supposed to fix

The ACA won't fix this sort of thing because

From the insurance company's perspective

was the guiding principle when it was being crafted. I know, I know: I'm a broken record. But fuck-all will get accomplished until somebody stomps on the insurance industry's neck and puts it out of our misery.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
149

141: I don't actually know. Just ending the pre-existing condition exclusion will make a huge difference; no insurer will touch me outside of group coverage right now. But I don't know what the implications will be for this sort of treatment.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
150

"Oh no! Hikers keep getting electrocuted! Quick, jump through this flaming hoop and repair the trail by running really fast!"


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
151

people decline to do something that benefits others unless they're paid for it

Bullshit.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
152

141: It's supposed to improve minimum standards of coverage, but it's also supposed to control costs, which doesn't make outcomes like Josh's at all implausible under a regulated policy. Comparative effectiveness research is supposed to determine that it isn't worth it to cover certain expensive treatments, and in most cases there will be at least some people who benefit, or believe themselves to benefit, from those treatments. This will be as true under Medicare as under private coverage, so it's not just a matter of the private insurer's perspective.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
153

What precisely is needed by whom where that this race is interfering with?

Even if you don't think that more helpful activities are similar to the race (and obviously you would be right to think that), obviously no one participating in the race is at that time doing something else.

And the "rough similarity" line is totally irrelevant anyway; you don't have to think, if you think that anyone who'd like X would probably like Y too, that X and Y are similar activities along very many dimensions.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
154

148: The better insurance plans cover the meds. They make it kind of a pain to get pre-approved for them, but once that's done they cover them, albeit at a really high copay. (It used to be $100/month, then it went up to $150/month.) Luckily the drug manufacturers have copay assistance programs, so I only pay on average $5/month for the drugs.

The question I have about the ACA is what's going to happen to the average level of coverage. If things get leveled up to the kind of plan I'm currently on, it's not such a bad thing. If everything gets leveled down to the new plan, we're fucked.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
155

152: Yeah, I'm sort of hoping that what Josh describes is demonstrably effective enough to be covered under minimum standards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
156

obviously no one participating in the race is at that time doing something else.

True, but that is a fact common to literally all pastimes. Unless the claim is that recreation is wrong generally, the fact that you can't do anything else while running this race doesn't get you very far.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
157

Surely the useful labor she's talking about should be done for pay by people earning a living wage, right?

Madness. One of our favorite summer day sites was a CCC project and it drives me insane that we haven't revived that kind of program in this recession.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
158

obviously no one participating in the race is at that time doing something else

I can think of very, very few activities that anybody does for enjoyment at any that which could not be replaced by other (probably enjoyable) activities with greater social benefit. Presumably, we should all be striving to maximize the social benefit of all of our activities (given a fixed level of enjoyment to which we are all entitled) at all times. That makes perfect sense, and is in no way comically orthogonal to any plausible understanding of human nature and the role of leisure activity.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
159

Why does LB keep pwning me when she could be knitting socks for abandoned walruses?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
160

144: What precisely is needed by whom where that this race is interfering with?

What? Check with your local Parks Department about trail-clearing and stream-cleaning efforts. They frequently recruit for weekend volunteers. Obviously on Earth Day this ramps up quite a bit. There are also, on an ongoing basis, recruitments for volunteers to gather water samples in various local waterways. Many similar endeavors. Local community organizations sometimes organize tree-plantings.

Does this race interfere with any of that? Not really, not if people doing this sort of race wouldn't do these other things anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:14 PM
horizontal rule
161

I am only perplexed by the new thing, not sports generally.

Okay, this is really bizarre. So if they were just running the ten mile race on a Saturday afternoon, fine, that's totally frivilous but gets no complaints, but if we throw in greased monkey bars and something called a "boa constrictor" then the reaction becomes "well, hell, why aren't these folks building houses for habitat for humanity instead? Depravity!"


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
162

Look, I recently did some charity thing where I was planting trees for six hours. It was fun in the way that volunteering is fun, and I was glad that Crossfit made it easy for me to lug heavy buckets of water, etc. The idea that this was in any way the same kind of activity, or that one is a plausible substitute for the other, is nuts. Just different kinds of things.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
163

Also there is very little adrenaline to be found in volunteering, but this race would have me all pumped up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
164

And Josh, that's horrible. When does your drug go generic?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
165

Not really, not if people doing this sort of race wouldn't do these other things anyway.

Also, not if they would do those other things anyway. Also, not if they wouldn't do those other things anyway but then decide to do them for some reason. Also, not if they were going to do those things but then didn't. In generally, the race and the trail doohickeying are almost completely indpendent, except that it's possible that 1. the day of the race is the day of the funnest trail repairing of the year and the would-be participant in both has to choose or 2. that people who enjoy trail running would be more likely to help maintain trails.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
166

What really offends me about this race is the way they spelled "tough."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
167

You're comfortable with how they spelled "mother"?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
168

Or rather, the way it causes Heebie to spell "tough." Deleterious impact on the youths, I say!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
169

Fine, Sifu. People should live their lives, and people who engage in fake tuffness should live their lives, and people who engage in real, actual, helpful tough work should live their lives, and people who mix it up should live their lives as well. There's no relationship between any of these things, and nobody likes a scold, I'm told.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
170

"Mudder" is okay because it's a portmanteau of "mother," "mud," and "udder," which is a pithy concatenation of the condition of childrearing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
171

people who engage in fake authentic tuffness should live their lives


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
172

164: Good question! Looks like the patent expires next year... but it's a biologic drug, and it looks like under US law you can't make generic biologics. Awesome.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
173

There's no relationship between any of these things, and nobody likes a scold

Total comity!


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
174

Nice fork! The activities that make Tough Mudder unlike other races are entertainingly similar to those I've enjoyed (for wet, cold, overwhelmed values of enjoyed) on a scratch farm, or helped equipment-sharing WWOOF-type collectives and neighbors with, or leant on a fence and watched when the big farmers do them in the Central Valley. (SRL would plotz with envy on a big cattle operation. Normal people, terror.) Indeed, 'barn-raising' has been a metaphor for fun long after most Americans attended one. But mentioning this makes me sound like an authenticity hipster, and as soon as I lay off mentioning it, it's the sense of the meeting that farming doesn't have anything like that. (There are fish-filled lakes, and stuff and animals get lost in them.)

Also, I really don't get why the difference between Tough Mudder and the usual 10K is fundamentally unlike doing park repair when you aren't doing a 10K. Take the 10K as a given, it's not the new thing. If it's so obvious, Halford, *explain it*.

Sifu, I would guess your bicycling+projects is a lot like what I think of as 10K+projects, so why you're arguing that there's nothing odd about doing a Tough Mudder instead of 10K + projects is still obscure to me -- would you prefer replacing your projects with leaping off your bike halfway through a ride and carrying plywood up and down a hill? Followed by surface-mount soldering, for the biathlon effect?

Finally, making the material world tractable is usually a challenge in itself, and competition arises normally (Hey guys, watch THIS!). Is fun. There you go.

---
The drug thing is simply crazy-making, and I'm sorry, Josh. Who commented recently that a lot of the 'privatization woot!' was shifting attention-labor to the private parties, for no obvious gain?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
175

I was planting trees for six hours

Did you win?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
176

who engage in fake tuffness

Parsimon, dare I ask what you consider authentic tuffness?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
177

would you prefer replacing your projects with leaping off your bike halfway through a ride and carrying plywood up and down a hill?

Nobody's talking about replacing anything with anything (where did that even come from? The point is, you do both), but if you replace "plywood" with "your bike" in that sentence, why yes, I think I would enjoy giving cyclocross a try at some point.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
178

176: I'm pretty sure I speak for all of us in saying that it's not authentic without an "ough".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
179

Indeed, 'barn-raising' has been a metaphor for fun long after most Americans attended one.

It... has? Also, I'm a little stumped trying to figure out how long ago it was that most Americans had attended a barn raising. The 1680s?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
180

I endorse clew's words.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
181

I'm hung up, again, on this idea that instead of doing the Tuff Mudder you could do two different things (running a 10k, building some shit) at different times. Like, why play softball when you can go to a batting cage and then, some other day, stand in a field?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
182

Which is to say: athletic activities that combine multiple kinds of challenges are often more exciting, exhausting and rewarding than atheltic activities that involve doing the same thing over and over for a really long time. How... how is this weird?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
183

||

This seems like kind of a BFD, if confirmed.

For now I'm guessing measurement error.

|>


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
184

183.2: That's what my wife told me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
185

And as I have mentioned the word labour, I cannot help saying that a great deal of nonsense is being written and talked nowadays about the dignity of manual labour. There is nothing necessarily dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading. It is mentally and morally injurious to man to do anything in which he does not find pleasure, and many forms of labour are quite pleasureless activities, and should be regarded as such. To sweep a slushy crossing for eight hours, on a day when the east wind is blowing is a disgusting occupation. To sweep it with mental, moral, or physical dignity seems to me to be impossible. To sweep it with joy would be appalling. Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt. All work of that kind should be done by a machine.


Posted by: Oscar Wilde | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
186

174:Also, I really don't get why the difference between Tough Mudder and the usual 10K is fundamentally unlike doing park repair when you aren't doing a 10K.

The grammmar of this sentence has me stymied. I'm not just picking at it, I write mangled sentences too, but I can't unravel it into anything where I'm sure of what your point is.

Say, for argument's sake, that the components of this race are similar to things you might do as a volunteer. I could see thinking "If you like doing that sort of thing, may I suggest that you look for more opportunities to do it in a volunteer context." I can't see how that gets you to "So this race is somehow to be deprecated."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:23 PM
horizontal rule
187

183: No, I think that article's full of shit: relativity says it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate something with mass up to the speed of light. There could still be particles that are naturally always going faster than the speed of light, without violating Einstein; such have been theorized for years (tachyons).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
188

183-- paging Essear on the white courtesy phone. Essear to the white courtesy phone, please.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
189

178: I'm pretty sure I speak for all of us in saying that it's not authentic without an "ough".
SPEAK FOR YOURSELF PLEASE


Posted by: OPINIONATED GEOLOGIST | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
190

I get the feeling that I'm talking to a nonhuman species from the planet earnest, but . . .

Let's take an example, of swinging sledgehammers into tires. This is something we do at the gym sometimes, because it's a great functional exercise, and is fun. And, you know what, it would probably help if you had to swing a sledgehammer on some project. But it's typically done in a time trial, combined with some other activity -- 20 mins max rounds of 10 sledgehammer swings, 10 pullups, and a 500m run, say. That is exhausting exercise, adrenaline producing, and, in a group, can be competitive fun. It is basically like doin any other sport.

Doing a construction project, OTOH, involves some physical activity that is repetitive and is designed to build something. For example, when I did the tree planting volunteer thing, you picked up some buckets of water, dug ou some dirt with your hands, put in a tree, etc. This involved physical activity but in no way was sport like -- adrenaline not involved, physical exhaustion not reached, etc. In other words, it felt like manual labor, the purpose of which was getting a job done. That you can't see a difference between manual labor and a sport is just, I think, weird.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
191

187: I think (huge ignorance here) it's still a BFD if true (which means it's not true). It's not just mass that can't break the speed of light, it's information. However tachyons work, we can't use them to transmit information. This (if it's as represented in the article, which I'm sure is all messed up) would be a way to transmit information faster than the speed of light, which is completely verboten.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
192

That you can't see a difference between manual labor and a sport is just, I think, weird.

Yep, I think it comes to that, repeatedly.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
193

That, and even if it were the same, why would useless manual labor for amusement be bad? Is Burning Man bad because it's not Habitat for Humanity?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
194

It's overdetermined.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
195

So's your mother and no one holds it against her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
196

Not her overdetermination, no.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
197

Oh, wow, this is all over the news now and they haven't even announced any details so no one knows what's going on (there's a talk at CERN, 4PM local time, tomorrow). Minivet is right in a very formal relativistic-kinematics kind of way, but there's really no sensible way to have things moving faster than light interacting with normal matter, and in practice tachyons always signal some kind of instability in a theory, not a real particle. So LB is closer to the real point, I think.

To state the obvious, to know how fast something is going you have to know how far it went and how long it took, and I don't know how they measured either of those things precisely enough to say what they're saying. There's also the meta-scientific point that a really large fraction of dubious claims of new physics seem to come out of Italy. And that this seems to be contradicted by very reliable and accurate older measurements. And that there's no imaginable coherent way to have relativity break down in such a way that it shows up precisely in this case and not in anything else we've ever measured.

Other people around here seem slightly more willing to entertain the idea, at least as an intellectual exercise to see how it could be consistent with other things we know. I really just want to dismiss it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
198

Sorry for being late to the thread, I see you've all moved on to peanut butter.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
199

essear, what I want to know is, assuming the result holds up, which I understand is a big assumption, but let's just go with it for now, when will we have time machines? And which science-fictional version of time travel is likely to bear the closest resemblence to real time travel?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
200

199: Bill and Ted, obviously. It's the only time travel movie that ever made sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
201

199: I thought it meant we can never have time machines.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
202

And I mean commercially available time machines, sold on the shelves at walmart. Something hidden in a secret military laboratory doesn't count.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
203

201: No. If we get FTL, we get time travel. I've completely forgotten the argument, but trust me that it's rigorous and convincing. I'm going to learn to play the guitar right now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
204

If we were going to have time machines we'd have them already.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
205

199: I don't know, let me think it over and get back to you yesterday.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
206

I like the Louis CK line: "Getting divorced is like stepping out of a time machine ... the kind of time machine it takes the real amount of time to take you to the future."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
207

Wait a minute, shit. Isn't the absence of time machines on the shelves at walmart now proof that they'll never exist? If someone invented a time machine at some point in the future, surely some entrepreneur would start bringing them back into the past, where they could sell them with a price premium (no competitors).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
208

207 before I saw 204, but I'm pretty sure it's getting to the same point. So, I guess this is proof that the story in 183 is bogus.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
209

That's the great thing about time machines. If they exist, then you don't just get the time machines, you get the cosmic conspiracy hiding them from us. Time machines logically imply the Time Patrol.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
210

I remember a Douglas Adams line that time travel was invented in every time simultaneously, so there's still hope!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
211

Oh no! Urple's starting to disappear!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
212

The Palm Beach butterfly ballot proves, conclusively and for all time, the impossibility of time travel. Sorry.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
213

211 made me "lol."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
214

Putting it in quotation marks doesn't make it hurt any less.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
215

I don't like to do it. I feel like the whole concept of laughing aloud and reporting it in words has been stolen from me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
216

And which science-fictional version of time travel is likely to bear the closest resemblance to real time travel?

According to my friend Ask a Physicist, The Time Traveler's Wife is remarkably consistent with theoretical physics, as is the Terminator series.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
217

Charlie Stross's Merchant Princes seems to me like a very plausible economic treatment of time travel.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
218

197: Other people around here seem slightly more willing to entertain the idea, at least as an intellectual exercise to see how it could be consistent with other things we know. I really just want to dismiss it.

My guy is skeptical.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 5:52 PM
horizontal rule
219

Yeah, supernova 1987A is the most directly analogous thing measured before, so it seems to be the thing that people are going to point to. But this is also pretty much incompatible with every test of Lorentz invariance ever, so I think it's many orders of magnitude more implausible than that would make you think.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 5:58 PM
horizontal rule
220

217: Those bothered me. Two hundred years or so people had been going back and forth between our world and the parallel medieval world, and no one had decided to get rich by setting up water-powered textile mills? You wouldn't need modern economic concepts to make that look like a good idea, it's obvious. Likewise plumbing, early-modern metallurgy, whatever. I'm not saying the parallel world would have been producing its own cell phones, but I don't believe they wouldn't have kidnapped enough plumbers that the ruling class would have had running water.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
221

But Versailles, for instance, was physically uncomfortable long after the Dutch had solved a lot of practical problems. When your architecture is also display of military force and metaphysical grandeur and general aristoness, apparently running water isn't as attractive. After all, someone else is scrubbing.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
222

Maybe not the plumbing, but the textiles? In a medieval environment, textiles are wealth. I just couldn't believe in no tech leakage at all. Metallurgy for military use, and so on?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
223

Lem has the best time-travel (see several of the "Star Diaries").

I'm not altogether sure whom I hit and who hit me ... between the Thursday, the Friday and the Wednesday me's, all of whom I was in turn. My impression is that because I had lied to the Friday me, pretending to be the Sunday me, I ended up with one blow more than I should have, going by the calendar. But I would prefer not to dwell any longer on these unpleasant memories; a man who for an entire week does nothing but hit himself over the head has little reason to be proud


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
224

On Topic:

I was past mile four on a run tonight and thinking nothing could stop me from running a 10K. I mean, I knew I wasn't going to do it at 9:00 pm after a day at work, but I felt as if I could do it if I was rested and hadn't eaten dinner a hour before starting. Just then, I tripped and went down so hard some nice woman crossed the street to be sure I was O.K. And I was O.K., except now my knees match those of our five year old.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
225

Skinned knees means you're enjoying yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
226

Or someone else is, at any rate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
227

Also, road rash on my hands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
228

227: Dude, Road Rash was like the best game ever. You should be thankful your Sega still works.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
229

Hawaiian Fun Run with Costumes: Basalt and Hattery.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
230

And at the end, you totes get lei'd.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
231

Nobody every borrows Stanley's umbrella.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
232

-y. Also, does Totes still make umbrellas or was that more pointless that usual?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
233

Also, road rash on my hands.

Just wait until you do the Grime and Pumicement 10K.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
234

Which is to say: athletic activities that combine multiple kinds of challenges are often more exciting, exhausting and rewarding than atheltic activities that involve doing the same thing over and over for a really long time.

Is this a triathlon endorsement, Sifu?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 1:21 AM
horizontal rule
235

Asilon is the Tuff Mudder thread winner!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 5:43 AM
horizontal rule
236

Part of the whole theme was they were monopolists, not entrepreneurs. They confined their scarce personnel to what they perceived as highest-return and didn't let anybody not intimately involved know anything about the details of our world from which they might have gotten ideas.

Also the bootstrapping issue: I'm not sure how much money a textile factory could have made in isolation; hardly any consumers worthy of the name.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
237

Part of the whole theme was they were monopolists, not entrepreneurs.

Right, and that struck me as unlikely. They had hundreds of medieval nobles with access to our world, and they all lined up obediently in the same direction -- no one broke ranks and set off on their own? Premodern politics is all about various types of treason. If he'd put more effort into drawing a picture of totalitarian control with a strong ideology making any tech leakage at all absolutely forbidden, that might work, but instead Stross seemed to be claiming that the idea of importing technology at a level you could make work locally just wouldn't have occurred to people like that. (Also, remember that the 'people like that' included a bunch with higher education in our world -- that Miriam was the first to start getting bright ideas seems loony.)

The how-much-money-could-you-make problem comes down to 'less than in a more developed economy, but still enough to swim in like Scrooge McDuck.' In our Middle Ages, the people who got rich were textile merchants, selling to the aristocracy who had the money. If you could make cloth at a thousandth the cost of someone relying on handweaving, you could make as much money as there was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
238

234, 235: it helps if all of the various components are actually challenging, but truly, I support people doing trialthlons. I merely reserve the right to make fun of them for being lousy bicyclists with absurdly expensive bicycles. And the further right to be sort of embarrassed when one occasionally passes me when I'm out riding.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
239

It's the fenders, Tweety. Get rid of the fenders, and you'll fly!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
240

I should probably bolt on some aerobars, too.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:09 AM
horizontal rule
241

Well, he did include dissension that had been recently squelched (the very bloody civil war, that guy she slept with), but yeah, the total lack of bleedover could have been better determined.

OTOH I think he did successfully instill a "unity is strength" mentality shared by virtually all the Family, such that any money-making not mandatory and collective was forbidden.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
242

223: The time travel stories in Red Dwarf are uniformly excellent. Maybe time travel only works as comedy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
243

242: well, the second time around it does.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
244

yeah, the total lack of bleedover could have been better determined.

That's really my whole gripe -- that he was resting the whole thing on 'stupid medievals wouldn't have been able to grasp that tech transfer was the easy way to get rich off this, you need modern economic concepts to get it'. And that's bullshit. Medievals put a whole lot of effort into hiding their own trade secrets and trying to steal other people's -- it wouldn't have been a bizarre idea at all. You might need modern economic concepts to explain why it worked so much better than the alternatives, but not to get them to try it.

If he'd shown knowledge that tech transfer was an obvious thing people would want to do so the Family rigidly forbade it, that might have been plausible, but would have had to be a totally different book. (I think Stross is generally great, but I think his desire not to romanticise the medievals led to his treating them unfairly like morons.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
245

Wasn't the whole problem that the access-point of the time-travel very strictly controlled by men with guns? It's been a while.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
246

I don't know why I'm always surprised by the passion and enthusiasm LB is willing to throw into any discussion of fantasy/sci-fi literature. It's impressive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
247

Nah, anyone who can do it can do it anywhere. There were tightly controlled warehouse/transfer points where Family travelers were required to bring through contraband, but any of them could go through anywhere (conditions on the other side permitting.) If someone got the idea of importing a set of plans for an early blast furnace and selling them to an enterprising blacksmith, it couldn't have been stopped under the setup in the book.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
248

246: It bears some resemblance to my passion for progressive politics, given that neither of them are closely connected to anything likely to happen in the near future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
249

248: but that fact seems to beat some of the passion and enthusiasm out of your discussions of progressive politics, I think, so they actually don't bear a lot of resemblance, at least not to me as a reader. You can barely muster an orange font for progressive politics.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
250

Clearly I need to reread the entire series. To the library!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
251

244 is right: ironically, given Stross' own beliefs and tastes, he ended up writing something very like a What These People Need Is A White Guy story with the role of White Guy played by a woman.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-11 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
252

I should probably bolt on some aerobars, too.

I was helping at a local triathlon last year and quite a few people had them. I said to the bloke I was with that I thought that unless you were actually doing a time trial or something you looked a bit of a prat with them. Of course he has them on his bike.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 4:19 AM
horizontal rule
253

Aero bars are helpful when there's a headwind. You don't have to be going at time-trial speeds to benefit from them.


Posted by: Gareth Rees | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 5:56 AM
horizontal rule
254

I imagine aerobars are very helpful when 1. you're not allowed to use tactics and 2. you're trying not to use any leg strength and 3. it's pretty flat. 1, 2 and 3 might strike some of us as a fairly silly way to conduct a bike race, but you know.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 6:20 AM
horizontal rule
255

Who said anything about bike racing?


Posted by: Gareth Rees | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 6:27 AM
horizontal rule
256

I just noticed that three of my Facebook friends 'like' Tough Mudder. One of them is a construction worker/former military type, but the other two, judging from current photos, seem like they surely must be liking it as a spectator sport.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
257

To be fair, Gareth does ride about in flat places. Gareth, I think my story shows more that I can be a dick rather than that aerobars are bad. I don't want to upset you because (apart from the fact that you can ride a bike and he can't) you remind me of my dad, what with your Listener and your packing problems.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
258

256: I had to check. One friend -- who's a cop.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
259

Curiously, none of my friends do, presumably because they are too tough for the Tuff Mudder. A few like the "Spartan Death Race," which has one of the best URLs ever:

http://www.youmaydie.com/


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
260

Six friends! What does this say about me? That I went to high school with a bunch of dude-bros, I guess.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
261

259: Hmm. My alma mater had something called Sp@rt@n M@d B@ll -- it involved teams and pushing a big ball across a line of some sort. And every year (it was played but once a year) it sent 3-5 people to the hospital.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
262

Two of mine. One of whom definitely does them (he's covered in mud in his profile pic) and one... well, who knows.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 1:39 PM
horizontal rule
263

261: Apparently I am wrong. Mostly the game sends 3 people to the hospital, because the game is over after either one hour or three people have been sent to the hospital.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
264

Also it appears to actually be called "Tough Mudder"?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-26-11 1:44 PM
horizontal rule