Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Done another run

About 30 minutes into my run, about halfway though, I was worried that my achilles was getting worse, not better. It hurt a little in start, but I vowed to keep this run super easy. And I really do mean easy. No getting excited and picking up the pace. From now on my mission is to run my easy stuff as if I were walking. In other words there should be no effort whatsoever. The nice thing about that is somehow the body knows what you're up to and helps you along. Like a happy horse that you just gave some slack to. Suddenly the whole body is on board, and your hips start to swing a little and you land a bit more on your toes.

Thankfully I loosened up a little in the last few miles. Feels good to sit, but none of that 'shell shock' I used to get after easy runs done too fast. If you're not running 100% easy on your easy days, you are doing it wrong. Can't argue with nature. I finished off the run with a few strides, happily spaced many minutes apart, another detail I've been working on. Belated discovery: If your strides are less than a minute apart they are no longer strides, by definition. Wish I knew that when I was running with McGill.

While running I was thinking about my thesis and Taleb's Black Swan book again. They have nothing to do with each other, BTW. My defense is scheduled for some time in February, so I have time to imagine what examiners might ask me. Logical fallacies are a big issue in science, and a real thesis killer, so I wondered if there was anything I might have overlooked. I mention Black Swan because one of the fallacies therein described is the narrative fallacy as "our need to fit a story or pattern to a series of connected or disconnected facts, or statistical data mining".

I wrote my thesis a few months ago, in the fall, while I read the instructions how to format one in proper. Then today I remembered one of the criteria for it:

"The thesis must be more than a collection of manuscripts. All components must be integrated into a cohesive unit with a logical progression from one chapter to the next"

 I thought about that for a minute. Is McGill actually encouraging us to write a narrative no matter what the data says? There are plenty of smart people who probably wrote several intelligent papers, the combined contents of which may or may not be holistically related. Forcing a connection that way is pretty damn unscientific. Ugh. This is why no-one ever reads your thesis. Square peg, round hole, etc.

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