Saturday, October 13, 2007

Points to Ponder:

The process of establishing precise definitions is rigorously demanding; which is why the mystics and skeptics (most people, today) turn away from the realm of the intellect. Concepts are the tools of thought; the better your tools, the better, i.e., more precise, the closer to the actual facts of reality, will your thinking be. [Mike Mentzer]

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On Vilfredo Pareto and Notes on Applying A Basic Economic Principle to Life In General (Including Blogging):

Sometimes with a weblog such as Rerum Novarum which is not updated daily, the appearance can be given that there is a haitus of sorts when in reality there is not. It bears noting briefly at the start of this posting because in a 24/7 news and media cycle, going days on end without posting anything new is hardly in keeping with the weltanschauung of many who are involved in media endeavours -be they of the msm or alternative media variety. To keep the plate adequately mixed here subjectwise -both for my own interest as well as that of the readers- it requires some degree of pacing. I almost never make a scheduled haitus unless it is absolutely necessary.{1} But I also do not like to rush posts as they are formulated and with more thought out expositions, that can take some time -usually days, sometimes weeks, and in a few cases, months.{2}

Life has a way of not giving enough time to get done everything one wants to do -be that in business, with blogging, whatever- and your host is seeking to reapply a principle he has long believed in but not always observed as faithfully as he should have: namely an old economics principle by the late Italian-French economist Vilfredo Pareto. In all spheres of his life in recent months, your host has been trying to reapply this principle where it had fallen into disuse and that includes with blogging. But before explaining how we intend to apply it, readers should be familiarized with the principle in question first so that they can see where we are going in raising it at the present time.

Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) had come to realize a principle that he first set forth explicitly in 1906{1} pertaining to the issue of economic distribution. He had observed in Italy that 20% of the population owned 80% of the land and resources. Initially he thought that this was due to inequalities of economics but various studies he conducted in nature solidified that hypothesis into a probable theory and it became evident that this is the natural order of things. In other words, whether it is 80-20, 85-15, 90-10, or 95-5 the overwhelming majority of productive results come from a small percentage of outputs.

I discovered this principle years ago with weight training where my training partners and I would through doing a mere fraction of the work that others around us were doing would continue to make progress while they stagnated.{3} And over time I have found that it applies to so many areas but I do not want to get away from the subject in question which is applying Pareto's Principle to all areas of my life -particularly those areas where I have unconsciously let it lapse in recent years.

None of this means I will necessarily blog any more than I do not generally speaking. Well, maybe a bit more if there is more time in the day as a result of getting the other areas of life more thoroughly organized under this principle -a process that is taking a while in lieu of the layers of inefficiency that I had allowed to seep into various aspects of my life.

Oh, I should note before wrapping up this posting that one thing I am considering writing on is the application of this principle to economics and explaining the fallacy behind economic approaches which seek to create equality in outcome as opposed to merely equality in opportunity. But that is a subject for another time.


{1} As it was back in July of this year for a couple of weeks.

{2} It seems in the past six months there have been more than the usual number of these kind of endeavours -including about a half dozen which are in various stages of completion as of this posting and the recent posting on baseball milestones. (The bulk of the material of which was composed over two months prior to its posting but required significantly more than the normal rearranging and revising before it was ready to be posted.)

{3} I have since realized through further study and personal experimentation just how little is really required in this area for maximizing results volume-wise. Like everything, it is not how much you do which is the determining factor but doing it precisely right; ergo a ten to fifteen minute weight training routine seven times per month done correctly results in magnified progress far and above ten times the amount of work in the same time period, etc.

Once the tendons in my foot heal enough to allow it (they were severely strained in April of 2006 and only in recent months appear to be close to fully healed) and I shed a few more pounds, it will be time for perfecting these matters further both with my return to training and some friends and associates who have asked for assistance in maximizing their results in minimal time in the coming months and year.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Points to Ponder:

A single idea, if it is right, saves us the labor of an infinity of experiences. [Jacques Maritain]